Breaking Ground on new shop - 16 x 25

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by dpop24 posted 05-16-2011 02:29 PM 1566 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dpop24's profile


115 posts in 2710 days

05-16-2011 02:29 PM

Hello – first post from a novice woodworker. I have a bit of carpentry experience in my past from growing up as a kid so I know my way around tools and safety.

My wife and I are buying a new house and immediately going to start a massive remodel before we move in. Part of that remodel is going to be a dedicated 16×25 woodshop. I already have a smattering of decent tools and in the process of selecting the centerpiece which will be a new table saw (if you want to help me with that decision also, I’ll have a post in the tools section!)

Anyway, I have an opportunity to design in exactly what I want as we’re in the design stage right now. I’ve already decided that I’m going to have 3/4” plywood put on the walls underneath the sheetrock so that I don’t have to hunt for studs when I want to hang a tool or a cabinet. I’m going to build a great work table, keep it mobile and use it as an outfeed table for my new saw.

I’m thinking that I’ll make some cabinets for along the walls for additional work space and table top tools. All my other tools will be mobile – stored in a rack and transported to a rolling tool cabinet that I’ve removed the MDF top from and cut 1/2 inch plywood bases the same size and attached all my bench top tools to. This way, they move right from the storage rack to the cabinet and are put right to work. This is the set up I have in my dinky 8×12 shop space now. I like the versatility and figure I’ll run out of space quick if I make things permanent.

Aside from those things, what would you do if you had the opportunity to start from scratch?

Tools I already have are:

-30 gallon air compressor
-Craftsman 2/3 hp benchtop drill press
-Craftsman 9” benchtop band saw
-Delta 10” Miter saw
-Craftsman belt and disc sander
-Craftsman 2 hp router with bench top table
-Ryobi 10” bench top table saw (likely headed for Craigslist)
-Random assortment of hand tools, sanders, saws, chisels, etc.
-I’m going with a mobile 2 HP dust collector from HF, on sale right now for $189.
-Jet air filtration system

-I also have a bench top grinder and a sandblasting cabinet that need homes too because I dabble in a tiny bit of metal work too.

-- If it ain't broke, take it apart and find out why

8 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3299 days

#1 posted 05-16-2011 03:26 PM

Welcome! Exciting to build a shop from the ground up.

A few thoughts:

- Get yourself a recent copy of Wood Magazine for the HF coupon. The DC is around $140-ish that way. Or, better, yet, get on the HF mailling list.

- Whereas drywall does provide a fire-break, which is important if the shop is attached to the house, I’d bypass it if possible. If you are subject to code, you might have no choice. Otherwise, instead of 3/4” plywood underneath the drywall, I’d mount a system of French cleats to hang your cabinets…and perhaps mount sections of pegboard directly to the studs. My father’s shop is entirely panelled with pegboard (no drywall) and is very versatile in that fashion. I utilize cleats in my own garage shop, in combination with pegboard (over the existing drywall) and have discovered that I don’t have a need to search for studs…and if I do, they will be easily traceable once I install my new electrical (your outlets are dead-giveaways to stud location).

- That said, be sure to have a couple of dedicated circuits for your DC, table saw, lights/handtools outlets, and other tools that might require high amperages and/or 220v current. Definitely plan ahead on that.

- Have lights in strategic locations over your work centers, but be sure you are getting light from multiple locations to avoid shadows. Place wall outlets at convenient bench height and at regular intervals.

- Is this a slab floor? If not, holy cow, you could run DC and electrical under the floor, which would be awesome.

- Make sure you have a good way for ingress/egress, for you, big tools, and sheet goods. Double doors or a garage-type door are great for this…and you can somewhat enhance your workspace by parking miter stations and tables saws near the doors to utilize the external space.

- Lumber storage? Against the wall? Overhead? Separate area?

- Finishing room/section? My biggest problem is my whole shop has to shutdown when I’m assembling and finishing my projects. It’d be nice to have a separate area so that you can still jockey with wood as the paint dries.

- Definitely look at a nice cabinet saw as the focal point for your shop, and don’t skimp there. For your space, I would add a router table extension wing to that table saw to save the space of a dedicated router table.

-- jay,

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2833 days

#2 posted 05-16-2011 04:09 PM

Since you still are in the design phase I would consider using the spray on type insulation on the walls and roof deck. I’m seeing this used more & more in new and remodel construction. When we are finishing a house the difference this stuff makes in the inside temperature and what the outside temperature is wonderful. It doesn’t matter hot or cold the house is so much more pleasant to work in, and this is before the HVAC is in and working. The difference in a workshop cost of heating and cooling would be trmendous.

While not the cheapest way to insulate it will payoff with the energy savings, resale value, & and the amount of time you get to spend in the shop.The foam insulation will also help to stiffen the structure and when srayed on the bottom side of the roof decking between the rafters wil increase your cubic ft. of usable area in the building.
No I’m not an insulation guy, I’m the carpenter.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3373 days

#3 posted 05-16-2011 04:18 PM

Another suggestion that you get the current copy of Wood Magazine for the coupon here! Top that thing off with a Wynn filter (I went Spun Bond, but paper is fine if you aren’t prone to humidity etc…). Keep your hoses short and straight as possible…

While 16×25 is far from tiny, you will find that it is somewhat, limiting space wise. A few pieces of advise from somebody that has been doing space saving / maximizing projects since day one (shared space shop problems…).

#1. Think in 3 dimensions. Not only are the floors spaces that need to be planned out, so are the walls and ceiling! #2. Layer if at all possible. One of the projects I am ready to start now is a Clamshell cabinet(Wood Magazine’s “Best Home Workshop Ideas 2011”, actually my copy is the 2009 release, but aside from the ads, it’s the same magazine. Actuyally that magazine is chocked full of good ideas, I just hate that it is a verbatim repeat within 2 years…). After reviewing the amount of space they use/ save with those, I will be compressing about 4’x16’ worth of wall usage into 3’x3’ wall space…

You will want that shop nicely insulated, and radiant barrier included. Add one of those A/C / heat window units from LG to control the climate.

Make sure you have an ambient air filter in the mix with your dust collection system.

PLENTY of power.

Make sure you either have a separate space for lumber, both solid stock, and sheet goods…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View dpop24's profile


115 posts in 2710 days

#4 posted 05-16-2011 05:07 PM

Wow, thanks for the excellent feedback already guys. It looks like I left out some critical information in my original post, so I’ll add some points that I forgot.

1. the shop will basically be a single car attached garage that is 16×25. The cars will go in the adjacent attached garage and this space will be a dedicated shop. It will be directly underneath the bedrooms of our 2 young children, so I do have a concern about noise suppression. It will have a 9’x9’ garage door for bringing in stock.

2. The house is in California, so the temperature should always be pretty minor in the shop. I will definitely insulate with the best material we can afford, but noise suppression is of higher priority than temperature.

3. Wood storage has actually been one of my bigger concerns that I can’t figure out. Optimally, I would have a separate shed for wood so that it doesn’t clutter up the shop but that would also mean that it isn’t readily accessible. Any solutions/pictures you have would be greatly appreciated!

4. Since we’re also adding onto the house, we have to add electrical service at the same time, so I’m going to be getting plenty of electric capacity in the shop. I asked my contractor about floor mounted electrical outlets and he suggested to stay away from them because they can fill up with dirt, grime, sawdust. What’s the best method to plug in the TS? I don’t really want an extension cord running along the floor or looping up to the ceiling…...

-- If it ain't broke, take it apart and find out why

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2978 days

#5 posted 05-18-2011 04:41 AM

I see you already have lots of great tips from our LJ friends, but for lumber, let me suggest a solution. Follow my home link and see my lumber rack. I have a 24X24 shop and all my tools except my planer are stationary. But the point of my comment is my lumber rack. View my workshop and see what I’m trying to describe. My lumber rack is in a corner and is comprised of 4 – 2X4 extending from ceiling to floor. I have metal rods placed in the upper section from 54 inches and up. Under these, I have a plywood bin on a big swivel wheel so it can swing in and out when I need my sheets. As for the limited lumber storage on top, I’ve had more space then I need per project. That translates to enough room for extra lumber that I didn’t use for the last 4 or 5 projects. Works for me…

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View dpop24's profile


115 posts in 2710 days

#6 posted 05-19-2011 03:15 AM


Thanks for the tips, I spent some time looking through your shop photos. Very impressed that you dug that space out under your barn and built a shop under there. Bonus man points for you, sir!

I like your wood storage solution and I like the idea of having the sheet goods storage on swivel casters to make it easier to get at it. I’m trying to decide on the cleanest/sano solution as my feable storage solution now is sheet goods leaning against the wall and boards hanging from hooks on the ceiling.

I like this idea from Woodcrafts plan section – of course I wouldn’t need to pay them $8 to make a simple box out of plywood, but I like that it’s moveable and keeps everything organized neatly. I’ll likely make one of the sheet goods storage racks but still thinking of ideas to keep board storage neat and out of the way, I’d love to actually have them hidden in some way but still accessible… I know I’m asking for my cake and to eat it too! Please pass along any ideas/pics/links.

-- If it ain't broke, take it apart and find out why

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2978 days

#7 posted 05-19-2011 07:49 PM

Hey, it’s your workshop so have the cake and enjoy enjoy it. As for my plywood bin, it’s attached on 1 end and only has one big swivel wheel on the other end. It’s strategicaly placed in a corner, under my lumber rack. Pictuers don’t show, but behind the bin, between the post 2X4’s is space used for storing cut-off molding, or whatever I want to hide.

There are lots of books in your library, some on workshops. Look around. You can get lots of good ideas by visiting LJ workshops on this site. Look carefully. In the center of my shop, I have 2 posts holding up my barn. Rather the waste that space, when I boxed in the lolly columns, I made the face boards extra wide so the ends stuckout beyond the sides. I put in peg bords on those sides with stuff hanging out. Pay special attention to the small shops on this site and get great storage ideas. Neccesity is the mother of invention.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3112 days

#8 posted 05-19-2011 08:11 PM


Get you a copy of Wood magazine; near the back is an ad for HF. The 2 HP DC is always on sale in this ad for $139 or $159. There is also a 20% off coupon on this ad. Sometimes they will let you use both together; Depends on the store and clerk. I got mine for $139 and used the coupon for the acessory kit that had 20ft of 4” hose, some wye, tee, and elbow fittings and clamps for $34.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics