Episode 13 SHOW NOTES Security In Your Small Shop

Everyday Woodworking Podcast Ep 13 




Hey everyone. I’m Ricky Fitzpatrick with Everyday Woodworking, your Podcast Home for tips, tricks and information on how to make the most of your woodworking time and money, every day. 


As woodworkers, invest a lot of money in tools and materials. No…we invest a huge percentage of our money into tools and materials. 

So one of the absolute most important things you can do is to protect your stuff. 

Today, we’re going to take a look at implementing Shop Security. What can you do that’s either free or inexpensive? How much does security cost? And how much do you really need? 


I’m drinking my coffee this week, as I do many weeks, from a cup from our good friends at Jaemor Farms. Jaemor is THE local Northeast GA destination for fresh fruits and veggies, handmade products and much, much more. 

Plus, as I’ve mentioned, they’re also one of only a handful of retailers that we trust to carry our handmade products from our woodworking business at Apple Valley Farm. Like our Carpenter Bee Traps. 

We’ve been dealing with Jaemor for years and years, as woodworkers and frankly, just as customers. If you haven’t given them a try yet, you should drop by their main location, in Alto, GA or in the newer Banks Crossing store in Commerce. 

And if you’re not local, then visit them online at www.jaemorfarms.com. You won’t be sorry. 

Thank you, Daphne and all our friends over at Jaemor Farms. I don’t know what we’d do without you. You guys are amazing! 


My first experience with tool theft happened about 14 years ago. I was still working a “regular job” during the day, so I wasn’t home all that much. We had just bought our home, which was a fixer upper. 

As a result, we had a lot of tools here and there, and frankly, most of the time it’s just easier to leave things where they are instead of putting them away. And since we live in a very small town and in a rural area, I didn’t think anything about it. 

Growing up, we rarely locked our doors. And honestly, today, I feel pretty much as safe as I did back then. We live less than five miles from my childhood home now. 

Nevertheless, one day, when I came home, my table saw which I had left sitting in our open carport, was gone. That, a few other tools and a car seat (who steals a car seat?) were all gone. 

We called the sheriff, filed a report, called out insurance company. The whole bit. Long and short of it…my tools were never recovered, and my insurance deductible was more than the value of my tools. So I guess you could say we were just out of luck. 

That taught me two things. One: Tools are expensive, especially when you buy them twice. And two: Protect your stuff. 

Most of us here have a small space that honestly, might be a little tough to secure. Open carports and garages, open sheds, old out buildings, makeshift work areas. It’s going to be hard for some of you to make those spaces theft-proof. 

But even some security is better than none. 


Let’s start with the obvious. First, what can you do to reduce your “steal appeal”? Because in case you didn’t know it, the best lock only serves to slow down a determined thief. If they want it, there’s nothing you can do to stop them. So before we talk about locks and alarms, how about things you can do to attract less attention? 

Here’s a list to get you thinking: 

Be friendly with your neighbors 
Get a pet 
Don’t be predictable 
Leave a light on 
Invest in light timers 
Talk to your friends 
Have family drop by 
Don’t tell everything on social media 
Put your stuff away 
Out of sight, out of mind 

Next, after you do the free and inexpensive stuff, what about things that cost a few dollars? Or more? 

Let’s look at a list of common security measures that might cost a buck or two. Many of these can be part of your home’s security functionality. 

Motion Sensors – On windows, doors, general area. Localized operation up to full LEO Notification. - $40 and up 
Alarms – Work with Motion Sensors, usually. Possibly movement triggers. May be localized up to a subscription based monitoring system. - $40 and up 
Ring - $100 and up 
SimpiSafe - $200 and up 
ADT - $35/mo and up 
COVE - $14.99/mo and up 

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. 

Aside from these sensors and monitoring systems, there are also affordable old school things like: 

Door Locks - $10 padlock 
Deadbolt - $50 for a deadbolt 
Steel Door - $200 and up 
Garage Door - $1000 and up 

There would also be things that would be hard to put a dollar figure on like: 


Electric Fencing 

Flood Lighting 

“Loud” Landscaping (gravel, rocks, etc) 


Now for the hardest area to really quantify…How Much? 

Of course, how much security you need is subjective. It depends on you. Your geographical area. Your surroundings. Your tools or inventory. Your investment. Your budget and ability. 

Lots of variables to consider before you just say you’re going to “make things more secure”. 

Could you have too much protection? Well, yeah. You could. But again, sometimes that’s a matter of opinion. 

If you add a $5K laser triggered, state of the art, hardwired security system to protect your $200 Table Saw…some might call that overkill. But if your table saw has personal value, then the cost of securing it may be inconsequential. 

On the other hand, if you have $40K worth of shop tools that might include a CNC, a table saw, a planer and jointer, and a collection of professional hand tools, then a pad lock on the door might be a little careless. 

If we only take the monetary value of the tools you own, and possibly the materials you have on hand, then we should be able to come up with a dollar figure that we can spend on security for those tools. 

For me, I suggest spending no more than 5% of the total value of your tools and materials on shop security. 

That doesn’t mean that everyone one should spend 5%? No. But it does suggest that you spend UP TO 5%. 

So as with the above example…for a $40K shop, I’d limit myself to spending no more than $2K on shop security. Spend less if you can, but no more than 5%. 

If you have around $2K in homeowner grade tools like a table saw, chop saw, band saw, hand sander and a few drills…then limit yourself to around $100 to protect things. 


Hey, this is by no means an exhaustive look at Shop Security, but I think it’s a really good start. 

If you’re like me, then you’ve got a relatively exposed area, not a lot of tools, but enough that you don’t need them getting gone, and a budget that doesn’t let you spend a fortune. If so, then be smart. 

Do the free stuff. Then do the cheap stuff. Then spend a little cash and then don’t obsess over it. 

You aren’t protecting a signed, first edition Lonesome Dove. It’s just tools. So do your due diligence and let it go at that. 

We may come back and do a deep dive on certain pieces of this, later on. There’s a ton of info on things like motion sensors or deadbolts…we could spend half an hour on those alone. 

So stay close and listen out for more along these lines. 


One last thing…if you enjoyed this episode, please take a second and leave us a great review. It makes such a difference for us…especially in you’re on Apple Podcasts. 

But, wherever you’re listening, we would love it if you subscribed and became a regular listener. 

Also, if you’re watching us on YouTube, then obviously we try to post a video of each Podcast Episode on our Apple Valley Farm (our woodworking business) YouTube Channel. Definitely like, comment and subscribe to us there as well. 

And finally, if you’d like to learn even more about us, you can check out the show notes and head over to www.applevalleyfarmga.com for things like our store, our woodworking projects and lots, lots more. 

That’s it. Have a great day. Thanks again. And I’ll see you next time…on Everyday Woodworking. 

Apple Valley Farm – http://applevalleyfarmga.com/ 

Apple Valley Farm Carpenter Bee Traps - http://applevalleyfarmga.com/product/556860 

Apple Valley Farm YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/c/AppleValleyFarmGA 

Everyday Woodworking on Anchor.com - https://anchor.fm/everydaywoodworking 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AppleValleyFarmGA 

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/applevalleyfarmga 

FeedSpot - https://blog.feedspot.com/woodworking_podcasts/ 

Jaemor Farms - https://www.jaemorfarms.com/ 

Motion Sensors at Home Depot - https://www.homedepot.com/p/WAC-Lighting-Endurance-Graphite-Motion-Sensor-for-Flood-and-Security-Lights-MS-120-GY/313579069  

Ring - https://ring.com/ 

SimpliSafe - https://simplisafe.com/ 

ADT - https://www.adt.com/ 

COVE - https://www.covesmart.com/ 

We also couldn’t make the Everyday Woodworking podcast happen without a LOT of help from our friends behind the scenes. 

Thanks to the folks at https://www.online-convert.com/ for helping us convert our files into the formats we need. 

And Infinite thanks to the Audacity family. For helping us put it all together in the greatest audio production software on the planet. - https://www.audacityteam.org/ 

(The music we use here on EW comes to us courtesy of our friends at Purple Planet Music. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Music: https://www.purple-planet.com )

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