Setting Up a Wood Workshop with Limited Space – Part III – Storage

Site & Workshop

Smart storage solutions are the backbone of the functional small workspace. Whether you're transforming a corner of your garage or dedicating a spare room to your craft, it's all about creating a system that streamlines workflow, enhances accessibility, and allows your creativity to flow freely – minus the clutter.  


Tool Storage 


One of the main aims of workshop organisation is having your tools easily accessible whilst also keeping your workspaces clear when you aren’t using them. There are a few different ways to map out your tool organisation.  

You can organise your tools by kind; for example, by storing all your hand planes together, your chisels together, your saws together and so on. Another way is group tools according to the operation they’re used for. This could be tools you use together for operations like carving or edge profiling. Or, they can be stored according to the usual order in which they will be used in your workflow.  


There’s no right method to use, but whichever you decide works best for you, be sure to label the exterior and interior of your storage. This will help you and others in the workshop to find and return what is needed quickly and easily. 

It is important to protect your tools from dust and moisture to extend their longevity and reduce maintenance. Closed cabinets below workbenches, and low-profile cabinets above the workbench are ideal for this purpose. Inserts such as Kaizen Foam can be custom cut to fit your tools, and are a great way to keep your drawers organised, tidy and easy to clean. Using dividers or smaller containers and bins will help to further systemize your tools.  



If your tools are stored in the open, it will be important to ensure the air in your workshop is as dust and moisture free as possible. 


I know I am one of those people who, if there is any horizontal space, will find a way to cover its entirety with tools, materials, scraps, drawings… you name it! If you’re like me, consider how to get the most out of your vertical space when designing storage solutions so that your horizontal spaces can be kept clear.  


Vertical storage solutions such as shadow boards, magnetic tool holders and clamp racks are great ways to get the most out of your vertical space. Whether you hang your tools from panels on a customisable pegboard, or create a handy rolling clamp rack to glide over to your workstation, the possibilities are endless here.  







Materials & Project Storage 

Storage for your raw materials is a very important consideration when designing your small workshop. Are you going to be using long boards, sheet goods, or smaller timber blanks?  


Wall mounted brackets or overhead rafters are great for storing lengths of timber. They both allow air to circulate around the timber, ensuring it does not gather excess moisture and can continue to dry out. The only difficulty can be access to timber stored at higher elevations, so also consider the ease of getting these pieces down.  

Once again, considering flow: are you going to be working on multiple projects at once? Or maybe your workflow works best by batching operations. If you answered yes to either of these, don’t forget to plan out where these projects and uncompleted elements will be safely stored until needed.  


Waste Disposal 


You will likely produce many scraps and offcuts throughout the process of your workshop project. You’ll keep some of these offcuts for future use, but for the offcuts you’re not going to be keeping - where will they be stored until you dispose of them?  

Organise your rubbish based on: what is leaving, what is staying, what can be burned, what cannot be burned safely, extra rubbish, and disposal of items with finishes or other hazardous material on them.  


Don’t forget to identify dead corners of space in your workshop. These spots will inevitably be the gathering point for dust, debris and scraps. Perhaps this is the best spot to come up with some handy rubbish disposal. Determine how you can get the most out of these tricky areas.  


Remember: the tidier your workshop is, the safer it is to work in and the more efficient your workflow becomes.  


Click here for Part I - Workflow and Layout

Click here for Part II – Lighting, Electrical and Extraction

Click here for Part IV – The Workbench