Ultimate Small Shop Review: Is it Worth Getting? Let’s Go Through The Contents!

Ultimate Small Shop is the only resource you’ll ever need for learning how to set up a fully stocked workshop with limited space, in any available space you may have and on a tight budget without compromising the quality of the tools, material or your craftsmanship. When you think about setting up a workshop, you probably assume that you don’t have enough space to do so or you won’t have the funds to get the tools or materials you need or want to have in your shop. But without a shop, you’re dropping anywhere from $300 to $1000 to rent a space equipped with tools.

The Ultimate Small Shop is an online program that shows people how to overcome obstacles and set up the shop they want with whatever space and funds they have available. 

Ultimate Small Shop Review


What is Ultimate Small Shop?

There are many benefits to having your own workshop, but many people assume it’s simply easier and more affordable to spend the monthly fee on renting space that already has all of the tools you need. The Ultimate Small Shop is an online program designed to help people learn how to get the fully-equipped workshop they want on a tight budget and with whatever space they have available. It’s a comprehensive program separated into three guides that provide you with all of the information needed to learn how to overcome common roadblocks woodworkers face when it comes to setting up a workshop. It teaches you the steps to purchasing affordable tools and setting up a fully functioning workshop in any space, without sacrificing quality.

Ultimate Small Shop can be used by beginners and experts alike, people in apartments or small homes, with attics or a basement, a barn – you name it. This program teaches you how to work with what you have to get the workshop you want. As such, it’s infused with tips and tricks for finding suppliers, sourcing quality materials, strategically using a small space, blueprints, layouts, and so much more.

The program is digital, so you can download the content right onto your personal tech devices and use it anytime, anywhere. It also comes with a 60-Day Money Back Guarantee and the option to receive a printed hardcopy with 2 CDs. It can also be downloaded in audio format, so you can listen and learn on-the-go.

Ultimate Small Shop Download Page
Preview of the “Ultimate Small Shop” download page.
This is how and where you will access the program’s materials.

Who Created the Ultimate Small Shop Guide?

The creator of Ultimate Small Shop is Ralph Chapman, an avid woodworker for more than 25 years. Ralph is recognized as the ‘small shop’ expert, as he specializes in helping woodworkers overcome roadblocks when buying tools and setting up a workshop on a budget. He started his own woodworking training school, where he teaches a variety of woodworking classes.

Overview of the Ultimate Small Shop Program

Ultimate Small Shop is the only program you’ll ever need to learn how to set up a fully-equipped workshop on a budget and with limited space. It comes with three guides that provide you with all of the information needed to learn how to source affordable but high-quality tools and materials, setting up a shop in small or weird places. Each guide covers a vast array of possibilities to ensure everyone can find a solution that works for them.  For example, chapter 4 of the main manual provides you with options for four different budgets and desires.

To give you a better idea of what you can expect from each section, here’s a detailed look at each:

Main Guide: How to Set Up a Complete Shop on a Budget

  • Chapter 1: How Much Space Do You Need?
  • Chapter 2: Types of Home Spaces
    • Setting Up a Shop Inside a House
    • Attics
    • Basements
    • Setting Up a Shop Attached to a House
    • Garages
    • Setting Up a Shop in an Outbuilding
    • Barns
    • Mobile Home Shops
  • Chapter 3: Shop Layout
    • Develop a Layout That Works for You
    • Machine Placement
      • Table Saws
      • Jointers and Planers
      • Other Machines
    • Machine and Workspace Proximity
    • Dividing Shop Space
      • Finishing Areas
      • Mobile Machines
      • Build Your Own Mobile Bases
  • Chapter 4: Equipment Lists
    • Essential Shop List Under $5000
    • Start Up Shop List Under $1000
    • Hand Tool Only List Under $500
    • Lowest DB (quietest) Shop List Under $1000
  • Chapter 5: My Personal Recommended Tools
    • Stationary Power Tools
    • Portable Power Tools
    • Pneumatic Tools
  • Chapter 6: Soundproofing
    • The Economical Solution
      • Option 1
      • Option 2: Recommended for DIYers
      • Using the Cleat Method
  • Chapter 7: Electricity and Lighting
    • DIY vs Hiring a Pro
    • Powering Machines Away from Walls
    • Adding Lighting Circuits
  • Chapter 8: Heating and Ventilation
    • Heating Your Shop
    • Choosing a Heat Source
    • Insulate Your Shop First
    • Heat Your Shop Safely
    • Ventilating Your Shop
    • Ventilating Your Finishing Area
    • Creating Good Air Circulation
    • Controlling Shop Moisture and Humidity
  • Chapter 9: Dust Management
  • Chapter 10: Fire Safety
    • Combustible Dust
    • Paint/Stain Spray in the Air and Buildup on Surfaces
    • Metalworking
    • Oily Rags
    • Location
  • Chapter 11: Personal Safety
    • Bonus

The main manual covers everything you need to know about setting up a fully functioning shop with limited space and on a budget. It teaches you how to work with the space and funds you have, and doing so in a way that doesn’t compromise your experience or the quality of your tools, craft, etc. You’re provided with a plethora of options to choose from to ensure you have the ultimate shop with whatever type of home, shop, budget, space, tool, obstacle, etc. you’re dealing with.

Ultimate Small Shop Manual's Table of Contents
The table of contents for the “Ultimate Small Shop” main manual PDF.

Workshop Cheat List

  • How to Cut Enormous Costs on Wood, Tools and Woodworking Supplies
    • Lumber Yards
    • Local Sawmills
    • Online Retailers
    • Free Lumber from Stores
    • Additional Tips to Consider
  • Saving On Tools
    • Online Sales, Discounts and Discount Vouchers in Woodworking Magazines
    • Get Power Tools on Craigslist
    • Try Harbor Freight
    • eBay
    • Get Free Tools
    • Use Superior Accessories
    • Tip on Refurbished vs. Used Tools
  • A Shopping Strategy: Foundation Before Frills
    • The Tablesaw
    • The thickness Planer
    • The Router
  • Other Misc Tips to Save on Tools
    • Buy Combo Kits
    • Stick with a Brand
    • Use Loyalty Programs
    • Shop at the Right Time of Year
    • Be Honest With Yourself About What You Need
    • Still, Don’t Cheap Out

If you’re looking to save money by cutting down the costs of tools and supplies without sacrificing the quality, this is the manual for you. It gives you expert tips and recommendations on how you can save on all aspects of woodworking – including your time. It even comes with shopping strategies, which focuses on finding quality tools at an affordable price and knowing how to make the most out of them. It’s about buying the most basic and versatile tools before adding the specialized ones in – an interesting perspective that makes sense! You’ll find different options based on budget or preference, a minimal shop inventory chart complete with a cost breakdown, shopping lists, direct links to affordable, quality tools, and much more.

Workshop Layouts

  • What Makes an Ideal Workshop Layout?
    • Stationary Tool Space
    • Tabletop Vs. Freestanding Tools
    • Partitions
    • Natural Light
    • Artificial Illumination
    • Plumbing
    • Temperature and Moisture Control
    • Egress
    • Electricity
  • The Workshop Triangle Method for Layout Planning
  • Workshop Organization Tips
    • Saw Horse
    • Ladders
    • Tools Belts
  • Workshop Layout Images

In this manual, you receive all the information and examples needed to choose the perfect and most functional workshop layout in any space. You’ll find plenty of tips for getting the most out of your workshop space in this section, complete with detailed blueprints and workshop layouts that show you ideal placements of tools, materials, tables, etc.

Free Bonus Guides

In addition to the main program, you also receive a variety of free bonus guides that can be used in conjunction with the Ultimate Small Shop to further your knowledge and/or woodworking shop.

  • 7 Deadly Mistakes When Setting Up Shop
  • Top 20 Tools for Shops of Any Budget
  • Essential Tools for the Complete Shop
  • Beginners Toolbox for Starting Woodworker
  • A Basic Guide to Woodworking Tools
  • Woodworker’s Guide to Hand Tools
  • Walls, Doors, Ceilings and Insulation
  • How to Setup a Tiny Workshop in an Apartment

The Verdict

Advantages of the Program

  • The program caters to all types of budgets
  • Designed to help people set up a fully-equipped shop even on a tight budget or with limited space
  • Comes with an abundance of different options to choose from, based on budget, space, preferences, etc.
  • Provides you with detailed information, tips and tricks for purchasing affordable but high-quality tools and materials
  • Teaches you how to stock a workshop with a budget under $500
  • Shows you a variety of workshop layouts and blueprints as examples you can use in your own space
  • Provides you with valuable knowledge that allows you to hone your skills, whether you’re a beginner or expert
  • Digital version allows you to download the materials right onto your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer for use anytime, anywhere
  • Can download the guides in audio format
  • Option to receive a printed version of the program and 2 CDs for a small fee
  • Supported by a 60-Day Money Back Guarantee

Disadvantages of the Program

The program is digital, so you won’t be able to find it in a physical store location. However, this does allow you to receive immediate access as soon as you purchase and the ability to download the guides right onto your personal tech devices for access anytime, anywhere. You’re also provided with the option to receive a physical copy of the program in the mail.


Ultimate Small Shop is the only resource you’ll ever need to learn how to set up a fully-equipped workshop on any budget and in any space. It’s designed specifically for people who have limited funds and/or space but that want or need a workshop. All of the content is put into easy-to-read guides that are infused with expert tips, tricks, hacks, layouts, blueprints, charts and more. The program comes with a variety of options to choose from, based on your budget, goals and available space. Even if you think you don’t have the budget or space to buy all the tools and set up shop, you have nothing to lose by trying this system out as it comes with a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee.

download ultimate small shop pdf


Is there a physical copy of the program that I can get at a store location?

The Ultimate Small Shop is a digital program and sold exclusively on the official website, so you won’t be able to find it at a store location. It can be downloaded as PDF guides or audio files. However, you’re also provided with the option to receive a printed version of the program, two CDs and a thumb drive for a small additional fee. This additional offer can be found on the members download page after purchase.

Can the program be used for first-time woodworkers and experts, or just one or the other?

The program is designed so that it can be used by both beginners and professionals. It provides you with the basics, such as the tools needed to get started, ideal workshop layouts, how and where to set up a workshop, personal safety, and much more, to ensure proper knowledge for first-timers. As for experts who already know this stuff, they can still use the program to strengthen their knowledge and skills, as the program is infused with helpful tips, such as where to source cheap but high-quality materials, how to prolong your equipment’s lifespan, and so on and so forth.

How long will it take to read the guides?

The main manual is around 246-pages long, double-spaced with a large font size. It’s a fairly quick read and you should be able to go through it in a day or so. If you aren’t much of a reader, the program also comes with audio files, so you can listen and learn instead.

Are there any discounts available?

No discounts have been released for this program, but if the author were to offer some sort of coupon, it would be announced on the official website.


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(as of 15th June 2024)