What do you do when you have too many things for the available space? Something has to go, thatís what. Like in those lifeboat movies where they pick someone to go over the side.

Iíve mentioned Iím about to redo a shop wall to better organize storage, consolidate dust collection and provide a better workflow pattern for machine placement. That wall currently has a band saw, miter saw on a mobile cabinet, combo sander and drill press on another cabinet base, plus a planer and lathe each on separate mobile cabinets or stands.

To make it work, one of those tools has to go somewhere else. But there is no somewhere else it can easily go, at least not in the sense that itíll always be up and ready to use. Itíll have to be stored out of the way, and yet remain accessible.

Choosing the tool was fairly easy. The band saw, combo sander and drill press get used for nearly every project I do so their place is assured. I donít use the lathe often, but its size would make it both difficult to store somewhere and drag it out to use, plus itíd require a bit of setup to do so each time.

The miter saw draws the short straw, and I guess thatís OK. I probably use it more often than my lathe, but not that much more often since I do most of my cutoff work on the table saw. Plus itís lighter and more self-contained than my lathe. Itís even easier to tote because of the locking handle on top. Iíve got a spot picked out, on the lower shelf under my assembly table/outfeed extension behind my table saw.

Logical choice, right? Yeah, but I still feel odd about it. Iíve had that miter saw for a long time, and for certain chores itís far more appropriate than anything else. Itís just that in recent years Iíve gravitated more to the table saw for crosscutting in the shop. Outside the shop Ė like when I was building my 10×10 shed Ė it was perfect. But since I had to carry and tote it outside for that task, relegating it to the carry-and-tote category of storable tools inside seems logical.

But Iíll miss seeing it in its accustomed spot.

Till next time,



  • As I read your list I mentally tagged the chop saw as the passenger to go into the water. Not because it’s any less useful but because it can easily be made portable, thus may be stored under a work bench or in a cabinet until needed and quickly mounted to a work bench or multi-purpose base cabinet when needed.

    Good choice!

  • I would suggest that your miter saw be mounted to a tray that folds under one of your work benches or inside of a storage area. Therefore accessible as need arises and still portable for off site use.This seems to be the suggestion for kitchen mixers, sewing machines and several shop notes in the publications..

    If not an option, then heave the item overboard.

  • Burt Truman says:

    Never mind putting tools someplace else, just convince my wife that I need a bigger shop.

  • Chuck says:

    Sigh, I’ve already relegated my chop saw to under the bench. What’s your next choice?

  • Bill Golden says:

    Everything in my shop is on wheels. A few years ago I hosted a shop tour and called one section of my shop “the parking Lot”. They all laughed. I said Hay guys it really is. The only way I can operate is to pull out the tool I need and put it back in it’s hole when I finish.

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