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Forum topic by Mike Running posted 12-07-2007 09:34 PM 1199 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mike Running

7 posts in 4089 days

12-07-2007 09:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question new shop

I’m new to the forum and I’m not 100% sure where to post. I posted pictures of my workshop in process. The pictures are in the workshop section together with some questions regarding layout. I would really appreciate any and all suggestions/comment you would provide.

I have found myself stymied because I read too much and want to do it right, or close to right.

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Mike Running

7 replies so far

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4109 days

#1 posted 12-07-2007 10:01 PM

No matter how hard you try, you won’t get it “right” the first time. A woodshop will always evolve and grow along with your changing skill level, project interest, machinery, etc. There is no “perfect” way to set up a woodshop either. They are as unique as the woodworker.

My advice to you is the following:

  • Look at lots of shops of fellow LumberJocks
  • Set stuff up in a way that you could change your mind later
  • Set up machines efficiently keeping in mind how you and your projects will move through the shop

I did the same thing: Read a ton of books on how to set up the “perfect” shop. I still do some major re-arranging every few months to fine tune the efficiency of space.

I don’t know how big your shop is but I have a pretty small space. I have had to be fairly creative to make it all fit. You might get some Ideas from checking out my shop.

From the picture it looks like you’ve got a good start.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4109 days

#2 posted 12-07-2007 10:10 PM

There really isn’t a perfect shop setup, and different layouts are going to work better for different people and projects. I have just about everything on wheels because different kinds of projects work best with different shop layouts. And I’m sure I’ll come up with a better way (at least a different way) to arrange things every month or two!

I try to set major tools and hard to move tools where I think they should be, and then let the mobile tools float around until they find a good place to stay. That probably doesn’t sound very organized, but I’ve found that almost every time I set up a new machine in the “perfect spot” I end up moving it in a week. And most of my mobile tools find their place in a week or two.

-- -- --

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 4192 days

#3 posted 12-07-2007 10:22 PM

I also say, there is no steadfast rule for a perfect shop arrangement. You are off to a good start reading and doing some research. The best advice I could give is to put everything on wheels/mobile basses. That way you always have fluidity…you can change things based on what you’re working on, or what material you’re working with. The one thing I would say is the table saw seems to be the center for most woodworking shops. I would find a good spot for your saw, making sure you have lots of room for in feed and out feed. Then you can arrange other smaller tools based on frequency of use, size, etc. if everything is on wheels then the layout can change easily to adapt to whatever you are doing.

You got some nice stuff! Looks like you are a Jet fan!


View Mike Running's profile

Mike Running

7 posts in 4089 days

#4 posted 12-07-2007 11:10 PM

Thanks for the comments and suggestions! This link should take you to the rest of the workshop pictures if you’re interested.

Would you put in a ‘L’ shaped sanding storage bench in the NW corner. I thought it might be handy and get more of the accumulated stuff off the floor.

I know its suggested leaving the tablesaw on a mobile based but I’d like to use the area under the right wing for a cabinet for saw blades, fixtures and related tools. If I do that I’ll lose the mobility factor. The other thing I could do without the mobile base is the raise the saw slightly so the jointer can be stored right next to the saw.

Should I make wall storage shelves and cabinets movable? I’ve seen the french cleat thing and it looks interesting. Is there a weight limitation using a french cleat? How wide should the cleat itself be?


View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 4058 days

#5 posted 12-09-2007 06:59 AM

I’ve been in the same situation like the rest of your fellow woodworkers…don’t sweat the little stuff trial and error will settle all in due time…each woodworker has his methods of operations and evolution in the shop will take care of itself. Enjoy the time in the shop and be SAFE. WC

View Mike Running's profile

Mike Running

7 posts in 4089 days

#6 posted 12-09-2007 07:03 PM

You’ve all helped a lot! I’m going to let the idea of the “right shop” go on the back burner and go back to building stuff. Blake, your suggestion to look at everyone’s shops was a real inspiration. I found many ideas there. I also realized from looking at all the wonderful projects on this site there’s much more fun in just working in the shop.

I post some of my attempts soon.


View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4396 days

#7 posted 12-09-2007 07:19 PM

You can always put your saw blade cabinet on wheels as well. I saw a design for one in a wood working magazine several months ago. It was designed to fit under the table saw table, was on wheels, had two drawers for storing blades, etc, and some small shelves for storing misc. items like cut offs, fence when not in use, etc. If you add the wheels to it, as well as the table saw, then the whole set up can be moved when needed.

Like the others have said, your shop will evolve over time. At first you might find that you use a particular tool a lot. Later, another tool may take its place as the primary tool. The table saw will likely be the main tool, but a lathe, a planer, a mortise machine, a drill press may all play a larger role in your future projects.

Just design your shop to what works for you. You probably want the planer, jointer, and table saw to be near each other so you do not have to carry the wood so far between operations. You probably want your workbench close by as well for the same reason. You might find a corner for your dust collector, and then run a hose to the machine you are using at the time.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

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