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Tell Us: How did you get into project-building?  Tell us your story in a comment below.

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Darn that's impressive!!  Beautiful job.
chris kauffman said:

I built a large kitchen island years ago... that was my first free standing piece...  this is my pinterest board with most of the projects I have completed over the past 8 years or so...

thank you 

Suzy said:

Beautiful, great work.

My wife's brother is in end stage renal failure.  He was living on the other side of the country with no family or friends to help him with appointments, treatments, etc while awaiting a kidney transplant.  He used to live in an old mobile home that my wife had purchased before we were married.  The mobile home had been sitting empty for several years and needed a ton of work to get it back into good condition.

Started the project with a General Contractor for the big stuff.  It soon became very expensive!!  I am retired and had some time so I started studying my options for doing some of the work myself.  Picked up some general tools (table saw, miter saw, router, etc) and  got into doing the woodworking and found that I really enjoy it.  Made some bathroom cabinet doors and drawers.  Now working on a frame that covers an entire wall (4' H x 8' W) that we are partitioning into smaller frames for decorations.  

Now the wife wants me to redo the bathrooms in our house and build some decretive pieces for her!!

Have been wood working since I was first given the ," Tool Box".   For those who would have been age 5 in 1956, the tools in that Christmas tool box were very real and worked well..  I can still remember the trouble I was in after almost sawing one of the legs off the kitchen table..  Also have a picture of my Mother using a crow bar to remove the large nails my brother used to properly shut the back screen door..  Have to wonder where my parents were with all the noise during all this construction..  My Father was a construction electrican  , came home with all sorts of broken things.  Gave the two of us the tools to disassemble  and salvage all the little screws ect.    Brother is now a construction grade Plumber, and I went into the Medical field.  We both have full size wood working shops and still love making saw dust..  The schools are wrong today to not have the shop classes they did back in my high school days.  Many of my skills first learned in those classes I still use today..  I use the Kreg system to assemble many of my projects , and  remember the first time at  how strong the joint was and how easy it was to make and assemble the project..   Who ever designed it , I tip my hat to.!

I have a work ethic that I was given in 9th grade that I still use..   Sign all of your work so that some day someone will look at it and know that is well built..  And know your name.       

I built a few simple garage shelves and other things previously, but what really started it all was watching an infomercial on the Kreg Jig.  I started watching the guys on the infomercial demonstrate everything you could do and make with the jig and I just couldn't look away.  Later that night I woke up in a cold sweat thinking about the Kreg Jig and what I could build with it!  In all seriousness my wife bought me the Kreg Master system for Christmas that year and I've been using it ever since.  My first project was the Kreg 2x4 work table with some modifications.  Then I built a version of the Kreg bookshelf, 6 of the Kreg outdoor chairs, and then a large kitchen storage cabinet with shelves and large pull out trays and drawers.  I have several other things on my list to build and I'm sure more ideas will pop up.

I completely agree with your statement about building things to fit specific spaces.  I built a bookshelf and large storage cabinet for our kitchen to fit in front of short sections of walls.  It would normally be very difficult or impossible to find furniture in a store that would fit and if you did it would probably be made out of cheap pressboard with a laminate veneer.
Rita B. said:

When I was first divorced, I found myself needing to learn what was normally considered "the man of the house" chores.  Over time, a needed project or repair had come up and skills learned.  My largest undertaking was a kitchen remodel that required a wall to be removed!   I stumbled on pocket hole joinery during the months of doing the kitchen remodel.   Once the kitchen was complete I started tackling furniture building and now love that I can build pieces that fit the spaces required and the look that I hope to achieve.   If someone had told me years ago that I would some day be attempting to build my own furniture I would've told them they were nuts!   Now I cannot imagine any other way.

It started in North Carolina...

I bought a piece of property on the Chowan River and wanted to build a house. Decided to be my own GC (which was a BLAST, btw!). I designed the house using some online s/w I found. Fast forward to about 6 months ago when we passed our final inspection...

If I had known ANYTHING at all about designing living areas, I would have done lots of things differently, like leaving enough space for PEOPLE lol

Very few ready-made pieces of furniture were going to fit in this 1200 sq ft, 3 bedroom house so...

My first project involved designing and building a bed for the master bedroom, which is less than 100 sq ft, and has no closet or storage. (I mean, originally, I only designed it to be a weekend place -- who knew I'd end up wanting to LIVE there???)

I bought a Kreg jig, scoured anything and everything online I could find about building furniture, and found; also found plans for a storage bed. Went to big blue, loaded up my minivan, drove home, unloaded my minivan, and got to work in my garage. Bought a small circular saw, table saw, compound miter saw, a speed and combination square, a 3' metal straight edge, lots of clamps, and got right to work (I've since bought a router, a couple of sanders, a nailer, and sawhorses).

I LOVE woodworking! I've since finished the queen bed, another twin with 3 drawers for the open loft, a couple of console tables, some end tables, a couple of folding stools for the dock, and I've just started a 2nd queen storage bed.

I also need to build 2 more twin storage beds, a sofa and couple of easy chairs, and (ta da!) a hanging bed swing for the porch. 

Oh...and come up with plans to build a car and a half garage in front of the house, complete with an apartment in the loft for company :-)


Just bought a 1900 sq ft house with a inground pool and a separate garage. So my new office workshop is 24 x 24 and a 12 foot porch. My wife keep bugging me but being a Brit - I am still in the planning stage. So if anyone has thought on workbenches etc. Yes it was a kids playroom.


First time I experienced woodworking was with my dad on Dec 1992. He had made my daughter a doll house, on Christmas Eve day we decided to make her some furniture to go in the doll house. We had a blast and I fell in love with woodworking! I will NEVER forget that Christmas and that time with my dad. It was the last Christmas I ever spent with my dad...he died from a heart attack July 1, 1993. Since then, I have been determined to teach myself woodworking. Unfortunately, my cousin got ALL my dads saws and tools. But thats ok...My First saw I bought was a Black & Decker 10" Band saw. Over the years, its been a huge struggle financially continue my desire of woodworking. But with God's help I have managed to build up to a real woodworking shop! I have the I need to insulate it, run electric and I'm on my way! MY VERY OWN WOOD SHOP! woo hoo! BTW...I would love ideas on how to setup the shop, its small but mine lol 12x20 Barn style storage building. Equip I have band saw, mounted router, scroll saw, table sander, drill press, miter saw, table saw. Thanks!


Set up your shop to your liking.


If you ask 5 different wood workers, you may get 5 different answers.

What works for one, may not be for you.


I’ve perused several different plan layouts, published in various mags.

None of them were to my liking, for my use.


To start out, locate the tools where you want them for now.

As you progress, you'll want to rearrange them to suit your needs.


1st, locate the table saw, in the center or near the center of the floor space---

Position it where you can rip long 8ft boards, where you have space to load and unload the workpiece.

And, perhaps for two person use, one at the start and one at the end of the cut.


Personally, I arrange the tools, in the order that I use them to build a project.

Ripping, cross-cutting, router table(s), band saw, drill press, sanding station, assembly station,  etc.  A mobile shop vac, to move and connect  to the machine in use.


When a power tool on stand is not in use, I move it and store it against a wall.  Pull it out and position it to suit my needs.


Having the tools on dedicated mobile stands, makes for easy moving and rearranging.


Storage of lumber and materials can be against or on a wall.  Light weigh objects can be stored in the ceiling area.


Storage rack(s) with shelving, to store small power tools.


Clamp storage---large ones on a wall and smaller one in bins.


Mobile cabinet style unit with doors and drawers for small tools.

Label the drawers of their contents---handy to readily identify what’s in there.

Writing on a strip of making tape with a marker pen, will suffice.

As you move the tool(s) from one place to another, just move the tape, or make a new one.

‘til you find a permanent home for the tools.


On a table saw---store your saw blades, miter gauges, and associated tools with the saw.


Router table---store your router associated tools and items in the router table/stand, or nearby.


Band saw and scroll sawing and their associated components.


Kreg pocket hole joinery tools and the like, in separate bins, and labeled such.


Jigs and fixtures can be stored (hung) on a wall.


Store the associated tools with the applicable power tool(s), so they’re in an “at-the-ready” access.  (My portable power tools are stored on shelves and in cabinets).


Compressors, hoses and associated air tools together in a separate area. 

Portable air compressors can be moved to the area I’m performing the tasks.

When cutting outdoors, I can wheel the compressor  to the table saw, router, or the like---

And clean it up before putting it away.


I organize my tools by category:

Sawing (power and hand)--- cutting tools such as chisels, planes--- drilling, driving--- fastening (nailers, staplers), sanding, polishing, finishing, gluing. 

Fasteners in another location---screws, nails, and the like.

Wood working, electrical, plumbing, soldering/welding, air tools, grinding, sharpening, etc.

My sharpening tools are all together---I can take the tools to the work or move the work to the tools.


I need to have my tools organized in such a way, that I can grab the applicable tools---load-and-go to a job site. 

Whether its wood working, electrical or plumbing, tool sharpening.

If it’s a small job or task, I pack the applicable tools in bags or bins, load and go.


Enjoy making sawdust.

Works for me.

I have lived in apartments since I was 15yrs old.  I just recently purchased a new home with my Fiance and the garage had a workbench built in. I decided this was the time to finally get into woodworking.  My Fiance bought me a Kreg Jig for a housewarming gift and I picked up a plethora of used tools at garage sales over the summer and made my first outdoor chair from plans on Ana White's website.  I was hooked and have now made closet organizers, mudroom organizer and little projects around the house.

I got started wood working back in High School, I took wood shop and thats all it took I was hooked! Through the years I did not always have a place to do wood working then I bought a house and shortly after that I built a garage and I did it all my self. Well to make a long story short I moved to Tennessee 3 years ago, and now no shop or Garage but Im in the process of buying a house (waiting to close on it) and after I get it then I know come summer I will have some sort of little shop a Barn or something to work in. I have to replenish a few tools but in all Im still a very happy wood worker. I plan on building some new cabinets for the new home. It needs a lot of cosmetic work inside but outside is like new. I will be sure to post pics of my projects there as I get going on it.

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