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    Anyone have some ideas for how to organize a small shop? I'm getting ready to build an addition to my garage; it will be 24 feet square. I need to configure it for the following: Two Table saws (BT3000 and the Ridgid 3650); 14 inch Delta band saw; CSMS with stand; Floor model drill press; planer, jointer and a router table (these I want connected to a central dust collector) plus the usual assorted drum and belt sanders (stand alone), mortiser, jigsaw, air compressor, etc.

    If you have a great, efficient layout, I'd sure appreciate seeing it or any references to plans appearing in recent magazines or web sites or whatever would be appreciated.

  • #2
    I am positive that every shop out there has a different layout depending on the preferences of the owner. the best way to determine your optimum layout is to do a 1"=1' or ½"=1' grid and cut out outlines of all your stationary equipment and play with layouts on the grid. Keeping in mind, of course, the general rules of 8' infeed and outfeed space for your saw, planer, CMS and jointer, space around your drill press and bandsaw to swing work pieces and so on.



    • #3
      576 sf, right? DC to be in mix? To me I want/need to know where I have electrical panel first thing and then the rest comes together with graph paper.
      DC-lumber storeage-painting booth or isolated area and doors first - then start to move all around from there and remember workflow....hate to haul all that just just/sized wood all the way to back to assmle, then all the way to front to finish, etc.
      Sounds like it's not a big deal but it gets to be as you "age"
      Look at woodnet for shop ideas in the Ideal Shops. Or it's in Wood mag - new ones every year.
      Here's a link - or 2 or .....

      BTW - that is a real nice sized addition for a shop. Congrats at you for it.
      Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


      • #4
        Cranky, thanks for the links. Terry Hatfield's shop is certaintly very nice. Wish I had the space and bucks for a shop like that.

        Back to the shop layout issue; I think fitting two table saws with enough clearance around them for working in a 24x24 shop will be tough along with all the other tools. True that workspace of various tools can overlap to a degree especially if a one man shop and only one tool used at a time but still a tight squeeze I think.

        Creating a scaled plan on paper and placing the paper tool outlines on top gives the easiest way to try different configurations, sure beats dragging tools all over the shop and your back

        This should be the first step, figuring out the waorkflow and tool layout, then make your electrical plan to fit the location of the tools.


        • #5
          While we are talking of workshops, I have a question for the group. I am contemplating an addition to my storage room that will take it from 6' x 22', to 18' x 22'. I had a contractor, who incendentally has a workshop that is 2000 sqft, tell me that I wasn't going to be happy with the space gained for the cost I would incurr. SHould I scrap this plan and try for a separate out building that would serve as a dedicated workshop?

          This is a one man shop that will contain a table saw, miter saw, bandsaw, drill press, planer, jointer, router table and dust collector. Router table is mobile, and the Jointer will be on a mobile base, so they can be stored against the walls while not in use.

          Does this sound like an expansion worth my while, or do you think I will be spending a lot of money and not gaining much in the way of functionality?
          Brad Hatchett<br />


          • #6
            My shop is in the garage and is just shy of 18 X 20 and I loose an entire wall to the garage door. I find it a bit tight at times but everything is on wheels and and fits nicely, if necessary my car or van will fit if they need work and its cold out. I can run the Joiner, planer, and RAS without putting each away to use the other. I bet we would all love a separate dedicated shop but that money issue keeps coming up.
            When you say addition are you talking about using more space inside the house or actually adding onto the house? If you are adding onto the house it may be cheaper and easier to build a separate workshop if you have the property space.


            • #7
              My shop is 24x24. I do not have the exact same machines, one wall is taken up by a RAS and Lathe. Take the shop tour on my site (badly outdated, appologies) but will give you an idea. No Central DC, working on funds for that. Utilize wall space and floor space. My compressor is in the addition connecting the garage and shop (see the construction phase).

              My suggestions would be keep the resawing, planing, jointing in one location, or along one wall. That's a biggie IMO. Central locate the big saw, make the smaller saw mobile. Keep the drill press, tool box for drill bits, etc close by, and the drill drivers in one area. You'll want an assembly/glue-up/finish table in a open space for easy movement around it. Plenty of light is a key factor.

              If at all possable, post some photo's when you get it going. It always brings a ear to ear grin to see someone else's shop.
              John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


              • #8
                Brad - the age old question!
                I have several shops - 2 free standing and the original attached, actually an addition/conversion off the original 2 car garage.
                Cost is substantially lower when using common wall and existing electrical/heating/plumbing if applicable.
                On stand alone it's all new-all expensive starting from concrete and access and electrical to you name it.
                If I didn't use as a business/production shop I never would have moved away from the attached shop. Never. I would have stayed "portable" with mobile bases, used the 2-3 walls available, and just put a small side attachment to place DC and for wood storage matters. If one sprays - a bit bigger and use just a "curtain" style booth, all you really need.
                You can just usually open up wall and either put in doors or leave open.
                The only drawback to not isolating is the inability to get away from distractions of the house. Otherwise I can say I never saw any downside (noise maybe but it can be addressed easy)
                Luck-let us know what you do
                Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


                • #9
                  All good thoughts. I think I will go ahead as planned.

                  To clarify a few things. We have a detached 2 car carport that is connected by a covered walkway. Along the left most wall is a storage room (alley) that is 6 foot wide and runs the length of the carport which is about 22 feet.

                  My plan was to take the 22 foot exterior wall, which is facing the back yard, and push it out 12 - 15 feet. This would allow me to tie into electrical from the garage, which feeds from the house. What this will require is to pour a supplemental slab that is roughly 22 x 12 to tie into the existing storage area, frame up the walls and extend the roofline. This will give me an 18x 22 shop which, from the groups replies, should be a workable space...certainly better than what I have. Right now I have to drag the tools in and out of the storage room when i want to use them.
                  Brad Hatchett<br />