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The Doctor surveyed the alien landscape. Mechanical devices are strewn amongst the remains of once mighty trees now reduced to splinters and dust. Before stepping outside The Doctor assesses the atmosphere through expedience of opening the door and sticking his head outside.
"Abnormal weather patterns. Climate switching rapidly between blistering sunlight and precipitation." 
The Doctor sucks his finger and holds it above his head.
"Slight hint of 'boat', I'd say Norfolk, quite heavy on the tractor though, perhaps Lincolnshire? Yes, Lincolnshire!"
"Doctor is it safe to come out?" the voice is gruff, masculine.
"In your case..." 
From behind a door set into the side of a wooden box painted blue emerged a grey haired, bearded man wearing a mini skirt.
"...we may be too late!" The Doctor concluded.
"It's a bit cramped in there!" said the man.
"Who are you?" asked The Doctor.
"Isn't that supposed to be my line?" asked bearded man adjusting his mini skirt.
"No, you've lost me!" said The Doctor.
"That one too!" said the man.

The Doctor surveys the bearded man from head to toe. Tilley hat, a t-shirt bearing the slogan 'Legally The Norfolk Broads is not a National Park', a pink sequined mini-skirt and a pair of sling back pit boots. And the beard, mustn't forget the beard!
"I suppose the question should be 'What' are you?" asked The Doctor.
"I'm your new assistant!" said the man.
"Hang on a minute, I read the script. It clearly states that The Doctor's new assistant is Jenny Morgan!" exclaimed The Doctor.
"That's right!" said the man scratching his beard "That's me, Jenny Morgan!"
"But, but, Jenny is a woman!"
"Not necessarily, the current trend being what it is and all that. May I point out the remake of Ghost Busters and the BBC's new drama Nichola Nickleby?"

The Doctor made himself a seat on the nearest pile of what looked like woodwork tools and timber.
"So how exactly are we going to get all this woodworking crap back inside your blue shed Mr?" asked Jenny Morgan.

And that is the question fellow forumites. After my sojourn to work in the vastness of Ben Gunn's workshop, where there was ample space to swing a cat, how do I fit a table saw, jointer, thicknesser, pillar drill, mortiser, linisher, scroll saw, band saw and all of the chisels hand saws mallets, clamps etc back into my shed leaving enough room to twiddle a gerbil or perhaps do a bit of woodwork?

My shed needs to be turned into a workshop. The space I have to work with is a 10 x 7 pent roofed shed. It currently contains a bench the length of the longest side of the shed. Any sensible ideas very welcome!

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Seen a lot of people make dual purpose work station, which can have one machine on the top and one or more stored underneath, swapping as the job dictates, also saw a clever guy who had a couple of machines in the roof space which folded down to work height, a bit like the foldable ironing board.


All else fails get a bigger workshop or use a shipping container which is very secure and theoretically portable!

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2 hours ago, Timbo said:

Mechanical devices are strewn amongst the remains of once mighty trees now reduced to splinters and dust

I just knew it had to be your shed from that reference.

have you tried modelling it in 3d, allow working space for each tool based upon the maximum length you need either side for working.

to start with you will not be using all of the tools at the same time, so some arrangement of locking castors to easily move the tool to a working location, arrange your blank wall as a space for stowage of tools not currently in use, this eliminates the need for working space around the tools (lidls had heavy duty castors in stock last weekend).

some tools may be able to be used in situ on a small shelf above the general storage space, or may want to be arranged for easy transport around the bench (small casters or rollers?)

failing that you need a good supply of skyhooks to anchor each tool in the correct position.

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Well, SketchUp is open and the dimensions are going in. First of all my shed is now 10 x 8. Having put a measure to it, and then rang the shed building company and tore them a strip off I've discovered its 8 x7!!!!!!!!

I'm hunting Youtube now for workstation plans and ideas but...this is going to have to be a process of compaction unseen in my vicinity before!

Here's the existing layout.

Existing Layout.png

The way it operates is...I wait until it's not raining and take the table saw outside. I can then access my other tools. If it's raining...I'm stuffed. If a piece of lumber is longer than six foot, stuffed.

The table saw is on wheels, as is the jointer...

As for putting stuff in the flat Doug....erm I have two timber carts in the spare bedroom, a collection of various tools in the living room, bathroom, my bedroom and most of the kitchen...most of my spare tools I'm sending to you, hope you've got a big shed?

One additional problem though...what the hell am I going to do with all the tools I have stored on RT at the minute when she's finished?

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Tim, I know what you are experiencing, at the moment I have in my conservatory, in a space just 3 foot deep and 4 foot wide (either side of the door) a table saw (with a table top bandsaw on top) and a pillar drill - these are in regular use (only 1 leaf of the door opens (the table saw is behind the other)) and the door has to be shut to use the pillar drill. also in this space (it would be under the table saw if it fit) is the shop vacuum (well its an ordinary heavy duty wet and dry one, but handles sawdust perfectly).

Also on the table saw top is a belt sander, mounted sanding side up to the table saw top, this is used for fine trimming and smoothing.

I too have a mortiser, I dont have a scroll saw but I do have a powered fretsaw, A ton of small (modellers- so twice the price) power tools, they are on and around my modelling work bench (kitchen table) on the floor next to the table is the 20hp air compressor purchased at the boot fair last week.

At some stage I will get the rest of that half of the conservatory cleared out and convert it into a workshop properly, as at some stage i want to rebuild all the kitchen units (ie make them myself) - and not out of chipboard either.

i will see if I can get some pictures to show you tonight.

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There are a couple of limitations to the size of the shed I'm 'allowed' at my flat. Due to me living in a ground floor disability adapted flat. The upstairs neighbours have to look over whatever shanty I build and I have to allow access down the winding ramp in the garden should I have another 'do' and need to put my wheelchair back into service.

So 8'x7' is the limit to the size of my shed BUT Ellie is thinking up designs for some kind of 'folding' lean-to I can build onto the front of my shed. That way I can bring out my table saw if it's raining and add canvass screens to the side of the lean to, to stop rain from the horizontal direction.

So I have a new design...

New Layout.png

By reducing the length of my bench I can push my table saw up against the wall. I tend to use my table saw as a bench anyway and I've already made a plywood top to fit on it and protect the table surface.

So, first job! Cut the end off my bench. I'm going to use the end I remove as an additional machine bench on castors at a later but for the meantime...

Jonzo, the first purchases for your new workshop. Japanese pull saws instead of traditional English push saws. After spending an hour butchering around with my jigsaw and my carpenters saw I saw reason and picked up the ultra sharp, ultra slim Japanese saw which cut through the bench in about two minutes flat. Where my earlier cutting techniques were not straight and I'd managed to cut into the beam I needed to be flush with...the Japanese saw stayed flush! Much less effort as well.


So I dragged the off cut of work bench outside...you will also notice my table router which is going down to Doug for the making of things like toe rails and half round etc. I physically cannot get the hang of it!


And we have a hole large enough for the table saw to slide into!


I transferred all of the edging etc from the end of the bench I'd cut off onto the much shorter bench. I also gave everything a good sanding to remove the sharp edges.

Now then, random orbital sanders. If you own a wooden boat you will become very very very familiar with these tools.They are used not just for sanding but also for shaping wood. As with hand tools, electric tools come in a variety of prices from dirt cheap to 'how much'? However, it's not always the case that cheap means crap and expensive means good. I have four random orbital sanders, three on the boat and one at home. On the boat I have a £109 DeWalt (I don't like it) and I have two £27 Erbauer's (brilliant bit of kit for the money). At home I have a Bosch, Green. Bosch tools come in two colours, green and blue. Green is the home DIY tool range and Blue is the professional (my table saw is the blue range). My Bosche sander is quite outstanding, far better than the DeWalt and £40 cheaper.


So...next step...where am I going to put the huge cross cut saw I forgot in my design?

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So it's all change to the plan!

Having cut down the bench yesterday, I decided that I could fold time and space a little more by placing the bench against the far gable end of the shed.So sweating my cods off in glorious sunshine I started to bump the bench round to its new position. Not only did the bench fit comfortably but there was also additional space down the right-hand side to accommodate the bandsaw. Ellie had arranged for us to take Gracie swimming, and then a trip to Marks for some food. By the time I got back, yes you guessed it, raining. Undeterred I carried on.


Up until now, the bandsaw had loitered around the shed door ever since I bought it. An excellent bit of kit for the money, the only problem with it the cheap, wonky tin stand that comes with it. So as it's new home was to be the far side of the shed in a corner it was time to upgrade the stand and get some wheels under it, just like I did with the table saw and the jointer.

Rooting through my timber racks I discovered a 2x2, a length of 18mm x 6" board and enough 18mm ply to make a top. My supply of scavenged pallet wood supplied material for the stretchers. As my table saw is still at Ben Gunn's and I could not be bothered setting up the mitre saw this would be a quick hand tool project.

After an hours work and a trip to Screwfix for a job lot of cheap castors, I had a new rolling bench for the bandsaw.


As usual, I lifted the height of the machine so that it's more comfortable to work with.


And when it's not in use it can slide back into the corner out of the way. Tomorrow I will add a shelf underneath it for another storage area. I need to clean and oil the table of the saw and I also have the good quality fence I purchased for my old table saw to fit as a replacement for the fence that came with the saw. Although the saw itself is very good quality the attachments that came with it seem to be flimsy after thoughts.


With the bandsaw rolled back into its new home I seem to have quite a bit more space than I did have. Now to come up with a solution to the sliding mitre saw, jointer (still at Ben Gunn's with the table saw) and the planer.

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Great thread, showing what can be done to set up a workshop in limited space. I am struggling with the same issue, having just acquired a wood turning lathe and desiring to accommodate  a band-saw that has been offered to me for the princely sum of £30 in my workshop which occupies a space of 12 ft x 6 ft at the back of my garage. The lathe is currently bolted to an assembly room table that came from Portex at Hythe but I now need to find room for a pillar drill, a bench grinder and the aforesaid bandsaw. I like Timbo's idea for a wheeled dolly on which I could stand the saw, with a similar one which I  could use to set up the grinder or the drill on whenever I need to use them. When not in use, they can sit on the shelf under the table that the lathe is bolted to. A bit of a pain having to move heavy equipment around when you need to use it, but a small price to pay.



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What's black and frazzled and hangs from a light fitting in my shed?

As we had granddaughter Gracie for the day we were due to visit Ben Gunn and Nannie in Lincoln for the day. Somehow I knew it was not going to be a relaxing day when Ellie asked me where the hedge clippers were. In our household, Ellie does all of the hedge cutting. Not because I can't do it. Hell no! I was taught how to cut and lay a hedge with a bill hook by my Grandfather when I was eleven. Let's just say that were I to take Ellie on an archaeological dig she would still take charge of my trench and insist the surveyor had not laid the trench straight, there being imperceptible to anyone other than Ellie, a dog leg in its course. While Ellie cut hedges I plodded up and down with the lawnmower, while Gracie played 'shop' with Nannie.

By the time we returned home I was shattered, but wanted to get on with sorting out my 'workshop'. While moving the bench I took down all of the temporary lighting I had previously installed. This was the 'cheap inspection lamp' type of lighting. I want to replace this with some fluorescent lighting. Earlier in the week I had got on to the eldest lad, an electrician, to sort me out a baton...but in the end, I nipped up to Screwfix and bought one myself, along with 3 core flex, some five amp fuses and a three pin plug.

With the eldest lad on the phone guiding me through the wiring...I just don't understand electrics at all...I managed to wire the baton to the cable and fit the plug on the end. I fitted the tube and tested the light. It worked!

I know took the tube out, removed the cover and screwed the baton to the roof beam in the shed. Put everything back together, plugged in the light to my outdoor extension lead...nothing! I checked the connections, checked the tube, checked the power, checked the extension, checked my wiring...still nothing. I even got Ellie to come and help...still nothing.

After my initial test and the thing working I was quite jubilant that I'd managed something I would never have dreamed of attempting in the past...but I'm not so sure of myself now. Tomorrow I dismantle the whole thing and will re-wire it and test it indoors again before trying once again to install some better lighting into the 'workshop'.

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Camera, Action! Hang on a minute, I've forgotten something. Oh yes, LIGHTS!

The eldest lad Mikey has just paid a quick visit to bring me a second light fitting. He tells me the new fitting is a High Frequency, phasors on stun, dilithium powered, warp factor nine low energy unit! Right. I see. More importantly, he's had a look at my previous installation and told me what I'd done wrong, there's a list.

  1. I had not removed the plastic covers from the light bulb tube thingy.
  2. I had used cable that was too thick and consequently, one of the wires was not fastened in correctly.
  3. There was something about blocks of chocolate.
  4. I had fitted too low a fuse

Mikey has now left shaking his head, chuckling to himself but wondering if it would be responsible of him to leave me in possession of so many sharp objects?

I now have a working light and clear instruction on how to wire both lights together...yes I know, you are all waiting for the bang!

In an earlier conversation with Sensei, talk had got round to engine mounting blocks and angles of propeller shafts...and I am a man having difficulties with a 13 amp plug, but that's a story for another thread!

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DSC_0030.JPGSaturday was a very busy day sorting out the shed and I've made some headway! The lights are wired and working! However, I did not have enough cable to run the wires down the joists like I wanted to so I've ordered some more in a greater quantity for Monday so I can get the cables laid neatly, how I wanted them, and not be running across the roof.

I also set up the sliding mitre saw but... I was not happy with it as it takes up too much room. I still had the pillar drill sat on the bench and the mortiser sat on the floor! So, remember that bit of bench that cut off? With a length of 2 x 3, I made a new set of legs, added some castors and we have a wheeled bench that will take both the pillar drill and the mortiser as well as house the planer underneath it!


Sunday and I was up bright...well a bit dim, but I was up early. I once read a bit of prose that contained a description of a man agitated beyond belief through waiting. The author described the character's angst as 'he felt stretched, tethered and embarrassed, like a man waiting for a dog to crap'. I can appreciate that feeling. Our collie has a growth in his bowel and a hernia...so I spent two hours this morning walking behind a crouching Spot as he dropped dog toffee's every two feet. Eventually, I made it back home with the dogs and while they went back to bed I showered and changed to meet Ellie for lunch. After lunch it was back out to my shed.

I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't b****y swear and I'm terrible in bed! OK, I have one or two vices. Three to be exact. The first one I bought was a Forge Steel brand woodwork vice. It's rubbish! I did, however, pick up an old Parkinson Popular 45 vice from my neighbour for £5. So it was time to finally fit it to my bench. As my bench is only made from 18mm planks on the top I cut some lengths off what was left of the 3 x 2 I'd used on the drill press bench and mounted the drill to these blocks with coach bolts and washers. I then drilled and countersunk several holes in the bench top, started some of the longest screws I had off in the holes, and then balancing the vice on my knees drove the screws home. Fortunately, I did not screw my own legs to the bench, and the vice was now fitted flush with the bench and very securely fixed.

Before I could use the vice though I really needed to reline the jaws with some hardwood. Unfortunately, I didn't have any thick enough to do a proper job, so I made do with what I had to make a new liner for the back jaw. When I go back down to see Tim Collin I will ask if he has anything kicking about suitable for the job.


Still what I had did the job and I was able to use the vice. What a difference a quality bit of kit makes! There's no quick release on it, but with a spot of WD40 (leaves no marks on your timber) the vice purrs open and closed!

My other vice is also a decent bit of kit. Forge Steel brand again and far better quality than the cheap woodwork vice I purchased. This vice is a portable engineering vice with various bearings to allow you to position it how you will. I fitted this one to the pillar drill and mortiser station.

I now set about taking down a shelf I had positioned on the 3/4" ply I've bolted over the shed windows. I wasn't happy with the drill and mortiser in their current position so shifted them across to the window side of the shed. Much better! The shelf I had taken down contained all of my drill and router bits. When I get my table saw back home again (tomorrow I hope) I will make a drawer to fit under the bench top to house all of the drill and mortiser bits. Much tidier I think and all in one place.

Next, I fitted the cupboard I keep my planes in onto the back wall. I have a No4, No5, No6, two block planes, rebate plane, two old wooden rebate planes that belonged to my grandfather and two wooden bench planes. My vimtage stuff is still in the house, but for the minute and to make some more space, the planes are up on the wall out of the way!

Last job of the day and I was itching to do some woodwork, so I set about making the first of the wooden tool racks for over my bench. So with an off cut of pine board, I made a chisel rack to get them out of the way, in easy reach and above all held securely. Not too long ago Matty was kicking a football in Ellie's garden. A little too enthusiastically! One errant blast from his boot sent the ball through the hedge, where it thumped against the back of shed causing all of my chisels to drop off the peg board where I stored them, narrowly missing my fingers!

I drilled some holes into my pine plank and then used a gentleman's saw to cut slots into the holes. I then drilled some pocket holes and mounted the rack on the wall. Job done! I enjoyed making that!DSC_0041.JPG




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9 hours ago, psychicsurveyor said:

Tim,  do you take bookings,  I have a shed and a workshop in need of your skills. :1_grinning:

Ooh I dunno, I've been at this for a week and the pile of gubbins on the shed floor, living room, bathroom, bedroom and hallway has not reduced any!

3 hours ago, Wildfuzz said:

Now you need a woodburner and expresso machine for the winter workshop sessions.........

Oh Stuart...I have my cleaning lady George to make the coffee, delivered right to the shed door. As for a wood burner, I'm liable to burn the shed to the ground...so I have a radiator! Ooh now then, I might just need the services of a woodturner with a big workshop with a lathe in it though! :default_biggrin:

5 hours ago, grendel said:

Tim, those planes, should be on their side unless you have retracted the blades, its bad for the sharpness of the blades to sit them with the blade sticking out.

My Granddad only taught me a couple of lessons in woodwork. One, use a knife to make your cut lines, and the second being if you pick up one of his planes and put it down without retracting the blade, your ear-ole hurts!  :default_blush:

I watch a lot of YouTube videos by Steve Haye, woodwork masterclass, as he tends to give straight forward instructions. I like his sense of humour too, although the Aussie slang sometimes takes some deciphering. 'Kerro' and 'Metho'. From what I can gather to speak fluent Australian, or should that be 'fluid'? you just add an 'o' after the first three or four letters of a word!

I tend to follow Steve's advice and wind the blade back so that I get into the habit of setting the blade to my material every time I pick up the tool.

G'day I'm off to the shedo to do some more worko put anotho prawno on the barbo cobber!

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