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Blog entry by aj posted 05-12-2014 01:29 AM 1363 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am building a new shop from the ground up. I was just wandering if you guys have any suggestions on what to
Put in it, like say a vacuum system or something else that we can only put in before it is finished. The shop is going
To be 20ft by 30ft, with 12ft celings with a 17ft peak. Any suggestions?

4 comments so far

View popsshop's profile


42 posts in 2997 days

#1 posted 05-12-2014 03:06 AM

Howdy, and congrats on beginning your new shop. The area of my shop is much like yours except my ceiling is not as high. As for suggestions, this is what I did. I made a scale drawing of what would become the shop floor as seen from above, also drawing to scale where each stationary machine would be located so as to afford sufficient work clearance between machines. In many kitchens, designs allow for easy movement between three much used areas (a work triangle), the sink, the range/oven, and the fridge. In the shop, a person could have a similar set up for three or so of the locations where most of the work is done, for example the table saw, workbench and miter saw, or any combination they felt would serve them best. Another thing you may want to consider is to run electrical conduit and rough-in boxes from your breaker panel (after the forms are built and the steel is laid), to where each machine will be located before the slab is poured, sizing the conduit for easy running of the wire gauge chosen for each machine, e.g. 12 or 10 gauge or heavier wire, after the concrete is poured. This worked out well for me as there are no wires on the floor to trip over or be in the way. IMO, dust collection is an important consideration, for it not only helps keep the lungs clean, but there is very little accumulation of sawdust on the floor or on your tools. My dust collection machine is in the middle of the shop, and it works well because the distance from each machine to the collector is fairly short. People with enough floor space might enclose a corner area in which to locate their dust collector so as to have it out of the way and also have less noise. Blast gates for each machine is an inexpensive but very helpful way of maintaining suction for the machine you are using. Good lighting is also an important consideration, even to the point that when they are all on, you have little to no shadows being cast on your work area. My shop has lots of windows, and I enjoy the natural light, however, I lost quite a bit of wall space for hanging jigs/fixtures/clamps, so you may want to give that some thought. I hope this is helpful to you in your shop planning stage, and I believe you will find that the construction of your shop is almost as much fun as working in it when it is finished. Good luck.

-- Drilling holes in wood is a boring job

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2820 days

#2 posted 05-12-2014 03:57 AM

Top of my list when I built my shop was a wooden floor with dust collection and wiring underneath.
Ten years later my legs are very grateful and the lack of dust collection piping and wiring in my way Is a real plus.
If you can accommodate those features you won’t regret it.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View AandCstyle's profile


3068 posts in 2279 days

#3 posted 05-13-2014 12:32 AM

I found Setting Up Shop to be a great resource. You can also look through all the the shop pix here on LJs to get more ideas.

Personally, I like outlets in the ceiling, then I drop lines to the various machines. This gives me flexibility on the machines’ locations. I also have an outlet over my workbench.

You might also consider running air lines. I think a dedicated finishing room is a great inclusion. When you lay out your lighting plan, run a string about 2 feet from any walls that will have work stations. That avoids working in your own shadow. Locate your dust collector in the center of a long wall. Locate the air compressor outside the shop. Include air conditioning if you need it in your locale. Try to avoid any center posts because they are always in the way. Sky lights unless you intend to finish the ceiling. A beam just past the overhead door for a chain fall or a similar option for unloading heavy machinery. Keep the windows above eye level to prevent peeping Toms from seeing inside your shop. I absolutely love in floor radiant heat and insulate under the slab. It works okay with wood and better with concrete. HTH

-- Art

View TheFridge's profile


9603 posts in 1508 days

#4 posted 05-13-2014 02:21 AM

Build a small covered area outside if you’re gonna install an air compressor. Make sure you put enough dedicated circuits scattered throughout the shop, if you don’t have a good layout before you put up Sheetrock. If you put up Sheetrock.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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