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The “Ultimate Small Shop” by Ralph Chapman is a comprehensive guide aimed at helping woodworkers set up a fully functional workshop on a budget of under $1,000. The book is well-regarded for its detailed instructions, practical tips, and affordability. Here are some key points from various reviews:


  1. Detailed Guidance: The guide covers everything from essential tools and materials to workshop layout and safety measures. It includes six modules that address different aspects of setting up a workshop, such as lighting, ventilation, tool selection, and safety protocols.
  2. Budget-Friendly: One of the main attractions of the book is its focus on cost-effective solutions. Ralph Chapman provides advice on how to find deals on tools and equipment, making it accessible for woodworkers with limited budgets.
  3. Comprehensive Content: The book also includes several bonus guides that cover additional topics like common mistakes to avoid, essential tools, and how to set up a workshop in small spaces, such as an apartment​​.
  4. Immediate Access: Upon purchase, the guide and bonuses are available for immediate download, although there is also an option to purchase a printed version for an extra fee​.


Not Suitable for Everyone: While the book provides various layout options, it may not cover every specific need or preference. Additionally, depending on local prices and availability, some users might find it challenging to stay within the $1,000 budget​.

Bottom Line:

The “Ultimate Small Shop” is praised for its practicality and value, especially for novice woodworkers or those looking to set up a workshop on a budget. However, potential buyers should be aware of the marketing tactics and manage their expectations accordingly. Overall, it seems to be a valuable resource for those serious about woodworking and looking to optimize their setup without overspending.