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Forum topic by sandt38 posted 1497 days ago 5266 views 3 times favorited 43 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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sandt38

166 posts in 1506 days


1497 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: tip resource trick bandsaw carving tool drill-driver lathe planer scroll saw biscuit joiner chisel drill press miter saw router spray gun blade clamp jointer plane sander tablesaw

Not sure where to put this, but since it pertains to equipment I’ll put it here.

I am a small shop guy, myself and while I like looking at the big fancy shops and dreaming, the reality of the situation is I need to focus on making my shop well organized and buying the right tool to fit in my work space. I have visited dbhost’s page several times to read up and get ideas, as like myself he has a smaller work area, but he has quite a lot of equipment and it appears quite roomy. And for those of you interested, he has a VERY detailed workshop page here on LJ’s, and you should check it out.

So I am hoping I can get a collection of folks with smaller work areas, say 500Sq ft or less. Maybe we can all look at each other’s workshops and get an idea of what works and what doesn’t, and what tools we can buy as bench tops, instead of free standing, and have it work for us. I have just shy of 300 sq feet (a 12’ X 24’ dedicated space) myself, and I am trying to keep my workshop info here updated.

Hopefully you will accept the fact that we don’t need to have big shops to make up for a lack of other thing (hahaha!) and share with the rest of us with smaller workspaces.

-- Got Wood? --- Somewhere along the way the people in Washington forgot that they are there to represent the people, not to rule them.


43 replies so far

View Timberwerks's profile

Timberwerks

301 posts in 1759 days


#1 posted 1497 days ago

My studio is about 170 sf and serves me just fine. I mainly work with hand tools so I don’t need the large work space. My old shop was 3,000 and I can do just as much here as I did there.

-- http://djofurnituremaker.wordpress.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timberwerks-Studio/126415221682

View Mike67's profile

Mike67

96 posts in 1934 days


#2 posted 1497 days ago

I have an old counter top screwed to the wall that I use as a sort of workbench and lots of machines fit under it when not in use – mortiser, small sanders, even the benchtop planer. I put them on furniture dollies so I can easily roll them under. All the big machines are on wheels and move around as needed. Only the DC and table saw stay put.

View sandt38's profile

sandt38

166 posts in 1506 days


#3 posted 1497 days ago

Could you share some photos with us? I know they are mostly hand tools and they are stowed away easily, but maybe you have some storage advice to share with us. Stepping dwon from 3000SQ Ft you must have quite a lot of tools.

-- Got Wood? --- Somewhere along the way the people in Washington forgot that they are there to represent the people, not to rule them.

View terry603's profile

terry603

319 posts in 1511 days


#4 posted 1497 days ago

me. i have to set up benches with a top outside my front door, using extention cords. the only power tool i can use inside is my chop saw. 12×24 inside dedicated space,,what i would do for something like that.

-- may not always be right,but,never in doubt.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1672 days


#5 posted 1497 days ago

My shop measures 17’ x 22’ plus a 2’ x 12” alcove. The total is just shy of 400 square feet. I don’t consider this a small shop. I consider it a medium size shop. In my opinion, if you are strategic about where you place your tools, this can be an adequate size. I have 8’ of clearance on both the infeed and outfeed sides of my planer, TS and jointer. The only tool on a mobile base is the jointer and I seldom have to move it.

Of course, I wish I had more space (we always do) but this is sufficient for me.

As an FYI – I am able to store most of my wood inventory outside of my shop and that helps a lot.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View sandt38's profile

sandt38

166 posts in 1506 days


#6 posted 1497 days ago

Rich, I looked at your shop. Nice use of space. I have a question with regards to your drill press. I see you have elected to use a benchtop unit and build your own base. What kind of work do you do with it, and do you ever find it inadequate… I don’t mean with regards to power, but perhaps capacity.

I ask because i love mission style furniture, and I would like to start doing some mortise and tenon joinery. While the projects I have in mind are mostly fairly small (TV/stereo stand, end tables, etc), I want to attempt a bed headboard and footboard with M&T joinery. Do you feel like the benchtop drill press would be sufficient for such work? I would love to save the space and money with a benchtop, but I am just not sure of the capacity.

Thanks!

-- Got Wood? --- Somewhere along the way the people in Washington forgot that they are there to represent the people, not to rule them.

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5378 posts in 1830 days


#7 posted 1497 days ago

Thanks for the shop plug!

I honestly have been studying various workshop setups, equipment etc… to come up with something that works for me…

No doubt you have caught on to the tricks of my approach but I figure I should share here…

#1. Use the most tool that you can fit into the small space. If you don’t need an aircraft carrier for a jointer, but will only use a benchtop jointer, use a benchtop jointer. They take up a LOT less space. #2. Use vertical space as well as you can. My tool stacker is an example of that idea. If you want something like that mobile, Wood Magazine has a good plan available made with construction lumber and peg board… #3. Peg boards. I haven’t compressed mine yet, but those flip out clamshell cabinets with peg boards in layers are great for storing a LOT of tools in a small space. #4. Avoid the free standing router table. Instead add a router wing to your table saw. (You already did that) #5. Along the same lines, you need outfeed support for your table saw. Make your workbench act as an outfeed support as well. For even BETTER results, another wood mag plan has a workbench plan that goes OVER the table saw once lifted up on its movable casters. #6. Keep everything movable except for the lathe. That needs to be as solid as physically possible. #7. Use wall space, AND ceiling space for storing stuff like ladders, mount shelves for handheld power tools, jigs etc… #8. If you haven’t picked up a jointer, or planer yet, you MIGHT want to save up some bucks and get one of the combination machines. Grizzly sells a really nice 12” combo machine. Kind of spendy, but well worth it from what I can tell… #9. Got exposed studs? Well depending on your climate, AND your building codes, insulate it, and cover with something along the lines of T1-11 plywood, 1/2” OSB or whatever. Sheet rock it if you have to. Likewise insulate and radiant barrier that roof. (Remember the perspective here. I am living and working in coastal Texas, and it is stinking HOT here…) #10. Got empty space under the table saw wings? There are some good space saving options. One is to build a table saw workstation with full on drawers etc… Or the other is to just slide your trash can under the router, and maybe a shop vac in there, that kind of thing… Leave the lid off that trash can, and most of the chips flying under the table end up in the can…

To be honest, if I can finally manage to purge every last single non shop item from my shop, I would feel like I am in an auditorium. And I am in 373 sq/ft….

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1469 posts in 2723 days


#8 posted 1497 days ago

300 square feet? I’m looking at building myself a “big” shop in the back yard, and it’ll be about 240. My current one seems to be about 130 square feet. I do finishing, sheet goods breakdown and major glue-ups outside (luckily, I live in a climate where I know it’s not going to rain for 5 months out of the year, but that’s also a climate where real estate costs a ton).

All my tools are benchtop or hand-held except for the drill press. When I build the bigger shop, rather than having a router table that clamps to the top of my Festool MFT table I’ll have a roll-around, much like my planer is on.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 1868 days


#9 posted 1497 days ago

I went from a small shop (a 12’ X 12’ – storage building) to a 33’ X 64’ converted horse barn. Although, I have expanded a bit…I still find that I must make the best use of available space. I have a great book that I got from Woodsmith called Small Shops….it has great ideas on making stands for tools that have dual purposes…like a flip over sander/planer table – where one side of the table is a dewalt bench planer and you pivot the table (with a locking mech) to a sander on the other side. Another great idea is a corner lazy susan type table that rotates around and has a bench top drill press, jig saw, sander….etc. There are some great ideas on storage – like a dual duty cart that hold sheet goods and lumber. For my shop I have also put shelves on every possible wall space….and even used the upper ceiling area for wood storage….the book also shows how to put cabinets under every tool stand and workbench….This small shop book is a must for folks with limited space.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Bahremu's profile

Bahremu

21 posts in 2000 days


#10 posted 1497 days ago

My shop is about 150sf; it’s small, but workable. I start most projects by doing the large piece work in the backyard. A 4×8 sheet doesn’t fit down the stairs into my shop. Every panel has to be proken down either at the BORG or in the backyard.

I end up carrying most tools into the backyard to work. Then I do the glue-ups on the dining table.

View sandt38's profile

sandt38

166 posts in 1506 days


#11 posted 1497 days ago

Keep them coming folks! Let’s get some pics and details if we could too. It is easier to learn and ask questions if we have visuals. Store your images on Photobucket.com, or tinypic.com if you need hosts. Photobucket requires an account set-up, but tinypic is a simple freesource picture host.

Dan, I know Petaluma. One 2 of my sons live in San Jose. I lived in, and they were born in SoCal. Nice area.

-- Got Wood? --- Somewhere along the way the people in Washington forgot that they are there to represent the people, not to rule them.

View pvwoodcrafts's profile

pvwoodcrafts

222 posts in 2519 days


#12 posted 1497 days ago

I’m ashamed to say I have a 24×48 shop and 3- 24×24 lumber buildings and a dry kiln, and its not big enough

-- mike & judy western md. www. pvwoodcrafts.com pvwccf1@verizon.net

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5378 posts in 1830 days


#13 posted 1497 days ago

pvwoodcrafts. I take it you are more than just a hobbyist then right?

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View pvwoodcrafts's profile

pvwoodcrafts

222 posts in 2519 days


#14 posted 1497 days ago

Yeah my wife and I are both full time woodworkers. Heres our shop.

-- mike & judy western md. www. pvwoodcrafts.com pvwccf1@verizon.net

View sandt38's profile

sandt38

166 posts in 1506 days


#15 posted 1497 days ago

DB is right. I walked into several buildings without the thermo-block on the ceilings, then walked into one with the block, and there had to be a 10-15 degree difference in the buildings. As you can see in pic 2, I opted for the thermo-block ;-).

-- Got Wood? --- Somewhere along the way the people in Washington forgot that they are there to represent the people, not to rule them.

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