Use your woodshop space efficiently.
Efficient woodshop storage solutions are a key component to any woodshop space. If a shop is well organized and has efficient storage then the workflow becomes more efficient and ultimately more profitable. There are a multitude of items in a shop that need a place to be stored out of the way, but still easily accessible. The three main categories of items to be stored in a typical woodshop are tools, supplies and materials.
Woodshop Storage Tips
Tool Storage: Tools need to be stored in a way that they are quickly and easily accessible as you work. If it’s cumbersome to access your tools then it wastes time and money. Tools should be stored near the area of the shop where they are most commonly used to avoid unnecessary trips across the shop. For example, I have all of my hand tools stored near my workbench where they get used and all of my portable power tools stored near my assembly table where they are most commonly used. I prefer to have as many tools as possible stored inside cabinets to keep the dust off of them, which makes shop clean up faster.
Supply Storage: Shop supplies can be stored a little differently from tools. I like to break supply storage down into bulk storage and quick-access storage. For example, I buy cabinet assembly screws in large boxes, but I don’t need the whole box at my fingertips. I store the box of bulk screws on a higher shelf since it’s not accessed every day and store a smaller quantity of the screws on a lower shelf where they are easily accessible when I need them. Not all storage spaces in your shop can be equally accessible, so it’s important to store your most reached-for items nearby.
Material Storage: Generally, I buy the materials that I need on a job-by-job basis rather than having a large quantity of materials that need a place to be stored. As a one-man shop, it’s not worth it for me to buy materials in bulk and have to create a place to store them. However, I do have storage for scrap material and for the materials that I am working with on a current project. For storing shorter lengths of solid wood I built a stepped storage bin out of 1/2″ plywood that allows me to organize and group by length and species. For storage of longer scraps of solid wood and lengths of lumber that I am currently working with I have a wood storage system mounted on the wall above my scrap bin. This allows me easy access to whatever piece of wood I need. Sheet goods get stored against the wall. Also read what Joe Sainz had to say on how to protect your lumber with indoor and outdoor storage solutions.
My Woodshop Storage Cabinets
A shop is always a work in progress with elements always changing and being refined to work better. I have recently built and installed the carcasses for my shop cabinets. As time allows I will build the drawers, pull-outs, doors and countertop. Even though the cabinets are not complete yet, they still provide me with useful storage in my shop and scrap plywood serves as a temporary countertop surface. I have designed my cabinets with plenty of drawer space and each of the large lower cabinets will be outfitted with two pull-outs for power tool storage. Pull-outs really make the most of lower cabinet space and will provide efficient storage for all of my power tool cases. The countertop provides a work surface as well as a place to keep some of my most commonly used power tools for quick access. When completed, my shop cabinets also will serve as an example of my work to show clients when I meet with them. Learn how you design your own woodshop storage with construction design software.
One of the most useful woodshop storage and work-surface fixtures in my shop is my assembly table. The table has plenty of storage inside the cabinets with open bays for future drawers. The assembly table rides on locking castors so it can be moved around the shop and the storage goes with it. I built the table at the same height as my table saw so it doubles as an outfeed table. When rolled in front of my shop cabinets it acts as an island and provides an efficient work center with easy access to my portable power tools and supplies. Time spent on woodshop storage solutions is time well spent since it allows you to work more efficiently, and ultimately makes you more money. For even more information on tool, jobsite or workshop storage and organization visit the BTP sub-forum where other Guest Pros and I post regularly and discuss our favorite and newest organization tips and tricks.