ArchTool 6 – Dream Shop

Dream Shop

We excavate to increase our knowledge of peoples from the past but we also need to preset that information and one of the places we do that is in our museums.

Most of us don’t have a museum shop…but we can dream.

Many folks think that a museum shop will be expensive and take up a lot of room (which most of us simply don’t have!) but in a relatively small space and for a relatively small amount of money you can build a really nice wood shop to assist you in building museum exhibits.

Below is a well equipped dream shop in a 10’x10’ room and costing under $1800.  Don’t have that much money?  Keep in mind that you can grow your shop little by little as money becomes available.

So let’s see what a small shop could look like.

I recommend putting the work bench on casters and the tools on Mobile Bases so you can move them around the shop to better access each power tool.

All items are hyper-linked to the sited stores.

Now, it doesn’t have to be 10’x10’.  Just about any shape will work but you will need about 100 sq. ft.Museum Shop


Each tool is on a steel base (represented by the blue rectangles).   Additionally I have shown all tools on Mobile Bases so they can be pulled away from the wall to allow better access in this small shop.

Tool List

Note:  Harbor Freight tools frequently go on sale so you can drastically reduce your costs.


Ryobe Table Saw $129 Home Depot


Ryobe Drill Press $129 Home Depot


Harbor Freight 4” Belt & 6” Disk Sander $99


Roybe Band Saw $129 Home Depot


Skil Scroll Saw $119 Home Depot


Roybe Compound Miter Saw $199 Home Depo


Harbor Freight 1” Belt Sander $59


Harbor Freight Grinder Stand $33 By adding various size ¾” plywood tops and a mobile base I use this stand to hold most of the tools in my small but well equipped home shop.


Harbor Freight Mobile Base $40


Harbor Freight Heavey Duty Tool Stand $29  A larger base for the miter saw.


Roybe Super Combo Set $169  Home Depot.  Add this set of tools to your workshop and you are well on your way.

18-Volt ONE+ Lithium-Ion SUPER Combo Kit (4-Piece)

The ONE+ means any Roybe tools marked ONE+ will be able to use batteries interchangeably.


Roybe18-Volt ONE+ AirStrike 18GA Cordless Narrow Crown Stapler $139 Home Depot


Roybe 18-Volt ONE+ Brad Nailer $129 Home Depot


Work Bench $98  Home Depot. If you are not in the mood for building a work bench this one is a good starting point.


Shop Stool $43 Amazon

Total price for this modest wood shop is only $1733.


A bench grinder would be a nice addition.  Harbor Frieght $50


A good wood vise will help with most projects.  Amazon $75


Not essential but another very useful tool is an oscilating spindel sander.

Harbor Frieght $150  This sander helps to create and smooth out simple curves.


Harbor Freight Self-Leveling Laser Level $60

This devise is inexpensive and will greatly improve your exhibit alignments.

Don’t Be Intimidated by Tools – It’s what we evolved to do!

One of my hobbies is building scenery for Grosse Pointe Theatre, a community theater in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.  I’ve been the Production Chair numerous times which means that I’m in charge of the scene shop, buying tools and seeing that all our productions make it to the stage with a set.

One of my favorite undertakings was to put together and teach a class called Scene Shop for Women Only to empower women to feel comfortable, independent, and confident in a wood shop.

My 15 year old daughter, Lily, is a great example of an empowered young woman.  She and her friend have been working with me in my home shop since they were little.  Now I’ll come home to hear the tools whirling and hammers pounding!  Lil and her friend are always knocking out something new and interesting.  Recently they build a hair spray-powered tennis ball launcher.  It shoots a tennis ball over 50 feet into the air!


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