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Forum topic by myxology posted 10-05-2015 03:42 PM 1414 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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59 posts in 1237 days

10-05-2015 03:42 PM

Hello all,

It has finally happened. I have decreed that the last project I just finished would be the last project I will do until my workshop (2 car garage) is completely renovated. I have planned much of it in my head, but I am still looking for great ideas. Some of my guidelines are that everything will be mobile and that I will be using drop down tables for assembly tables and workbenches. I’m going to be ducting my dust collection to the outdoors.

So here is a question… If you were going to rework your entire shop, what would be the one thing you would do differently in your new shop?

17 replies so far

View Michaelmjc's profile


20 posts in 1090 days

#1 posted 10-05-2015 03:51 PM

Storage storage storage! Dedicated dust collection. More outlets. I hate running extension cords everywhere.

View AandCstyle's profile


3052 posts in 2254 days

#2 posted 10-05-2015 11:54 PM

Heating/cooling! Does that count as “one thing”? :D

-- Art

View JAAune's profile


1798 posts in 2313 days

#3 posted 10-06-2015 01:20 AM

Get a really solid electrical foundation installed and make provisions for 3-phase. The best deals on good tools require access to 3-phase. Plan for power drops from the ceiling in locations where they coincide with duct drops.

-- See my work at and

View myxology's profile


59 posts in 1237 days

#4 posted 10-09-2015 11:21 PM

Great feedback, fellas. Thanks!

Any input at all regarding painting or sealing the floor before I start?

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1173 days

#5 posted 10-09-2015 11:34 PM

Double the amount of space and then double it again. Use the additional space to have a separate storage place for wood, a separate room for sanding, and finally a separate room for finishing.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View AandCstyle's profile


3052 posts in 2254 days

#6 posted 10-09-2015 11:35 PM

myxology, it depends on your situation. If you will need to continue to store vehicles in the garage, there are epoxy sealers and flooring tiles that can be used. However, they tend to be expensive and the stuff at the big boxes isn’t worth using IMO. If the garage will become a dedicated shop, then many people choose to lay T&G ply on sleepers and may even put foam board in the spaces for the insulation value. My shop floor is plain old concrete. :(

-- Art

View JeffP's profile


573 posts in 1388 days

#7 posted 10-10-2015 12:27 PM

“drop down tables for assembly tables and workbenches”

I fear this will turn out to be one of those “better on paper” kind of ideas.

I give it about 2 weeks before any such tables have too much random stuff built up on top of them for it to be “worth it” to fold them up. After that they will be forever “tables and workbenches that used to fold up”.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3053 days

#8 posted 10-10-2015 12:27 PM

Think ahead. If there is even a chance you will need 220power some day put in in now. I eventually upgraded to bigger tools (TS, lathe, jointer, planer, compressor) that all need 220. Now I have ugly conduit outside the walls. I strongly agree with adding the DC ducting now. I dragged a flex hose around my shop for far too many years. Finally think about running air lines. I recently added lines using the rapid air system and wish I had it it the walls when I built the shop.

-- Glen

View helluvawreck's profile


31056 posts in 2863 days

#9 posted 10-10-2015 07:56 PM

You won’t regret the decision to make as many of the machines and pieces of equipment as is practical to be mobile. It makes your shop adaptable to different types of projects and easier to clean the shop and keep everything neat and organized.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View myxology's profile


59 posts in 1237 days

#10 posted 10-19-2015 12:41 PM

What a great list of ideas. Thanks guys. I’ve decided not to paint the floor after all. It’s just not really worth it IMHO.

I will be running dust collection and I like the idea of possibly running air hose.

Love the A/C and heater idea. I’m California near San Francisco, so it’s not unusually hot or cold here at any time of the year, but a few degrees either way could make the decision to go in the workshop a lot easier.

I already have a pretty good group of electrical outlets on both the ceiling and the walls, but this whole Phase 3 thing is a mystery to me. I know what 220 is (or at least what the plug looks like ha!) but not phase 3. Also, my electrical panel is conveniently located on the opposite side of the main wall of my shop that I will be using for power. I’m thinking it would likely be a short trip to get the power connect, yes? As of right now I don’t have any 220 tools though my table saw is convertible. I was going to ask about the advantages here, but I’m guessing its already been discussed in another thread and I’ll go look for it.

Thanks, fellas!

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1173 days

#11 posted 10-19-2015 01:13 PM

Three phase power is usually found in larger commercial and industrial settings.

For the home woodworker you might need 3 phase if you were to purchase an used (and large) power tool or want power tools 5HP and larger. If you want to plan for 3 phase then run 5 wires to the outlet (3 hot wires, neutral, and ground). I would use at least 10 gauge wire. Remember larger wire is smaller gauge number.

When I revamped my shop I added several 220V outlets using 10 gauge wire which will handle up to 30 amps. I could not see needing 3 phase.

Good luck with the shop.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View rwe2156's profile


2925 posts in 1477 days

#12 posted 10-19-2015 01:18 PM

3 phase power? Totally unnecessary for a garage workshop, not to mention the cost. That is for a commercial shop running huge machines, like 10HP. If you get into machines 2HP and up you want 220.

Sounds like you’re in good shape its just a matter of design/build.

There’s lots of videos and books on this. Norm did a couple videos that were good.

I’m not in a garage, but I know buying casters in lots of 12 is on your horizon ;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View BurlyBob's profile


5491 posts in 2262 days

#13 posted 10-19-2015 04:07 PM

Lots of outlets and hang them so the bottom of the box is slightly above 48” from the floor. Lighting and lots of it.
If your garage floor is not stained from oil and grease, put down an epoxy floor in a light color. It helps with the lighting and makes clean up a breeze.

View TTF's profile


154 posts in 3174 days

#14 posted 10-25-2015 11:43 PM

I would have put my major lumber storage outside the shop, since it takes up a lot of room. I have about 500 BF of lumber stacked up.

I’m going to add a lean-to storage area along one of the outside walls of my shop in the near future.

What I really like about my shop:
- Wood floor, not concrete
- Wood stove to heat it
- Lots of windows for light, plus good electric lighting
- Outlets everywhere

-- Troy | | The more I see nature, the more I am amazed at the Creator. - Louis Pasteur

View BikerDad's profile


347 posts in 3598 days

#15 posted 10-28-2015 10:17 PM

Electrical. I’m in a rented townhouse, so I’m stuck with insufficient electrical infrastructure. I run my big bandsaw, tablesaw and jointer/planer off 10g (6g in the case of the bandsaw, it runs 3phase through a Rotary Phase Converter) extension cords that I plug into the dryer outlet in the laundry room which is adjacent to the shop. (My shop looks suspiciously like a garage, complete with a garage door, only there’s no room for cars….)

A complete shop rework list for me would be:

  • Bulleted list Redo the mud/tape of the unpainted drywall, then prime and paint all walls and ceiling.
  • Bulleted list Install electric subpanel, then run additional outlets in conduit all over the shop and ceiling.
  • Bulleted list Hard mount the additional lighting I have.
  • Bulleted list Dust collection – a Oneida Cyclone with ceiling drops.
  • Bulleted list Extend my OSB on sleepers wood floor all the way to the garage door. This is unlikely to happen because I do bring my motorcycles in to the shop to work on them.
  • Bulleted list Hard wire a good size 220v heater.
  • Bulleted list Weld up mobile bases for tablesaw & jointer.
  • Bulleted list Wall cabinets on french cleats.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

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