My Shop

It took a little more than a year to go through all of the crates and boxes that was my packed up workshop. It had all been in storage for the better part of a decade. Many of these tools were unusable due to the conditions they had been subjected to. Oxidation and dry rot was everywhere. It’s taken most of the last year to unpack, clean up, rehab and re-organize everything.

There were nearly a hundred boxes and crates full of hand tools and hardware. Tools that covered nearly every area of home renovation, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, landscaping, and more. Much of it covered in a thick coating of dust from two storage units and a small one car garage that really was nothing more than storage unit with a remote control for the door.

The dust was so bad that on the few occasions I’d forget to wear a mask I’d inevitably wake up the next day with a bad sinus infection.

Last spring (2019) I finally finished my first pass at rehabbing/building my shop. I’d finally made it through all of the boxes and crates and cabinets. I was pretty sure I now knew where everything was at and how I wanted to set everything up.

In order to maximize the space of this smaller two-car garage I needed to combine or eliminate some of my floor standing tools. Most needed serious clean up and fine tuning anyway.

I began with my table saw. Long story snort, I never really liked this saw. It was too big It takes up far too much space. I wanted to sell and and get a new one with a much smaller footprint.

I needed to get it ready for resale so I got a new belt for it, cleaned and lubed and polished the thing up until it looked and worked like it was nearly brand new. In fact it was working so well that I decided to keep it.

To reduce the machine’s footprint I decided to combine it with another tool that was taking up valuable real estate, my router cabinet.

Combining and Rehabbing my Tools

I had been checking the thousands of YouTube videos of other small shop owners. I took notes from the posters who had combined their shop tools in various, often genius, ways.

I decide to build a router table with a lift into my table saw. (Link to post about this process that I haven’t made yet)

I then took my old router cabinet and converted it into a flip-top cabinet for my chop saw and planer. See the rehab here and the final version here.

Combing these tools together gained back about 400 sq ft. of my shop space. This allowed me to add a small bench to my shop and to turn my large existing bench into a home for a CNC machine.

I was still more than a little hesitant to spend the money needed for the minimum sized/quality of machine I felt I would need for the projects I had in mind until I had a chance to learn how to use one first.

Fortunately, while searching YouTube for more training videos I came across a very positive review of the SainSmart line of Mini CNC machines. As luck would have it the Genmitsu 3018 Pro version was on sale, for a very limited time, for just $185. I ordered it with two extra packs of bits for a total of $210 with delivery.

One week later It was delivered and after just an hour of assembly I was cutting my first test project.