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Shop Design Ideas and Thoughts

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  • Shop Design Ideas and Thoughts

    Hello All; New to woodworking here, and I need to set up a woodshop in a nice two car garage. I would appreciate general layout ideas, and thoughts. It should be noted that I will be attempting to construct new cabinets in this shop from hardwoods. I have had this planned for months, and have been reading this forum and learning all i can. I have settled on Ridgid woodworking equipment, after carefully observing many other brands for a month or so at Lowes, I stumbled on an ad for a used Ridgid saw, went to the website to check out the features. Once i drove the 55 miles to HD i must say i was hooked on Ridgid. That brand X stuff did not impress me at all. Suggestions on shop equipment would be greatly appreciated. I expect to make the purchase in a couple months, ( once i persuade my kids to come take their stuff out of my garage, it has been their free storage). Thanks for any and all advice and help. I do sincerely appreciate it.
    If it won\'t fit you need a bigger hammer!

  • #2
    I too am limited to a shop in a two car garage. i just moved and will be resetting mine up in about two weeks. i had a shop set up before i left. couple of things i did to make use of the limited space.

    1. mounted pegboard on the studs above my workbench.

    2. put my jp6010 on wheels.

    3. the 3612 is already on wheels

    4. put a power strip under my work bench and put most of my power tools on a shelf right behind them

    5. sawhorses are your friend

    the 3612 makes an awesome assembly table for work.

    i did not integrate much in the way of cabinets and such in the garage. there was a shelving unit already in the garage made out of 3/4 plywood with horizontal and vertical surfaces making several "boxes" that made for some fine storage. i also picked up an old metal filing cabinet for 10 bucks at a garage sale that added quite a bit more storage without comprimising a lot of space.

    hope this helps



    • #3
      My shop is a two car garage, that must still house two cars when I am not in the final assembly stages of a project. Basically you have about two feet on each side of the garage (as long as the passengers get out of the car before you pull in, and one of the cars is backed in (so the driver can get out in the center of the garage).

      One side of the garage holds the lumber - often ten partial sheets of plywood and 100+ bf of hardwood, plus a couple ladders, and other flat storage.

      The other side is a rubics cube puzzle of machines that are pulled into the center of the garage for use. Starting near the garage door, the outside gas-powered tools (blower, weed wacker) along with gas cans, etc. Then a bench with grinder, sander, and vice. Then the Performax wide drum sander (chosen over the Delta, on wheels). The lower part of the Performax cart has the Delta thickness planer (not a bad unit, but I wish I had bought the Ridgid). Then the old Craftsman radial arm saw on wheels (made by Emerson - same as Ridgid). If I were starting over I would probably get a good miter saw, but it isn't worth the change. Under the corner of the RAS is room for two sets of folding saw horses, which become the workbenches.

      Continuing down the tool line, past the RAS is the Jet bandsaw with riser block, on wheels (I don't think Ridgid is bad, but lots of people recommended the Jet). Then the Ridgid TS3612, a totally awesome table saw (especially for the money), with a premium blade and a homemade router table in the overhang. Under the long saw wing is storage for the Ridgid shop vac (although a dust collector is in the future). The Table saw has to be in the back corner, facing the wall, so the motor can stick out - just beyond the car bumper. The Ridgid Flip top stands are stored on top of the saw. Then around the corner at the back of the garage are the Ridgid jointer-planer (great tool) on wheels, a drill press with mortise attachment, and an air compressor for nail guns and conversion HVLP spraying.

      A closet at the back of the garage holds the hand and portable electric and air tools, so I have almost no custom shop furniture. I rather spend my time building furniture than messing with shop accessories - see for some examples.


      • #4
        Thanks so much for the info guys. Now i see i should explain better. The garage will be a woodwork shop only. I don't need anything that folds away, i don't think. I may find that i do, but for now, I will hope not. I agree the TS3612 is impressive. I have an old sears saw now that i got from an uncle years ago, `50s style. If you go down to the home depot that i visited, i bet there is still druel on the table top of the 3612 they have on display. I was there a few days ago. I have more questions too. I wonder if an exhaust fan placed in a window higher up would be of any help in removing dust as you create it? Also, i was figurin to construct a skylight with tall chute above the table saw, so i can both see better, and stick any long pieces up i need to put through the tenon jig. Has anyone ever tried this, the skylight? I don't plan to move my stuff around much at all. I certainly don't have to park cars in this garage, plenty other places here on my place for that. I wonder also, what is a fair price to pay for rough sawn hardwood lumber? i see the finished oak at lowes and home depot but wonder what the rough sawn should go for. thanks again. I read the replys and do appreciate, i learn things everytime i come to these pages. Hats off to you folks for being courteous and forthcoming. I hope to beneifit even more now that i have joined the forum.
        If it won\'t fit you need a bigger hammer!


        • #5
          Take a look at this article at the Fine Woodworking website. It is a good place to start. The author of that article also has a book on how to setup shop, if you want a lot more information.


          • #6
            If the wood is so tall that it needs a skylight, then it is too tall for a tenon jig - you need to make those tenons with a different technique (down to earth ) such as a dado blade.

            Rough cut lumber is not only cheaper but allows you to put a good finish on it without the dings it gets at the lumber yard. A board foot is a square foot of lumber up to 1 inch thick; hardwood is sold by the board foot (whatever size is available) rather than as dimensioned pieces, and in quarter inch thicknesses units (four quarters is an inch, 8 quarters is two inches). For 5/4 lumber you have to count the surface area times 1.25. To test your calculations, a 1 x 4 (finished to 3/4 inch by 3 1/2 inches) that is 6 feet long is 2 board feet.

            Lumber varies tremendously... My current supplier provides 4/4 black walnut for $4.01 per bf. 8/4 is $5.54/bf, and 4/4 that is more than 10 inches wide is around $4.70 (from memory). 4/4 Red oak is 2.82, but 50 miles from here it is only $1.89. The last time I bought birch, 4/4 and 8/4 were the same price per bf (although the 8/4 has twice the total cost since it is twice as thick.) Mail order black walnut is 1.85 in 100 bf lots, but shipping is about $100. Locally cherry is 5.39, poplar is 1.71.

            I find that leaving the garage door open is not enough to keep the sawdust down, so the window won't be enough - so you really need to collect it as it is generated. Watch for the size of the dust particles - many units only trap particles larger than 30 microns - which is pretty big. The good dust collectors get down to 2-3 micron particles, but those tight bags constrict the air flow unless you increase surface area, etc. As long as the quantity is modest and there are no sharp edges to each dust particle (like there is with asbestos), your lungs can get rid of it, but better to not breathe it in the first place.


            • #7
              Hardly Workin,

              Since you will be setting up shop, you won't be living up to your namesake [img]tongue.gif[/img]

              I have a Ridgid Machinery shop set up in a 24x24 building. Feel free to tour my shop. Just click the link in my signiture and take the shop tour.

              Hope it gives you some ideas, and good luck with your shop!
              John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


              • #8
                Thanks Guys. I looked at the pages you left links to also. Like them all, that furniture sure is nice. I hope to be able to build my wife some new kitchen cabinets. Women always want to change everything, never satisfied it would seem. I cannot see shelling out $15K for the manufactured stuff they want to sell her, so i hope to come up with something better at a more reasonable price. I appreciate the pages with the shop photos, and yes i guess i might actually have to work a lot on this project. But i am slow, especially factoring in the learning curve.
                I have a zillion questions, i will try to place them here slowly, read all the other posts, and not duplicate the questions. Thanks again for your help. I really like the way your shop is neat and clean in the photos there Woody, and man do you have some nice Ridgid shop equipment. Thanks again, i do appreciate the information. I call it very useful.
                If it won\'t fit you need a bigger hammer!


                • #9
                  Best of luck in your new shop...I am in the process of getting mine fine the second incarnation now, getting new shop tools one by step is the Mule router table insert for my 2424, then a router...similar goal is to be able to do raised panels in shop. Mine still has to fit one car...gotta get the SS outta the rain sometimes!

                  Incarnation 1 and the newest one is on my site. I am removing pegboard now to replace with much better use of wall space. I'll update the pages someday soon....
                  Kelly C. Hanna<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\">Hanna Woodworks</a>


                  • #10
                    Considering your about to commandeer your garage for your tools, Hardly Workin'you had better start making something for your wife now. Keeping the other half of the budget committee will prove valuable down the road, especially when you try to justify tool purchases well over $500.

                    You may want to look at the layouts at Wood Online to get ideas how to place equipment to get the best "flow" (i.e. lumber storage close to the door, next to the planer and jointer etc..)

                    I have 1 1/2 auto carport that I work under so I can't share any personal experience on setting up a garage. Dust Collection is a $40 leaf blower and I use two rolling worktables that double as outfeed, drill press station, or router table. All the tools I have actually fit comfortable in a storage closet, except the saw which will eventually go in a storage-type bin under the carport ( I'm desperately trying to find time to go get the 3612). The one drawback is that this system requires at least 1 hr of clean up and putting away time at the end of the day not to mention all of the tool setups during the day. You also lose some protected storage space, but I'm not certain I could work indoors after spending a ton of weekend days piddlin' outside.

                    Good Luck (and have fun) setting up your "palace". [img]smile.gif[/img]

                    Remember, ear protection isn't just for tool use, it makes a great opportunity to tune out the "other" nagg..uh...distractions in one's world.
                    Patrick<br /><br />


                    • #11
                      How are you hardly? You really need to shop around for hardwood, lowes and the depot, both are about twice what my local lumber yard charges. and they aren't cutting me any discount either. Compare before you go to the big stores.

                      Happy woodworking guys.


                      • #12
                        Hi Harldy, congrats on all the new "toys". I am in the same boat, I am converting 1 stall of my garage into a workshop too. Mine is about 15' x 24'. I will be reading this post with you to get ideas. In the last few months I have bought the Ridgin planer, bandsaw, osc sander and codless combo kit. I am going out today to buy the Ridgid planer. Last week I bought a Jet dust collector. Makes a world of diffence.
                        I found a local lumber company (baird brothers)that sells MILLIONS of board feet of hardwood about 30% less than HD and Lowes. They have S4S (sanded 4 sides) that is beautiful. But I live near amish country and found a sawmill that sells kiln dried lumber ChEAP! I can get cherry for $2 a bf, and oak for $1.50. That is way I am going to buy the jointer, I talked my wife into buy promising her a new bedroom set.
                        Good luck and will talk to you soon.
                        Some people\'s lack of a sense of humor ruins life for the rest of us.