1st Time Shop Tour April Wilkerson

1st Time Shop Tour April Wilkerson


okay guys so I built this shop in 2018
so it’s been almost two full years since I broke ground on it and I’ve yet to do
a shop tour and big exciting news for me in my business realm is I just bought a
commercial building here locally and so big changes are gonna be happening in my
personal shop so I’m gonna be moving some of the equipment into the new one
and so before that happens I really wanted to show off what the current
scene looks like and then give you guys updates later on so for the first time
ever welcome into my shop let’s do a shop tour so this is the east side of my shop
where I built the porch typically I come in through my man door and then if it’s
nice weather I immediately open up my giant bay doors and then this is really
where I keep most of my like sentimental things knickknacks I keep mementos from
different events and then things along the way I also have been getting in the
habit to where I keep little drop offs or keepsakes from different projects
that I just think are cool up on the wall and then all of this is kind of
where I have my French cleat system and my power tools as I’m walking around my
shop and remember that I have videos on everything that I’ve done and for the
vast majority of them plans as well so you see something you like and want to
know how I did it then I’ll leave you links to all of the
videos down in the description and then also plans if you’d like to make it your
own I absolutely love the French cleat system
I love having everything very easy to grab and accessible and visible that’s
just been kind of my mantra since I since I’ve established a shop of
course I have a pegboard where I keep some of the lower key items some of the
smaller items that are always grabbed up on the ceiling I really love utilizing
ceiling space so I put up some of these rocks in order to just throw up totes
and in the totes I’ve labeled the bottoms of them so that I can very
easily look up and say okay that’s all of my flooring stuff that’s all my
drywall stuff over in this corner this is a little bit messy keep in mind that
of course it’s a work in progress it took me and I think three years to
establish my old 600 square foot shop the exact way that I wanted it this is
three thousand four thousand square feet if you include the porch so I have tons
of plans that I simply haven’t been able to get to yet but here’s where I keep
all of my extra saw blades the breaks for my saw stops my insert plates the
dedos my table saw jigs again I put things in the areas where they’re the
most accessible for the items that I’m going to be using it for over here in
the corner I have the filter for my dust collector I do have a really awesome
clear view cyclone on the outside and this is a heated and cooled space and so
what I did is I put the main outside they cut down on some of the
noise and also allow me to then outside whenever I’m not running this central
air but whenever I am i piped in the filter to the inside so that if the
doors are down and the AC is running I’m not just sucking all of my school out
and then disposing of it this will get rid of the dust on the outside and some
of the noise but then filter back in the the cooled or heated air and then you
can see the top one is the main pipe that goes along the main trunk of my
dust collection system that then drops down to a few of my different tools this
is the only painting that I have in my shop it’s called the song of the Lark
and I actually saw it in a museum I’m not one to go to an art museum but I did
and it just struck me and so I went and picked up a print it actually covers up
my electrical panel so that’s what her purpose is this is my old miter saw stand and I’ve
just been keeping it around because I knew I was I’ve been trying to find a
commercial building that I can purchase and I’ve just been hanging on to
anything extra that I have because once I bought it then I can have equipment
and furnishings to quickly throw in there so this is the north end of my
shop and what I had planned for it was the big tool equipment to be on along
this wall so that I could just have big trunk drop downs from the main DC trunk
and so yeah I have my jointer my drill press I bought a purchase is dis sander
but I’ve yet to it’s three-phase so I either need to put a one phase motor on
it or a single-phase motor or I need to get a converter for the entire shop but
then I have my sharpening stone and my bandsaw and my lathe over there coming
this way I have the old pegboard I originally made this pegboard yeah I
think this was one of the first projects I did in my old shop whenever I realized
that woodworking and making things was something I was gonna be into and even
though this is no longer my logo I didn’t have the heart to throw it away
so this is kind of here for sentimental sake I have my mobile clamp rack and you
I don’t want to turn it around but on the backside I also have it full of
clamps and what I like about this is I can move this entire unit wherever I’m
working on the workbench instead of like loading up my arms with clamps I can
just quickly throw them back on and then here I have my 50 inch drum sander I’ve
been in the process of painting all of my equipment plumb but you can see that
I didn’t actually finish it so that’s something on the list whenever I have a
free weekend and then I have it plumbed into its standalone dust right which is
the dust collection unit made from Rockler when I first moved into the shop
I only had that one table salt over here and this is the three horse that I
bought right after I graduated college it was my graduation present present to
myself and then I just this year upgraded to the industrial one that has
the the sliding arm over there and so instead of just getting rid of this one
or selling it it’s so convenient since I have the space to have two table cells
so what I’m typically doing is running a single blade in this one and then
keeping a dado stack in this one on this table saw I have the folding outfeed
table out of wood that I made for it in my last job so now I don’t really use it
as an outfeed table as you can really just use it as a another workbench then
another modification on the table saw that I did just last month I think maybe
two months ago is I added the Infinity router table to the wing and even though
I have a standalone router table this is a great option to conserve space and
again if you’re in a case like mine where the shop is rather large then
having two on opposite ends just saved some walking time mm-hm and then I can
also keep one bit in this one and another bit in the other without having
to change mobile work benches even with a large shop I’ve always been a huge
advocate for keeping everything mobile and everything in this space is mobile
even with the large space I love the flexibility it gives you and so these
are mertaw work benches not only are they great because then I can wield them
out into the center of my workshop to work over there but then I can wheel
them out if I’m needing that space for something else I can load it down with
material in my truck and then haul it to the exact station and here that I’m
gonna be working or load up a heavy piece of heavy project and then move it
over into the other room in order to finish it anyway so big small I’m still
an advocate of making everything mobile here is my giant workbench I really
wanted something with a 4×8 top so this is one of the first things that I built
whenever I was furnishing this space and as you can see along the workbench there
is just a ton of add-on accessories to make this thing as functional as it can
possibly be I have clamp storage I have bench cookie
storage tape bits speed square holsters on every corner
later on I added a downdraft table so I can actually do a bunch of sanding here
with a shopback directly underneath I have a big open cavity that I can put
anything but I mostly use it for tools and then along the bottom I have eight
drawers four on each side in order to throw things in like hardware biscuits I
think I have an entire drawer for sandpaper extra sandpaper and electrical
equipment so just to be able to divide it up even though it’s a large workbench
I still made it mobile to give me the flexibility to move it around the shop
and so these casters you can pick up at Rockler and they come in different
weight ratings and you can flip down on the lever in order to prop it up on all
four wheels and then you can pick it back up whenever you get into the
position to make it stationary in the interim so regardless of what you’re
building try to make it mobile if you can moving back here to my west wall
this is my rolling lumber rack Kush I love this thing it’s been so long since
I’ve made this back in my old shop so I love that it’s still being utilized
however its lifespan is gonna be very temporary now because the plan for this
whole back wall is to have a top cat catwalk along the top and then all my
material storage be up there but in the interim this thing is still going strong
and working very well over here is my toolbox I keep all of my wrenches and
sockets and a variety of other things and then it’s also a catch-all for
kitchen II items things like snacks and coffee and and water paper towel holder
all of my woodpecker tools and then over here it’s kind of like my finishing rack
although this is also very very small and I have a have a really cool project
in mind in order to retrofit this area whenever I originally designed the shop
I wanted this to be my woodworking shop and then this side over here to be my
metalworking shop and I plan to put a door here in between in order to keep
the sparks out of the sawdust but as you can see I’ve never actually gotten
around to it because you’ll see later I’d never actually turned that into a
metalworking shop so coming this way I have yet another small workbench or a
toolbox that I can put things in and then then this is probably one of my
favorite projects that I’ve done so far you can see that I just went directly
into the studs and I keep it keep these little bins in here and it’s just all of
my hardware I try to cut off the labeling of the box of the hardware that
I purchased and then they’re see-through so that you can just pull out what you
need I did a mountain mural just a because it was something fun and
artistic II I did some French cleats in order to hold all of my router bits
right next to the router table and all of this looks really crammed right now
and it is because a lot of this stuff is gonna be going over to the new space
you got the shop dogs of course they’re kind of worthless my miter saw I found
the best position for the miter saw to be at least near the table saw so I just
put it in this little nook in between the folding outfeed table and this back
portion of the saw here and I have the the foldable wings again even though I
have a larger shop I just love having the flexibility to not take up as much
room as something with fixed wings so I fold them up whenever I need to and then
I fold them down whenever I’m not using them and then of course it’s mobile
completely to where if I have a lot of material that I’m processing on the
other side of my shop then I can wheel this to there instead of hauling the
heavy material to this location and then the same thing I can also very easily
move this out to the porch if it’s a nice day real quick I want to thank this video
sponsor which is simply safe if you’ve been following along you know that I’ve
been using simply safe for my shop security for a while now
it’s an incredibly effective reliable home or shop security that will make
sure your property is safe at a very fair price I can relax knowing my shop
and my tools are professionally monitored 24/7 and if anything happens
they’ll make sure that the police are called the whole system is really easy
and intuitive to use and it’s equipped for worst-case scenarios so no worry if
I lose power or Wi-Fi recently I decided to take my shop security one step
further and add these simply safe walk which is designed to make sure my door
is always locked my door now locks automatically on a timer as well as
whenever I armed my system I can grant access remotely if necessary and I can
even set up unique access code so I can get alerted as to exactly who is locking
and unlocking the door over the years I’ve acquired lots of expensive
equipment and protecting that space and the tools inside is a top priority if
you’re ready to have peace of mind on your home or Shop security and visit
simply safecom slash April big thank you just simply say for keeping me in my
tool safe and then that burgesses around to the other man door that links the two
shops of course I have my knife-throwing target board right there but I need to
get all of this cleared out before I can start throwing it this is again another
finished unfinished doorway but I just never really saw the point on finishing
out and so and I probably won’t add a door unless I need to unless I see a me
too I have the garage doors I love these garage doors they have
windows in it that are insulated but whenever it’s too hot outside and I’m
running the air I absolutely love still being able to see outside whenever the
doors can’t be opened now this space it was my intention to have this as my
metal shop however it very quickly turned into more of my CNC slash
production shop because right after moving in I got my Laguna 4×8 CNC
machine and that was something that of course got very obsessed over and wanted
to start developing a kind of a different branch of my business rather
than just making videos I also wanted to be
making products to sell so this space turned into not only housing that but
also of finishing out all of the projects that I was turning out on it
there’s just so much material that can very quickly be processed on such a
large CNC and so having an abundance of plywood and India and just different
assortment of material is very handy not only for this then of course also for my
woodshop then for moving was such said material is my forklift this is a
battery-operated forklift and I had no idea driving a forklift was so fun but
it’s very quickly turned into one of my favorites
but yep this is gonna be going over to the new building like I said and then I
was very fortunate to get my hands on a shop bought four by eight as well this
one is non operational right now but the intention is to get this over into the
new building and then put it in the work it needs to get it back up and running
and then have two four by eights running now don’t judge me on how cluttered this
this corner of my shop is because this side has really just been a catch-all so
that the woodworking side can be my main clean space for doing projects in the
course the videos so over here all of this equipment will stay these are my
welders my plasma cutters the generators a few extra superjaws in order to clamp
and then all of this is equipment that I’ve been slowly accumulating again to
put over into the new building so pretty much this section will be cleared out
once I get things moved over I really wanted to show you all my shop crane
this is a shop crane that was built in 1905 and I purchased it from a collector
friend of mine who who was lucky enough to get his hands on it most of the time
I’m in here by myself or I used to be another big thing about 20 20 as I hired
four employees to do different things so that’s kind of exciting as well but
whenever I was by myself I would typically just be resourceful and use
leverage in order to pick up heavy things or get heavy things move but the
shop crane has drastically cut down the amount of pepper
I can’t really get it out right now because it’s too cluttered but this
thing is so much fun if you go back and watch the band sawmill videos you can
see me putting this thing to use a few times over in this corner I have my shot
bridge I have a very small sticker collection some snacks on top and then
this is where I keep just a few adult beverages and a few snacks and a few
Jets of water then along this wall which is the wall that is the partition wall
in between the two shops I built a giant shop sauce station in
order to cut down material and I built this for the whenever I was getting
ready to build that bandsaw mill and this is just so handy because most metal
joints come in 20-foot joints and then you’re responsible for chopping it down
so having something with stationary very flat and long weave wings is very handy
and then I utilize some of the wall space you can see here that I have some
production items these are items that you don’t see me make a video of but
that I sell locally and things that are coming off in the CNC so that’s just
kind of an example of what I’m doing in the background with the CNC yeah a few
other items that I sell that I’m making on the CNC er like whiskey flights for
whiskey glasses fracturing the decimal charts and a few different material
choices and the even a fresh egg holder so things like this I’m doing in my in
my free time whenever I’m not making videos and that’s a pretty good cover
view of the inside of this shop again this space is gonna look drastically
different in just a little bit let’s go ahead and go outside to the porch building the porch wasn’t added expense
but I am so thankful that I did it especially here in Texas whenever I can
work outside so much throughout the year I can just move things out since it is
concreted and set up a miter saw some saw horses and do a lot of work out here
and enjoy the weather I have a ton of material storage for wood regular things
I just need to get unpackaged I moved my rocking chair out here so I can just
take a break and enjoy the lovely hills I love this as well this is a giant
scrap cart that’s mobile that I could just throw a lot of things in haul it
over to the whatever the compost or the mulching or the fire
however what depending on what materials inside there and then you know I put
some fans out here some lights I still have some other plans to do but you know
every section is gonna have plans okay where do you want to go we have left to
the bandsaw straight to the water collection tank and right to the garden
let’s go to the bandsaw this area to the Leslie this is the north end of my shop
this used to be like all sunken down and so I’ve been doing a ton of dirt work as
you can see I still have more to do but this is where we built the bandsaw mill
on location and I was gonna just pick it up and grade around it and then probably
pour a slab but now that I have this new building I’m actually gonna be moving
the band sawmill over to that space so I’ve been holding off on this dirt
because once I move the mill then I’ll use that in order to grade this area you
can’t really see the mill but I do have videos on it if you’re interested in
checking out the process and then once it’s over at the new space I’m gonna be
doing an updated video on on it running oh yeah and then I have my truck I just
spotted big over a long haul in truck it has the the 7-3 in it the super duty
forward so that should should do it quite a bit of pooling let’s see other
improvements on this is coming to the east side of the shop I did some chips
seal as a driveway in order to just keep down the amount of dust that I was
always kicking up driving into the shop and then you can see out here this is
also just a ton of dirt work that I’ve been doing it’s I think close to 250
yards at this point that over time I’ve been bringing in a bed or two at a time
and then just spending my my free time spreading it around so the ultimate plan
will be to throw down grass and then use my new water collection system which you
see behind me there that’s a thirty thousand gallon water collection tank in
order to keep this area irrigated and the grass growing I got some vlogs I got
a tractor then I have a giant garden so this is on the I always have to say
north east south this is on the south end of my shop again been doing dirt
work actually this past week and on in front of it but this garden took three
weeks to build it is massive and it’s not completely done yet
wanted to do something with the roof and a few other things but I think it’ll be
really nice to just take a break from the shop and be able to come out here
and do a little bit of pickin or weed in or whatever it is and then and then get
back to work all right and that is it for the shop tour for now keep in mind
that I saw fit tons of projects and plans for just about every area that
I’ve shown you but also remember that I do have videos on everything that you’ve
seen inside as I’ve done it myself and I also have plans if you’re interested in
building it yourself I can’t wait to show you the new commercial space I’m
sure you’re gonna have lots of questions on that and just to kind of give you a
main summary this is still gonna be my personal shop and that commercial space
is gonna be used for a few other plans that I have in mind so be looking for a
standalone video explaining that and also showing it off I hope that you
enjoyed the video and I’ll see you on my next project come on you can do it Oh No

100 thoughts on “1st Time Shop Tour April Wilkerson

  1. You've come a long way since i first started watching. So happy you are being successful. Keep having fun, remember why you do what you do, and love what you are doing~!~ Thanks for sharing.

  2. IT IS CHEAPER IN 2 WAYS TO GET AN DIGITAL INVERTER. YOU PUT 220 IN AND 3 PHASE COMES OUT. YOU GOT TO GET ONE MATCHED TO THE HP. THEN THE ELECTRIC USED IS LESS THAN ANY OTHER WAY

  3. Hi April,

    For your 3-phase disc sander. Instead or replacing the motor to make it single phase, you could add a variable speed drive which will take single phase input, and has 3 phase output. A huge bonus is now the sander will also be variable speed!

  4. Beautiful job April! You actually inspired me to start building furniture again. My shop was a disaster from a few years of non use. (after my heart then cancer surgeries) But it's almost all cleaned up! I'm looking forward to creating again. I wish you the best of luck and success in your new shop! Jon W.

  5. Pretty rational shop, except that all the loose tools on the wall could fit inside one large cabinet with double doors. Everything would still be visible, leaving more room for storage and work areas, while requiring fewer steps to grab tools. That style seems to go against the form of everything else.

    Couldn't hurt to keep the fasteners and expendables in a cart. Fastenal and others do this with factories. Restocking is easier and it gives a space to pack field kits.

  6. Just an FYI on the
    1 phase vs 3 phase, 3 phase would be great for a building your size cause you'll save on the electric bill in the end, it's all 220 also. However since almost every " backyard" shop has single phase, I'd switch that 3 phase motor over to the single phase. It way less of a hassle. Now if I'm wrong, I'm hoping someone out there corrects me. Anyway the shop looks amazing. Plus it really helps having a bathroom close by. Congratulations April, you worked hard every step of the way and got what you always wanted. 2 THUMBS UP 👍👍.

  7. Hello April! Love your videos! I bought your plans for the work bench and I am almost done with it. It's awesome… I try to catch your videos when they come out but sometimes I miss them. I find your journey from not know anything about wood working to where you are now fascinating. Not sure if you are willing to do this or not but in the future i would love to hear about your plans for example the commercial building.. Why did you buy it? Love to hear more about your business etc… Just my thoughts…

  8. Congratulations to you on all of your success. Found your page through Matt Cremona's. YouTube suggested your videos and I have to say I have really enjoyed the content that you create. It is inspirational to a lot of folks. To the jealous folks that gave this a thumbs down, get a life! Looking forward to purchasing some of your plans for work benches etc.. I have an old horse barn that I am restoring to convert the hay loft into a shop.

  9. I'm secretly hoping for more insight and updates about how you run your business. What kind of items you're making, who you're selling them to and how. We've all seen your "build a … " videos, but i think you must be doing something right to be able to afford such a shop with four employees and still have time to attend to a garden.

  10. Oh my God you're beautiful I can teach you a lot of woodworking you should get a hold of me I'm I'm out of Boston I would enjoy teaching you thank you

  11. When the "Coming Soon" section fired up, I thought of a spray can of brake cleaner for some reason…

    South Main Auto colab?? 😉

  12. April your reality is a goal I have to one day have my own shop doing what I love..! If you do what you love you'll never have to work a day in your life..!

  13. Wow, I can’t believe its been two years already. Everything looks amazing. Land here in the UK is a little hard to come by, and expensive, so I’m living vicariously through your shop, and projects. 😉

  14. Loved the Canyon Lake piece, totally interested in knowing where those are going! I'm about 15 minutes from there.

  15. Incredible shop! There may not be room for it, but it seems like a small cyclonic separator on your downdraft table would be useful. Just a thought. Again, incredible shop

  16. Buy a VFD to convert single phase power to 3 phase for your sander. They cost between $100-$200 and you don't loose any power from the motor and you can adjust the speed!

  17. April, I don't have the word to express how freakin impressed with your shop. Your presentation and delivery plus camera work are worthy of an on air TV show. You are extremely talented and creative. Just out of curiousness , what did you go to college for? I mean what was your plan for educational accomplishments?

  18. Nice for 3 phase double the motor horse power get a 3phase variable frequency drive to get 3 phase. For spray paint cans you may be required to use a fire rated cabinet. Thank you

  19. I was flying home through texas on Friday and i thought i saw your shop from the air, but it turned out that it was just at&t stadium

  20. "My kitcheny area," where everything is very lightly flavored with a fine, fine layer of sawdust.

    Not criticizing, just recognizing elements in common with my own shop.

  21. Hello April I followed yours videos and I liked to congrats for your awesome shop. Thanks for your tips. I send you a restoration for my mother’s machine sewer and I just finished the stairs. And start to build a tv entertainment. Fingers crossed.

  22. Hi you popped up on my screen. I enjoyed this episode. so I'm subscribing
    Keep it up. Regards Michael 😎👍

  23. You should get with Matt from “Off the Ranch” he also owns the YouTube Chanel “Demolition Ranch”. He is remodeling a house near San Antonio. You two could probably help each other out!

  24. A Variable Frequency Drive can be used to to convert single phase power to three phase and will give precise control over the speed of the sander and it only needs to be big enough to run the sander.

  25. You did sead 40 x 72 feet garage
    (Bot tougether ) sealing heigh wase angen ?
    Just to be sure
    Cause i plane a garage close same dimension
    Ps french canadien from PQ
    Tansk

  26. April good afternoon, i've been watching your channel for a long time and i can say that you're just fine!!! It turns out everything is just cool!!! Keep it up!!!👍👍👍

  27. To many comments to read through but you should never cover up an electrical panel in the case of a fire. Sorry if this has been said already. Your shop is amazing. Would love to have something like this one day.

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