A More Efficient Workshop – Round 2

The more I do the same task over and over the more I think about what I could do differently to make it more efficient. Regardless of whatever I’m doing there is most likely a better way. In this case, it’s just working in my shop. I rearranged the shop a few weeks ago and having worked with that setup for a bit I’ve realized a few areas for improvement.

The first area was the french cleat wall. Ah, the beauty of French cleats. As your shop changes so can they! I moved the drill charging station and square holder as far left as I could to get them closer to my new work table. I really would like them on the other side of my finishing supply rack but the power cord won’t reach. Maybe I’ll make a small extension cord for it down the road. I don’t really use my t-handle allen wrenches often so they went up and out of the way. And that empty area on the top right is where I will store my next router table when not in use. A French cleat router table is coming up!

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This allowed me to move the saw blade holder down by the table saw. This is a very handy place for it. Now all of my insert plates, blades, dado stack, wrenches, and miter gauge are within an arms reach of the saw.

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When I put up my lumber rack brackets I knew I would eventually move them. So down they came.

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This wall is now going to be my new “jig wall.” I moved all of my current table saw jigs over here with plenty of room for added jigs. Again, within an arms reach of the table saw.

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Next on the agenda was the hallway. I was so shocked at how much brighter everything appeared when I took the two cabinets above my miter area off the wall so I decided to take this one down. Yes, that’s one long cabinet. 82” to be exact.

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Even with the doors off and everything removed its still not fun at all to move by yourself! This thing was heavy. Luckily I could drop the weight on my metal shelf brackets below.

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And the now empty wall is a great location for the lumber rack brackets. It feels much less cluttered walking through there now.

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And finally my clamp rack. I don’t think there was a single time I went down that hallway and didn’t bump into my clamps. I just moved the mounts from inside the hallway to where the old jig wall was. This is probably the most exciting aspect of this rearrange day. Now they are no longer a bump hazard and are a tiny bit closer to my work table. I still wanted to utilize the hallway walls slightly so I hung some not so commonly used items that lay relatively flat against the wall.

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Very few workshops are setup perfectly from day 1. As our needs and workflows change so do our shops. My French cleat wall, the table saw user area, and my hallway are now more user friendly areas. While it was another step in the right direction I’m sure the path I’m walking has many turns ahead.


  1. I can understand why your removed the cabinets, but am curious. I gather this is an apartment that you have access to and that if you move you (probably) will have to restore it to it’s original purpose.

    Given that, I’m curious where you are storing the cabinets you removed. I assume it’s somewhere else in the apartment but was wondering.

    I would think you would need a fair amount of storage space Are you using a bedroom to store them ….or perhaps the bathroom?

  2. The only thing I would change is to move the saw blade holder to the top french cleat. It is too low and could be a hazard to your arms as you pass by them. Personally, being on blood thinners, that’s why mine is out of the way and up. Less chance of a scratch or worse. Keep the blogs and the videos coming.

    • Hello Fayette. I don’t see that as necessary for me. It’s in a location where I will never be reaching around it. The only time I go near it is to get something off of it. Have a good day!

  3. Howdy Jay, happen to have a link to those shop lights you use? My garage has horrible lightning, even more so now that I’ve installed ceiling mounted storage racks. I seem to remember you mentioning them in a video before, but don’t recall which video.

    Love the new layout, btw. Definitely seems more conducive to being productive and just having everything at hand and in its place.


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