Compact and Clean Shop
After serving 11 years in the Marine Corps followed by 30 years working for the federal government, Tom Medina would have loved to construct a big woodworking shop in his backyard. His deeply sloping property prevented that, however. So instead, he built the best, most practical basement workshop that fit in the space he had. On the plus side, the slope makes the basement a walk-out, which makes it easy to bring supplies and equipment into the shop.
Tom takes dust mitigation and collection seriously. His air-filtration system, wallmounted above his router table, more than handles the size of his 210-square-foot shop. For efficiency the filter’s air intake faces the business end of his belt sander, which generates the most dust.
Tom tucked a wall-mounted garage/shop vac into a corner. Its 20' hose reaches anywhere in the shop for cleanup and connects to portable hand or stationary tools, such as his plunge router and random-orbit sander.
The dust-collection system starts with 4" PVC ductwork run just above his benchtoptool workstation and piped into the dust collector in an adjacent room. He connects that run to the tablesaw and other tools with flexible hose only when needed. He made custom dust ports for his drill press and mitersaw (shown above).
Benchtop tools, including an oscillating spindle sander, jointer, and belt sander, occupy space on the bench under the main dust-collection duct. The benchtop drill press rests on a custom cabinet built between two of the main base cabinets. Although his tools share only two dedicated 110-volt circuits, Tom says he’s never tripped a circuit breaker. His dust collector runs on a dedicated 20-amp circuit.
“I am fully retired and my shop is the neutral corner I retreat to when I get underfoot and begin to annoy my bride of 38 years,” he says.