Reply by Scorpion

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Posted on Brand new workshop - limited space

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5 posts in 2537 days

#1 posted 10-14-2011 10:32 PM

I think I would design my shop around it’s intended primary (and secondary) use(s). Where to put doors (as well as door opening size) in conjunction with where material storage, shop storage, and equipment needs to be would be my primary concern. Having to figure all of that out after building the structure usually ends up to be a pain.

Personally, I always start with constraints when you consider your layout. Material storage can kill you if you don’t consider it up front. In-feed and out-feed considerations for your equipment are important. Electrical needs should also be considered for both stationary, mobile, and hand tools to prevent having excessive drop-cords all over the place later on. I’d draw a shop layout and consider your present needs as well as your long-term needs. When it comes to your structure, doing it right the first time is more important than getting it done quickly (the ability to do both is a gift if you ask me).

Given your plans, you may not want a 20×20. You may lean towards a 15×25 (or some other variation). Keep in mind the need to swing large sheet goods and lumber into your equation.

If it were me, I’d draw it out on paper. Walk into an existing garage and tape it out on the floor and attempt to picture your needs based on where you’d want things to be. In my experiences, it takes as much practice laying out a shop as it does building something in the shop. The only way you can handle the future need for change is by doing things in a flexible way. Run your electrical in conduit on the surface of the wall instead of inside of it. Doing so will allow you to add an outlet if you need to by only pulling new wires or adding new conduit. In-wall wiring keeps the shop less flexible down the road. Window and door openings take up wall space so you may choose to keep them on a single wall.

It’s wood working so don’t forget to think about ventilation. More than once you’re gonna want to clear the air and having no ability to create a cross-draft would stink.

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