New Shop Design... who's got the best ideas? Prize offered!

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Forum topic by thiel posted 01-04-2010 05:44 AM 1969 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View thiel's profile


387 posts in 3286 days

01-04-2010 05:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shop layout contest


I’m planning a new shop layout with a full-on-ducted dust collection system. What that means is that I need to be able to lock my machines down to fixed locations. I’m looking for your ideas on how to arrange things and considering how much “frustrating fun” I’m having trying to come up with layout ideas, I figured you guys might enjoy the process too.

The shop needs to accommodate the following:

—Cabinet saw and extensions (5’ wide). This saw also has a flip up outfeed table and a router table in the RIGHT WING.
—14 bandsaw
—6 inch jointer
—benchtop planer
—12in miter saw
—Nova lathe (22 inch bed)
—benchtop drill press
—benchtop mortiser
—ridgid spindle sander
—a large cyclone dust collector (probably a PSI Tempest or Grizzly model)
—a workbench (rolling cart) approximately 36×72”
—a common assortment of portable power tools. (I am not a huge user of hand tools.)

Some other considerations:
—You can ignore wiring needs, cuz I’m a pretty good electrician.
—You can ignore the efficiency of the dust collection runs. I’m happy to buy an extra HP if I need it to optimize shop layout.
—I’m happy to build any shop furniture required (e.g. if I need a unified countertop that sets my saw, drill press, and mortiser all at the same height, no problem!)

Here’s what the room looks like:
—13’ x 29’ rectangle
—North wall has built in shelves that span the entire 13’ and rise to about 6 feet.
—South wall has a door to the outside which sits 24” from the east wall.
—East wall has no windows, but there is a door (to the basement) all the way at the north end, and it opens right up against the shelves. There is a fireplace on this wall which I don’t plan to use, but it could be a factor in shop layout.
—West wall has three normal sized windows, evenly spaced, well above counter height.
—I would prefer to keep my bench toward the north end of the shop.
—I would prefer to keep the lathe near the south end of the shop (so easier to sweep any mess outdoors)

I’ll offer a small prize for the best idea that makes me jump up and say “oh yeah!” (say, a value of $10-20?)

Pictures/sketches are great, but prose works fine as well.

Crazy idea?

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

13 replies so far

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3177 days

#1 posted 01-04-2010 06:23 PM

I would suggest that you locate your equipment without hard mounting and try their locations out for a short period of time that way if the layout needs adjustment you can set them for your needs. I also wouldn’t run your tubing for dust collection until all equipment is located in it’s permanent location. If you can I would also enclose the dust collector and air compressor to cut down on noise. What type of flooring is in the shop? For lighting I would install T-8 fluorescent fixtures. I replaced my T-12 fixtures with T-8s and what a huge difference they made in my garage shop. My T-12s had 2 8’ bulbs and the T-8s use 4 4’ high output 32 watt bulbs, makes a big difference when transporting and storing the bulbs.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3571 days

#2 posted 01-04-2010 06:36 PM

I agree with Retired coastie don’t lock your equipment down and wait on dust collection for a while. I have placed my compressors and dust collectors out side for more floor space and the nose and saftey factor(compressor tanks have been know to blow) You will probably try different configurations over time , but a big part of shop layout is the flow of material and access to all tools and materials.

Here’s a link that can help

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3335 days

#3 posted 01-04-2010 07:00 PM

as stated above , don’t lock in the tools just yet .
after many different shops over the years ,
i found that they arrange themselves ,
usually in about 6 months .
you start with your idea of what you think is right ,
but as you go from say making cabinets ,
to milling lumber , to turning bowls ,
to fixing furniture ,
you will find in these setups that this tool is in the way of that tool ,
or that the finishing should be moved over there to keep it from that saw dust ,
or the plywood panels are just to hard to move across the shop , and the drops are growing
faster than you have room to store here .
the layout is an evolution , that will accommodate all of these things ,
unfortunately , we just don’t know what is best in all situations .
a factory can be laid out for production ,
but a shop is an evolution , and must accomplish many different needs .
use flex hose for some tools until you find that ’ sweet spot ’ ,
then you can do a permanent hook up .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3162 days

#4 posted 01-04-2010 07:05 PM

Ill fourth the above statement of not locking in your machines, I have a fixed dc system but most of my tools are still on casters, just in case I need to move them, I also have a couple of extra drops off the trunk line just in case I need to use a machine in a different location.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18266 posts in 3670 days

#5 posted 01-04-2010 09:32 PM

RetiredCoastie, Do you mean the change in lights made a huge difference in the light?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View cabmkr01's profile


18 posts in 3072 days

#6 posted 01-05-2010 02:53 AM

this is rediculous. only you can find the correct flow for your shop. im on my third and each one was different and in the end each one worked. you will most likely change your setup over time anyway. do what u think’s best if it doesnt work change. my advice is sit back have a drink, look at the space come up with a plan, & go for it !

-- wooden imagine

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3177 days

#7 posted 01-05-2010 03:23 AM

Topomax, perhaps huge was too strong of a term, but I did notice that it seemed brighter and I don’t get the flickering or the noise that I had with the T-12 lights, I’m sure the noise was from the older style ballast. Sorry if my statement was misleading.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3755 days

#8 posted 01-05-2010 03:40 AM


I’m skeptical that “hard mounted” tools make sense in a 377 sq. ft. shop. I built my 24’ x 28’ “Workshop in the Woods” back in ‘07 and I am still learning how to make best use of the space. You have to live with your shop for awhile to determine the best flow.

That said, I certainly agree with the use of T8 bulbs and electronic ballast fixtures. I like the “daylight” bulbs because they have the highest color rendering index (CRI). What was it Henry Ford used to say, “You can have your shop any color as long as it’s white”. Well…............maybe he didn’t say that, but white walls and ceiling really enhances the lighting.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18266 posts in 3670 days

#9 posted 01-05-2010 04:38 AM

The older style ballasts had a sound rating and most loosened up after a few years. The light difference was probably the color adjustment from Cool White.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View pete57's profile


134 posts in 3405 days

#10 posted 01-05-2010 05:30 AM

I always figure out where my table saw will work the best for 4X8 sheet goods, then I locate my jointer so I can join what comes off the saw and the planer usually goes somewhere out where stock comes in and not to far from the saw and my radial and miter saw are out in the planer section. behind the saw is my work bench and glue up station and then the hand tools and power tools are close to that so in a 13X29 it looks like machines are going to hit the walls so you have walking space. I would try to get it cut into thirds, one for milling, one for assembly and final fitting, and then one for finishing with a walk way back to where you get materials in and out. Come in rough and go out finished. just my thoughs. I do agree with the lighs and movable machines and out of doors compressor and dust collection, but I also know that insulation for the shop does make a difference when it is all said and done. You will be the final judge of where things end up. I have worked in other guys shops and their are all set up wrong to me and mine is just perfect get the picture.

-- Humble Wood Servant

View dmorrison's profile


151 posts in 3256 days

#11 posted 01-05-2010 08:29 AM

Working the exact same problem myself. Using Grizzly’s shop design program and a lot of cut and paste on real paper.
I used all the grizzly tools that were basically my tools size. Installed then in a basic shop layout. I then removed them from inside of the the shop dimensions (placed them outside the shop dimensions) Print out the shop then, cut them out for trial and error layout planing.

My shop tools are about what you have, except an 18 inch Jet band saw. And a Delta bench top drill press as a dedicated morticer. My drill press is a floor model. I also have a Sears 6X48 and 9 inch sander. The dust collector (3hp 2 bag) will be at the other end of the garage. I also have a 10’ by 2’ formica counter top at one end of the garage with 2 cabinets below it. 33 gallon air compressor. And my table saw is a contractor saw 62” wide by 42 inches deep.

I’m interested in what everyone comes up with. Again I agree with them on the temporary placement of the tools. over the last 6 months I have upgraded 4 of my majpr tools so the shop has had to change. Jet 18 inch band saw vs. Delta 16 inch band saw, Jet 6 inch jointer ( 46 inch bed) vs. Delta 6 inch motorized jointer (35 inch bed). Added a Sears 6X48 plus 9 inch sander and a Ridged OSS.

My shops differences are a single bay of a 3 car garage measuring 12” by 20’. I can remove a car next to the shop for additional work or assembly. My electrical supply is a 50amp sub panel, it is connected to an almost empty 100 amp panel that can be tapped into if necessary. 325 amp, total service to the house. 180 amps being used at high load.

Please keep us informed of your shop layout. I would love to compare shop designs, if possible.


View JimmyNate's profile


124 posts in 3344 days

#12 posted 01-05-2010 10:44 PM

That’s a pretty narrow space for some projects. I would create a permanent station of the table saw, router table and workbench(doubling as outfeed) in the center of the space. Keep an aisle open all along the east wall. Along the west wall, situate the other tools in workstations (and consider mobilizing them now for future flexibility) Along the southern portion of the west wall (before the cabinet saw), place the jointer and planer since you’ll want to use those as you bring wood into the shop. If the ceiling permits, this would be a great area for overhead lumber storage, too. North of the outfeed table space, place the workbench facing north for additional outfeed support. Where the outfeed table flips down, an aisle is opened up that would allow access to the west wall where something like the bench press and/or mortiser could be located. North of the workbench along the west wall would be space for the miter saw (on a shopmade mitersaw table), band saw, and lathe (both the bandsaw and lathe mobilized so that they can be pushed in tight to the wall or pulled out to use. Benchtop tools can be stored under the miter saw table.

-- "We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act but a habit." ---Aristotle

View thiel's profile


387 posts in 3286 days

#13 posted 01-06-2010 04:53 AM

Keep it comin!

Definitely a good tip on the lights and the workflow … I was thinking more about lathe dust than lumber.

Anyone got any good tips on which tools work best when they are located together? For example, I’ve heard some people who nestle their jointer under the wing of their tablesaw. Does that work? I think I’d need to lift my saw up a couple inches to do it…

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

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