The Biggest Problem With My Shop

My Bench
As my shop is ever the work in progress, I could fill this entire web log entry with current complaints and risk clogging the interweb tubes with my frustration. In an attempt to keep my whining to a minimum I'm going to limit this entry to my biggest current complaint: my total lack of counter space.

It seems that every project I embark on requires more counter space than the last. My continual multi-tasking of project seems to exacerbate the issue. To illustrate, allow me to describe the surfaces I currently have in the woodshop that serve double duty as counters (of course I have no actual counter tops).

My Table Saw
Workbench: a common counter substitute. Mine is presently home to my small compressor and my box of wrenches & ratchets as I perform open regulator surgery. Table Saw: another surface we small shop folk use for double duty. Mine us currently overflowing with new base moldings for my kitchen & living room. Rolling Drillpress Bench: it's overflowing with my drill press, my dual bevel sliding compound miter saw, my tapering sled and miscellaneous finishing supplies. Band Saw Table: mine is filled with cedar shingle cut-offs which are waiting to be used when I re-start my siding project.

My Big Compressor
Those are all the horizontal surfaces I have. My currently lack of available space had led me to resort to some less than ideal arrangements. I've been using my big compressor as a makeshift table to open my drill & drill bit boxes on. My Kreg & air tool accessory toolboxes are sitting on the floor turning my sheet good pile into a bigger tripping hazard. My new Jet ambient air filter (still in the box) is housing my new Kreg accessories, boxes of shims and drill accessory tool box, all covered in sawdust from being behind the temporary miter saw stand.

From this situation I've developed a two pronged strategy I hope to be incorporating into the shop as soon as I can.

First, I'll put as many items as I can into cabinets or drawers (such as my planned "Suitcase Style Case" rack) which will allow access without having to lay out cases on countertops. Second, I'll be building as many horizontal surfaces as I can into the final shop design. I presently plan on a proper workbench, a table saw outfeed table, a long miter saw bench and an assembly table. I'm sure all of these surfaces will double as counters at some time or another. Hopefully this combination of deceased need and increased capacity will address my current counter top woes.

What passes for counter space in your shop?

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