You can also view my gallery at Designs en Bois.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The definitive shop tour

It's been a long time since my last post, and I've gotten a lot of emails and questions about my time off. Well sometimes life just happens. I have a job now that requires quite a bit more travel and free time has gotten tougher to come by. However, I did find the time to work on one of the most requested "projects" I've gotten over the past few years - a shop tour.

I'm at the stage now with the shop where I have the tools and the workflow in place to accommodate my design and construction methods. I have a few more tweaks I want to make here and there, and a shop is never truly done. But for the most part I'm at a point in the evolution of my shop that I'm tuning rather than filling major gaps.

I have also completed the design and dimensioning phases of my next project, which will be my next series. In my time off I also spent some time and money to upgrade my entire video and audio setup as well as my production software. As a result, you should see a much higher quality of production in this new series (sadly the shop tour was done entirely on my old equipment).

If you have any questions about my shop setup, rationale for various decisions, or feedback on any of the tools and processes, just shoot me a comment. As always I'm happy to respond (at least when I'm not at 40,000 feet).

Right click to download the HD version of this video


Rob Porcaro said...

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the shop tour, I enjoyed it. Cool stuff:

Stock preparation area separate from the main work area.
Computer brings in the drawings.
Nice workbench!
Central dust collection.
I bet you'd like a cyclone collector. I got one and like it a lot. Same for a 12" over-under jointer-planer, which was an upgrade from a 10".

Enjoy the really nice shop, Rob!


Rob Bois said...

Thanks Rob, much appreciated. And you're right, a cyclone would make a ton of sense for me. In particular, if having a separator means I don't have to empty the fine dust as often, that alone would be a huge win. Dragging the bags of dust out of the corner of that closet is not very fun.

wvwoodshed said...

Really glad to see you back in the shop and posting videos. I can't wait for your next project, always enjoy your presentation and details.

As for the shop it spot on as far as I am concerned. I am trying to fine tune my workflow as well, so your process concepts match well with what I want to do.

Great stuff!!! I really appreciate your contribution to the online community and look forward to future content. All the best!!!

Stephen (

Anonymous said...

Rob- great to see your smilin' face! Love the shop tour and looking forward to your next project....hope to see you in person some time soon...Rusty

Anonymous said...

Missed you Rob !

you forgot to show the trapdoor for long stock behind the table saw, great feature !

Anonymous said...

Hi Rob,

Great to see you back!! I always really enjoyed your video's projects and way of taking is along the way in the build process.

Hope to see lots more.


pmelchman said...

Great job Rob, glad to see all is well. What about the live edge table from last May? Did you finish it?

Rob Bois said...

Thanks for all the comments, it's good to be back producing some video. I left over an hour of footage on the cutting room floor on this one - wish I could have covered more. But more importantly, pmelchman with a great question. I didn't even realize I never posted pics or vid of the final live-edge table. I'm a terrible blogger! I will make sure to get those up ASAP.

Unknown said...

Thanks Rob. I enjoy watching and learning from your thought process when building furniture and, on this video, why your shop is arranged as it is.

I have a question on the bench. I've been thinking of building the 21st Century bench, too, and I've been wondering if there is anything you would change. In particular, the tool trays in the middle. Any other advice or cautions?

Thanks for the effort you put into making the blog,

Rob Bois said...

Bill, I can't say there's much I'd change about the bench. I typically keep one of the tool trays upright to hold my bench dogs and the others upside down to be flat with the bench surface. But on occasion I remove all of them for some kind of unusual clamping or jig usage. I might consider the Benchcrafted Moxon vise over the Veritas twin-screw, which can be a bit quirky. But other than that, I really can't think of any flaws to it.

James said...

Nice to see you back in action Rob. I know there was a thread on the WTO forum inquiring where you had run off too.

Arnaud said...

So glad to see you back!!! Thanks for the tour of the shop, this is amazing, you are so lucky to have so much space!!!

Unknown said...

Hi Rob,
I have enjoyed all your videos and glad to see you making more.
I am in the process of turning my two car garage into a proper shop and always enjoy a good shop tour.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rob,

Long time reader, first time poster. I have a similar shop to yours and we have very similar setup in terms of tools. I don't currently have a bandsaw but it's next on the list. If you could do it all over, would you buy the Rikon again over one of the Laguna's that's in the same range (110V, 13" resaw, etc.)? If I look at your video it seems like you have some upgrades that come on the Laguna's. Just curious since you mentioned you'd be getting a larger bandsaw in the future.

I'm glad to see you're back to posting. I've missed you blog and videos.


alderferlumber said...

Great looking shop, thanks for the tour! Alderfer Lumber