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I’ve always wanted a storage building that can double as a shop. Reader Brad has got one he’s revamping, and I’m green with envy. It looks like it’s about the size of a two-car garage; he’s managed to get the entire room uncluttered and is reworking the space to fit his needs.

The walls must have been a trifle dodgy, because Brad decided to refit them with some reclaimed ply. We wholeheartedly support the reclaiming of any wood, but the ply is sweet because it was probably cheap, if not outright free, and will cover a lot of area without hassle.

The cabinet looks like it’s also a ply creation which, if true, might be a triple-digit savings over store-bought variety as well. It’s a great start — we hope the rest of the retro fit goes as well as it looks here.

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It seems some readers like rboyett2001 have been busy in the shop while other folks like me have been out back grilling up some fatty meats. After we got a look at this fold-away workbench we feel a little behind. Rboyett gives us the rundown on the bench and its construction.

The base for the workbench with the legs installed. The legs are attached with hinges so they can be closed up. There are adjustable feet underneath the legs to allow for the slope in the garage floor.

He obviously spent some time planning how to maximize the available space in the garage and it shows. We deal with this sort of thing ourselves at home and this folding solution is a great way to make the most of a limited area.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


Reader Jey_lux posted this pic of his shop setup, which shows the benefits of mixing store-bought and home-built storage — his bins and future shelves seem to work well with the prefab units.  And we have to award some style points for the traffic light, one of our old-school favorites.

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This photo shows how reader 787b can work on his babies even when it’s been raining for a week.  He’s out there when the sun’s shining, too — the only difference is that now the garage door is closed.

This basement doubles as 787b’s garage and shop, and from what we can tell, it’s more than up to the task. Overlooking the generous space for a moment, 787 is also sporting air tools, a makeshift transmission dolly, and enough hand tools to strip his rides down and refit them.

Looks like a great setup to us.  We’ll perform a similar operation on our bruised-up shop truck in the next few weeks.

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It seems spring gets more than one Toolmonger out in the garage. Reader Krinkle.net has just finished pressure washing his garage floor and cleaning up the tools here in his home workspace.

It’s funny; someone else’s shop always has something yours doesn’t. In this case, he’s got an exposed wood ceiling. Just think of all the stuff I could hang from that. Krinkle has certainly taken advantage of his ceilings with a few of his two-wheeled transports hanging smartly from a few hooks.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


Looking at other folks’ shops reminds me that no matter how much I have, somebody else has got something I don’t — in the case of reader Litcritter, it’s space.

My own shop still doubles as a garage on occasion, so I covet Litcritter’s setup.  And though I understand why he’s getting rid of the old armchair, I’d be tempted to keep it in the shop for a little while — if nothing else it’d make a hell of a place to chill and admire the shelves he’s building.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


Reader Engmike8 posted up this image of his no-nonsense shop. This is what folks mean when they say “bare bones” — there’s no frilly crap lying around, just stock and tools.  We have to give a head nod to that kind of thinking.

However, if that’s a shop heater tucked up in that corner I have to say I’m a bit jealous. After the last few weeks of layered clothing and frosty fingers I admit that I’d prefer to sissy out and go inside and watch tool shows for awhile.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


What you can make in your shop is vastly more interesting than the shop itself — we’re amazed sometimes that humble shops can produce such fantastic projects.  For instance, just looking at reader txinkman’s shop doesn’t really give you the picture of what goes on here. Does it look like the lair of a gifted box-refurb craftsman?

Often non-tool folk believe that a shop is a mystical place full of wonder where raw materials go in and genius comes out. That may be true, but we know it’s the blood, sweat, and hours of work in between that actually get you there.

We must say, the fridge in the shop would help inspire us — though, admittedly, less work would be going on around beer-thirty.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


[Ed. Note: This post originally featured a photo of Flickr user “Gomez Addams'” shop — a well-designed, home-built workbench next to a floor-standing drill press and a furniture-grade chest-of-drawers converted for tool storage. We received an email from Bill Lemieux, “Gomez Addams,” notifying us that he is the owner of the photo, letting us know that we have no right to post it, and asking us to remove it. (Besides emailing us today, he also posted a copy of his notice in comments.)

We’ve used hundreds of Flickr photos on Toolmonger, and you can see from perusing past posts that we’re careful to use CC-licensed “commercial” photos and credit the original owner. But Bill’s right: we missed the fact that his photo, while shared in the Toolmonger pool, was still marked “All Rights Reserved.” So at his request we’ve removed it.

I do however, disagree that our usage of Bill’s photo with its associated kind words below was “rude.”]

No two shops are alike — they’re as unique as the people who use them. Just take a look at someone’s shop and you can learn a lot about them. For instance, reader Gomez Addams’ badass collection of metalworking gear (including Igor the mill) gives us some insight into the kinds of projects he takes on.

We dig this pic of his bench just because it’s something very much like we might do — clean, functional, and loaded up with gear, but in a good way. This is a man with stuff to do and no time for chrome-plated shop storage.

Also, hats off and beers up to the tool dresser in the back — nice.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


Reader Stu’s shop is a bright and cheery place — every tool is in its place, and the sheer cleanliness of the room is staggering. At first we were inclined to say no work goes on here, but the dust collection tubes made us second-guess that.

In any case, there are clearly more than enough tools in this place to stir up some trouble.  Just looking at the bead-blasting cabinet and the paint in the rack makes us a bit curious.

Also, the TV seems to be tuned to the History channel — Stu is obviously a man after my own heart. Uber props, Stu.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]