New around here? C’mon I’ll show you around! Let’s kick the tires and see what’s under the hood!
What is Saws on Skates?
Saws on Skates® specializes in space-saving workshop ideas, problem-solving tool tips and clever building plans for DIYers with limited workspace who want increase their DIY knowledge, improve their skills and make their small workshop a more enjoyable place to build.
Who is Scott?
I’m Scott – I’m the DIYer behind Saws on Skates®. My goal is to prove you don’t need a giant workshop to build quality projects. All of the free furniture plans I share with you were built in my tiny 12×13 woodshop.
The tools in my small workshop are mounted on wheels to maximize space. The name “Saws on Skates” is a wink and a nod to my small, mobile workshop.
Skate over to the About Scott page to learn more.
Here’s your roadmap for navigating around Saws on Skates®
There are dedicated libraries for Small Workshops, Tools, Pocket Hole Joinery, Woodworking Plans, and Finishing Ideas. Below I’ve highlighted my favorite posts and posts that I think will be most helpful for you.
And don’t worry if you get stuck. I’m here to help you every step of the way. Send me a message here with any questions.
Step 1. Set Up Your Workshop
What challenges are you dealing with in your workshop? My biggest challenge is that my workshop is small. This means I have to get creative with how I use the space in my small shop.
Here are some ideas to help you maximize space in your small shop:
- My 12×13 Small Woodshop Layout
- 9 Clever Ways to Make Your Small Workshop Feel Bigger
- How to Organize Tools in a Small Workshop
- 7 Ideas to Make Your Tools Mobile & Maximize Workshop Space
And here are my three favorite DIY plans for a small workshop:
Step 2. Get to Know Your Tools
Before we pick up any tools we need to think about safety. We need to read, follow, and understand the safety instructions for our tools. If we don’t understand, we’ll contact the manufacturer or ask a pro.
We also need to protect our eyes with safety glasses, our ears with hearing protection and our lungs with a quality respirator.
Now that we covered the safety stuff I have a question for you. Do you love tools and tool tips? Me too! There’s lots of tool tips around here, but the most popular are Miter Saw Tips and Table Saw Tips.
Here are the three tool tips DIYers like you have found the most helpful:
- 7 Miter Saw Tricks Every DIYer Should Know
- 11 Secrets for Sanding Wood Projects Like a Pro
- How to Adjust a Miter Saw for Accurate Cuts
What Tools Do I Need?
I’m often asked, “What tools do I need?” Before I answer that question let me share with you my take on buying tools.
I believe tools are an investment just like buying a house or investing in a 401k plan. We should invest in the best tools our budget will allow. But I’m not suggesting for you to max out your credit card.
What I am suggesting is, sometimes it’s best to save until you have the money to get the best tool that your budget will allow. Do research, read reviews, ask fellow DIYers for recommendations and then weigh the options.
Think about it this way. Tool “A” is cheap, but the reviewers say it isn’t durable and won’t last very long. Tool “B” is a little more expensive but will last forever. For me, tool “A” is a waste of money, so I’m going to save and go with tool “B”.
I’ve been disappointed anytime that I focused on the budget over quality. When my research told me I needed a more expensive tool, but I skimped saying to myself “this will do”, hands down I always regretted not going with the quality tool. The bottom line is to buy the best tool your budget will allow.
OK, back to our “What tools do I need?” question. For most DIY projects we’ll need a tape measure, miter saw, a cordless drill, a Kreg Jig, pocket screws and an assortment of clamps. More complex plans may require a circular saw, table saw or router.
Another question I’m often asked is “What tools do you use?” To answer that question I put together a list of the things I use in my shop. Here’s a page dedicated to the Tools and Products I Use in my workshop.
Step 3. Pocket Hole Joinery
What’s your favorite way to build your projects? I love building with pocket holes! In fact, many DIYers tell me it’s the dedicated library for pocket hole joinery that brought them to Saws on Skates®.
The library is loaded with helpful posts about pocket hole jigs, pocket hole joints, and troubleshooting pocket holes. And, if you don’t find the answer to your pocket hole question there I’m just an email away!
Here are three of the pocket hole posts DIYers like you have found the most helpful:
- 9 Pocket Hole Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make
- How to Prevent Pieces from Moving When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints
- Need to Know Pocket Hole Tips for Edge Joints
Step 4. Build with Free Plans
We set up our workshop and learned some tool tips. What’s next? Building! Here are three furniture plans I think you’ll enjoy:
Step 5. Finish Your Projects
We need to protect the wood of the project we just built. In other words, we need to apply a finish. Here my three favorite finishing posts:
- Bob’s Miracle DIY Finish for Wood
- Spray Polyurethane Rather Than Brush
- How to Spray Paint Furniture Indoors Without Making a Mess
What DIYers are Saying
Thanks for sharing your tips on pocket hole joinery. Very useful information.”
Great idea. Thanks for the step by step instructions.”
Love your style and your practical approach. I look forward to getting your tips, plans, etc.”
Let’s Stay in Touch
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