'Ol Dave's Woodshop - Where woodworkers are not all Pros  

'Ol Dave's Woodshop - Where woodworkers are not all Pros
                                                                   "Where woodworkers are not all Pros"
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Scott Johnston Shop Tour Logo
I had a couple of very interesting conversations with Scott Johnston who I met through the Ol' Dave's Woodshop website.  Scott is a very talented craftsman living in Tarzana, California and selling his work nationwide.  Out of these conversations arose an opportunity for me to show you a complete tour of his workshop.  This page was created to do just that!  Scott is operating from a smaller shop and has been very creative in being able to have just the right amount of tools to perform his work and to be able to store them to maximize his workspace for assembly without a hassle!  Here is his story:
Finding Open Space in a Small Workshop

I have had the good fortune and pleasure to have a hobby turn into a full time occupation that I love. Designing and hand-crafting fine custom furniture is my passion.

Over the years I have moved my workshop from the garage to larger spaces and back again several times, based on my work flow and the size of the then current projects. What I liked about the larger shop is all the extra available workspace to assemble projects plus room for those newly acquired tools (William & Hussey moulder planner, spindle drumsander, stationary sander, shaper, jointer, large dust collection systems, Binks spray system, etc...) that I needed/wanted to help build those large production projects, at the time.

Since my tool needs change from job to job, these tools were moved from shop to shop and just ended up sitting around collecting dust or were used only once or twice a year. However, when I moved my shop back to the garage, once again, I had very little floor space to accomodate all those tools.

I had to make a difficult decision; TOOLS or FLOOR SPACE?

I chose FLOOR SPACE! I learned to create a smarter shop, at least for me. I kept only stationary and hand tools with their accessory attachments, that still continue to give me the most flexibility. I came to this conclusion after taking a closer look at improving my production process. And, truthfully, it really hurt to let all those tools go! But I gained
so much more as an open functional workshop. Using alot of furniture carts are a great help in such a small area!

However, to take the place of these tools, I had to“out source” to local manufacturers, that specialize in small custom orders for doors, dovetail drawers, turnings, millings, etc., that produce the same high quality of products, that I have always offered my clientele. Finding good reliable finishers, took a bit longer. I found by the time I completed cutting out the main furniture parts and assembling them, the ‘out source’ orders arrived, ready to install. This lead me to be more productive after considering the cost of my time, labor & materials when doing everything myself.

You can view my work that has come out of this “Small Workshop” at www.woodextension.com


Back to the Garage Shop and improvements:

• Raised the ceiling rafters to 11.5’ giving me room to stand-up a 4”x 10” sheet of plywood.
• Upgraded the electrical sub-panel adding 110 & 220 outlets along the walls were needed.
• Added 2 retractable power cords from the ceiling.
• Installed 12 - 4’ shop lights with natural light bulbs, great lighting even with the garage door up.
• Added a ceiling exhaust fan.
• Insulated the walls, (the ceiling will be next).

Below you can see an overall view of the finished workshop.
(Click images for larger views).
Overall view of the greater portion of Scott's shop.
You can click here to see a layout drawing of Scott's shop.  You can also see a couple more views of the shop in the photos below.

View of the shop's North wall.
North wall view of Scott's shop.
View of the shop's South wall.
South wall view of Scott's shop.

Stationary Tools all on Mobile Bases:

• Delta Unisaw-Left side Excalibur SLT60 Sliding Table with extended rails; Right side 54” extended table and with a drop in Jessem Mast-R-Lift with a Porter Cable 3hp Router.
• Delta 15” Planner.
• Delta Radial Drill Press.
• 14” Band Saw.

Mobile Work Bench:
A view of the opened up work bench revealing some of Scott's tools.
The work bench is the center of my production process. It is also used as the out feed table to the table saw. The work bench (with built-in electrical outlets) are where all my Hand Tools are stored and at arms reach.  By storing the smaller tools it keeps the all work surfaces clutter free and the tools dust free.  A view of the bench can be seen here on the right side of the page.

Work Bench Tool List:

3 Makita cordless drills; 2 Haubold nailers and 1 staple gun; Grex headless nailer; Porter Cable 2 Routers & Bits, oribital/belt sanders & biscuit cutter; Bosch trimmer; Micro Fence plunger base, circle & ellipes jig & accessories; air Sander; jig saw; Blum ecodrill jig; Starret square/miter/protractor & rule , Trammel points & Fasterners.

Below are two of the cabinets found in the shop.

This cabinet stores various tools and pieces of equipment as well as serving as support for the miter saw.
(Note the dimensional lumber 
storage racks above the bench)

View of storage cabinet that is also used as a support for the miter saw.


This cabinet is primarily used to store stains, solvents, glue, etc.

We think Scott has maximized the workspace in his shop very well.  It must work for him just as well as the talent that Scott has attached to his bones.  His work is beautiful!  If you would like to see some examples of it, make sure you visit his website listed above.



If you want to know more about Scott's shop or his services, you can E-Mail him at:  scott@woodextension.com
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