Moving to a new shop! Maybe a third of the size though!!! Smart?

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Forum topic by Sailor posted 01-07-2011 10:45 PM 2295 views 1 time favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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543 posts in 3442 days

01-07-2011 10:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop small moving

I am thinking of moving my shop home for a few reasons.

Current location isn’t that great- I have had one break-in where I had the following tools stolen: framing nailer, roofing nailer, cordless drill, box of assorted Kreg screws, brad nailer, RO sander, respirator. This was about a year and half ago. It is located about 20 minutes from the house so that is a bit of a pain to have to drive to the shop, just thinking of a shop to hang out in at the house would be awsome!

The downside is that the shop is a great deal smaller. I will be going from a 35×40 building dedicated to only my woodworking shop to a 13.5’x25’ room in our “boat barn”. That is much smaller, but I have gotten on Grizzly’s workshop planner and messed around with my tools and they can fit pretty easily in there with room to spare.

I will have to following large tools in the 13.5×25’ space- Grizzly cabinet saw, 8” jointer, router table. Those are the tools I currently have but I plan on adding a bandsaw and a floor drill-press, also I will be building a mobile miter saw station that will have folding wings like the many great ones here on Lumberjocks.

I do not plan on storing my sheet goods in the small space but somewhere else in the barn. I will more than likely have a small luber rack for some materials in the shop though.

The good part that I see about this move, other than it being at home is that I will be starting from a clean state, bare stud walls with a garage door on one 13.5’ end and a double door on one of the 25’ sides. It has a 9’ ceiling with the ceiling joists exposed. The roof has all attic trusses so I have a bit of a loft but I do not have access to it very easily, only through a 2’ by 20’ opening between the wall and the first truss. Slab foundation.

So what I am wondering is, is this a smart move? Starting with a clean, albeit small, slate would be a wonderful opportunity.

I am a person who likes a neat shop where everything has it’s place and is in it’s place.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

29 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5535 posts in 3840 days

#1 posted 01-07-2011 11:35 PM

Heck, if I had a 13.5’x25’ shop I’d feel like a BB in a box car!

My shop is in half of a two-car garage … and co-exists with two cars in the garage every night!


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3480 days

#2 posted 01-08-2011 12:06 AM

i think its a smart move…i think we get to thinking that when were in a large area that we cant do it with less…and i think that is wrong..i think with the tools you have with the proper planning you can have a shop that will easily work for you…if your paying for the space your in now…that means that will be money saved…in fact if i were you , i would use the saved money to expand some and improve the new space…make sure you can stay warm and cool when needed…if you need insulation …then do it…if you make your living from this…you have to have a warm place…my shop is 20×30 and its more then enough to work in…and mine is for pleasure only…good luck with your move…i would do it…and now having to drive to work…gas money saved…would it effect your customer base…if not…its an easy decision …give us pictures…we love pictures

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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7836 posts in 3480 days

#3 posted 01-08-2011 12:17 AM

well well sailor…i just looked at your home page and see your in dothan…im in a little town called verbena which is at mile post 200 on I65…if your ever this way your more them welcome to stop on by…ive got back problems and don’t travel much , but if i did i would love to stop and see your new shop…but come on by if your this way…i could always use a visit with another wood worker….grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View canadianchips's profile


2611 posts in 3174 days

#4 posted 01-08-2011 12:19 AM

I moved from a 50’ x 50’ building into a 16×24 car shed that I rent. I kept a few too many tools, so space is to tight. I have had to re-think some of the storage ideas i use. Everything I have is portable, movable.My lumber is in a storage shed that I built outside the workshop (not ideal but works). You say you like to be organized and everything in its place. Allow enough space to continue doing this, then you won’t get overwhelmed ! I used to drive 45 minutes, I like my little shop at home now. Best of luck !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3951 days

#5 posted 01-08-2011 01:00 AM

You do not say if you are renting the bigger building or what you are going to do with it if you own it? Is this a business or a hobby shop? What do you mostly build? I have a 14 X 21 shop and with a little planning you can get a lot of equipment in a shop that size. Most equipment has to be mobile and you need to pull out the pieces you are going to use. Take a look at my shop, you might be surprised how much equipment I have in that space. I do have a shed just out side the back door to hold off-fall, jigs and misc. I store some lumber in the basement and can finish down there if I want. I mostly build projects for friends, church and family. I am doing woodworking because I want to and not that I have to. I am retired, Thank God!

I had a 16 X 24 shop when I had my business for 9 years in ND. All my older project pictures show you the different things I made in that shop with a lot less equipment than I have now. I had a 10”unisaw, power miter box saw, 14” bandsaw, power hand tools and hand tools. Yes you can do woodworking out of a smaller shop. You mostly lose production time. Looking forward to seeing your new shop, if you decide to go that way. Putting a new shop in is a lot of fun and it is nice to be close to home.

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3236 days

#6 posted 01-08-2011 01:43 AM

I only have a 12X24 sized shop. You could look at the photos of my shop on here, but those photos are a little out of date and with all of the clutter, it might discourage you. The key with a small shop is organization. I am constantly coming up with ideas of how to organize things better. You’ll figure it out. Be sure and post photos of the new shop for us. On another site that I participate on, we have a saying, “without pictures – it didn’t really happen.”


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

View patron's profile


13635 posts in 3518 days

#7 posted 01-08-2011 02:00 AM

regardless of the shop size
(i’ve had to many to count)
everyone gives it’s own ‘flavor’
to the work environment

and give you the opportunity
to learn newer and different ways of doing things

with your sailor mentality

‘a place for everything
and everything in it’s place’

will bring things forward
you may never have thought of
in a larger shop

that it is home is a plus

you can work in your underwear !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3252 days

#8 posted 01-08-2011 03:41 AM

You’ll have about 340 square feet. I have 400 square feet and I have ever tool you have or plan to get plus lathe, planner, mortising machine, dust collector and grinder. For me it is quite doable if I stay organized and build in good storage.

IF you think out your floor plan carefully this should be doable for you also.

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

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 3013 days

#9 posted 01-08-2011 04:14 AM

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3442 days

#10 posted 01-08-2011 06:38 AM

First off, thank you all for the great replies. I believe I will make the move.

To answer a few questions
- I do not rent my current shop. My family owns a few building in town and it is one of them
- It is more of a hobby shop than a business. Although I do comissions from time to time.
- I mostly build medim sized projects with a few larger ones. Medium being an adirondak chair.

I was going to ask about insulating the shop. It was suggested that I do so. I do not plan on cooling the shop but I will be trying to keep it somewhat warm in the winter.

I am thinking 1/2” ply for the walls and I would like to paint it a bright color. White? Grey? Tan? What is a good shop color to brighten the place up and make it look larger.

I do plan on putting all tools on wheels except for my table saw.

Thank you all. I will probably be doing some sort of video journals on the whole process.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

View patron's profile


13635 posts in 3518 days

#11 posted 01-08-2011 06:45 AM

wal-mary has 5 gal of ‘hide all’ paint
for $50
it comes in
semi-gloss (washes better)
white and off white
interior or exterior
goes on great
and is cheap

and yes insulation works in both directions
cool in summer
and warm in winter

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3951 days

#12 posted 01-08-2011 08:04 AM

Now that I have read your responses to my questions, I would say, Go Boy Go!!! The better you insullate the easier it is to heat or cool. It takes less time to do either and it holds the temperature longer. I always used white on all my shop walls. There is never too much light in a shop. Do not skimp on lighting and plug ins. Looking forward to seeing your progress.


-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View dubsaloon's profile


621 posts in 2971 days

#13 posted 01-08-2011 01:16 PM

I would think anyplace you have would be a great place. If you need more space, PVC pipe and a tarp cover would work when the temp is good. If you need any assistance drop me a note.

-- The works of evil people are not the problem. It is the "Good" people standing by and watching not speaking up. Dubsaloon

View Knothead62's profile


2598 posts in 3138 days

#14 posted 01-08-2011 04:37 PM

I would paint a semi-gloss white or off-white (eggshell) for lighting effects. I would like to have a shop that size. I want to move into the garage/basement and use the upstairs for my shop, with each room dedicated to one piece of equipment. Wife says no!!!!!

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3480 days

#15 posted 01-08-2011 04:40 PM

now that i know where you live i would suggest you insulate at least the ceiling…but if you can i would do it all while your doing it…i live in mid state Alabama and have had my shop for 15 years now…with no insulation, and boy its been a fight to get it warm on cold days..and it took lots of wood to keep it that way, well i just got done insulating the ceiling last week with my son…and its made all the difference in the world…i run a wood stove and it will now run me out if i run it to hot…if you want to heat for cheap…i would have a small wood stove…but there are many options for heat…but i suggest it because you can get your own wood and not have money going out the door for your heat…good luck with your decision to move..tom suggested white…i agree…being in a man cave doesn’t mean it has to be dark and dingy…bright and good lighting…ive got a total of 12 4 tube florescent lights in mine and over with my bench i have more lighting to really light things up…good luck..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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