How do you share 560 Ft² with all that?

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Forum topic by Don Butler posted 11-03-2010 05:36 PM 1752 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don Butler

1092 posts in 3393 days

11-03-2010 05:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop layout tools on wheels small workshop sharing workshop with a car

My shop is only 20 feet wide and 28 feet long.
A sixteen foor overhead door is on one end.
I have these so called “stationary” machines:
Cabinet style table saw, NOT ON WHEELS
Legacy Ornamental mill model 1500EX (one big bugger)
FlatMaster sander
Grizzly band saw
Hegner scroll saw
Delta compound miter saw
ShopSmith (28 years old)
DeWalt Planer
Penn State cyclone dust collector
and last, but certainly, not least is our Subaru Outback that is parked in the building every night.
As previously stated, I try to maximize the way I use every square inch.
But the most important thing I’ve done is to put all “stationary” tools on wheels with the exception of the table saw.
Why not the saw? The blade guard with DC is ceiling hung. It would be a lot of trouble to move the saw and try to get it back in the one place I need it to be.

A neighborhood friend came in to the shop during the day and wondered how I get the car in. He thought perhaps I might be able to GET it in, but not be able to open the doors.
There is plenty of room to open all the doors, once I’ve tucked everything into the corners.

Kindest regards,
Don “Not Turning Around Quickly” Butler

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

18 replies so far

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2878 days

#1 posted 11-03-2010 06:12 PM

Why not free up some space and use the ShopSmith Scroll Saw and Sanders rather then having them as separate units? I am sure you probably have good reason, I was just curious.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3393 days

#2 posted 11-03-2010 06:42 PM

I do use the ShopSmith Sanding options and use them a lot.
The Hegner scrollsaw is a gift from SWBMT (She Who Buys Me Tools) and is the best scrollsaw I have ever used.
The FlatMaster sander is quite different from the sanding options I have on the ShopSmith.
Check out this LJ review

Don “Have to go Outside To Change My Mind” Butler

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View dbhost's profile


5710 posts in 3230 days

#3 posted 11-03-2010 06:50 PM

Sounds like plenty of space to me. But I am tucked into 18×20. Then again, my shop hasn’t seen a car in it for 6 years.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18270 posts in 3673 days

#4 posted 11-03-2010 09:06 PM

Try sharing your shop with an electrical business ;-((

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3820 days

#5 posted 11-04-2010 01:54 AM

Don, I don’t have your space but I tried to keep both a garage and a shop for a long time. Eventually I just gave up on the garage idea and let my truck sit outside. Not only did it save me time in that I don’t have to tear my shop down each night but it did give me more room for tools.

But from your post I would guess that this option is not viable in your situation. I have often said that I am glad we added the third garage in the basement that I later converted into my shop. It would not be a pretty sight if I had to ask my wife to give up her garage space for my shop needs.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Tim Self's profile

Tim Self

15 posts in 2803 days

#6 posted 11-04-2010 01:54 AM

Try a 9×30 basement with stair case in the middle of it. I definitely don’t do anything large down there!

-- Tim

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3759 days

#7 posted 11-04-2010 04:49 AM


When I built the “Workshop in the Woods” in ‘07, I briefly considered a cabinet saw. However, as big as my new shop seemed to be (24’x28’) I was concerned about having a large machine sitting permanently in “center stage”. Yes, there are mobile bases, but as I was approaching my seventh decade, I was not about to start shoving 500 pound machines around.

I opted for a second Shopsmith, which has worked out very well. In fact, now that I have the new PowerPro DVR motor on one of the machines, I have all the power of a cabinet saw.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3047 days

#8 posted 11-04-2010 07:47 AM

I think Autumn has the right idea, you just have to swap your car for a bike!!!! :-)
you can get those bikes that have trailers built for them too now!!! :-))

-- Theresa,

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3393 days

#9 posted 11-04-2010 01:42 PM


That’s funny!
I can just see 77 year old me, with my 72 year old wife on the crossbar, pedalling the 30 or 40 miles we travel every week to do our errands! LOL LOL LOL LOL

UMMMmmmmmmmmmm NO.

But thanks for the suggestion.

I’ll share it with my sweetheart, Marge.

She’ll get a kick out of it, too!


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4022 days

#10 posted 11-04-2010 03:32 PM

I used to have your problem. The biggest pain for me was dragging out and setting up, then having to plan time to put everything back away when it was time to put the cars up. It knocked a big hole in my woodworking time, and took a lot of the fun out of it. I don’t think there really IS a good solution as long as you have to share the space.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2981 days

#11 posted 11-04-2010 05:06 PM

How do you share 560 Ft² with all that?
My answer is you don’t.
Are you able to put up a carport in front of the garage?
They sell tube framed carports here for around $600.00 With options to put up sides on 2 sides to block weather.
Just a thought! Another thought might be to downsize your car to a smaller electric car which would take up less space.
If nothing else Don, you can console yourself with the knowledge of the fact there are others out here who feel your pain and live the pain of not having enough space. My last shop was 20×36 and the one I’m setting up now is 12×30 so I understand the need for space.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3393 days

#12 posted 11-04-2010 07:09 PM

My dream plan is to erect a second story on the garage and take my shop up there.
I wouldn’t have to share with the car then.

Don “Dreaming of More Space” Butler

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View RalphBarker's profile


80 posts in 2767 days

#13 posted 11-05-2010 02:12 AM

I park the Winnebago, the Suburban, and the two Mercedes at one end of the shop, leaving about 4,000 sq. ft. for workspace at the other end.

Oh, wait. That was just a dream. ;-)

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3083 days

#14 posted 11-05-2010 05:55 PM

The second story on the garage at 77 is more than I would attempt at 71 unless you are going to limit
yourself to small projects and tools unless you install a beam out over a doorway with a power hoist of
some type on it, or live on a hill, so the second story could be accessed from the back. Just hope your
wife does not swap the Subaru for a Dodge Caravan like mine did. I have to expand the shop/garage
sideways by next summer at the latest. If we could not dream, I guess we would not be woodworkers,
I thilnk half the fun is planning, and being pleasantly surprised at the results when we finally get around to
doing it. Have fun and enjoy.

As ever, Gus the 71 yr young laborer, trying to become a carpenters apprentice

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4075 days

#15 posted 11-05-2010 09:56 PM

I have been downsized! I went from a 1300 sq ft shop to a 98 sq ft tool shed.
Needless to say my power tools will stay in storage until I can find a new shop/home and the hand tools came out!
Things take a fair amount longer to build but I am more intimately involved with the wood!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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