Upgrading My Garage

Adding the upgrades to my workbench makes me feel more settled in; like I’m here to stay! When you get used to something being the way you intended and then it’s disrupted for a period you realise a bit how you spoiled yourself. But it’s even more than that really. After two years at my last workshop I had it to where I felt it worked. It wasn’t the big things so much as the small ones that made it work. This is especially true if you use only hand tools. Up until two and half years ago I had a bandsaw in my workshop even though most of the time I still used hand tools. In addition to putting in the main shelves behind me, I added my sharpening plate and strop shelf which is a non negotiable for me because I have never found anywhere more convenient yet more out of the way. I also added the same cam lift casters I used on my last workbench because in a limited space like a garage it’s necessary sometimes to reorient the workbench to optimise a technique, assemble a larger project for gluing up or facilitate any other particular work need. One of my workshops in the USA was 8 meters (25feet) by 12 meters (40 feet) and another one, shared with friends, was 12 meters by 25 meters (80 feet) but in the US it’s not unusual to own a garage 8 meters by 8 meters, whereas in Europe that is rarely the case anywhere.

I am happy with my new garage space. Very! Drawings help me to put what I envisage into more concrete realms and they often become the end result. I have had to scale down from what I had because of the garage size but that’s OK, it makes my life all the more economical anyway.

I cut down one of my old plywood storage cupboards from the castle to make one part of my planned triple-unit wood storage. It would have been quicker from scratch with fresh plywood sheets but I couldn’t stand the waste. This one is to tier for shorter stock and offcuts and will stand at the end of my garage.

I cranked up the bandsaw this week for the first time in 3 years. I bought this one a year ago but never wired it up because I knew we wouLd be coming to the garage workshop when I bought it.

I have three bandsaws including a vintage Startrite 14″ which works great but doesn’t have all of the more up to date safety features. I am testing out this new 16″ one with a variety of different blades, tooth patterns, teeth per inch, blade widths and such. It’s also important to to understand the effects different woods play on the bandsaw blades too. I will move one of the 16″ into the garage workshop when I feel the time is right and l have my plans for safety in place with my research. Until then it’s in the general workshop area where we keep the teaching and apprentice/trainee workbenches.

Oh, some of these upgrades we have also filmed so hang in there, we will be posting them soon!


  1. Thank you for the insights, Paul. I’m looking forward to the videos, since I’m currently setting up my new small workshop. Best regards, David

  2. Hi Paul, are you going to make a video on making an apron drawer? I am looking forward to the upgrade videos.

  3. Looking forward to the upgrade videos. I finished my bench a couple months ago and find myself taking several steps throughout my working sessions that I feel would be unnecessary if I just brought my sharpening stones a little closer, my saw board a little higher from the ground, my most used saws hung individually instead of on top of each other and maybe a drawer for my most used chisels instead of a roll…

  4. I see you applied a finish to this bench; I don’t believe a finish was shown in the original series of bench videos from years ago on YouTube that I used to create my bench. May I ask what you used on this bench for a finish? Many thanks!

  5. I often appreciate the pencil drawings far more than photographs. There’s a high level of craftsmanship involved there too. Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing them.

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