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Small Shop Solutions


Small Shop Solutions

Great ideas from space-challenged woodworkers just like you.

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Simple All-Purpose Shop Cabinets

Big Capacity Shop Cabinet

A Giant Shop Cabinet

Sliding Wall-O-Tools

By Sue Brunclik

The doors hang from widely spaced tracks mounted on a 2 x10 header. Lengths of slotted angle hold the header securely in place.

Click any image to view a larger version.

The doors glide smoothly on roller-equipped hangers. Each track has two grooves, so you can easily change the spacing between the doors and shelves, if necessary.

Each door has its own tracking guide. My system uses two sliding-door hardware kits. Each kit contains one guide designed for two doors. I customized them with a hacksaw.

Pantry Door Tool Cabinet

By Ernest Blair

Inspired by the pantry cabinet in the kitchen of our new house, I built this compact version for my workshop. It has the same deep double-hinged doors that make everything inside easy to reach. I used 3/4-in.-thick stock so I could use screws to hang tools inside. The thick back made it easy to fasten the cabinet to the wall.

I used less than a sheet of 3/4-in.-thick plywood and two 4-ft.-long continuous hinges to build my cabinet. I got everything I needed at the local home center.

Instant Surface

By Tim Johnson

In my compact shop, everything has to be portable and stowable, including my work surfaces. Whenever I need tabletop space for processing parts, milling boards or even assembling a project, I whip out this little gem. It’s easy to maneuver because it folds flat for storage and weighs less than 25 lbs. It sets up in seconds and is surprisingly rigid.

Expandable Parts Rack

By Jock Holman

When I worked on a big project, every surface in my shop used to get covered with stacks of parts. While visiting a small production shop, I saw an expanding metal rack in the finish room, loaded with kitchen cabinet doors.

A light bulb went on in my head and this wooden version now graces my shop.

Clamp Camp

By Tim Johnson

I’ve got a lot of clamps, but they don’t take up much space.

Small Parts Carousel

By Jeff Timm

While visiting an antique shop, I discovered a way to store all that indispensible small stuff that used to clutter my workshop. On display was a rotating bolt cabinet from an old-fashioned hardware store. When I got home, I design-ed this carousel that rotates on inverted swivel casters. It’s easy to build, because there’s no complicated joinery. All the parts are cut to size and assembled with glue and screws.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker May 2004, issue #107.

May 2004, issue #107

Purchase this back issue.