Author Archives: Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

About Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson is a full time life-long hobbyist woodworker committed to helping new and experienced woodworkers achieve the “shop of their dreams” – even if (especially if?) they don’t have a dream budget to work with. Steve is a retired businessman, and in his career relocated many times… He has had shops in basements, one- and two-car garages, barns, outbuildings, and once in the back of a semi-trailer. Now with a permanent shop and a little more shop time, he produces articles and videos to share his knowledge and experiences with other woodworkers. His videos can be seen at “DownToEarthWoodworks” on YouTube and his articles appear monthly in Highland Woodworking’s online newsletter.

My Woodshop “Pencil Problem”

One of the great joys of woodworking is helping other woodworkers realize their fullest potential. With limited technical and artistic skills there is little I can do to help other woodworkers perfect their joinery, inlay, carving or turning techniques. However, as a fairly well organized guy, I do enjoy helping fellow woodworkers organize their...

Big Project, Crowded Woodshop

My shop is large by some standards, small by some, and about average to a lot of woodworkers. It doesn’t matter, it’s all relative. No matter how large your shop, there are always projects that will not fit without careful planning and staging. A perfect case in point is a new section of kitchen...

Organizing a woodshop in one Saturday

Organizing a Woodshop in One Saturday

Early on a Saturday morning, distinctive telltale sounds that would perk up any woodworker’s ears were wafting down my street. First the short wind-up of an electric motor, then the sound of a blade cutting wood, then a short wind-down and silence. Seconds later, the exact sounds repeated… and then again. I’ve been woodworking...

woodshop safety

5S Principles and Woodshop Safety

Should safety have its own “S” in 5S? Should it really be “6S?” The question always comes up as woodworkers learn to apply the principles of 5S to their shops. A growing community of woodworkers has been adapting the principles of 5S and Lean manufacturing to their shops. They are learning how to easily...

Dust collection systems

Millionth-of-a-Micron Filters for Dust Collection Systems

Any devoted home barista will tell you that if you are considering a $2,000 espresso machine, instead spend a grand on the espresso machine and a grand on a good grinder and you will get better brews. Coffee beans ground too fine, too coarse, or inconsistent in size will never yield a good espresso...

The “Explody” Stage of Shop Organization

When you decide to clean out a workshop cabinet, clear the underside of your workbench, or rearrange a tool cabinet, things can get quite a bit messier before they get better. It can be discouraging. When I first started teaching other woodworkers to use the principles of Sort, Set in Order, and the rest...

Dust Collection System FAQ

Is there any advantage/disadvantage to installing a dust collector outside the shop? It may sound as resolute as a long-range weather forecast, but yes, maybe and no. It is really a personal choice. Locating the dust collection machine outside the shop will lower sound levels and free up shop space. For some woodworkers (me...