Building A Shop

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Forum topic by Kahoy posted 01-19-2010 08:10 AM 1931 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kahoy's profile


6 posts in 3288 days

01-19-2010 08:10 AM

Topic tags/keywords: new shop shop design shop construction shop layout shop size woodworking shop question


I’m new to the site. Todd Clippinger told me about this site when we were discussing his shop. I’m planning to build my dream shop and I went to Todd for some advise. By the way, Thanks Todd or all your help! I am hoping to get more input from some of you on what you have learned from building a wood working shop. Layout, size, dust collection, are just a few of the issues I have been thinking about. Also, if any of you are within 100 miles of Salt Lake City, UT and are willing to show me your shop I would like to see it. Any input would be greatly appreciated!


-- It's ok to get's not ok to get out of shape

13 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6349 posts in 3432 days

#1 posted 01-19-2010 08:27 AM

Greetings Kahoy: First, let me welcome you to Lumberjocks. We have a great group of guys and gals here that are willing to help answer any of your questions. Need help with a project? No problem…. just ask and you will get an answer quick ….. in fact, a lot of them. Especially when it comes to shops. If you would like to look at my shop, just click on my name, go to home below my name, and when it comes up, look up above and it will say”workshop”. Click on that, and take the tour. You may see something you like in the way of layout, tools, workbench, dust collection, etc….....If you have any questions, just write back, or send me a PM.
Good luck, and welcome. Rick.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 4230 days

#2 posted 01-19-2010 09:41 AM

welcome to LJ and as far as building a shop if i were to do mine again and i will be with in a year or so there’s 3 thing i wish i did on my current shop, first thing is in floor heat small investment before the concrete is pored and small heating bills on top of that. second would be putting duct work for DC in the floor as well, some may argue this one but i think it would be much nicer and out of the way. last thing i would do is as many circuits for 110v and 220v as i can in i put one on each wall for 220v and have regretted that ever seance the wall board went up i have a large panel in my shop and could have put in many more and should have. come to think of as I’m writing this i think i would like to put some of those in the floor too lol.

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3302 days

#3 posted 01-19-2010 12:25 PM

Welcome to LJ

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4012 days

#4 posted 01-19-2010 02:09 PM

#1. Size-size-size. If I heard it once I have heard it a 100X’s. I wish I built my shop bigger. Build the biggest shop you can afford and have room for. #2. 200amp service #3. Good lighting #4. If you go to my blog “Dust Collection In” you can see the unit I have and how I put it in. #5. Plenty of storage. I am still working on that. #6. Keep it neat and organized. I have a small shop 14 X 21 but by following these two things I have alot of equipment and can pretty much build what ever I want.

Keep us posted on your shop!

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 4009 days

#5 posted 01-19-2010 02:54 PM

Two things I wish I had done differently when I built my shop was to raise the ceiling height and better overhead lighting. I can’t do much about the ceiling height, but I have replaced the ceiling fixtures. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View CaptainSkully's profile


1607 posts in 3796 days

#6 posted 01-19-2010 06:54 PM

Plenty of room for a long tablesaw extension and outfeed table. You should be able to maneuver a 4×8 sheet relatively easy around the tablesaw.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3727 days

#7 posted 01-19-2010 07:34 PM


-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6349 posts in 3432 days

#8 posted 01-19-2010 07:53 PM

Greetings Kahoy: Here’s a couple of shots of my shop, if it will help you. It will give you an idea of layout, tools, etc.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3294 days

#9 posted 01-24-2010 02:04 AM

Hi and welcome,
I completely agree with Tom. Size matters. I built a 24×30 detatched shop and I wish I had gone bigger. I’m changing the layout of my shop right now and there is shop layout software on the Grizzley tool site. It’s easy to used and you can print the plan.
Definately wire it for both 110 and 220.
I have a 1/2 bath and it’s not necessary but very convenient and having a sink is great.
I see many shops without windows, but I have lots of windows in mine. It reduces the space for tool racks on the walls, but I love the natural light and looking out over the yard.
My shop is 2 stories and I finished the upstairs. I almost wish I didn’t carpet the second floor so I could use the space for shop jobs. Right now I keep my woodworking library upstairs, use it for the vacuum press, and storage of things I don’t often use.
The floor of the 1st floor is a concrete slab. It has a garage door and although I don’t park in it, I built it so it could be used as a garage some day. I wish I had put a wood floor in on top of the slab so I could run the dust collection system and power in the floor. Some of the other woodworking sites have specific forums for shops with lots of pictures and good ideas. When I’m done rearranging I’ll post some pictures myself. Good luck with your shop.

-- Glen

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3815 days

#10 posted 01-24-2010 02:42 AM

Welcome to Ljs
I agree with other post like dust collection in the floor when I built my shop I left areas open to run wires,air and dust collection in the floor and then made 1/4” metal plate of the top so you can still roll your equipment around. Like tools build the best shop you can afford so a good size shop helps as time passes you get more and more equipment and you shop gets smaller and smaller. The height of your shop makes a difference too.
when you go to stand wood straight up and down if you only have 8’ ceilings you can only stack 8’ boards on there edge, I have 14’ ceilings and still find I can’t stand 16 footers on end. think about plenty of electrical service I have a separate 200 amp service for my shop and roughly 100, 110 volt out lets and 25, 220 volt out lets some in the floor. I think Jim Tolpin about setting up shop . As far as looking at shops you can go to any members home page and click on there shop then it will offer you a area to view all shops. Todds got a great shop and of course Rick has and outstanding shop also. There lots of great shops to look at here. If you have questions most folks here will be glad to help if you send them a Private message including myself.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View cathyb's profile


839 posts in 3482 days

#11 posted 01-24-2010 04:00 AM

Hello and welcome to Lumberjocks,

No matter how big your space it is, it will never be big enough! The configuration of the shop will change somewhat with what you’re making.
Over the years, I’ve taken advantage of good heavy duty casters. For example, I have an 8 foot router table that is built on casters and attached to heavy duty table slides attached to the wall. I can slide the router table out from a stowaway position under my wall cabinets. When I’m not using it, I slide it under the the cabinets and gain more floor space. I also use a moveable tool caddy with storage for all my chucks and finish supplies for the lathe with a loose piece of plywood on top. When I need a little extra counter space, I use that caddy. When I’m turning something on the lathe, the plywood sits in the corner until, and caddy is right beside me for easy access to the lathe supplies. Bottom line is make yourself some moveable pieces that can hold equipment or supplies, but also can serve as outfeed tables and extra counter tops.
Next point, if you plan to have a full on shop. Get an electrical panel box big enough to hold every tool you can imagine. Make sure you have some 220 lines and outlets every 4 or 5 feet-you don’t want to be tripping over extension cords. Good lighting is a must. Nothing is superior to natural light.
One thing that I finally made is a stage. I do not have one FLAT area in my entire shop. If I made a table, I never knew for sure if the legs were perfectly level, without carrying it in the house and sitting on the kitchen floor. I finally built a flat stage for that purpose. To avoid making a stage-get a a truly level space somewhere and it can not be used for anything else.
You might want to think about your neighbors. If they’re pretty close, add some sound damping in the way of
insulation to keep them friendly. Furthermore, some tools are just louder than others. Be sure to consider decibels when you purchase big equipment-especially planners.
Dust collection has got to be a priority. Sawdust will take over your shop in no time. Get the best extraction system that you can afford.
One more thing, HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View Kahoy's profile


6 posts in 3288 days

#12 posted 01-25-2010 05:41 AM

Many thanks to everyone who has posted regarding building a shop. All comments are great advise. I’m meeting with my architect tomorrow to get the plans started for the building (detached garage). I’ll keep you posted on the progress of the project.


-- It's ok to get's not ok to get out of shape

View MJWoodworker's profile


9 posts in 3276 days

#13 posted 02-01-2010 06:35 AM

Hey Welcome to LumberJocks,
I have to agree with Tom. Build the biggest shop you can afford because you won’t regret it. I’ve been saying to myself the past fews, why didn’t I build a bigger shop. Now I’m married and have kids, which makes it tougher to find the time and funds to build a bigger shop. Good luck to you.

MJ Woodworker
Great Woodworking Plans & Designs

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