Help me improve this shop space

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Forum topic by newbiewoodworker posted 01-10-2011 03:34 AM 1906 views 2 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 3002 days

01-10-2011 03:34 AM

Frankly, I am always tripping over stuff… Also, it is a bugger work for long periods in.

But, maybe you can provice me with some ideas on how to make the shop a little more cozzy…

Don’t get me wrong.. I love my little shop… its where I go to stress relieve… but when you trip and go falling into the workbench.. it is never fun….

Here are the pics, for you to provide suggestions from.

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

32 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3250 days

#1 posted 01-10-2011 03:48 AM

It’s pretty hard to tell you what to do based on these pictures, but I will make 2 points that may be helpful.

- I see a lot of available wall space where you could put up shelves and/or pegboard or what ever and get more stuff off the floor.

- Get the wood you are not currently using out of the shop. Of course, that assumes you have someplace out of the shop to store the wood.

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

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 3002 days

#2 posted 01-10-2011 03:58 AM

Frankly, I do a mess of different things… I think I am going to stop with the big stuff after this, and start making a few end grain cutting boards… after I squeeze a TS in there…lol..

Things like the planer are on wheels.

Also, I think, that bench is going to get turned. and put on a wall, rather than in the center of the room, jutting out 8ft into the 24ft space.

Oh yea, the Garage is 24×13ft

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View quartrsawn's profile


146 posts in 3388 days

#3 posted 01-10-2011 04:00 AM

First I would get the ladder off the floor,hang it on wall or from ceiling, those plastic covered screw in metal hooks work well.The wall over the trash cans looks like a good spot. Then get rid of the trash and mt boxes and turn your work bench and shelf unit parallel to the rear wall.Then place your air compressor under your bench. A lumber rack on wall over miter saw is also something to consider . Hope this helps.

-- Nat - West Sayville,L.I., NY

View PurpLev's profile


8541 posts in 3824 days

#4 posted 01-10-2011 04:03 AM

looks like you have quite a bit of space there – not as small as you think it is. the idea though is to make it efficient.

for smaller shop space like yours it is best to keep everything on wheels/mobile bases, and store everything on the perimeter including workbenches and what not, and use the center for movement and to get to everything. Once you place anything in the center area you are blocking your entire work access – I had the same thing with my TS somewhat in the center which was practically impossible to do anything without getting bruised. I recently rearranged everything to be on the perimeter and for most operations I don’t need to move anything, although for some operations I’ll pull the bandsaw, or router to the center to do something – then put it back in place.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10299 posts in 4227 days

#5 posted 01-10-2011 04:07 AM

Golly, I wish my shop was as clean as yours! :) :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 3002 days

#6 posted 01-10-2011 04:10 AM

Good ideas.

I like to be able to work from 2 sides of the bench, because if I am working on something substancial, then I dont have to spin a 40lb coffee table, like a break dancer.. lol…

The trash must stay…. trust me, I have tried to get it out of there… but pops wants it inside…

The ladder I do actually use occasionally… but yea, it needs to go..

Same with the snowblower… but my father wants that to stay too…grr…

I do agree.. its not at all efficient…

I do have a lumber rack, I didnt picture it.. → In pic 1 do you see the light closest to the camera. Well thats a hump. On the other side of that hump, is a set of hooks, that I lay my lumber across.. Its up out of the way… although occasionally hairy to get stuff off of…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3370 days

#7 posted 01-10-2011 04:11 AM

I see a lot of unused wall space. That would be the first thing I’d think about. In a small area, the more stuff off the ground and out of the way the better IMO. Also, I used to keep my trash cans in the garage too and realized how much space they take up. If your neighbors dont mind and you dont have animals near by, see if you can put them on the side of your house.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 3002 days

#8 posted 01-10-2011 04:11 AM

Its not at all clean… I just picked up the week old Nitrile gloves off the floor today..!

There is sawdust all over… it needs a cleaning.. lol…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View Arthur C. Peterson's profile

Arthur C. Peterson

23 posts in 3934 days

#9 posted 01-10-2011 05:39 AM

I have about the same size shop as you. i too am new to wood working but having a lot of fun. If you go to my home and look at my shop I just put pictures there so you could see. Everything I have is on wheels but it works. Good luck. Art Wasilla, Alaska

View patron's profile


13635 posts in 3516 days

#10 posted 01-10-2011 05:54 AM

more cabs
more racks
french cleats
move things around
till they find their place
(they always do
for maximum usage)
or you could do this
and just work around it
till you are in a corner lol

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

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 3002 days

#11 posted 01-10-2011 05:58 AM

looks good… lol…jk

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View Sarit's profile


550 posts in 3315 days

#12 posted 01-10-2011 06:42 AM

I know this sounds crazy, but maybe you can build an interior wall in the back to serve as a nook to store the trashcans, wood, ladders, snow equipment. It would be parallel to the back wall (about 5-8 feet away from it), but not as wide so that you can get back there. Once you put a bunch of shelves in there, you won’t believe how much you can store there. Then the rest of your shop can be dedicated to woodworking.

Rather than one big bench, you could have a few smaller benches of the same height on wheels and leveling feet that you could reconfigure as needed and store against the wall when not. When you need a big bench, just put them next to each other and add some clamps.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18616 posts in 4336 days

#13 posted 01-10-2011 12:22 PM

look up – space in/near the ceiling
look forward – wall space for cabinets, shelves, hanging stuff
look down – spaces under benches, shelves? space for equipment on wheels?
organize – put rarely used stuff in bins that can be stacked etc… just making it “invisible” will help make the space feel better.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View hairy's profile


2780 posts in 3707 days

#14 posted 01-10-2011 06:56 PM

Have you tried the shop planner at grizzly?

-- My reality check bounced...

View 8iowa's profile


1586 posts in 3936 days

#15 posted 01-10-2011 07:43 PM

It appears that the only natuiral light comes from the windows on the garage door. Install several 4’ T-8 fixtures on the ceiling. Paint walls and ceiling white to further brighten up the space. You will be amazed at how much this helps.

If possible, install additional electrical recepticles on the wall, about 42” high. This will reduce having to step on cords on the floor, and possible eliminate the need for extension cords.

As Rich advised, I too recommend shelving on the walls. Shelving is much more versatile than cabinets. I also find that the metal “mechanic’s” tool cabinets with drawers, ie: Craftsman, are much more space efficient in the very small shop than pegboard. I keep my tool cabinets in front of the garage door. Since they are on casters, they can be moved if the door needs to be opened for access.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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