Time spent in the workshop is the most enjoyable part of the day for many woodworkers, whether amateur or professional. In fact, many of us have a sort of ongoing love affair with the shop because it's our place of creativity and refuge. It's where we make these beautiful, useful things that last for generations and where we go to recharge ourselves, surrounded by wood, projects, and tools.
If you're a woodworker, it's a good bet you love tools. That's a good reason to have your shop in shape, as it's the biggest tool you have. It pays to keep it fine-tuned and operating as efficiently as your saws and planes. An unruly shop can cause you grief as you hunt for that bit for the third time or screw up a cut because your quick-'n'-easy outfeed support fell over again. A well-tuned shop allows you to glide from one process to another, getting much more done and enjoying it more.
Chances are that no matter how well your shop is organized, you've got improvements floating around in your head as you work. Maybe the thought of a new lumber rack sprung to mind when you tripped over that pile of boards last week. Perhaps that recent back twinge from hoisting your "portable" planer is triggering the "tool-stand design" cortex of your woodworker brain. Or maybe you're just finally reaching the sad conclusion that you're no longer the young acrobat capable of traversing your overstuffed shop with only minor injuries.
Whatever the case, there is no shortage of good shop-improvement projects to minimize your wrestling bouts with tools and stock. To that end, this book offers designs for shop accessories such as lumber racks, clamp racks, outfeed and assembly tables, and tool-storage solutions. What's more, you'll find designs for various shop workstations dedicated to particular woodworking processes. Workstations are not only the best approach to efficient production, but they also make woodworking more enjoyable and safe.
Whether a workstation is dedicated to sharpening, drilling, sawing, assembling, or sanding, it includes all of the tools, supplies, and space you'll need to perform a particular process. For example, a sharpening station usually includes a grinder and honing stones placed at the appropriate working height, with a wheel dresser, water for cooling, and any grinding and honing jigs nearby. No matter how it is configured, a workstation that provides a ready-to-go work platform with all of the necessary tools and supplies close at hand will pay off big dividends in efficiency and quality of work.
So have at it. I think you'll find that the projects in this book will make your time in the shop more productive and enjoyable. Just don't forget to step outside for some sunshine once in a while.