Design, Engineer, Create – Shop Storage Solution

In this video I walk you through my entire process of identifying a problem and designing a solution, engineering that solution into an item, and creating that item. In this case it is a sandpaper belt storage rack. The project itself isn’t the focus of this video. My overall process of creating is the focus. I hope this helps someone out there. Thanks for watching!

00:07 Design Intro
02:46 Joinery Thoughts
04:40 Material Testing
08:38 CAD in SketchUp
26:21 CAM in VCarve Pro
42:46 Cutting Parts
45:17 Assembly
45:41 Installation


  1. I didn’t know you could draw in SketchUp and transfer the file to Vcarve Pro like that! Wow, I just learned a lot from this video! I also picked up a ton of great tips in Vcarve Pro! Thanks for the great job talking through the vid! Outstanding job with the details and explanations! I most likely will rewatch this multiple times as I try to use the tips I learned! Thanks so much for sharing this! Wow!

  2. Using the melamine for drawers and case work you could make the mortices short by the thickness of the white coating and have smooth fronts and sides.

  3. Greetings, Your design process is spot on…however you may have overlooked a consideration. When the core of Melamine is exposed, it will crumble surprisingly soon. I believe it’s due to oxidation…dries out the adhesives and the particles fall apart. In a year or two, corners and edges will start to fail. Is that a concern…I don’t know your expectations for longevity. Your connections at the mortise and tenons are very snug and that’s good, as it protects the core. Those core surfaces would also be protected by the glue.

    Paint, at the very least, glue and wood strips as well along the edges, will certainly help.

    Not trying to critique your…experience from years in commercial shops.

    Nicely done!!!

    • Thank you for your input. I considered using shellac on the exposed edges but I passed considering it’s just a basic shop project. Time will tell how it holds up just hanging there.

  4. Yes – create a series on how you optimize your workflow and shortcuts in Vcarve! I learned Sketchup from you that way and it has been so useful.

  5. Very Nice Jay. I wish I had your knowledge of Sketch Up and I wish I had you CNC machine. That said, I enjoy your videos. Keep them coming.

  6. great thought, design and cnc techniques. i will use some of your stuff myself on my design and cnc work. i agree with jack on the melamine. perhaps, several coats of shellac on the edges. Shellac is very effective at slowing the passage of water vapor.

  7. I noticed you had clamps on your CNC dust shoe. What happened to just magnets?

    Also how did you eventually secure the Y DC hose splitter to the top of the unit?

    • The magnets are not strong enough with my original design. I think the real problem is the brushes being too stiff. When the brushes hit clamps the dust shoe shifts and has come off during the cut a couple of times. With softer brushes, I don’t think the spring clamps would be necessary. However, the magnets do a good job getting the shoe installed, and adding the clamps doesn’t affect anything.

  8. That looks really nice as well as being functional and a terrific use of space.
    As far as it fitting the frame perfectly, sometimes you create your own luck.
    Take care, enjoy your family, sometimes the days may seem long but the years fly by in the blink of an eye.

  9. Cool project!
    How about some sort of sliding hooks at the bottom of the rack to tension the belts so they hang better without spreading out? Something that uses gravity or tilts or twists into place?
    Jay, I just love watching your tutorials on Sketchup. Really learn a lot. Very efficient.
    Also, this was my first exposure to VCarve and the machine to cut out the pieces.
    Really fascinating …

    • Thanks for the feedback, Bob. The easiest thing to do for tension on the belts is to just put a chunk of square stock inside the belt. Gravity will hold it in place.

  10. Thanks Jay,
    Now I feel like a real dinosaur … with my 2002 ShopBot and Delcam’s Part Wizard. Just the simple things like auto-nesting and dog bones (DOG BONES!). Looking like I had better upgrade to V-Carve one of these days.

    I really enjoyed your design flow and thought process. Again, using ancient CAD software (TurboCad 9), I can see there have been a FEW improvements since the mid 2000s.

    Wonderful project, glad it turned out better than you anticipated (loved the “that was luck” comment btw).



  11. Nice job Jay. We used to call ‘dog bone’ mickey mouse ears, but still the same.
    Don’t own CNC probably never own or want one but still enjoyed the whole video.
    Cheers Geoff

  12. Hi Jay, I really appreciate your videos, but really how many of your viewers have access to or own a CNC machine? It is very interesting, but misses a huge audience of those without CNC.

  13. Nicely done and effective use of space. I use 2″ pvc pipe sections attached to a 2×4 and mounted to the wall to store belts. Just received the base kit for my Avid PRO4848 today. Looking forward to getting the rest of it and starting the learning curve.

  14. Well done. i look forward to your workflow videos. I initially learned Sketchup mostly by watching your videos. the combination of going from Sketchup to the CNC is really helpful for me, as i often have struggled with getting this right. My hide and unhide options don’t seem to work as smoothly in sketchup Your custom keyboard “Y” hide everything else except the component being worked on would be nice to add to my setup. Do you have how this is done on your tutorials somewhere. My vote is to keep these types of videos coming – watching you think through the process is very helpful to me.

  15. Great video! I appreciate you walking through the whole process and tools used.
    Also brilliant tip on collecting sharp objects in a bottle and then throwing the bottle away!
    Thank you for all of the content you provide.

  16. Awesome video as always, your attention to detail when you explain things is phenomenal! I have been using scketch-up for a few years and never knew about the double click feature to copy the push pull. That plus waiting to add the roundovers until the vectors are in Vcarve is going to save me a lot of time and headache in the future! Thanks for sharing your process and all the tips

  17. Jay, how do you get such amazing audio standing next to that dust collector and CNC? My setup is basically identical and it’s stupid loud…..


  18. I commonly mark the location of the screws between my tenons by drilling a very shallow hole with my CNC. If’ I’m feeling extra fancy, I use a VGroove bit to create my countersink and then chase it with a 1/8″ hole. That way the screw head is precisely located in the centre of the tenons and in the material with the mortises, plus each countersink depth is exactly the same. Nice work!

  19. Really enjoyed the video and listening to your design process. Is there a reason you went from Sketchup 8 to Sketchup Pro?

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