Woodshop organization and storage!

Hey all!

I’m working on a plan to massively improve the utility and usability of the workshop. My two big initial goals: improve storage/organization, and improve dust collection.

Let’s use this thread to discuss priorities! What would you like to see?

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about:

  1. Wood storage! We are devoting a massive amount of usable space to loose material.
  2. Flexibility. I love Matt’s French cleat system above the workbench, and I think it would be great to extend some of that flexibility around the other main walls.
  3. Power. The extensive use of extension cords is no good for all sorts of reasons.

Below are a few ideas I’d like to throw out there.

Strut channel on walls

If we attach 1 5/8 steel strut channel to the walls with concrete anchors at 24" spacing, we’ll have a really easy way to add strong, modular storage – shelves, pegboard, more French cleats, ductwork, etc.

Overhead material storage

We have some pretty high ceilings, and I think we could expand on the strut channel idea to add some 4’ x 10’ overhead platforms for storing stock.

Ducted dust collection

I’ve looked into getting a full-scale central dust collection system for the shop, and it looks like something big enough to run ducts everywhere would be super expensive. So I’ve been thinking, a better choice might be to double up our existing dust collection! Modifying a Harbor Freight dust collector with a cyclone + filter would probably be sufficient for ducting one side of the shop, leaving the Delta for the other side (and/or leaving it on its movable base).

3D model

To help me plan, I’ve put together a rough 3D model of the space in Fusion360. I’ll be updating as I go along, but for now you can access, download, and comment on it here.

Hey Jon, I love the idea of better wood storage and more tool storage in general. Strut channels sound useful. Here are some followup ideas:

  1. More small tools and a spot for them to live- allen wrenches, box knife, these sorts of tools need a home. They are small and get lost quickly.

  2. High storage and enclosed storage- everything not in a cabinet becomes covered in sawdust.

  3. As for wood, my fear is that the amount of wood will always grow to accommodate the storage space. Woodworkers hate to throw any little scrap away, and we scavenge wood from all over. So there should be some basic guidelines around storing wood at the shop. There are scraps in the current small scrap bin that really need to be thrown away, for example. Other studios I’ve seen who face similar space constraints (like ceramics studios), have some policies and rules around this. Perhaps a culling every so often of wood that is not labelled? Especially small scrap stuff.
    Signs and policy that asks people to put the date as well as their name on any wood in the shop? If wood has been there 3 years and hasn’t been used, we are simply a storage unit… I don’t know what the correct timeline is…

  4. I think that short table should be dismantled and go- it’s not very useful and takes a lot of space. Which connects to #5.

  5. Preserve open floorspace- This is more of a principle. Floorspace is at a premium and things get cluttered quickly. Tools like the table saw need space around them for running out material. So yes, build high and up against walls.

  6. A guide for big pieces- right now there is floppy particle board and a large piece of plywood completely blocking the very useful storage closets. I don’t know that there is an easy place for things like that to go, but access to tools and storage should not be sacrificed.

  7. Better use of storage under the main big workbench. Right now, it’s mostly scraps.

  8. Perhaps it is useful to folks, and if so, that’s fine, but I think that desk takes up an awful lot of space and rarely gets used. I cleaned it last Monday during Open Hours, it was covered in sticky goo.

  9. To reach taller things where they are stored, a good stool would be quite helpful.

That’s all I have for ideas. I hope some are helpful!

Hi Jon,
I know you are out of town, but today I was sourcing some hardware and I found a bunch of unistrut that IG may be able to get very cheap (or free). It’s 17 or 18 pieces, 20’ lengths, slightly rusted.
Is this the stuff we need?

OMG yes!!!

I’m pretty sure we could put all of that to work. I drew out plans to use 20x 8’ lengths in the wood shop, but doing 16” instead of 24” spacing, and also using these for the metal shop, would be super awesome.