How to Set Up a Garage Workshop

Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva heads to Chicago to transform a garage into a woodworking shop.

Watch the full episode:

Cost: $2,000-3,000

Skill Level:

Miter saw
Table saw
Jig saw
Pocket hole jig

Shopping List:
2×4 lumber
Sheet of ¾” Birch plywood
Window Fan
J Hooks
Table Saw stand

1. For the folding workbench, build a frame out of 2×4 lumber approximately 4 feet long by 3 feet wide. Include two additional 2x4s for center supports.
2. Attach a 2×4 leger to the long side of the workbench using hinges. This leger will screw into the wall.
3. If you’re also using the workbench as an outfeed table, it should be slightly lower than the top of your table saw. Once you know that height, cut two 2x4s to serve as legs and attach them to the inside of the front of the frame using hinges.
4. Use a masonry drill bit and concrete screws to fasten the leger of the folding workbench to the wall.
Cut ¾” plywood for the bench top, and allow 1 1/2-2” around three sides for an overhang for clamping. Attach the workbench top to the frame by countersinking screws.


  1. Chicago sucks. Those tools will be stolen within the year.

  2. Gee I wonder if bosch sponsored this episode

  3. Someone “interested in getting into woodworking” now has a $600 miter saw, while I actually work and I have a $199 saw. Nothing against her really I’m just jelly and bitter. That exhaust fan is janky, though…and also pocket hole joints aren’t “super stong”. Perfectly adequate for many things, but would never call it “super strong”.

  4. This comment section is america over the next four years.

  5. 7:51 where do I get the that saw stand that lifts up by itself?

  6. Greenhorn Adventures

    If she is competent to use a table saw, router, and mitre saw, does she really need to be shown how to build a workbench?

  7. Original NES console was the best part.

  8. Pretty cool work space, Dont know how long them concrete screws will hold into those red bricks a sleeve anchor would be better suited

  9. This was cringy to watch. Totally unnatural.

  10. AcornFox Folks, if you don’t want to see masonry screw heads spinning not grabbing, don’t watch this in HD. .. besides I’m sure ole Tom went back and put a dab of glue in it, so it would be ‘boodifool’ .. Forever

  11. Guys, those blue screws were masonary screws that don’t need anchors. The threads are extra wide. The brand name is “Wall dogs” (probably its generic name too). They’re expensive, but simpler. Give Tommy some credit!

  12. Were not dogging Tommy’s ability or the screw. I think the screw holds best in concrete rather than red brick. Red brick can be brittle and at times weak, not only that but for a so called ‘work’ bench them screws wont hold in the brick for very long without coming lose. Iv used these screws alot and I simply stop using them a sleeve anchor is still a far better and stronger fixture. Its all personal preference really.

  13. iShootBandits you’re right, and to add to that, there are air voids in brick masonry, manufactured holes in the bricks and also voids in the mortar joints. Also the mortar can be soft and crumbly. it’s best to use anchors, but for something like this could be overkill. I would have used those screws but with a glob of glue in the holes. But even that would have been a pain. I probably would have done it just like Tom did it , and assume the odds are good enough that most of the screws will grab enough to be sufficient.

  14. Scruffy yabut it’s t.v. Sexy

  15. Just buy a childe from the Ivory Coast , for just abaout 250 Euros.

  16. its a haunted garage

  17. 4 years. hopefully “somebody somewhere” will get out way faster.

  18. DIY Boom Boxes In Texas

    Scruffy She had nice feet in sexy shoes, and that made up for it

  19. +kirbyyasha Some people want to live in cities. So to just go out in the suburbs is not always an answer. In Chicagos case you should just move to another city is, but since Chicago is cheap that can be difficult.

  20. You nailed that one ! The smart Chicago burglar will surely use some of these tools to then break into your house.

  21. leloodallasmultipass

    she’s lonely.

  22. leloodallasmultipass

    or, the worst part.

  23. ganymedeIV4 I agree with you gany, A whole lot of hate and bitterness. What an awful combination!

  24. necrojoe
    Imho is different than iyho (in your humble opinion), everybody’s expectations and realizations are different. Give the girl a break. She has another job. I think it was the elevated train, she takes the L train to work every day. She’s not a carpenter like maybe you are.

  25. Who would want to? My BIL has been trying to convince my wife and I to move there (Lakeview), and the COL is freaking ridiculous. The old adage “You get what you pay for” definitely does NOT apply here.

    We live just south of Detroit, and most of the neighborhoods are a thousand times better looking, not to mention safer, than some of the expensive areas around Chicago.

    And, yes, we’ve been there many times. Not bad to visit, but I definitely wouldn’t want to live there.

  26. Nope. The best part.:)

  27. supsification yeh, I watched it all the way thru also….

  28. Definitely the best part. A woman who’s into tools and NES… a guy can dream, right?

  29. supsification should have built her a kitchen.

  30. Depends on the type of joint, glue has little effect on a butt joint with end-grain.

  31. I won’t deny that the saw does same a massive amount of space compared to a sliding-rail-style saw with similar capacity.

  32. There are no gas springs. It uses balance and leverage. I have one under my DeWalt 735 Planer.

  33. 2:00 that synchronised back-step.

  34. I thought she was my trifecta dream: An attractive redhead who’s also a gamer, and is into woodworking. Although, I’m more of a SEGA guy.
    These are my custom SEGA arcade cabinets: /watch?v=sBCYo9Kn1B0

  35. @ganymedeIV4 Does your daughter misuse semicolons in her full; complete sentences?

  36. It’s a demonstration for a TV show – the workbench build wasn’t for her sake, it was for the viewers’.

  37. Joe Cleveland also this show seems aimed at newbies who won’t be up to mortise and tenon joints yet.
    Biscuit joiner maybe.

  38. Chris Stromberg just because we aren’t PC zombies like you doesn’t mean there is hate. Are you that stupid?

  39. Love Peace and Bacon Grease

    Link does not work…

  40. came to comment on the cringe…apparently i wasnt the only one

  41. I’d go so far as to say I’ve seen those little bosch 12 volt drills in a ton of professional shops too. For fine woodworking, with smaller holes and no need to drive 3 inch lag bolts, they’re perfect… they get in a lot of tight spaces the bigger ones can’t reach. Got a couple of them on my wish list.

  42. Sure is funny to hear someone say Detroit is much safer than Chicago.

  43. I like how the homeowner didn’t install the guard on the table saw like a boss.

  44. No..they just like German quality tools.

  45. Here is a workshop lets forget any of the safety stuff like no open toed shoes or safety glasses etc…

  46. Looks at that beautiful compound miter saw.
    Looks at her lack of enthusiasm.
    Remembers when she said she built the earlier entertainment console.


  47. wear also safety shoes!!!!!!!!

  48. iShootBandits if you looked it was drilled into the joint not the brick

  49. bought the drill / impact combo. installed 2 kitchens with them so far. compact with power. I really like them.

  50. I feel like the producers said: “Hey you! Female passer-by! Here’s $100… Stand here and agree with anything this guy says!”

  51. that was awesome

  52. Well noticed @Miles Thompson. As I leave this page I am now thinking of Makita. I should get a new circular saw…

  53. fucking bosch advert

  54. on Ask This Old House,those tools arent free,the people receiving “help” pay for the materials,only the labor is “Free”

  55. Mathias Wendel would cringe at this

  56. screw didn’t even catch, , , , fkkk

  57. okay, good, perfect, cool.

Comments are closed.

DIY HQ Videos for Woodworkers © 2017 Frontier Theme