Updated: Oct 16, 2020
So for the past few months we’ve been talking about how when we moved down to Texas from North Dakota we would be tearing down our entire shop and having to build it all over again.
Well, the time has come and here we are. With a garage full of boxes covered in tape and moderately helpful labels.
Because we need to get out and start finding clients, we VERY quickly need to get unpacked, figure out an efficient shop layout, and build storage/shelving units! We can’t really make any money until we have a place to build in. If you want to see the main points on how exactly we did this and got started, check out our video below!!
Step 1: Taking a look at our new space
It’s crazy how small a completely empty garage looks. Seriously! When we first looked at our new garage we were like, “Okay. We’re going to have to be very efficient with where exactly we put big tools and EVERYTHING will have to be on wheels because we’ll have to move it around constantly”. (Spoiler alert: once we got all our stuff in there and set up, it felt WAY bigger. Our eyes were pretty deceiving).
Okay, so when we first looked at our new space we were searching for a couple of basic things:
Where are the outlets?
How many are there?
Is there any shelving?
What limits our tool placement?
Once we got all that figured out….we moved on to the next step….which is (in my opinion) the most stressful part…
Step 2: FILLING OUR SHOP WITH LIKE….8 MILLION BOXES!!!
Okay. Fine. I’m being a tad dramatic, but it was overwhelming to see the space that you want to be the epitome of organization just be filled with disorganization. This was a pretty simple step…not much more to it.
Step 3: Design the Layout in Sketchup
Before we started unpacking and just throwing stuff everywhere (which was very tempting to do since we just wanted to get rid of boxes), we decided to sit down and come up with an efficient build layout. We most definitely changed our minds a couple times before we landed on the layout below, but we were pretty happy with the final product.
Step 4: Move as Many Things as Possible Into Their Spots
So not everything had an exact spot yet since we needed to either build or buy some sort of storage for them. For example, our spindle sander just sits on the floor for now until we build some sort of table for it to sit on – but we placed it where it will eventually stay long term. Larger things like our table saw and miter saw, however, we were able to place exactly where they needed to be.
A few videos and a few blog posts ago (“Moving Our Shop ACROSS THE COUNTRY”), we talked about how we were keeping our entire miter saw station even though it would take up a TON of room in our moving trailer (check out that video here). That ended up being a GREAT decision! It was one of very few tools that had completed storage that we could organize and build the rest of the shop around in this transition time.
Step 5: Build a Temporary (maybe permanent depending on how we like it…?) Workbench
Because we had our miter saw and miter saw station 100% ready to go, we were able to build a complete workbench from plywood and 2x4s. And because we did that, we were easily able to build an air filter cart (using Jay Bates’ awesome design). Once you have a workbench, it REALLY starts to feel like a legit shop – cue stress relief!!
Step 6: Buy the Tools We Sold Before We Left
We did sell quite a few things from our North Dakota shop just because we didn’t really have room to take them in the trailer and we knew we wanted to upgrade them anyway. The main tools we sold were the band saw, drill press, and dust collector! We already re-purchased the dust collector and have it all set up and working. As I sit here typing this Davis is already researching which bandsaw we want…
There were also some tools that we just wanted to purchase in general to increase efficiency and quality in all of our builds going forward. We finally purchased a Festool Domino (man, those things are nice) and we also bought a Mirka sander with the nice mesh sanding pads. If you’re interested in what we purchased when it came to the Domino (to include dust collection) check out the links below!
Other than that, we haven’t really purchased any other large tools…yet!! (the jury’s still out on a jointer/planer combo…that may join the shop family in the near future as well).
Step 7: Build a Tool Wall to Put a Taco Bell Sign Above
Wait, that’s not what everyone else uses their tool wall for?!
Okay, so this tool wall really satisfied a couple of things for us:
It provided “Order of First Retrieval” storage for all of our smaller tools (squares, hammers, pliers, safety glasses) and emptied a lot of our boxes. This freed up more space to build up the shop as we went.
It was pretty much identical to our old tool wall and really made us feel like we were home. It was starting to feel complete and like we could start building here.
Sometimes the best tool in the shop is the one that motivates you to get started…and for us, that was the tool wall!!
Step 8: Finally Take a Break and Go to the Beach!
So needless to say, moving a business across the country (and our entire personal lives, too) has been pretty crazy, Don’t get me wrong – it’s been a TON of fun getting to experience life in a new area and start a whole new adventure, but it’s been very busy as well. We have a lot of work ahead of us when it comes to meeting new people and finding clients – so we decided to end our Move-In week with a rejuvenating trip down to the coast.
And…ya know….we also drove right through the center of downtown Houston and took some pretty cool looking city scape pics.
We are NOT in North Dakota anymore, that’s for sure!! I mean…it was October and it was almost 90 degrees outside. Crazy!!
We got a lot done on the shop, but we’ve still got a long way to go…so stick with us and follow along on our crazy adventure of starting over!
This post may contain affiliate links for products we used to create this project! If you’d like to check them out, we do get a small percentage of the sale and they are of no extra cost to you! It all goes towards supporting the content creation of Jennie and Davis. BUT – we do not take tool sponsorships and there were no tool endorsements. Just our honest opinions!