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  • NEwbie setting up a woodshop...have questions...

    Hi all,

    I am in the planning stage of building a 16x16 workshop and I need some advice. I have a TS3650 saw, and two bench tools - planer and a miter saw - plus several hand tools - drill, circular saw, orbital sander. Now for the questions:

    1. Will this be an adequate sized shop? I do house projects primarily.

    2. What big tool would you recommend to get next - a band saw, drill press, or jointer?

    3. Any space saving/organization tips/ideas that you feel like passing on?

    I plan to build a good workbench as a first project. Any ideas there as well?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

  • #2
    The first thing I would do is make sure the floor is suitable for you. It would be a waste of time if you need to redo it after setting up shop.
    Next thing I would get is good dust collection. You will have a fine layer of dust on everything and your lungs without it.
    What tool you get after that depends on what you do. The 2 most used power tools in my shop are the TS and jointer. Then the planer. Don't use my bandsaw much. Some people use their bandsaw more than their TS. Hope this helps.
    www.TheWoodCellar.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Congrats on the new shop project

      As for an efficient layout, search the web and you will find lots of suggestions with photo's and floor plans. The best I have seen provide for a separete finishing room or area and easy access for materials comming into the shop. Work flow is also important but if you put everything on wheels you will be able to move things around to accommodate whatever project you have in progress.

      I would recommend a jointer as your next tool because you seem to have the other basics. But I suggest you first pay attention to dust collection (not just a shop vac), air filtration, sufficient electric power, outlets and lights, insulation and heating. These seem to be where most folks have problems after they get their shops up and running. If your funds are limited you may not like spending money on such "infrastructure", but I believe you will find most woodworkers backing my recommendations.

      One "tool" that I would not give up in my shop is the air compressor. I always have a hose handy to dust off, blow out, inflate or whatever, and I use it more than the band saw or drill press - but I don't know if that would be high on everyone's list.

      Good luck and have fun.

      Comment


      • #4
        From my point of view, a 16 x 16 is a nice size shop but if you are at a point where you haven't started yet and could change the dimensions, I think I would make my shop 20 x 12 or 20 x 16. The reasoning is that most sheet stock is 8 x 4 ft and if you're going to rip anything, you simply won't have enough room in a 16 ft space.

        Also, you mentioned you mostly do "house projects". If that includes building cabinets, built-ins, etc. then a jointer would probably be on my "next" list. However, if you're more attuned to using stock lumber and have minimal need to "join" stock, then I might look at a compressor first. But please realize this suggestion is coming from a person who's primary experience is maintaining the house and building only a few things like decks, book cases, and doing a lot of refinishing and repair work in the home. (Heck, I haven't reached a point where I have my own table saw yet, but maybe later this year after we move [I just retired].)

        My primary tools are a radial arm saw, drill press, band saw, bench-top belt/disc sander, router table, band saw and of course a bunch of portable power tools like drills, sanders, and various saws.

        I do feel a compressor is a very important and essential tool. I use mine a lot and wouldn't have a shop without one. It is especially nice for those spray paint jobs and any wood finishing work. (Any of the latter needs a good ventilation system and minimal dust environment... I believe a finishing room was mentioned in an earlier post.)

        If you're going to be doing a lot of woodworking, then by all means, a dust collection system should be right up there on the top of your list. If your shop is in the house (basement or wherever), the dust collection system would definitely be NEXT! But if you're building your shop out in the yard and you are NOT doing a lot of woodwork, I'd probably go with a vac based system (what I now use) and a good quality respirator mask. But mind you, I do all my cutting outside, which unfortunately, limits any major wood cutting to only nice days! However, if you're taking any of your work into the house for remodeling, reconstruction work, the vac and resperator are essential because of old lead paint and any unknowns that you will be disturbing.

        Bottom line is that only you know what kind of work you intend to be doing. Best thing I can suggest is to familiarize yourself with what each of these tools will do for you and then approach your next purchase based on your need.

        Good luck with the new shop,

        CWS

        [ 02-21-2005, 02:33 PM: Message edited by: CWSmith ]

        Comment


        • #5
          Here is a great shop planning tool, and it's free!

          http://www.grizzly.com/workshopplanner.cfm?

          1. 16' x 16' is certainly adequate but 20' would make handling of sheet goods (4 x 8) a lot easier.
          2. Dust Collection and Filtration.
          3. If you want windows for light and/or ventilation put them up high on the wall (unless you like looking out the window). I'm thinking of those windows that are 12"-18" high and about 36" wide. Two reasons for this. 1. More wallspace available for storage. 2. Security - people can't look in and see what there is to steal.
          4. Do a google search for "free workbench plans" and take your choice.
          Good luck, have fun, and be safe!
          Lorax
          "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06

          Comment


          • #6
            As Lorax says, longer than 16' in one direction is nice, as it makes handling the infeed and outfeed of an 8' piece of plywood much easier. In lieu of that, be sure to arrange the outfeed of your table saw toward a wide door, and feed your plywood right out the door!

            Also, it is really nice to have a big, solid workbench right in the middle of your shop, with easy access all the way around. Even better is to make sure the woorkbench and table saw table are at the same height, and arrange your saw so that the workbench acts as an extended infeed table. I did this in my garage, and it makes handling big pieces much easier.

            Have fun, and if you don't like the results, it is always easy to move things around.
            Steve
            Steve
            www.MorrisGarage.com

            Comment


            • #7
              16x16 will be fine for sheet goods if you have your TS on the diagonal. The diagonal of your shop would be about 22 feet. Also, utilize any doors for infeed or outfeed if possible.
              www.TheWoodCellar.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Lorax suggested high windows to maximize use of wall space and for security, both good reasons to go that route. You might also consider a couple skylights in place of one or two windows and gain even more wall space.

                I agree with the group that if you have the option to change your overall shop size, go to a 12 or 16' x 20' building, you will be much happier.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd get a jointer or bandsaw next. Both important tools - but I'd probably go with a jointer first. Opens a new world to where you can get wood.

                  I don't have jointer yet but do have a bandsaw - and sometimes find myself limited on wood I can buy b/c I can't get wood flat - and no matter where ya buy your wood - you will find it's likely to move on ya.

                  I do alot more work with plywood b/c of it.

                  Jake

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My shop is 16x16 that I have now and after I put my table saw,jointer,d/c, workbench there is just no space to work trust me you will add stuff you never thought you would and it dont take long to fill a 16x16 i even put hanging shelves to save room and still to small.
                    so if you can make it bigger do it now you'll enjoy your shop more and want to spend time there.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rafael:
                      The first thing I would do is make sure the floor is suitable for you. It would be a waste of time if you need to redo it after setting up shop.
                      Next thing I would get is good dust collection. You will have a fine layer of dust on everything and your lungs without it.
                      What tool you get after that depends on what you do. The 2 most used power tools in my shop are the TS and jointer. Then the planer. Don't use my bandsaw much. Some people use their bandsaw more than their TS. Hope this helps.
                      I plan to use 3/4 inch plywood decking over 2x8 floor joists spaced 16 inches at the center. I will have concrete pillars supporting the edges and center. I'll have to use a couple of shop vacs for now for the dust collection.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You know, I never thought to mention the floor structure - probably because I just assumed it would be concrete - so you know what happens when you assume something!

                        I think you will be happier in the long run if you beef up the floor a bit. At the minimum I would add another layer of 3/4" plywood and glue (construction glue)as well as nail the second layer. Also, put solid bracing (use the 2x8 material) between the joists. The floor you contemplate would be minimum for residential purposes, adequate but not totally satisfactory, for your use, even with the center support you mentioned. You will find the floor will bounce, maybe sag under heavy equipment placed away from the perimeter, and promote annoying vibration.

                        The cost for the extra layer is minimal compared to its value - my opinion, of course.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you have room under the floor for dust collection ducting, you could put it under there and this is the time to do it.

                          Think about dust collection now rather than later. Unfortunately almost all of us do this in the beginning, myself included, and it's a big mistake. Shop vacs cannot move air at a high enough CFM to remove the very harmful dust particles which are 2.5 micron and smaller. Just putting a HEPA filter in a shop vac is inadequate. There is a wealth of information on this subject and what to do about it on Bill Pentz's site I noted below.

                          Instead of two shop vacuums, how about rolling one dust collector to each machine? You can pickup a unit with a 2 HP motor that would be perfectly adequate for your shop size and you could later use the blower on a cyclone you build from scratch or from kit. However stay away from cloth bags which can only filter 30 micron and larger particles. You should be collecting dust using either a single stage collector with the new 1 micron canister filters (which can also be retrofitted to most dust collectors) or a cyclone with a 1 micron filter.

                          Here's the best site you can visit for a lot of information about heath risks, air filtering, duct collection, building your own cyclone, and correct duct sizing. If you just want to have someone do the calculations and build the cyclone for you, he'll tell you whom to contact in that regard as well.

                          http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm

                          When you first get to Bill's site, you'll see a link for two cyclones he's selling. Scroll down and you'll see all the info links.

                          If you just want simple straightforward answers to building an inexpensive dust collection system for a small shop, this is the best document I've found.

                          http://www.dmwoodworkers.com/DustCollection.pdf

                          I built my system based on information from Bill's site and this American Woodworker article and I couldn't be happier with the performance.
                          It was relatively inexpensive to build as well.

                          You also should also purchase an ambient air cleaner, but stay away from the low cost models like the Delta AP100. Those units are only capable of filtering particles 5 micron and larger and are really intended for job site work (hence the handle). Similar to the units that are cylindrical with a handle on top. They only have a very coarse foam pre filter and a paper main filter.

                          "Under 30-micron size particles (about 1/3 the thickness of a human hair and smaller) pose a serious health hazard, with the most danger coming from particles 2.5-microns and under in size. All these fine particles that go through too open filters also slip right past our body's natural defenses to lodge deeply in our tissues. Our bodies have a difficult time getting rid of this dust. Wood dust not only carries molds and mildew, wood comes from plants that have strong chemical protections against insects and other predators. Continued long-term exposure to fine wood dust, the molds and mildews, and these natural chemicals causes most woodworkers, their families, and others close to them to develop sensitivities. Like smoking, some will never show severe symptoms, but most will eventually develop sensitivities. Many will develop more serious sinus and respiratory problems including asthma, emphysema, allergic reactions, polyps and even cancer."

                          If you really intend to use this in a home shop, you should look a unit that can filter 99% of particles 1 micron and larger.

                          "Sadly, with far too little filter area many hobbyist filters in our dust collectors, vacuums, and even air cleaners quickly clog and stop moving the air we need for good protection. Even with clean filters, at working airflow levels many hobbyist filters pass dust twenty to thirty times larger than advertised turning our blowers and air cleaners into dust pumps that recirculate these unhealthy fine particles."

                          Delta AP200 and 50-875 are both capable of filtering 99% of particles 1 micron and larger. What's odd is it says this under The Delta Difference, but under their specifications it says 5 micron filtration. I'm not sure what the story is there. I'd call Delta and ask about that. It could be a legal issue. The 50-875 is a nice unit, with 3 speeds for quieter operation when you don't have a lot of dust still flying in the air and at approx. JET also has a nice unit, the AFS1000B. It also has three speeds and like the Delta 50-875, it has a time delay shut off and a remote control, but their specifications are not as tight as Delta's (Filtering 98% of all particles 5 microns in size and 85% of all particles 1 micron in size). Maybe JET's specifications are more realistic. The JET AFS1000B is the same price as the Delta 50-875.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ray Bersch:
                            You know, I never thought to mention the floor structure - probably because I just assumed it would be concrete - so you know what happens when you assume something!

                            I think you will be happier in the long run if you beef up the floor a bit. At the minimum I would add another layer of 3/4" plywood and glue (construction glue)as well as nail the second layer. Also, put solid bracing (use the 2x8 material) between the joists. The floor you contemplate would be minimum for residential purposes, adequate but not totally satisfactory, for your use, even with the center support you mentioned. You will find the floor will bounce, maybe sag under heavy equipment placed away from the perimeter, and promote annoying vibration.

                            The cost for the extra layer is minimal compared to its value - my opinion, of course.
                            I will have the 2x8's braced with concrete pillars every 2 feet - don't think they'll flex THAT much. Plus, I will have cross braces between each 2x8 every 4 feet.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lorax:
                              Here is a great shop planning tool, and it's free!

                              http://www.grizzly.com/workshopplanner.cfm?

                              1. 16' x 16' is certainly adequate but 20' would make handling of sheet goods (4 x 8) a lot easier.
                              2. Dust Collection and Filtration.
                              3. If you want windows for light and/or ventilation put them up high on the wall (unless you like looking out the window). I'm thinking of those windows that are 12"-18" high and about 36" wide. Two reasons for this. 1. More wallspace available for storage. 2. Security - people can't look in and see what there is to steal.
                              4. Do a google search for "free workbench plans" and take your choice.
                              Good luck, have fun, and be safe!
                              the high windows are an intriquing idea. I have a 3'x3' skylight that I am gonna put in as well.

                              I have found a couple of bench plans that look nice.

                              Thanks for the input.

                              Comment

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