Shop layout advice?

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Forum topic by va_scubadiver posted 08-09-2010 12:21 AM 1830 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 2831 days

08-09-2010 12:21 AM

Not sure if this is the right forum – but …

I’m setting up my new shop and debating with myself on the best way to position the power tools… and I’m losing the debate.

I have a unisaw with 72” rails and a 6’ wide x 4’ deep outfeed table behind it, 2 sliding table shapers, a small spindle shaper, 8” jointer, 20” thickness planer and a radial arm saw that I’m trying to position in the smallest footprint to facilitate dust collection but I don’t want to crowd them together in an unusable manner.

I’m trying to stay off the walls because they have pegboard mounted for storage – so everything is in the ‘middle’ of the floor. The area that I’m trying to work with is about 12’x20’ or so. Dust collection, compressor, assembly area, etc. is outside this footprint.

Any ideas welcome!


-- "Slow work takes time..." - Martin Breen

5 replies so far

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3025 days

#1 posted 08-09-2010 12:53 AM

Man. I thought I was trying to squeeze a lot of stuff in my little 12X24 shop. I had 6 ft rails on my table saw when I bought it, but eventually conceded that I just did not have enough room so I did shorten them. I left enough so that I have enough to cut something 30” wide though which means I can at the minimum rip a 4’ sheet of plywood down the middle. I think you may have to make some compromises. Feel free to look at the pics of my shop. However, I don’t have some of the machines that you have. I don’t have the jointer and my planer is a table top model and I don’t have a dust collector, but simplly plug a shop vac into my tools. At the very least, I think you may have to compromise on the idea of keeping things off of the walls. If your saw and outfeed are that big due to working with full plywood sheets, you may have to consider reducing the size of that and come up with a means to break down the sheets to rough size before taking them to the table saw. If you think about it, you only have 240 square feet and 40 of that is ocupied by your saw and that doesn’t include the space you need in front of the saw for infeed. Thats 1/6 or 16.5% of your total floor space. One thing that I did that helped was to make my main work bench height so that it can double as my outfeed. That eliminated the need for a large outfeed table. Anyway, hopefully some of these ideas help a little. Good luck.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

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1287 posts in 3025 days

#2 posted 08-09-2010 12:54 AM

One more thing. I’m sure you figured this out already, but I’m sure it would be wise to use mobile bases on your machines so that they can be rolled out of the way when not in use.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#3 posted 08-09-2010 12:59 AM

This might help

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View va_scubadiver's profile


10 posts in 2831 days

#4 posted 08-09-2010 02:09 AM

docholladay – the shop is 26’ x 38’ – that’s just the area I’m trying to keep the power tools confined to, perhaps unsuccessfully :-)

They are all on mobile bases.

-- "Slow work takes time..." - Martin Breen

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3040 days

#5 posted 08-09-2010 02:16 AM

I don’t want to discourage you but I have a 22’ x 17’ shop and, IMO, that is almost the minimum for what I call a full service shop.

When I say “full service” I mean table saw, planer, jointer, miter saw, work bench, band saw, lathe, router table , drill press, mortising machine and grinder for sharpening. I just bought a drum sander and I am still trying to figure out where to put it.

FYI – I do not like to move machines around on mobile bases. The only mobile base I have is on the jointer and that one is built into the machine (Grizzly G0604).

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

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