Ultimate Small Shop Review: Is This A Good Guide?

Ultimate Small Shop Review

Ultimate Small Shop is the ultimate program for learning how to create a fully equipped and fully functioning workshop on a budget and in any space you have available. Starting a carpentry company, career or hobby can be difficult without having your own workshop, but often times, getting all of the tools and materials needed to create one can be far too expensive.  In fact, the average cost to get started in woodwork is around $1500 – and that’s just for some basic tools, equipment and materials.

Ultimate Small Shop teaches you how to do it for significantly less, in limited space and without jeopardizing the quality of the job, materials or your craft.

What is Ultimate Small Shop About?

The Ultimate Small Shop is an online program that teaches people how they can create a fully functioning and fully equipped workshop for cheap without sacrificing the quality of your tools or craft. Designed to work with a variety of different spaces and budgets, Ultimate Small Shop gives you the inside scoop on everything from the building process to sourcing all of the tools you need. It comes with a plethora of different options for you to choose from, depending on the space you’re working with, the type of home or building you’re hoping to turn into a workshop, any restrictions or obstacles that come from weird structures and spaces, and so on and so forth. It’s a comprehensive system that covers everything about setting up a stocked woodworking shop for as little as $500. In addition to providing you with detailed instructions, layouts, blueprints, guides, shopping strategies and more, Ultimate Small Shop also comes with expert tips and tricks for sourcing materials, finding suppliers, honing your craft and a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee so you can try it out risk-free. It can be used by beginners or professionals, as no prior skills or experience needed.

Everything is put together for you into three guides, all of which are digital and can be downloaded as PDFs or audio files right onto your personal tech devices for easy access anytime you need. You can also choose to receive a hardcopy version (printed guides and 2 CDs) for a small fee.

Who Created Ultimate Small Shop

Ralph Chapman is the author of Ultimate Small Shop. He is a professional woodworker with over 25 years of experience. Ralph specializes in helping other hobbyists and carpenters get the tools and materials they need to set up a workshop on a budget. He also started his own woodworking training school, where he provides a variety of woodworking classes.

Overview of the Ultimate Small Shop Program

Ultimate Small Shop is the perfect program for learning how to create a fully equipped workshop on a budget and regardless of the space you have available. It comes with one main guide and two additional ones that cover everything there is to know – from the different types of home spaces you can use to the different workshop layouts that maximize the space, how to source affordable but high quality materials and tools, and so much more.

The first guide covers the vast majority of everything you’ll need, including four different workshop budgets you can choose from, a variety of blueprints, personal safety suggestions and so on and so forth.

The second guide serves as a more detailed how-to guide for getting all quality supplies and tools for cheap, and the third one focuses on the different shop layouts.

ultimate small shop download page
A preview of the download page for the Ultimate Small Shop program.
This is how and where you will access the program’s materials.

 Here’s a quick look at what you can expect from 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

In the main manual, you learn absolutely everything there is to know about setting up a fully functioning workshop on a budget and when there is limited space available. It provides you with insider secrets for working with the space and finances you have available, and how to do so without compromising the quality of your tools, craft, space, etc. You’ll find an abundance of different workshop options in here as well – from the lighting to the soundproofing, so you can create the perfect workshop for you, no matter the space, budget, tool, layout, etc.

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

This manual provides you with amazing information and tips for sourcing all of your supplies and tools at a cheap price and without sacrificing the quality. For example, it provides you with some shopping strategies for finding the best tools at an affordable price and how to prolong the lifespan of your tools. It also comes with all kinds of sourcing options for different budgets and preferences, an inventory/cost breakdown for the most basic shop, direct links to affordable tools, shopping lists 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

This guide provides you with a variety of workshop layouts and blueprints. This allows you to choose the best, most functional option for you depending on your space, budget and desires. This portion of the program also comes with all kinds of tips for getting the most out of the space you’re working with. For example, it shows you optimal placements of tools, materials and tables.

Program Manual's Table of Contents
The main program manual’s table of contents.

Free Bonus Guides

The program provides you with a variety of exclusive offers, where you can download some bonus content for absolutely free. As you can see from the list below, the bonuses can be used alongside the main program to further your skills and/or knowledge. Here’s a quick look at what those bonuses are:

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

The Verdict

Advantages of the Program

  • Designed to work with all budgets, preferences and goals
  • Aims to help anyone create a fully-equipped workshop, even if the budget is small and the space is limited
  • Super versatile with a plethora of options to choose from depending on your budget, space, preferences, goals, etc.
  • Comes with detailed information that guide you through every step of the way
  • No prior experience or skills are needed, and the program can be used by both beginners and professionals
  • Infused with helpful tips for sourcing affordable, high quality tools and materials
  • Shows you how to stock an entire workshop for less than $500
  • Comes with a variety of workshop blueprints and layout examples to use in your own space
  • Infused with expert tips that help you perfect your skill
  • Digital version makes it easy to access the program anytime, anywhere
  • Material can be downloaded onto your personal tech devices
  • Can be downloaded in a PDF guide or audio files
  • Option to receive a physical hardcopy (a printed guide and 2 CDs)
  • Comes with a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee

Disadvantages of the Program

The Ultimate Small Shop is a digital program, so all of the content can be accessed online and stored right on your tech devices, such as your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. However, this also means that a physical hardcopy doesn’t get mailed out to you. Although, you do have the option to receive one (a printed guide and 2 CDs) for a small fee. Another option to get a printed copy without paying for shipping is to print the guide off at home or your local print shop.


Ultimate Small Shop is the ultimate guide for learning how to set up a fully-equipped workshop, regardless of your budget or available space. It can be used by anyone who dreams of having a workshop of their own. You can be a beginner hobbyist or a professional carpenter, live in an apartment or have a huge garage; whatever you’re working with, this program shows you how to create the ultimate workshop. It comes complete with detailed blueprints and layouts for different kinds of spaces, tool lists and hacks for purchasing cheap but high-quality equipment, expert tips, charts, and so much more. It’s super versatile with plenty of options to choose from depending on your budget, available space and goals. Not sure it has what you’re looking for? No problem! The program comes with a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee, so you can check it out and see if it’s what you need. 

download ultimate small shop pdf

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a hardcopy of the program available?

The program doesn’t come with a hardcopy, but you can opt to receive a printed copy, two CDs and a thumb drive for a small fee. Otherwise, all of the content is digital. So, instead of having to carry around a physical book or some CDs with you anytime you want to access the program, you can pull it up right on your tech device. This allows for quick and easy access anytime, anywhere. You can also print the guide off at home to serve as your own personal hardcopy.

Is the printed version available in a store?

Ultimate Small Shop is a digital program, even though it has the option to get a hardcopy version of it, so you won’t be able to purchase it in a store. Instead, it’s sold exclusively on the program’s official website. This also comes with a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee, so you have plenty of time to check it out, risk-free.

Keep in mind, you can also download the guide and print it off to have your own personal hardcopy.

How much will I have to spend on tools and equipment?

The program does teach you how to stock an entire workshop for under $500. However, this highly depends on your own personal preference and where you purchase your tools from, whether they’re brand new or lightly used, and so on and so forth. So, it can be much more or significantly less.

The program also comes with a chapter that lists the essential tools you’ll want to have, which includes a variety of hand tools, shop tools, and so on and so forth. The list includes the estimated prices for each.
Most importantly, in no way do you have to get expensive power tools with this program. In fact, it teaches you how to get quality tools for less, so use limited funds and space.

Is the program appropriate for beginners and experts, or just one or the other?

The program is designed for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or professional. It covers all of the basics of having your own shop, such as the types of tools needed, ideal workshop layouts, how to set up your workshop, personal safely and much more. If you already have this kind of knowledge, you’ll benefit from the extra tips and techniques that come in the program. You also learn how to source cheaper quality materials, how to prolong equipment lifespan, and so on and so forth. The Money Back Guarantee also allows you to check the program out and see if it fits.

Are there any discount codes available?

The author hasn’t released any discount codes yet, but does offer a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee so you can try the system out risk-free. However, if they were to launch a discount in the future, it would be announced on the official website.  


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(as of 13th June 2024)