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Looking for some help Configuring my Shop

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Forum topic by JetDriver posted 03-15-2016 05:29 PM 884 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JetDriver

21 posts in 567 days


03-15-2016 05:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: small shop shop layout question

When we bought our house 3 years ago I wasn’t into wood working and not really thinking about a workshop at all. I do like to work on my own cars and enjoy DIY projects so the small workshop attached to the back of the two car garage was a bonus but not a major driver in the sale. But over the last couple of years I’ve really started getting into woodworking which has me thinking more and more about the layout of the shop I inherited and how to improve it.

The shop at present is 15’2 long by 7’6 wide and their really isn’t room to expand it. I do have the ability to overflow into the two car garage and my hop down the road is that we can fully enclose the attached car port and make it a three car garage. The one downside to the garage is its minimal width which limits my ability to put things along the sides and still get cars in. I should also mention that getting from the garage to the workshop means going up 4 very steep steps so I can’t just roll equipment between the two spaces. The door to the garage is at the bottom right in the image and the door at the top opens to the backyard.

Right now there is a 2’ deep workbench along the length of one wall and that turns the corner and then runs in behind the door on the bottom right in the picture below. At the moment I’ve got a Craftsmen JobSite Table saw which is probably about as big as is going to fit in my space. On the bench sits on the right sits my Hitachi Mitre Saw.

As you can see from the attached image I’ve been playing with Grizzly’s workshop planner trying to figure out how to make the best use of my space.

My thought is to tear out and rebuild the workbench that runs along the right or back side of the workshop. In the middle I would add an opening that would allow me to use one of three items in the same place. Either I can have my miter saw sitting in there with a dust collection hood at the back and a fence/stop system, a bench top planer could be installed, or finally a router table top complete with fence. My thought is that there would be an adjustable bottom which would be reset to accommodate what the station is being used for. This enables me to essentially have three tools in the same space and the workbench length on either side should be helpful for planing, routing, or cutting. Dust Collection would be handled by my shop vac with a dust deputy through PVC pipe run to various workstations. Possibly a small wall mounted Dust collector like Rocker’s Dust Right Wall Mount.

At the bottom of the shop would sit a bandsaw and a drill press on mobile bases. This gives me a bandsaw, drill press, table saw, router table, planer, and miter/chop saw station in the shop. The only thing missing from the big tools as I see it is a jointer. I can place a full size jointer against a wall in the garage, I can get a bench top jointer that would fit in the workshop, or I can joint with my table saw.

The biggest challenge is that fitting an honest to god cabinet table saw (as opposed to a work site saw) really isn’t going to happen unless I do something very different. If you look to the side the saw there is a Grizzly 1023 and it just makes for a very cramped space around it. My hope is that down the road when we enclose the carport I can easily get a table saw on a mobile base into that bay of the garage. But that is several years away at least.

That being said if I’m going to spend time and money to reconfigure the shop I’d like it to end up in a configuration that will work well for me for many years to come. I really don’t want to have to do it again which is why I’m here.

I’m hoping that the more experienced among us can offer me some advice about how to lay the shop out and whether or not what I’m thinking is a good plan or if I’m falling into a new guy trap that I’m not aware of yet.

Thanks for your help folks its greatly appreciated.


16 replies so far

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

877 posts in 1752 days


#1 posted 03-15-2016 06:31 PM

I’m not a small shop expert, but if it were my shop, I would certainly shorten that long bench. I don’t think you’ll need that length very often, if at all. I’m not saying it’s useless, because it would be handy for outfeed support for a planer and such, but with that little space, I would be tempted to cut it almost in half.

That would give you a good amount of space on one end of the shop to put a bigger table saw.

I do like your idea of making different inserts for different tools for that bench.

Off topic: Do you also fly, or does your nickname mean something else?

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View SarahDIY's profile

SarahDIY

4 posts in 270 days


#2 posted 03-15-2016 06:34 PM

I’m in very much the same situation, but I have a lot of tool purchases to make so I think my shop space will be ever changing.

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 920 days


#3 posted 03-15-2016 07:14 PM

Why are you trying to put cars into the woodshop? Pull your TS out into the middle and put a NO PARKING sign on it!

My cabinet shop is 8’ x 10’:

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View JetDriver's profile

JetDriver

21 posts in 567 days


#4 posted 03-15-2016 07:51 PM

SuperCubber,

I’m an airline guy flying the A320 for a US Major.

Madmark,

I’m not permanently moving a car out so that’s off the table.

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

877 posts in 1752 days


#5 posted 03-15-2016 07:55 PM



SuperCubber,

I m an airline guy flying the A320 for a US Major.

I fly the A320 as well.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 920 days


#6 posted 03-15-2016 08:02 PM

Tell the wife you need “your” space and that you could be chasing tail as a hobby instead. At least this way she knows where you are! LOL She’ll give up the garage – esp if you use each new toy to make her something with. You need woodworking practice, right? Practice making her stuff!

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View isotope's profile

isotope

146 posts in 1091 days


#7 posted 03-15-2016 08:14 PM

It depends on what you want/like to make, but I would give some thought as to how much distance you need in front and behind your table saw. The way you have it drawn, your outfeed runs into the wall very quickly. It would be better to rotate the table saw counter clockwise, and butt your right hand side extension table against the wall. Then, when you need more rip capacity, you can roll the TS into the middle of the shop.

View JetDriver's profile

JetDriver

21 posts in 567 days


#8 posted 03-15-2016 08:53 PM

Isotope,

Being a jobsite saw its easily moved around. I keep it stored that way as it takes less space and then I move/rotate it as required for the cut I’m making.

View Rentvent's profile

Rentvent

148 posts in 316 days


#9 posted 03-15-2016 09:13 PM

If it were me:

I’d get rid of the workbench and replace with smaller flip top tool cart/stands (search here for “flip top tool stand”
Everything that touches the floor must be on wheels
as isotope said, rotate the table saw. Put it on wheels too. If you need to make a really wide cut, just temporarily pull it away from the wall. You might be able to fit a bigger saw if you get rid of the big workbench
Look at putting Dust collection system outside the workshop (maybe garage) Be sure to have a way for air to return to the workshop from the DC.
Store lumber on the walls of the garage
Put the miter saw in the garage. If space is tight in the garage, you can make a miter saw stand that hinges on the wall and folds down when not in use.

View JetDriver's profile

JetDriver

21 posts in 567 days


#10 posted 03-17-2016 04:58 PM

Thanks all for the feedback I appreciate your thoughtful input.

Below is an image of where my thinking is at the moment. At the Bottom is a workbench which will be the only thing in the shop not on wheels. Taking the workbench out of the long side of the shop gives me room for a full size table saw on a mobile base which is a big improvement over my original plan. At the top right is the miter/planer/router station that I originally envisioned but greatly scaled down and now on wheels so I can move it a around. The band saw and drill press would sit at the top left again on mobile bases. A wall mounted Dust collector would reside outside the shop and connect in via a PVC pipe network. The previous owner had already installed a standard wall vent between the heated garage and the unheated shop which should take care of getting air into the shop from the garage. I should mention in my experience that the heat from the garage migrates quite nicely into the shop so I haven’t had any problems working in there.

One nice feature the layout doesn’t show is that there is a 4×8’ space essentially along the top left wall above the frame of the original garage roof that serves as lumber stowage.

Again your feedback and wisdom is appreciated.

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

877 posts in 1752 days


#11 posted 03-17-2016 05:01 PM

Looking good!

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 920 days


#12 posted 03-17-2016 06:00 PM

Move the ts to the right to be able to handle longer stock …

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View isotope's profile

isotope

146 posts in 1091 days


#13 posted 03-17-2016 08:28 PM

Personally, I would want more space on the left hand side of the miter saw (I’m right handed). Ideally, there would be 8 feet of space. Therefore, if you place the MS on the left wall, you could have the stock that you are cutting run in front of the door (that goes to the garage). Maybe use a simple stand for support.

View JetDriver's profile

JetDriver

21 posts in 567 days


#14 posted 03-22-2016 02:52 PM

isotope and MadMark,

The idea is everything in the shop except for the workbench along the bottom wall will be on wheels. So I can move equipment around easily as required to handle the job I’m working on. I’m also thinking about replacing the inward opening single door at the top of the shop with a set of outward opening double doors to make it easier to handle large/long stock.

View Rentvent's profile

Rentvent

148 posts in 316 days


#15 posted 03-22-2016 08:11 PM

Much better layout.

I’m working on designing a workshop out of half of a two car garage myself

Here’s an article with some good ideas. The workspace in the article is 9X18:
http://www.startwoodworking.com/post/smart-shop-one-car-garage

-I like the outfeed cabinet that he added to the tablesaw. It serves as storage as well as makes the whole surface bigger.
-I would have added a flip-up table to the left side miter saw to support longer boards when necessary.
-I can’t tell what he is doing for dust collection on the table saw or his router.

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