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A Tour of Alan Young's Shop

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My shop is in the basement of my 100+ year old home in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Ypsilanti has the state's second largest historic home district. The shop is roughly 12 ft. x 28 ft.

Another view of Alan's Shop

As I enter the shop from inside via a very narrow stairway (22 in.) this is what I see. I get all my lumber and finished projects in and out through an exterior door/stairway at the rear of my shop which is accessed through a removable section of the outside deck overhead.

Another view of Alan's Shop

Here is a shot from the back of the shop. The table saw is in the foreground at right, the jointer (covered) at left. To the right is router table and drill press table. To the left is my tool bench, and ahead are the workbenches and bandsaw.

Tool Station

I have built many of my shop benches and tables with scrounged materials. The toolbench at left was built from two cabinets and a bench top that had been discarded from various departments at my day job.

Router Table

I made this router table from more scrounged material. The top had been a desk top and the drawers came from a friend's old kitchen cabinets. As you can see, it is not at all elegant—but I'm hoping to upgrade to either a new shop-made unit or one of the nifty pre-fabricated units now on the market…time and $$$ will tell. Still, it cuts ¼" grooves for door panels very well—that is its main use now. I keep my Craftsman 1¾ HP fixed-based router mounted in the table. For other routing jobs I use my Bosch 2 HP plunge router.

Shopmade Mobile Base

As in many shops, space is important; so I made my own movable bases for my tablesaw, jointer, and bandsaw. They are all made of plywood over 2x6s, with simple adjusting leveler/stops. I just turn the threaded rods down to raise the machine off the floor and lock the unit in place; I back them off to move the unit around.

Grandpa's Drill Press

I re-started woodworking about seven years ago. At that time, I had almost no tools. I inherited this drill press from my grandfather. He was a millwright at the North Dakota State Mill and Elevator many years ago. When I was a boy of about 10, my twin brother and I spent many Saturdays in his shop. We made picnic tables, small wagons with official spoked wheels, turned bowls, and other things. This drill press will always remind me of those days. I may get a larger more powerful one some day, but I'll never let this one out of the family. The top to the bench is again scrounged material.

Ceiling Rack for Lumber

I made this overhead rack to keep from tripping over my lumber, which was either on the floor or stacked on saw horses—either way, it was taking up valuable space. Hung from the ceiling joists, it is accessible but out of the way. Six 18" sections of electrical tubing flattened on each end, attached with ¼-20 bolts, were all that I needed to build this rack.


Here are a pulpit (left) and baptismal font (below) which I designed and built for our church. They had to be light and movable because some of the services at our church are held in an all-purpose room that is a gym for much of the week but which is transformed into a worship space for weekend services. Each of these pieces is on casters. The aluminum posts on the pulpit allow the unit to slide on and off the elevated platform where it stands.

Baptismal Font


Television Cabinet

I made this TV/VCR unit for a friend who had just retired and was moving. She first wanted to me to shorten a unit she already had. I told her that by the time I cut out the middle and joined the ends togther she would have a really wood-butchered cabinet. I advised her to sell the unit she had and buy one the right size…or I would build one for her. Needless to say, I got the job.

My next project is a set of three cabinets to hold recycling bins. They will sit outside the sanctuary at my church. I'll update with photos when they are finished.

Alan Young

Posted 24 February 2003

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