America's Top Shops Contest
May 1, 2008
Entry Details
 

# 630
Steve King
Plano, TX
I use a 2 car garage that is 20’ x 22’ for my shop. We park our cars outside but we have 2 golf carts that need to be parked in the garage. I set the shop in an L shape configuration with the 2 carts parked side by side in the North West corner. On the east side of the shop is my table saw with a cabinet that holds clamps drill bits etc.
 

This is a wet/dry bench grinder that is mounted on a turntable that can be pulled out and rotated. The grinder is mounted on plywood with 50 lb. under mount slides. I wired an outlet inside the cabinet for the grinder and OSS.
 

Under the grinder is an OSS that is hinged upside down when stored. With the doors open the sander will flip up and is supported by a U shaped brace. Note the door to the left of the sander, the house water heated was located in this closet. I removed the heater and installed a tankless water heater in the attic. Now with heater removed it gave me enough room to install the cyclone I made, I ran all the piping in the attic with 6” drops to all my machines. To the left of the door I vented the return air from the cyclone back into the shop
 
On the south side of the garage I built the work bench. Not wanting to mount my machinist vice and mortising machine to the bench. I mounted the tools to Baltic Burch Plywood trays. I installed 2 threaded inserts on sides of the bench. I use two 5/16” thumb screws that hold the trays to the work bench. It surprised me how securely the tools are held to the bench.
 
When the tools are not in use they are stored on a tray with 100 lb. under mount slides.
 

Judges Comments
CB : Nice use of a small space. Looks like a lot of planning was involved.
JH : Some decent storage with a holder or two that could be a separate project.
JH-W : Not the prettiest shop in the contest (not that shops don't need to be), but one of the best thought out. I like the pull-out and flip-up workstations. Nice hard-working clamp rack.
PA : I wish there was an overview shot of this shop, as it’s difficult to get a sense of its size and overall machine placement. I assume there is no jointer or planer in play here. The tablesaw outfeed table appears to be a two-part unit, with a short permanently fixed rear extension with miter slot grooves to support a sled. An additional length (hinged? detachable?) can be put into play to support longer stock. Clever. I wish there was further explanation on this. I can’t see whether the saw is on casters, but it’s awfully close to the rear wall to accommodate ripping long stock. (Another thoughtful addition is the lower side table shelf that serves double-duty as a shoe rack!) I like the cabinet with the pullouts for a swiveling grinder and oscillating spindle sander. The mounting “trays” for the bench vise and mortiser are also a good idea, and could be made to accept any number of tools. I think I would have installed the threaded inserts for them a bit farther away from the chop saw, though. Placing the chop saw next to the radial arm saw was smart, to make good use of shared feed surface area.

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