Ultimate Small Shop Review
Many amateur Do-It-Yourselfers and woodworkers often fantasize about the idea of having their own workshop. However, very few of these craftsmen actually decide to build a workshop because they are afraid of the cost, construction time, and limited space at their disposal. While these are all valid considerations the truth is you can set up a very nice workshop with limited space and anywhere from $500-$1000 investment. The key to successfully building your own workshop is planning. You need to map out exactly what you are going to buy, and how everything in your shop will be positioned before going out and buying expensive equipment. If you do not you will end up going way over budget, and possibly running out of space. Enter Ultimate Small Shop…
What is Ultimate Small Shop?
Ultimate Small Shop is an online guide created by a woodworker named Ralph Chapman. His guide, “The Ultimate Small Shop” is designed to teach anyone how they can set up their own personal woodworking shop for under $1000 with limited space. In this guide Ralph walks through the entire planning process of building out a workshop in your home. When it comes to purchasing online courses there are a lot of scams, gimmicks, and phony sales pitches that make potential customers hesitant to to actually complete a purchase. In this review, we go over everything included in the Ultimate small shop, and whether or not it is actually worth the investment.
Who is Ralph Chapman?
Ralph Chapman is the creator of The Ultimate Small Shop, and has been a self-employed woodworker for over 25 years. There is not a lot known about Ralph before he created the Ultimate Small Shop. Without a large a brand that has built trust with consumers it can be difficult to decide whether or not you should purchase the Ultimate Small Shop. This is why it is extremely important to conduct a thorough review of the material to make sure the information inside the Ultimate Small Shop is accurate, actionable, and worth the investment.
Module 1 - Tool Selection
One of the most common ways woodworkers and other DIYers can go over budget is by going over budget when buying tools. This is because most shoppers are attracted to brand name products and shop on mass sites like Amazon, Home Depot, or Walmart. In this module Ralph covers the best hand tools based on your budget. Ralph walks you through the step by step process of purchasing tools based on the projects you work on and the amount of money you have to spend. Ralph also emphasizes buying tools with multiple functionalities, in order to save space in your shop and money.
After covering the best types of tools you can buy, Ralph explains where you should buy tools. In many cases this information is actually more important than the types of tools you should buy. Ralph explains how anyone can purchase tools at wholesale prices (40%-60% of retail price) if they know where to look and follow his simple checklist for negotiating the right deals.
After this Ralph shows all the tools in his workshop, and explains the mistakes he has made along the way. Ralph details the lessons he learned the “hard way” and shows you the tools he wasted thousands on throughout his career as a professional woodworker. This includes tools from massive brands such as Dewalt, Kreg, Delta. Ralph cuts through the “noise” of big brands and shows you where to get the best value and highest quality tools.
Module 2 - Space Selection
Aside from the cost of purchasing tools, space selection is the biggest issue that keeps aspiring craftsmen from building their own shop. At first glance a small space or part of a garage may seem impossible to turn into a workshop. However, Ralph includes dozens of plans on shop set up which can show you how to turn even the smallest spaces into a workable workshop.
To prove this is possible Ralph shows you his first workshop. It was only 8×8 feet, but was optimized perfectly in order to fit more tools and equipment than a workshop nearly twice the size.
After showing you dozens of different workshop setups Ralph explains the best way to pick out your workshop space if you are still unsure of where to build your workshop. Ralph shows you how to take everything into consideration including ventilation, fire hazards, the types of projects you are looking to create, possible expansions, and much more. If you are really struggling to find space Ralph also explains how you can break your workshop up into different areas of your home effortlessly.
Module 3- Shop Layouts
After determining the best place to build your workshop Ralph explains how to make sure you do not waste a single inch of space. Ralph is a full time woodworker, and still has his workshop in his home. There are multiple strategies you can use when building out your workshop, and which one you pick largely depends on the type of projects you are going to pursue.
Next, Ralph covers where all your equipment should be placed in relation to each other. When first setting up your workshop how close your table saw is to your workbench might not seem important, but as your projects become more complicated and time consuming positioning becomes extremely important.
After this Ralph covers some of the best space saving tricks and hacks he has learned from different mentors and peer groups. This includes simple space saving tricks like the “doorway trick”, and more detailed positioning tricks with wall mounts and table saw positioning.
Module 4- Electricity, Lighting, and Sound Proofing
Lighting and soundproofing are two huge reasons why people never actually make a workshop. Setting up lighting and circuitry can seem extremely complicated and troublesome to most woodworkers, but Ralph gives easy step by step examples of how you can set up basic lighting without having to spend hundreds in labor costs, or worrying about blowing circuits every time you are in your shop.
In this module Ralph also covers soundproofing. Unless you are living alone many spouses, children, and other roommates could take umbrage with the sound of power tools going off all hours of the day. If you intend to frequently use power tools and create lots of noise Ralph covers several cheap tricks used by musicians used to soundproof makeshift studios. These quick easy solutions can make your workshop almost completely soundproof without spending thousands of dollars.
Module 5- Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, and Dust
In this module Ralph explains how important it is to be physically comfortable in your workshop. If you are too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter you will never get the full benefit of your workshop. The problem is most people do not realize whether or not they will be comfortable in their workshop until they have spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours setting everything up. Once you do the idea of redoing something seems daunting. This is why Ralph covers exactly how to pick out insulation, the correct heater, and humidity measurements in order to ensure your workshop is suited correctly for the climate you live in.
Lastly, Ralph also gives detailed instructions on how to make sure your workshop is properly ventilated. This module is not to be taken lightly. If you do not properly properly ventilate your shop, you are opening yourself up to lots of potentially serious health risks ranging anywhere from asthma to lung cancer. You can read more about the potential health risks of poorly ventilated workshops here.
Module 6- Workshop Safety
In the final module Ralph covers the importance of safety in your workshop. This is really a recurring theme in all the modules, but Ralph gives a comprehensive checklist to go through in order to make sure your workshop is as safe as possible. The key here is risk mitigation. Ralph breaks down the most common workshop related injuries from starting fires to cutting yourself.
On of the biggest indicators to workshop safety is how organized your workshop is. On average, workshops that leave power tools plugged in and do not put tools back where they belong are more than 3x as likely to have an incident where someone goes to the hospital than workshops that unplug all power tools and have designated places for all their tools and equipment.
The Ultimate Small Shop also comes with several “free” bonuses when you purchase the course. The first bonus is “The Workshop Cheat List”. This is Ralph’s guide book when it comes to purchasing lumber and tools for over 70% off retail price. Ralph also provides some of his secret strategies for getting free samples from premium tool companies. When debuting or relaunching products many companies like to get feedback before a national launch.
The second bonus is Ralph’s “Deal Alert Service”. This is an email notification service that lets you know about discounted tool deals Ralph has found. Typically Ralph sends this out 1-3 times a month when he gets finds really incredible deals on tools.
How Much Does Ultimate Small Shop Cost?
The Ultimate Small shop normally retails for $39.00, but if you click on the coupon below you can get a $10 discount. There are several upsells that Ralph offers when you purchase the Ultimate Small Shop.
The first is the “Wood Worker’s Guide to Hand Tools”. This e-book is over 1000 pages long and goes into immense detail on how to pick out quality hand tools for literally any project imaginable. If you feel really lost in picking out tools this may be a worthwhile investment. However, if you already have adequate tools and really just want help setting up your shop this is an unnecessary ad-on.
The second potential upsell is the “Guide To Workshop Walls, Doors, Ceilings, and Insulation”. This e-book is only $7 and gives step by step instruction on how to customize a workshop that is being built in a free-standing structure. If you have a budget that is greater than $1000 this adon could be a great bonus if you are really looking ot maximize space and have a greater climate control over your workshop.
The Ultimate Small Shop is not a scam. For only $39 the information contained is well worth the capital investment. If you are seriously interested in building your own workshop this guide book will almost undoubtedly save you time and money.