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Jay Dreyer :: The Garage Workshop (Part II)

The Garage Workshop (Part II)

Finally! I was able to wrap up building the base cabinets, installation, and some finish work on Sunday evening. I spent the rest of the week trying to put everything away in their new home. There is still a bit of work to be done as far as organization goes, but, overall, I’m in good shape to start building things.

Here are some pictures of the finished product:

Cabinets - Doors Open

One with the doors shut and another with them open. At the bottom of each lower cabinet is a big pull out tray where I store some of my larger tools. It’s pretty convenient. The doors are handy because it keeps things pretty much dust free. The drawers are nice becuase they use full-extension drawer slides. I can pull them all the way out to make it easier to use all of the available space.


I’ve placed all of my big tools (radial arm saw, table saw, jointer and drill press) to the left side of the shop. I haven’t tried pulling in a car to see if it will fit yet, but I’ll try eventually. I know I’ll be able to get at least one car in there when winter arrives. Since I’m taking the bus, DeAnne’s car will stay warm.

Whole Shop

This is a decent view of what the garage looks like now. It’s a big difference from a few weeks ago. Things are a lot more organized and I don’t have tools laying around in buckets and the wheelbarrow anymore. My old clamp-pegboard unit came in handy and I’m using it to store the rest of my tools. I’m still working on organizing things but it’s orderly enough to let me work. In a way, a workshop is never really finished; it’s a constant work in progress.

Lessons Learned

  1. Plywood can warp. I’m guessing this is why Norm suggests using MDO instead of birch-ply. Some of my doors are a little out of whack due to this problem. Maybe Lowes plywood is in danger of this more than something from a plywood dealer. Maybe not.
  2. Along with point #1, sometimes it’s better to not cut everything all at once. I cut every piece of the top and bottom units before I started construction. The 100 degree heat along with the high humidity really did a number on some of the cut pieces. Since I built the top units first, the pieces for the bottom unit sat around for two weeks before they were used.
  3. Measure twice, cut once, measure twice, cut once, measure twice, cut once. Can’t say it enough.
  4. Take your time and read the directions/plans carefully. I had to re-do all of the drawer backs because I misread the measurement. They were all a 1/2” too short. Ugh.
  5. Precision counts with drawer slides and hinges. I got impatient with the bottom door hinges and it cost me an extra 2 hours of tinkering to get them close to correct. Dumb.
  6. Take the time to think about grain direction and color matching. One of my drawer fronts has the grain running vertically as opposed to horizontally like the rest. Two of the bottom doors are way lighter than the rest of the doors in the units.
  7. A dust collection system would be really nice to have. I’d still rather have a bandsaw, though!
  8. Pocket screws rule.

| posted 08/04/2006 11:52 PM

Permanent link to this comment  Dennis Dreyer  on  08/05/2006 11:46 AM  said: 

Beautiful job, Jay!!! Can’t wait to see it in person. I always knew you were a genius.