Need Suggestions on New shop layout

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Forum topic by riverb posted 02-25-2011 07:42 AM 5720 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View riverb's profile


45 posts in 2669 days

02-25-2011 07:42 AM

We are about to build a new house and I am upgrading from a single car 9’x16’ to a 24×24 garage. My wife will use half for her car and the other half will be my work area. just thought you guys might have some suggestions. I am pretty new at all this so any guidance would be great. I need to plan for outlets and circuits. I just started drawing tonight so I will update it when i get more done. I did this in sketchup so if you want the file just send a pm.

So far the only tools I have is a Table Saw, Benchtop Router, Chop Saw that I hardly use (Ryobi junk hand me down), Dust collector, and one workbench/outfeed table.

I would like to buy/make a jointer, planer, and a assembly table, maybe a band saw some day as well.

I was thinking of keeping all of the the major power tools near the door end so that way I wouldn’t have to run as much DC runs. I don’t really have things organized yet but thought I would ask for some help in the beginning.

13 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3064 days

#1 posted 02-25-2011 04:29 PM

The best way to address this is to think about what you do most often and how the work will “flow” thru your shop. For my work (cabinets), it’s all about minimizing the effort of horsing plywood around as I begin cutting the sheets into panels.

I have my TS right at the roll up door and my work bench/outfeed table right behind it. This lets me slide plywood sheets out of the pickup, across a couple of roller stands, and thru the saw as soon as I get them home. Within an hour, the full sheets are cut down to easily managed pieces with the least possible amount of handling.

Some of my other machines (planer, shaper, etc) are on roller cabinets that are moved as needed. After I make my panels, I rip down my solid stock, cut it to rough lengths, and move the planer so I can mill all of my faceframe pieces in one session. Then, the pocket screw jig goes on the workbench and I build all of the faceframes.

It took a while to work out this scheme, but it works really well for me. “Thinking thru” your projects will go a long way toward coming up with an effecient shop layout that requires minimum rearrangement later.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5854 posts in 3189 days

#2 posted 02-25-2011 04:44 PM

Greetings riverb,

One thing I can suggest to you, and that is to look at all the different great shops here on LJs. That way you can get different ideas from different shop layouts and maybe put a few of them to work in your own shop. It’s a start, anyway. Just take ideas from this and that one and kinda go from there…...It’s like Sawkerf said…think about the work flow and how you will station each of your machines for the task at hand…...

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View HorizontalMike's profile


7755 posts in 2909 days

#3 posted 02-25-2011 04:48 PM

FWIW, I have my jointer pointing OUT of my walk-in door. The thought behind this (and it works) is that it allows me to joint longer boards by opening the door and letting the outfeed extend outside. Much the same can be done with the TS, as I would move it closer to the overhead door. If/when you need to rip a very long board, you can just open the overhead door and effectively ADD space to your ”shop”.

Other thoughts, the DC should be more centrally located. This will minimize the length of the run to each required machine. You will probably need to locate it between the walk-in door and the left window (probably blocking the window somewhat).

My 2-cents…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3260 days

#4 posted 02-25-2011 04:49 PM

That is going to be a great shop, getting into a new shop is so much fun. I am in that stage also, I have already moved in about 4 weeks ago and I am still working on getting it how I like it.

My shop is 13.5×25, and I went from a 35×35 down to this but I actually like more things about my smaller shop than the larger. The only downfall to this shop is a dedicated finishing area.

On thing I suggest that I am sure you have read is to put things on wheels. At the moment I have my router table, 8” jointer, and miter saw stand all on wheels and they sit under my lumber rack along one wall, this keeps them out of the way and if I need one I just pull it out a couple feet a it’s ready.

French cleats along the walls are great, I have a few things built to store things like my small clamp colection, small hand tools and frequently used marking and measuring tools. I also have two small shelving units (I think they are 2’x2’ with maybe four shelves that are good for holding fastners and other small things that I don’t have a place for yet. I also built a hanging rack to hang folding sawhorses on the wall with, this is great and keeps them totally out of the way.

People speaking of workflow are certainly correct, although in my small shop which is aboutt he size of yours it seems that the workflow is everywhere all at once so don’t spend to much time thinking workflow, just my opinion.
I dont really have any very recent photos, but I may take some today out in the shop and let you have a look at my layout/setup.

Have fun!

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

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3286 days

#5 posted 02-25-2011 05:29 PM

I have a 24×30’ 3 car garage. I use the third stall, 24×10’, plus the perimeter of the rest, as a shop. I park 2 vehicles in it. Suprisingly little has to be on wheels.

Similarly to Horizontal Mike’s suggestion, I have my machines set up so that the center stall (when unoccupied) is infeed and outfeed space. That is, rotate your table saw 90 degrees counterclockwise and move it toward the front wall (I’m assuming the stubby walls in the front represent the boundary between your side and your wife’s – is this going to be a solid wall?). Position it so you can cut the length you want before the outfeeding piece hits something (I’ve got mine so I can get an 8’ sheet of plywood through the saw lengthwise before it hits a lathe and a dust collection drop on the exterior wall).

Then, consider moving the jointer so its back is up against the right side of the saw (feed direction parallel to but opposite the feed direction for the saw).

Doing both of these will open up some space along the exterior wall and near the refrigerator. The price I pay for this is that the door of my truck hits the fence rail on the saw when I open it, plus I have to back the truck out to do anything. It’s a little tight, but it’s tolerable. None of this will work if you plan to have a solid center wall.

Can you extend that refrigerator alcove out to the right? Gain maybe another 3×4’ area?

What’s the blue room off the corner? Can you use that for a dust collector/compressor room?

Finally, if the wife is agreeable, and depending on the size of her car, there will be a pretty good space in front of her car in a 24’ deep garage. I use this area in my garage for my automotive bench & tools, drill press, and to park a rolling flip top cart with planer and spindle sander on it. You can see this space in the second picture in the review I posted of the shop crane.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View riverb's profile


45 posts in 2669 days

#6 posted 02-25-2011 05:38 PM

The center wall is not solid just needed something to visualize my boundary. that is a good idea about using her space when she isn’t there.

The alcove for the freezer can’t be enlarged as there is a bathroom on the other side. The small closet is my closet to keep all my hunting/fishing/outdoors crap. I know it is small but should hold most of it.

Thanks for all the help so far!!

View CovenantCreations's profile


127 posts in 2898 days

#7 posted 02-26-2011 03:34 AM

Question, did u take the time to draw out all those tools with that detail? Or did u download them somewhere?

Send me a file to and I’d like to rework it to show you my suggestions.

View WoodYard's profile


35 posts in 3007 days

#8 posted 02-26-2011 05:12 AM

My shop is 12 X 18 and my TS outfeed table is also my work bench. Saves space.

-- Rick Wood

View DylanC's profile


204 posts in 2670 days

#9 posted 02-26-2011 05:26 AM

My wife and I just built a new house ~3 years ago and the best thing the builder (my uncle) talked me in to was adding a third stall on our attached garage. garage space is cheap (relatively) to add and ALWAYS gets used. If its in the budget, I’d give it some serious thought.

I’ve also seen an article about a guy who had a workable shop set up in a shed something like 8’x8’. I’ll see if I can find the magazine (a WOOD special edition on all sizes of shops) and scan in a few layouts.

-- Dylan C ...Seems like all ever I make is sawdust...

View Resurrected's profile


671 posts in 2687 days

#10 posted 02-26-2011 06:48 AM

I suggest using the space now. Don’t worry about the dust collector. If your in the house Mark your edge of the garage with tape. Use it for a while feel the space. Everyone is different. The confinements we all deal with, we are comfortable with in different ways. After you stop moving your tools so much then and only then run the duct for the DC. I hope I made sense. Your the only one that can determine the positions and how it works. Overall my table saw is the center. I measure it out so I can cut in all directions from one position. Then everything else is scattered around that as I feel fit.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View NewfieDan's profile


50 posts in 2644 days

#11 posted 02-28-2011 04:26 PM

I aslo had to share my shop with vehicles, until moved recently. When I wanted to work I moved the car outside. The bikes stayed inside with covers on them. One thing I did learn from it…Put all of your tools on lockable wheels. That way you can move them around wherever you want or need them. My new shop is dedicated to just my tools but I still have all of my tools are still on wheels.

When I built my last shop I put a max of 4 outlets on a single circuit. the shop here was made when I bought, but if I was to build my own I wouyld run 12guage wire to all my outlets. You can then put in a 20amp breaker if needed. 14guage wire is only good for 15amp. Some tools require a dedicated circuit so think about where they will be used to put the receptacle in the right location. The way I think about it is, do I really wnat to trip over cords all day when I am out in the shop? Place your outlets at places to either elimintae or reduce your need for cords. Keep all your outlets at counter top height. That way it won’t matter where you put your work bench. Some prefer overhead drops for their power. This a personal preference.

Another consideration is air power for your air tools (brad nailers etc). Does it make sense to plumb your shop for air tools? I have seem this done. I also do some of my own mechanicakl work so air tools are a must for me. Also another reason for putting all of my tools on wheels. I an not a fan of lying on cold/wet pavement when I have a heated building to work in.

Will your tools/tastes change over time? Mine went from refinishig an old SUV to woodworking. A drastic change but one that was easily accomodated by planning during the construction phase.

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3459 days

#12 posted 03-07-2011 07:44 AM

I think sawkerf hit it first. Envision the workflow so you don’t have to carry every board back and forth around the shop. I’ve got a huge shop building, I’m spoiled! I have moved most of the woodworking area down to 20 X 24 area. I do sheet good cutting and finishing in different areas. But even with this much space, I’m still rearranging and trying to figure out a good pattern.
The more tool tops and bench tops you can put on the same level will help long boards and wide panels move much more easily. I’m considering lifting my jointer up to match my workbench / outfeed table. Right now they sit parallel to each other. The bench could really get rid of some roller stands.
If you are going to store a supply of hardwood I would suggest hanging racks from the ceiling. No floor space wasted and it’s handy and acclimated to the shop. Some items, like the dust collector motor and an air compressor can be mounted near the ceiling too. I put my stationary compressor in a loft overhead. Saved some floor space and gave me a good spot to put the wood stove.
I hope this makes sense. If you have some specific questions don’t hesitate to PM. I check the site about every day.
Good luck, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3955 days

#13 posted 03-09-2011 07:15 PM

Set the elec outlets at 4’ from the floor, make sure that ya have at least 2 240v circuits (cheap to do it now), and add plenty of overhead lighting. Smoke detectors, windows, water access?


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