Workspace Challenge: 10x15

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Forum topic by McFly posted 03-20-2016 02:31 PM 928 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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273 posts in 959 days

03-20-2016 02:31 PM

Smaller than a 1 car garage @ 15’ long x 10’ wide with a 6’6” ceiling, but it’s the only space available for me to use as a shop, so I’ll need to cram everything I can (safely) shove in there.

Currently existing setup consists of a RAS station 90” wide on wheels with wings for infeed / outfeed that fold down for storage and a 4” jointer.

Here a the current list of what I will eventually need/want to add into this space once I acquire them:
Drum sander
Dust collection system

Open to any and all thoughts/advice to maximize floorspace and minimize wasted space.

23 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile (online now)


11300 posts in 2312 days

#1 posted 03-20-2016 05:30 PM

Hand tools would be ideal. Less mess, less space. Or become a woodturner.

-- Rick M,

View JackDuren's profile


388 posts in 892 days

#2 posted 03-20-2016 05:33 PM

With a limited space you’ll have to focus on bench top tooling as much as possible. Dust collection is premium in a tight space. You know big tools are great but can be more for show than use. I see it on these forums everyday.

Just remember if it’s not eating floor space it’s leaving it much easier to clean.

I would really focus at this point on what you can build to store on the walls and how you’ll set up a table for working.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1613 days

#3 posted 03-20-2016 05:55 PM

I like to think of shop space in work zones rather than tools. My current shop which I admit is larger than you specified has a dedicated work spot for my table saw, one for my workbench, and I have a spot where I setup other tools as needed. I bring tools like my jointer, planer, bandsaw, mitersaw, etc. into the space just while I am working with them than put them back away. This means I spend a lot of time swapping tools in and out between their storage spaces and the main work space but I still have access to all my tools. My dust collection has a hose in that work space and since I bring tools to it I don’t have to extend it all over the shop. I would love to have the space to leave these tools setup each in their own dedicated work space full time it’s just not in the cards for the immediate future.

You will probably have to condense down even more to just one or two work spaces and figure out how to bring your tools into that space and how to store them efficiently.

View JAAune's profile


1780 posts in 2249 days

#4 posted 03-20-2016 06:56 PM

What are you making? In a small space it’s best to narrow down the type of work you do. Having tools to do everything is space-consuming.

Never underestimate how much empty space you need to leave for parts and assembly.

-- See my work at and

View helluvawreck's profile (online now)


30487 posts in 2799 days

#5 posted 03-20-2016 07:04 PM

Buy a basic hand tool set first and then add some more here and there. You can make just about anything with hand tools and you want break the bank. Also build a workbench and add a few clamps. Then add a set of portable power tools one at a time. This will add to your capabilities and efficiency. Finally add the stationary power tools one by one starting with a table saw. Pretty soon you’ll have a nice shop and will have taught yourself a lot and will have had a lot of fun to boot.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View McFly's profile


273 posts in 959 days

#6 posted 03-20-2016 08:22 PM

Recent builds have included small benchtop projects like cuttingboards and mailboxes, though I want to have the capacity scale things up at some point for larger projects as time and space allows.

I also have a large covered patio that works as a secondary workspace for assembly, but only in the warmer months.

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1010 posts in 998 days

#7 posted 03-20-2016 08:24 PM

Quite a list for that space, your gonna do a lot of cussing getting the machinery into the space, and more so when you start working material. Kind of reminds me of a size 10 lady fitting into a size 5 jeans.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle",,,,,member MWTCA area K. Kentucky

View JAAune's profile


1780 posts in 2249 days

#8 posted 03-20-2016 08:51 PM

Tablesaws consume a lot of space. If you aren’t processing tons of plywood, I’d recommend going with a bandsaw, jointer, planer, router table and tracksaw. The router table can be a benchtop unit and the same with the planer. A 14” bandsaw handles most tasks and requires minimal floor space.

-- See my work at and

View McFly's profile


273 posts in 959 days

#9 posted 03-20-2016 08:53 PM

As for functionality, I will need to be able to mill lumber up to 8/4 for projects.

My RAS can handle 8/4 as long as I go nice & slow. The jointer needs a few adjustments before it’s good to go, but has already taken its place on the shop floor.

I guess the best thing to do now is to plot out what space is already occupied and what space can be rearranged to accommodate future tool footprints.

View tomsteve's profile


764 posts in 1151 days

#10 posted 03-20-2016 08:58 PM

youre probably going to need to put machinery on mobile bases and roll them outside when your working.
i started in a 12 by 12 shed with 8’ walls. with everything on mobile bases, when opening up shop for the day, table saw,jointer,and planer(benchtop on stand) got wheeled out. i had a RAS set up along one wall with storage above and below,too. back wall was all storage and other wall had a 6’ workbench . i also used saw horses and a sheet of ply for added workbench space

View Woodknack's profile (online now)


11300 posts in 2312 days

#11 posted 03-20-2016 10:01 PM

Your space is not too different from mine. The building is 16×20 but only half is used for woodworking. In that space I have a 14” bandsaw, 12” drill press, long lathe, 2 grinders, a 30” contractor tablesaw and a cubby full of power tools. It’s crowded and I can only do small-medium projects. The other half is mostly lumber storage, some occasionally used tools, a small workbench, and a second lathe. For you—I would not have both a RAS and TS, pick one or the other. My BS takes up a lot of room, a decent 12” might be a better option. The tablesaw takes up a lot of room but I also use it as a work table.

-- Rick M,

View McFly's profile


273 posts in 959 days

#12 posted 03-20-2016 10:36 PM

Starting to realize that my current RAS and proposed TS just won’t coexist well in that small a space. Gonna have to minimize the RAS’s footprint or make a tough choice. Really like that thing, but it all comes down to what makes the best sense and doing rips on a 3/4 horse RAS kinda scares the crap outta me.

View cdaniels's profile


1320 posts in 1433 days

#13 posted 03-20-2016 10:41 PM

My shop is close to the same. I leave just enough room thru the middle to walk and everything is on wheels. Wall storage all the way.

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying

View JayT's profile


5543 posts in 2143 days

#14 posted 03-20-2016 11:16 PM

Tablesaws consume a lot of space. If you aren t processing tons of plywood, I d recommend going with a bandsaw, jointer, planer, router table and tracksaw. The router table can be a benchtop unit and the same with the planer. A 14” bandsaw handles most tasks and requires minimal floor space.

- JAAune


My shop is just under 10×12, so even smaller than what you are dealing with. After thinking for a long time, I finally made the decision to sell the table saw and put the money toward a good 14” band saw. I don’t regret that decision. The extra space gained and versatility of the band saw have made a big positive difference.

Right now my shop contains the band saw, a floor drill press, bench top planer, a 6ft long workbench, numerous hand tools and storage for all of my power hand tools that are used for home renovation. I don’t have or want a jointer, as I use hand planes for that purpose, both for space savings and just because I like using hand tools.

In your situation, the bandsaw can rip just as easy as a table saw, it just is a bit slower and leaves a slightly rougher surface. No problem, the planer or jointer can clean up those cuts. A track saw or in my case, circular saw with clamping edge guide, handles sheet goods. You can use the RAS for crosscuts. Add a router and router table and you can do anything the table saw can do without taking up all that space.

There are professional furniture makers that do not own a table saw and use a bandsaw or two as the center of their shop. If you put the band saw on a mobile base and it tucks out of the way in a very small footprint when you aren’t using it.

I would love to have a larger shop space, but in the meantime, it just requires working with what is there.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1385 days

#15 posted 03-20-2016 11:44 PM

8×10 cabinet shop:

Jayt: slice me a consistent 1/32”, 1/16” or 1/8” x 3/4” x 6” strip on your bandsaw you can finish up on your planer.


-- Madmark -

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