How I set up my small workshop

How to set up a Workshop

How I set up my small workshop, for over 30 years, I did not have a workshop for my handyman projects. I used garages and sheds, or even just outdoors as my work space.

A couple of years ago I finally had the money and time to build a workshop. I will tell you how I set up my small workshop and what tools I have bought for the workshop.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

Find some space

The first thing to do when planning a workshop, is to find somewhere to put your workshop. Many different places are used for workshops, from a stand alone shed to a basement or garage, or even just a spare room.

I choose to build a stand alone shed that measures 20 foot x 10 foot out of Colourbond sheeting. A garage will give you a fair bit of space for a workshop, and basements vary in size but have been utilized as a workshop. Your space will need power also for the many workshop tools you will use.

Why do you need a workshop

Workshops are great for handymen or women, who want to build projects which may take a period of time to complete. Having a workshop enables you to work whenever you want to. Not having to worry about the weather or messing up a clean space or room.

Your own workshop lets you have an area where you can leave a project until you can get back to it, without having to pack it and your tools away each time.

How I set up my small workshopAnother benefit of a workshop is the tools you can have that aren’t portable, for example a drill press, bench grinder, joiners and planers. These tools allow you to build just about anything you can imagine.

This is how I set up my small workshop.

How I setup my small workshop

Layout

The layout of your workshop will depend on the space you have available and the type of projects you will be building.

In my workshop, I have a large mobile work bench in the center that hold a table saw, compound sliding mitre saw and a small router table, it measures 8 x 4 foot  and has castors to wheel it around when required.

Around the walls of my workshop, I have a bench grinder, drill press, disk/belt sander and storage for portable tools and materials. There is also a wood lathe, but I have to take this outside to use as the workshop is to small to accommodate working at the lathe.

How I set up my small workshopA shop vac is used for dust collection, its not ideal but it is better than nothing.

Your layout should follow your building stages, your table saw is usually the center of the work process. A mitre saw is situated along a wall. Drill press and bandsaws require room to move around so allow space around these.

Tools not used often like planers and joiners can be put in areas that are out of the way. But these also need space around them when being operated.

tools for your workshop

There are many tools you may want for your workshop. Such as planer, joiner,drill press, bandsaw, table saw, bench grinder, sanding station. If you have a large workshop you will be able to fit these all in, however if your workshop is small, you need to prioritize what is the most useful.

How I set up my small workshopAs previously mentioned I have a table saw, mitre saw, drill press, bench grinder and disk/belt sander. These allow me to complete all the projects I have carried out.

All these tools were not bought as soon as I built my workshop. But over time I have been able to acquire them as needed. The bench grinder and the saws were tools I have had since I built the workshop.

The size of my workshop does not allow space for a planer or joiner, so I improvise where needed.

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Conclusion

Setting up your small workshop will depend on your projects and what tools you will need to complete them.

The size of your workshop will determine what tools you can fit in and the sought of projects you can do.

Start with basic tools like a table saw, bench grinder and mitre saw plus your portable power tools such as hand planer, circular saw and cordless drills.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

Add to your tools as you require them and buy the best quality that you can afford.

How to fix a leaky tap

Leaky tap

How to fix a leaky tap. It usually only takes 20 minutes to replace a faulty washer. Below are the tools you’ll need for the job and the steps to follow to complete the job.

Tools Needed
  1. Screw Driver
  2. Spanners – Adjustable and tube spanners to fit your tap
  3. Thread tape
  4. Washers

    Parts of a tap
    Parts of a tap

Basic tools all handymen should have can be found in my post HERE

Step 1

Turn off the water main, these may be out the front of the property, or if you live in an apartment the mains may be turned off elsewhere. Determine where your water main is and turn it off to before repairing the leaky tap.

Step 2

Once you have turn the water main off, turn the leaky tap on to let any water remaining in the pipe to drain out. When the water stops running, you are ready to start repairing the leaky tap.

Step 3

Remove the cap from the top or front of the tap with a screw driver or small spanner depending on your tap. This should reveal a small nut on the end of the tap. Take the small nut off to remove the tap handle. When the tap handle is remove, take the tap body cover off.

With the tap body removed, you’ll now see the actual tap body.

Step 4

Now with a adjustable or tube spanner, you turn the tap body counter clock wise and unwind until the tap body comes apart. The washer that needs replacing can now be accessed.

Replace the faulty washer, it may be broken or worn.

Step 5

When you have replaced the faulty washer, wrap the thread of the tap body with thread tape to stop any leaks. Turn the tap body in a clock wise direction until finger tight.

Now use your spanner to tighten the tap completely.

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Step 6

Replace the tap body cover and the tap handle, tighten the small nut on the end of the tap and replace the tap cap. Leave the tap open until you turn the water main back on, this lets any air in the plumbing to escape and reduce any air hammering that may have occurred.

The final steps for how to fixing your leaky tap is to turn on the water mains and make sure the tap doesn’t leak anymore.

Generally it takes around 20 minutes to replace a washer, so it’s an easy DIY job for anyone.

If your tap is still leaking, you can be fairly certain it needs re seating. A re seating tool can be bought at your local hardware store.

How to fix a leaky tap is a basic skill for all handymen.

My Shed Plans Review

MyShedPlans Review

My shed plans review

My Shed Plans review is a complete guide that explains how you can build a beautiful shed from scratch. Ryan Henderson the writer of the book has given detailed blueprints and step by step instructions     that even a beginner can follow. Shed builders can choose from 12,000 shed plans and woodworking patterns.

My shed plans review

What’s included in My Shed plans

Once you sign up you will receive the entire package instantly in the Members’ Area via downloads. There are easy to follow instructions provided in the members’ area just in case you have never downloaded anything from the internet before. After making the purchase you will get all the shed plans and woodworking blueprints within 5 minutes. This means that you get the product for a lower price as there are no shipping costs. However, if you prefer buying the CD then you can buy that and it will be sent to you via mail.

Checkout my post on basic tools a handyman needs HERE

My shed plans review

Woodworking can be time consuming but making the right plans takes even longer. My Shed Plans Elite provide you a wide range of design to choose from and once you have the design you will be able to construct your shed nicely and it will take less amount of time to build it. It keeps all things simple. The aim of My Shed Plans is to make woodworking a fun activity for you. Once you follow Ryan Henderson’s instructions making shed will be a less time consuming and more fun thing to do.

Some of the plans include a Garden bench, How to Build a Fence, Dog Kennel, Making an Easy Arbor,”, Swing Pet, Nursery Wagon, Doghouse Plans, Outdoor Fireplaces, Feed Cart, Storage Shed for Pesticide and a lot more.

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My shed plans review

My shed plans elite

My Shed Plans Elite provides plans for garages and outbuildings too. You can learn to build Large Garage, Elevated Sawdust Bin, Lawn Tool Storage Cabinet, Garden Windmill, etc. It’s a book that enables you become an expert woodworker and complete projects in far less time than you used to.

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The book also teaches you how you can build shed that costs less. You will be able to build a good shed much cheaper than the overpriced ready-made sheds that you see. If you have the resources you can build a decent shed for nothing at all.

My Shed Plans review Elite will explain everything in detail and you don’t have to worry about running out of ideas anymore. My Shed Plans Elite package comes with 2 bonuses. The first one is about foundation, roofing and the second one is about woodworking secrets and contains tips and tricks that may prove very useful. The Total price of My Shed Plans Elite is $47 and there is a money back guarantee in case you feel like returning the book. What’s more, you keep the bonus books that you get with it.

Basic Lawn Care

Lawn Mowing

5 Tips for a Great Lawn

Basic lawn care for handymen, how to mow your lawn.

Mow Dry Grass

For the best lawn, you should mow your lawn when it is dry. A dry lawn will stand up straighter and won’t clump as it does when your lawn is damp. This is a basic lawn care tip.

Mowing a damp lawn won’t hurt it, but it does make it harder to mow as the wet grass will cling to your mower and bog down the mower it the lawn is long.

By mowing your lawn when it’s dry also helps if your are not using a catcher to catch the clippings. As you mow, discharge the clippings over the areas of the lawn that you have already mowed and let the clippings mulch into the lawn.

Worx Lawn Mower

Mowing HEIGHT

The height you should mow your lawn depends on the type of grass you have. Heights vary from 1/2″ to an 1″ or 2″ depending on what sort of grass in your lawn.

A general rule for mowing height is 1/3 of the length of the grass blades, leaving 2/3 of the length. This helps with suppressing weeds and delivers a healthier lawn. If your lawn is overdue for mowing and has become fairly long, gradually lower the height of your mowing blades a 1/3 of the length per pass.

In shaded areas, allow the height of the grass to be a bit longer than sunny areas, as this will help your grass with its photosynthesis and is the secret to a great lawn in shady areas.

Need a shed, get my free shed plan HERE.

mower blades

Keep your mower blades sharp, dull blades make for ragged cuts and doesn’t cut as efficiently as sharp blades.

If you are not catching the clippings, you may be better off putting mulching blades on as these cut your grass into small clippings enabling better mulching of your lawn.

Ensure your blades are balance as this helps reduce the vibrations from your mower.

best times to mow

The best time to mow your lawn is when you only have to remove 1/3 of the length of the blade. Another basic lawn care tip.

Never mow your lawn during the heat of the day, as this produces unnecessary stress on your lawn and on yourself. If you are able to mow when your lawn is shaded, you will have a healthier lawn.

Mowing your lawn on a regular basis will help keep your lawn in good condition and the grass will never get to long.

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new lawns

If you are just starting a new lawn, allow your grass to grow for 3-4 weeks before mowing it the first time. When you do mow your new lawn the first time, cut it to about a 1″ above the recommended height for the type of grass you have.

What basic tools does a handyman need?

Basic tools for a handyman

 

Hammer 

A hammer is one of the most basic tools a handyman needs. With a hammer you can drive in nails and remove bent nails from your work.

There are many styles of hammers for different applications, but a claw hammer is generally the best for a Handyman. Hammers come with different handles, wooden, steel and synthetic. From experience a synthetic handle will last a every long time and won’t break easily or need fixing, I’ve had my synthetic handle hammer for over 30 years.

Other styles of hammers can be bought when you require them for special jobs, but when beginning a basic tool kit, a claw hammer is the best buy.

Power Drill

A power drill will make your handyman life so much easier. These days a cordless power drill is a handyman’s best friend. Check out our buying tips for a cordless drill.

 

Cordless power drill

You can use a power drill for drilling into wood, steel and concrete. But you can also use it to drive in screws and tighten bolts with the correct adapters.

Your power drill can also be used to grind, sand and polish with the right attachments.

Your basic tool kit will not be complete without a cordless power drill.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

Screw Driver set

A set of screw drivers will come in very handy for many jobs you will carry out. Screw driver sets have both Flathead and Philips head drivers, of various sizes.

Using the correct size screw driver makes a handyman’s job so much easier. Besides screwing and unscrewing, screw drivers can be used for prying things apart and are a necessity for the basic handyman’s tool kit.

Measuring Tape

Almost every job a handyman does requires some sought of measurement and a tape measure is needed. To cover most jobs you’ll do, a 25ft or 8m measuring tape is the best option.

Measuring Tape

There’s nothing worse than going to measure a job and your measuring tape is not long enough. With a 25ft measuring tape you’ll be able to cover most jobs.

Pliers

Pliers come in handy for many times when your trying to grasp something in an awkward place of that are difficult to grip with your fingers.

Set of Pliers

You should get a normal pair of pliers, and a pair of needle nose pliers when starting out. 

As your build your tool box or kit, you can add vise grips and adjustable jaws pliers.

Level

Levels come in handy for so many jobs that a handyman will carry out, from hanging picture frames to leveling concrete jobs.

4ft Level

You can get many different sizes of levels, but a 4 ft level is the most useful and be used all around your home.

Utility Knife

There are hundreds of utility knives on the market, which one you use will come down to your preference.

Utility Knife

You’ll be amazed how many times you will use your utility knife, from cutting rope or cardboard to using it around your workshop.

Adjustable Spanner

You’ll need a adjustable spanner for all the nuts and bolts you have to loosen and tighten. Used with pliers you can get most nuts and bolts tightened or undone.

Adjustable spanners

I have a small and medium size adjustable spanners, you probably best off getting the medium size to start your basic tool kit. 

Tool Kit 

Another option is to buy a ready made tool kit. These may have more tools than have been discussed so far, but do contain all the basic tools a handyman will need for most jobs.

There are many tool kits to choose from, from different brands names to different requirements.

Always buy the best tools you can afford, as they will be with you for a long time if they are quality made.

Maybe you have a tool you think should be included in a basic tool kit, let us know and we can include it to future tool kit posts.