All Replies on Please help me with my 14X18 shop

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Please help me with my 14X18 shop

by agallant
posted 04-20-2011 03:34 PM

27 replies so far

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 2821 days

#1 posted 04-20-2011 03:43 PM

My suggestion is go to the shops section of the webpage and look at all of the different examples.


View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 3025 days

#2 posted 04-20-2011 03:56 PM

My suggestion is to pack all of your tools up and send them to me. I promise to send the ones I don’t want back. Only kidding of course. I will check back later to see your photos. Therookie has a good idea.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2880 days

#3 posted 04-20-2011 03:58 PM

I wish the shop section would include size

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 2979 days

#4 posted 04-20-2011 04:02 PM

I have a shop a little narrower and a little longer. The key points are table saw in the center oriented with the length of the shop (I have the 7 ft rails with extension table). Jointer goes along one short wall with the work bench along the other. I have wood storage, bandsaw, and drill press along the long wall. Miter saw lives under the ts extension table and benchtop planer lives under the workbench. I might be able to get a pic, we’ll see.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View skippyland's profile


158 posts in 2685 days

#5 posted 04-20-2011 04:08 PM

Dude, I feel your pain…my stand alone shop is 12×20 and very cramped. The double doors help when I need to rip a long piece on the TS, but if you check my fotos, you’ll see ALL wall space is covered and I utilize locking caster bases alot. I think at some point a decision has to be made as to what types of wood working can you handle and then probably do the best with those tools. In the beginning, my “best woodworking” was spending money on tools. Too much clutter can be dangerous. Best of luck!

-- Skip from Batavia, purveyor of fine and exotic sawdust & chips.

View dbhost's profile


5708 posts in 3226 days

#6 posted 04-20-2011 04:23 PM

Since you weren’t kind enough to post up a workshop profile to give us a clue what you are dealing with, my only answer to you is, organize it.

I can throw some generalities out there that may help you though…

For starters, be grateful for what you have. 14×18 is MUCH larger than the shops a lot of guys have. There are more than a few folks on here that are working out of 8×10, and 10×12 sheds… What you have must seem cavernous to them…

Unless you are filthy rich, life outside of any HOA, and or are just flat lucky enough to have a spare large building on your property, chances are, as a woodworker, you are trying to eke shop layout and storage out of every cubic inch of shop you have. And probably have a little spillover into other areas of your home / property… So take a gander at the suggestions below and see if any of them help…

#1. Do you have any tools on steel legs? Convert the open space on the legs to storage by boxing it in, or replace the legs with a cabinet to house all the accessories for the tool. #2. Do you have a stand alone router table? Lose it. Replace it with a router table in a table saw extension wing, either shop built, or commercially produced… #3. Got everything neatly organized across the wall on peg board? Don’t do that! Instead build storage cabinets such as clam shell cabinets with peg boards on them. That way you multiply your peg board storage space while utilizing a small fraction of the wall space you had been. #4. Use space under things like table saw extensions for roll away cabinets, or other tools. Mine has a shop vac and a 20 gallon Thien cyclone separator under there… #5. Those plastic multi drawer bins sold at office stores and Walmart etc… make great separators / organizers for sandpaper and similar materials. #6. Build some sort of stacking system for your bench top power tools, unless your back just can’t take it. If you want to know what I am talking about, look at the Best Home Workshop Ideas 2011 for one take on it, or look at my shop for another. I went the simple route, Wood Magazine’s version is prettier, and doesn’t occupy wall space. Take your pick. #7. Take some time and review the workshops posted here. There are a TON of great ideas that the guys and gals here have posted up for saving space… #8. Opt for smaller versions of tools that you can afford to go smaller on. A bench top jointer takes up far less space than a floor model. But you sacrifice bed length and mass. A small 9” bench top band saw likewise takes less space than a floor model 14” or so on… You get the idea… #9. Learn to use Google Sketchup, and lay out your shop space in 3D before you give yourself a hernia…

For what it’s worth, probably your best resource for ideas is just to spend some quality time perusing the shop tours here. There are a ton of excellent shops, just dripping with good ideas, and some with not so good ideas… It can be very inspirational to see how somebody else solved a similar problem to what you are dealing with…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View a1Jim's profile


117087 posts in 3571 days

#7 posted 04-20-2011 04:30 PM

this might help

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View bsherman's profile


76 posts in 3521 days

#8 posted 04-21-2011 06:07 PM

My shop is almost exactly the same size. You might see some things that are helpful on workshop / projects pages. After some time, I ended up putting pretty much everything on wheels. Which still didn’t help much because of the big tablesaw/outfeed in the center. The thing that made the biggest difference was having the tablesaw on wheels, and building an outfeed that can pop up so the tablesaw can slide under. That way the whole thing can be nested and moved out of the way, and I can have a fairly large space when needed. Good luck.

-- Brian

View pinebarron72's profile


25 posts in 2631 days

#9 posted 04-21-2011 06:13 PM

I have a 12×16 shop..with very high ceilings! I have a nice set up…email me and I will share my photos. I use my shop for wood working and lawn equip storage.

-- I Like Saw Dust---Matt Simmons

View rickf16's profile


390 posts in 3575 days

#10 posted 04-21-2011 06:31 PM

14×18, 12×20… I would be in heaven with a shop that size! I’m in a 10×12 and don’t dare even sneeze without the doors open:) I have used a lot of wall space and even the inside of the doors for a clamp rack. I understand about space as a premium. dbhost has some great ideas. The one about the clam shell cabinet is a good one. Will have to do that myself. I use a lot bench top tools. My router table is in my table saw, great space saver and I stay on the same side of the saw when using it. I have a dust collector mounted upside down on the wall.

-- Rick

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2880 days

#11 posted 04-21-2011 06:33 PM

sawblade1 sent me this I thought the info was so good that I am going to repost it here for everyone to see.

Good afternoon,

I was reading your posting about your small shop &
I have a small shop 12×16’ I have a few links of what works here are they

This shop is 50 Sq ft just a little under half of mine I am working on making modifications to it to suit my taste and hopefully by summers end I will be
working on posting it (getting into my busy season, I build outdoor furniture) BTW here’s a list of what I have in there

Delta contractor tablesaw w/ bench dog router table mounted to it
12 dewalt compound mitersaw w/ 8’ kreg track
Delta 14” bandsaw
Delta 6” jointer
Delta hollow chisel mortiser
Delta 16” scroll saw
3 Dewalt Cordless drills 2 18 V 1 12v
Harbor freight drill press (bench top)
Porter cable disc/ belt sander
Delta Boss Spindle sander
Grizzly 10” drum sander

Planned tools

Delta Dust collector
Lathe ( bench Top )
More hand tools / router bits

I hope this helps If you need additional help Feel free to shoot me a PM and I will gladly help in my spare time.

God Bless

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3736 days

#12 posted 04-21-2011 08:56 PM

Mine is 14 by 21. Everything is mobile – so I could clear the center of the room to build the 12 foot dining table. Also I can open the garage door. But I really really miss having a ~4 by 6 or so Assembly table rather than building on top of the unisaw.
You inevitably get stuff stacked then need to make a cut.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2880 days

#13 posted 04-21-2011 09:04 PM

That is one of my biggest issues, using the TS as a work bench. I put some pretty good scratched in the top of my sawstop so I decided I need to reorganize the shop and find a better way.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3152 days

#14 posted 04-21-2011 09:39 PM

Even with a real workbench, the TS still gets used as an assembly table in such shops – my problem is glue and finish droppings. In those cases, you can either roll with it and devise a way to cover the TS…maybe an extension table with something that “folds back” to protect the TS top. Or, you can build a knock-down bench to use outside. I actually built two sturdy sawhorses that I use for various assembly projects…just set them right outside the garage door and get to work.

There’s just something about the size of our table saws…and their central locations…that makes them eminently functional as an assembly table. You have to replicate that some how if you hope to get away from it.

-- jay,

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3096 days

#15 posted 04-21-2011 11:23 PM

After looking at a lot of shops on this web site and doing an expansion on mine, I don’t think that size really matters. I went thru every nut and bolt and tool I own when reorganizing my shop. I found that I had six hammers, 35 screw drivers four sets of chisels, too many sets of lights and a ton of other crap I don’t need. The Goodwill, the recycling center and my wall space all benefited from my slimming down. DBHost is right that peg boards are just clutter catchers. All of my tools (wrenches, plyers, screwdrivers, sockets, hammers etc) are now in two stackable tool boxes and I have more wall space for cabinets to store glue, paint, sandpaper etc. I see some workshops that have more lumber stacked up than they do at the lumber yard. I am pretty sure the wood at the bottom of many of those stacks hasn’t been touched in years. I don’t use lumber racks because they just take up too much space. This is just me and every space and needs are different. Ya the collapsable outfeed table on my TS has helped out a bunch too…......

-- mike...............

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2686 days

#16 posted 04-22-2011 12:03 AM

I think the comments made above would help you. 1) Post some piictures so we can see what you’re dealing with. 2) Go looking at other LJs shop setups and see what you like. Many of us post shop size some bigger, some smaller. 3) You’re welcome to look at mine and give me your $0.02 as to how to improve my shop storage too.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2880 days

#17 posted 04-22-2011 03:16 AM

Here are the shop photos.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2669 days

#18 posted 04-22-2011 04:18 AM

Guys, I had a friend that had a sho that must have been about 8×14 feet. It was so small that he opened the windows in the end if he had to rip a long board. That is no joke!I guess we shouldn’t complain until we have to go outside to change our minds….right? This can be done.

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2880 days

#19 posted 04-22-2011 03:37 PM

Don’t laugh, I find my self doing that some times more so because I don’t feel like moving other things out of the way to reposition the table saw.

View WhiskeyWaters's profile


213 posts in 3799 days

#20 posted 04-22-2011 04:11 PM

AG -

I have a few suggestions.
1) Figure out what type of woodworking you enjoy, and stick to that. I enjoy building furniture and working with hand tools and I’ve stuck with that. I still have a full line of corded power tools for those projects I want speed, but I try to let them get dusty. I try to minimize my tool needs.

2) minimize your finishing needs too. Really, does everything need to have a different finish? Or will a simple beeswax/paste work for you

3) if you don’t mind lifting (or engineering the space so you don’t have to lift), store your bench tools in a cabinet and use the main table like a ShopSmith. I have a 4×2 table that has holes for mounting the bandsaw, mitersaw, metal vise, router plate, etc when I need them. I do the job I need, then put the tool back. It’s not time efficient or the most gentle on my back, but it’s worked for me.


-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

View dbhost's profile


5708 posts in 3226 days

#21 posted 04-22-2011 04:35 PM

Okay now I see the problems. This is going to take some time but here goes…

#1. Lose the stand alone router table. Replace it with a router wing on that Sawstop. I personally like the Bench Dog models best, but pick your favorite. Build a decent fence for it. If you want ideas on that, look at my projects. I built a pretty nice fence for my BT3100 router wing that works REALLY well…

#2. Where is your cutoff bin? You have wire shelves holding all your shorts. Build a proper cutoff bin, or use a trash can for that. Then build a sheet goods rack for immediately below those shelves and move your sheet goods there. Maybe integrate the cutoff holders as attached boxes on the sheet goods rack?

#3. Clamp rack. I am as guilty of this as you are, but I am finding that a fixed clamp rack is inconvenient. I am SERIOUSLY considering a Clamp Buddy rack from Grizzly to keep all my clamps so I can roll them close to the work surface.

#4. Miter saw, bench grinder, and belt / disk sander are actually kept on bench tops? Look at my workshop / pics. I mounted my bench top tools except the miter saw to 3/4” plywood mount boards, that simply store on shelving brackets. I stack them up in a small area of wall, and pull them off as need be. I don’t see a planer in there, but assuming you have one of those as well, another good use for the stacker system. WARNING. The tool stacker system is NOT for people with back problems! You WILL be lifting and moving heavy tools with this system!

#5. Back to that wire shelving thing. Have you noticed you have a TON of air space between shelves? Tighten that up and add more shelves to increase your storage!

#6. Cabinets. Where you can, build “clamshell” doors that will allow you to increase your storage / organization capacity.

#7. Toolboxes, totes, cords, ladders, etc… on the floor. Move the tool box onto a bench, or better yet, on to a rollaway tool chest. Get the other stuff up and on to shelves, or mounted on blank wall space.

#8. Big workbench. Missing 4 drawers? Make new ones to get the storage back.

Your shop is a great space, and you have some good tools in there, it’s just disorganized. That describes many of our shops here, including mine right now. (LOML has been storing non shop stuff in there again!). I am finding organizing a shop is a LOT of effort, but the results can really be worth it… You have some good ideas going on in there though, hanging your plastic bins on the outside of cabinet doors is one of them… Just keep going… I can’t wait to see this shop done!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2880 days

#22 posted 04-22-2011 04:44 PM

I think I have a better idea of what I am going to do to the shop this weekend.

1. Loose the huge work bench it just becomes a place where I put tools down,
2. create a miter saw station that I can snap other bench top tools such as grinder, drill press, disk sander in to and build storage areas for those tools
3. Get everything off of the floor
4. Lose the wire racks and put in cabinates (there is a habatiat for humanity shore in Raleigh where I can get cabinates for $20 each)
5. Create a lumber storage rack on the cealing, out of the way.
6. create a scrap bin, I tried using my trash can but the trash can fills up too quick
7. I have a combo Jet jointer/plainer, I think I am going to mount it on a cabinate so I can have storage under it.
8. Move things that I don’t use like the 5 gal paint buckets under the house

Wish me luck I will post photos when I am done. I really, really, really like the plans that sawblade1 sent me for a miter work station so I think I am going to build that. (see links above)

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2880 days

#23 posted 04-22-2011 04:45 PM

By the way dbhost i really like the way you store your bench top tools.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3109 days

#24 posted 04-22-2011 05:25 PM

you deffently have a luxusproblem there :-)
with all that wasted space between everything .... you have to change your mind
and get started to alot lesser space between the different things
and start by doing a makeover to the sawstop and routertable like this
and take a look at this big shop and that post this blog is about
you have to think different ….. to get organised and effektiv with your ours in the shop
so you can make what you love …...woodworking :-)

take care

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3168 days

#25 posted 04-22-2011 05:34 PM

I didn’t read through all the replies, so … forgive me if this has been said.

Wall space. I did see the word “cabinets” in a post, but …. you can get HUGE versatility by putting a set (or TWO) of French cleats on every possible wall.


Then, as your space configurations change (probably MORE likely in a smaller shop space than in a larger shop space), you can tailor your storage situation to best match each new configuration.

And … it’s darned near limitless WHAT you can store with a French cleat solution: all your (non-electric) hand tools—chisels, planes, files, rasps, etc., all your hand-held power tools, the bulk of your fasteners, all your marking and measuring implements … heck … just about everything BUT your heavy machines.

Good luck !

-- -- Neil

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2830 days

#26 posted 04-22-2011 05:38 PM

Wheels would help a lot, my old space was smaller and having the table saw and band saw mobile allowed them to be moved into and out of place at need. I was developing a wheeled cart for the planer as well when I moved.
One of the newer mags has a great stacking system plan for the smaller tools that would also hold your clamps and other items on the outside, it was still on the shelves on tues.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3185 days

#27 posted 05-03-2011 03:53 PM

Wheels and shelves….nuf said

Good luck, sounds like you’ve made up your mind on what your

going to do.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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