The Five Foot Shop

It’s been about a year-and-a-half since my shop size got cut in half. It presently occupies a one-car garage and I must say that I’m quite happy with the space. All my machines made the move, including my sliding table saw, 18″ bandsaw, jointer, planer, drill press and dust collector, but I did give up my tall joinery workbench and a lot of wood storage.

With this particular machine layout, I can work quite efficiently on material as long as five feet for any machine, and can handle longer material with handheld tools. All this without a mobile base under each machine.

In an article for Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement Magazine, I explore the concept of a shop optimized to handle materials up to five feet long and provide examples of how it works in practice. Read it in the annual Small Shops issue (June/July 2017).

You’ve probably noticed that things have been quieter around here than usual, but don’t worry – I’ve enlisted a new helper. Once he’s fully trained, things should be back up to speed. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

9 thoughts on “The Five Foot Shop

  1. Your new apprentice looks like a natural, though based on my experience, you’ll never have return on the time invested, but still a great investment.
    I like this concept of planning around working with 5ft pieces, I look forward to seeing more about your experience.

  2. I have been one who worked in a small space for a long time. I was never as organized as you!. I would just drag it all out and use it outside. But you have seemed to get it right. Great shop.

  3. It always amazes me what some folk can do in a small wood shop. My shop is 30′ x 80′ and half the time I feel it is to small. My hats off to the woodworkers out there working in a small shop!!

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