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Setting Up Your Workshop


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About the Author

John Kelsey is a journalist and editor specializing in woodworking and furniture making. He has a degree in woodworking and furniture design from the School for American Craft at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a former editor in chief of Fine Woodworking magazine and a publisher of woodworking and home building books at the Taunton Press. He is the author of Furniture Projects for the Deck and Lawn. He lives in Newtown, Connecticut.


A woodworker's workshop is a personal space and in my experience, I've never seen two workshops with the same layout and machinery placement but there are similarities to all workshops. This 150 page book is jammed packed full of great ideas on layout designs, storage, work surfaces, safety and shop accessories. No matter what your space limitations are, this book is a must for anyone setting up a workshop. The chapter on workbenches covers 23 pages, full of illustrations that discuss workbench construction and workbench accessories. Tool placement, work flow and how to maximize your woodworking space are covered in depth in this book. An excellent chapter on workshop safety rounds out this book. If you're considering building a workshop, no matter what size or you're looking to maximize your woodworking space, I encourage you to pick up a copy of "Setting Up Your Workshop".
It is also a reference/idea book that gives information on set up, layout designs, shop accessories, safety, storage, work surface and even a nice area of air flow to keep the dust under control. The ideas and suggestions are clear and strong so easily adaptable if your workshop is a corner of the basement or even just a card table in the family room. It does not have working plans for the work bench or storage areas ... maybe that book is in the works ... instead there are lots of tips that you can apply to what you already have.
The first thing a woodworker thinks about is how to layout his/her shop and the second thing would be the building of a great workbench. Both are very well covered in this 150 page book. The book is rife with new ideas on how to make your shop an efficient one. A great idea for a sanding station will keep the sawdust at bay and a mobile clamp rack will save space. Slick ideas on lumber storage and a neat trick for storing sheet goods are included. There are loads of drawings and plans to make jigs and work savers.
From Fox Chapel Publishing - looks like a neat little book that covers a lot of topics. The Shop Layout chapter includes scale drawings of typical shop machines so you can layout your shop on paper first. It also includes things like lighting, electricity, floors and ceilings, and heating and ventilation. There is a Workbench chapter that includes instructions for building a bench as well as information on vises and other accessories. Shop Accessories includes dust collection, bench grinders, and air compressors. The Storage chapter has info on storing lumber, hand tools, clamps and the like. Finally, there is a section on Work Surfaces and one on Safety. This looks like a good book to look at before (and even after) you set up your shop

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