Mike Merzke’s Very Well Laid Out Shop

Mike Merzke is a woodworker in North Carolina. And from the looks of his shop he is an extremely organized woodworker! I could only imagine my shop maintaining this level of organization. I just can’t stop staring and analyzing his miter saw station. I really like that setup. Mike has also started a YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss his next build video. Above is a video tour of his shop and below is a bunch of pictures and descriptions walking you through. After you’re done drooling be sure to let Mike know what you think. Enjoy!

My shop is my attached two car garage that measures about 20’x20′. When we first moved in this house, my shop only took up about a quarter of the garage.  Then over time, it grew to its current size that takes up almost the entire garage other than the back wall.  Each time my shop would grow to take up a little more of the garage I would work on the organization and making sure It was set up to be as efficient as possible.  I am sure it will change quite a few more times over the years but for now I am starting to run out of room to grow anymore.

This is a panoramic of the entire shop as seen from the back wall (which is the only part of the garage that is not part of my shop space…YET)

As you walk into the shop from the house the first tool you’ll come to is my Grizzly 14” Bandsaw.  I keep a ¾” blade on there for re-sawing lumber. At some point I would like to purchase the riser block kit for the saw to increase my re-saw capability from 6” to 12”. You’ll also notice that along both outside wall of my shop I have French cleats running the entire length of the walls. I really like the functionality of French cleats in a workshop.  Most of the items on the walls of the shop were custom made to fit its purpose. Just like this first small cabinet to hold some of the fasteners I use the most.

Just down from the bandsaw I have my Router Table. This was taken from probably the most common router table design found online and then modified to fit me and my needs. Being 6’ 5” it is hard to find tools that are at the right height so I just built it to fit. The increased height also gave me some additional storage space.  The cabinet above the router table is one that I removed from our kitchen since I was going to be building custom cabinets as part of the remodel. I repurposed it to be my finishing supply cabinet. Next to the router table I have my belt/spindle sander combo.

Here are some other storage solutions that I was able to mount on French cleats. I try and use scraps from projects to help organize the shop.  This way as I need to change it or upgrade it in the future I don’t feel like I’ve wasted the wood. The drill charging station is probably the best example of that since that is on version 3.0. You can read all about it on my blog here. On the workbench I have my 10” bandsaw which I keep a 3/8” blade on there for curved cuts. The open space on that bench will soon be the home of a Shapeoko 2 CNC machine.

In the front corner of the shop is where I have my dust collection system.  I have upgraded it with a canister style filter and a chip separator.  I have two branches running from it. The first one goes along the wall I just showed and the second goes up to the ceiling and then drops down in the center of the shop to collect from the tablesaw, Jointer and thickness planer.

In the center of the shop is my tablesaw. I have added a better fence and upgraded the dust collection on it. Next to my table saw is my multipurpose table which works as my outfeed table, workbench, and as an assembly table. You can read about the build here.

At the end of the multipurpose table is where I have my 6” Jointer.

I keep my thickness planer under my table on a full extension drawer for easy access when I need to mill down some lumber.

When it’s time to make some chips I pull it out and set it on the multipurpose table and then take the dust collection hose from the jointer and attach it to the thickness planer.

My miter saw station was modified from another plan I found online. Just like in the rest of the shop I try and maximize storage options.

The backside of the miter saw station is lumber storage.

On the far wall of the shop I have the latest addition to my shop, my lathe. Just as the other wall of the shop I have French cleats going down the entire length of the wall.  Here you can see my clamps and turning tools and accessories have also found their place on via the French cleats.

Just down from that is my drill press and sharpening station.  I also try and mount my jigs on the walls also to keep that handy while out of the way when not being used.

To maximize lumber storage in the shop I installed racks that go along each of the walls right at the top.

So I hope you enjoyed this small tour of the shop.



  1. Mike, any tips on seeking financing from my wife so I can convert my garage into a mega woodworking man cave. Just getting started, looking for tips and ideas. Awesome stuff man, thanks for sharing. Thanks, Shayne

    • Shayne I don’t know if I’m qualified to give marital advice… I only have a license to practice with my marriage. I would just suggesting small and expanding. My shop started as only a quarter of our garage and now it takes up the entire thing.

  2. Your shop is an inspiration!! My garage is the same size, unfortunately currently loaded with junk. I too like the french cleat system. Great miter station. I will be following your progress.

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