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Forum topic by Absinthe posted 06-21-2011 11:22 PM 1617 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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90 posts in 2499 days

06-21-2011 11:22 PM

Hi, I’m new so instead of a standard delurk, I will start with a space gloat and open myself up to suggestions.

I recently got a 12×16 shed with a little less than 8’ ceilings and an a frame roof. I put up some ceiling joists that I will loft with some OSB on either end for ‘miscellaneous’ storage. I am in the process of running 100 amp service to it, and as of yet am not quite finished. (Ground rods don’t drive as easily as it would appear :) )

Currently, I am using, if you can call it that, a garage. But not really, because it is cluttered and full of crap, and any flat surface that sits for more than a few minutes will have something piled upon it. Hopefully, once I get all wired up and move all the tools over I will be able to work wood again.

I have the usual suspects, 10” Rigid tablesaw, 13” Rigid Thickness Planer, 6 1/2” Rigid Jointer, Chicago Tools bench top (big one) drill press, Jet Bandsaw (small one, I can lift it with one hand), and a little mini 8×12 lathe (also a bench top model), and a 10” compound miter saw. In addition to that, I have a small collection of hand tools, planes, saws, chisels and so forth. And the other normal bench top tools grinders, and sanding stations (small one), Kreg stuff, plate joiners and drills and the like.

That is not meant as a gloat by any means, but a setup for the next question.

I would like to do this right, the first time, and once only. I have not set where the outlets are going to be yet, nor the lights, and haven’t decided on the tool locations. I have also not come up with a dust collection or air cleaning solution, and I guess it is fair to mention that I have not come up with a heating and cooling plan.

The shed has those tiny windows like on a trailer, so a window unit AC is out of the question. It has a double door on one of the 12’ sides, and two windows on the 16’ side with single door between them.

I also, do not have a ‘real’ workbench. I currently have one of those knock together ones from Lowes that is akin to a potting bench, which I may canabalize for the wood and reclaim my little face vice from it. I do, however, have my WorkMutt and some saw horses to tide me over until such time as I can get a reasonable bench made. I have been looking at lots of different designs.

So I have no bench, or counter tops, or cabinets. I assume those will be the first projects that get made, but still lights and electricity come first.

Maybe I don’t really have a specific question. Just kind of vapor-locking because I don’t have a set plan and not sure where to start. Things like, is it better to face the table saw out the door, or across a work bench or into a corner where there is a work top? Do I want to rewire the dual voltage tools to use 240? Build in fixed counters or do everything as modular units on wheels? LED or florescent lighting?

The way I see it, I don’t want to move too much stuff out there, especially without electricity, until it has a specific place to be. I fear it will simply become a storage closet for my stuff if I do. It doesn’t feel like a whole lot of space, so I think everything will need to do double duty. Every flat top needs to be out-feed worthy, and ever ‘underneath’ needs to have storage.

Ok, I have whined enough now. Thanks for having me, and now back to digging my trench for my power cables :( If I am lucky I will have all my wires run and buried before I go on vacation this weekend.

-- Absinthe

10 replies so far

View brtech's profile


1028 posts in 2890 days

#1 posted 06-22-2011 12:32 AM

Lots to consider, for sure.

8×12 is small. Start by placing the TS. How do you rip full size sheets? On the TS or on the floor with a circular saw? Decide how big you need to rip or crosscut on the TS and put it somewhere that works.

I’d think you want most of the tools on mobile carts or mobile bases. There are flip carts, but you may have enough space to store them all along a wall. I’d be thinking I want a planer and jointer being able to be used on long stock one after another without moving them, so do that next.

Then I’d be thinking how to add assembly area around the TS. Not clear you can use anything permanent, may need to be mobile, but you want a lot of flat space to work with.

After I’d figured out where I used all the tools, I’d do the power and DC layouts. DC is probably going to just be flex hose: no room for fixed duct I would guess, but the DC has to be close enough to keep the hose less than maybe 10-15’. You might want overhead power drops, but make sure you don’t wack the power with the stock when you use the tools.

Then I’d be thinking about storage: Cabinets above the carts at least. Maybe plan one of those wall cabinets that everyone’s been showing off that have 2-3 leaves.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2951 days

#2 posted 06-22-2011 03:56 AM

First of all welcome to Lumber Jocks.
Congrats on the new shop space. I certainly understand what you are going through and have just got mine set up to start working in. Although you have about half the space as I have, as I have a 12’x30’. You may want to take a look at my shop pics and see if you can get some ideas for yours.
Also check out my blog The Electrical Journey
And see if you can glean any ideas from there as well. While I’m far from finished yet, I think there will be a lot of useful ideas you can incorporate into your shop. Don’t be afraid to post pics as you go if you are able to, as this will help others to see where you can do things differently sometimes. Have fun I know I have.

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

View Absinthe's profile


90 posts in 2499 days

#3 posted 06-22-2011 04:01 AM

Hmm, 8×12 sure is small, what I have is 16×12 :)

For the most part, I have my sheet goods cut to a smaller size at the store since I don’t normally have a truck available to cart full sheets home. My TS is a Rigid TS2424 (Every man should have a Rigid tool! Do they still use that slogan?) So if I have to cut anything up to 24” I will wrestle it onto the TS and hope for the best on the other side. (Does that make me a bad person?) I have considered moving my rails to the right and having 36” on the right of the blade instead like a TS1236.. but I have not actually done that yet. In that case however, I would cut everything on it. Now if I win the Lotto there is a Unisaw or PM2000 in my future. But alas you can’t win if you don’t play. Personally, my major concern with the TS is outfeed, though if I could extend one side or the other it might be worth while. (decisive ain’t I? :) )

In the past when I needed to work with large sheet goods, I put it on 2×4’s on the ground or on saw horses and went at it with the circular saw. I am only 5’6” (168 cm) and traversing a 4×8 sheet of plywood usually involves climbing on top of it to get all the way across.

So the few suggestions I get for the saw are:
1. Put it as close to the doube doors as possible with the back to the doors, so that I could cut long material and it would have enough room to back up and feed it onto the table and it could fall off the back of the saw out the doors. Or I could put some kind of outfeed sawhorse or roller out there (though I fear that would be inconveneint for the uneven grade of the ground. Also, it kind of cuts off my use of that door set.

2. This was similar to the first one, but involves turning the saw around so that I am outfeeding into the shop, but I can back up all the way out the door to feed long pieces onto the table saw. I have similar concerns with this configuration in that it cuts off general access to that door, and generally has me standing on a precipice (sp) during normal use.

3. Centralize the saw, facing the back of the shop such that there is 8’ beyond the back of it to the rear wall, and place a workbench or shop made outfeed table, or assembly table etc behind the saw. So far this has seemed the most reasonable.

4. There was a suggestion that involved a diagonal placement aiming generaly towards what appeared to be a ‘L’ counter top work area. This didn’t make so much sense to me, but might if there were less room length-wise to work and perhaps that was the reason. (somethign like this )

The TS is right aroudn 60” wide and 48” deep. I have not seen a good plan for outfeed or side feed tables for it, but if I keep looking I may get lucky :)

More than one person has suggested the jointer and planer go along side the sa. I assume this gives them the ability to share whatever outfeed gets setup for use with the saw. Unfortunately, the jointer is 31 3/4” and the planer is at 32 3/4” and the TS is just about 36”. The planer is mounted to a steel tool stand. It would not be a major job to make it taller or shorter, though I haven’t quite figued out how. It is not on wheels. The jointer is on a set of wheels (one of the worst I have ever used, by craftsman I think.) Short of mounting it to some other wheel system, I am not sure how I would raise or lower it. So each having their own caster set/cabinet may be in the cards. (The jointer is cabinet style, so it would just get a slightly raised wheel set platform) the planer could have its own cabinet to mount on.

As for locking casters and such, where are people getting them and what do folks here like? I have seen some at Lowes, and they are prohibitively expensive. So I know there is a better deal out there, somewhere.

-- Absinthe

View Absinthe's profile


90 posts in 2499 days

#4 posted 06-22-2011 04:45 AM

Thanks Gregn, this has to be the friendliest and most welcoming forum I have ever joined. And I mean ever.

I love the look of your shop, and will try and gleen whatever I can from the picutres.

Right now, I have hung 2×6 ceiling joists on all but the middle 3 or 4 rafters. Initially I wanted to have 2, 4’ deep lofts at either end. I can’t not negotiate a 48” loft since it is too low to get up into it and crawl around, so I will probably cut them down to 2’.

I have been taking snapshots here and there along the way but nothing all that intersting yet. I just spent pretty near 4 days driving a ground rod. Finally, I asked my neighbor if he had a sledge hammer or a maul or something heavier than my poor little 3# drilling hammer. He gave me a whole tool box full of all sorts of hammers including a 4 # engineers hammer and told me to keep them, and come back tomorrow and take whatever other tools I want from his garage. He is moving back to Arizona, and not interested in taking any of them back with him. He won’t let me give him anything for them, but I took him a hot out of th eoven loaf of zuccini bread that my wife just finished as I walked into the house. (She made 7 loaves but that is a whole differnt story, feel free to ask me about it )

I wired my main panel, and begain the conduiting, but getting ahead of myself have not cemented the Sched40 together yet. It will be running on the ground against the wall for about 20 ft before it goes underground. This is to get underneath a low 12’ wide deck. I will have to pull out some of the conduit to actually cement it, that will be a good time for a photo op. I did do some images of the panels to show how I was hooking 4 wires from the main panel, and where they would be connected in the subpanel here

I have other inside images on the phone, but haven’t uploaded them to photobucket yet.

I was not looking forward to driving that ground rod, but I am even more dreading digging the trench from the house to the shop, but we have had a fair amount of rain lately, so maybe it will not suck too bad.. (wishful thinking)

I am setup with 6 20 amp breakers for 120, 2 15 amp breakers for 120 and one 20 amp 240 breaker. I curently don’t have any tools that use 240, but the TS and jointer can be rewired to use 240, so I may do that.

I am still not sure what to do with the lighting but I have not ruled out cans or flouresent tubes yet. I have considered LED though I wish the cost would come down.

I have not really thought out DC. I have been playing with building one of the smaller versions of the cyclone separators. 9” I think. The idea being I could test it with a shop vac as a source and see if it lets anythign through to the shop vac itself. I have this huge old Genie shop vac. It says it can do 5 hp, but I don’t believe that is possible with a 120 motor, but sure enough it is like a jet taking off when you turn it on. One should use hearing protection with that thing, and I am not kidding. I am figuring, in the beginning I can go machine to machine as necessary and eventually build a nice full sized one with serious motor and impeller and all that jazz at a later date. I am not cetain that I wouldn’t be just as well off with a Thien separator, though maybe both in series could be interesting. I am not sure I can’t get lucky with one of the off the shelf DC units, but I havne’t had any luck so far. Building one will certianly give me a chance to practice some of my metal fabrication skills, and it sems like it could be fun.

I will post other pictures when I have them.

-- Absinthe

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15283 posts in 2586 days

#5 posted 06-29-2011 02:48 PM

Absinthe- likely not something you want to hear, but with a shoP that small I’d try like mad to do without a table saw… Too much real estate to dedicate to the beast. That’d be a big decision, of course, because all of the cuts typically done on the TS would have to be worked another way, like on a chop saw or band saw. But it could be done and would free up so much footprint…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Paul Miller's profile

Paul Miller

33 posts in 3421 days

#6 posted 06-29-2011 05:14 PM

In my small shop most of my machines are on casters. My favorite casters are from Lee Valley….the 3” red wheels. They work great under a 500 lb 15” planer. Some folks use two fixed and two swivels, but I find that method difficult to manuver, and prefer all four to swivel. BTW, Lee Valley has free shipping right now on orders over $50 (not associated with LV, just a happy customer).


View Absinthe's profile


90 posts in 2499 days

#7 posted 06-29-2011 11:43 PM

My doctor wants to know what you would like him to do about the extra 2”? :D

Anyway, it is an old joke, ask me off line if you never heard it. Point is, I already have a table saw, and it is one I really like :) If it were an issue for space, I could possibly set it up in such a way to be able to roll it out of the way. That, however is not in the cards, I want it there, and it is pretty much my most used power tool. A better suggestion may very well be something to do with side, infeed and outfeed tables that can either have permanent double duty or fold out of the way when not in use or something like that..

I am not intending on removing any machines from the mix. I assume that if I could start over from scratch something like a Shopsmith may be a better solution. But I can’t imagine a 12’ x 16’ not being big enough for a table saw. AAMOF I will, no doubt, be adding a oscillating spindle sander and shaper at some point in the future.

Lazy-suzan multiple tool mounts, or even triangular flip-table mounts are also things I am considering too.

-- Absinthe

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2938 days

#8 posted 06-30-2011 04:43 AM

Well, to be realistic and thinking about the future, you want the TS blade to be parallel with the shop’s longest dimension. To allow for ripping anything 8 ft long you need at least 17 feet (you need a least 1 ft. for the blade to be clear + 8 ft. in-feed + 8 ft. out-feed). you only have 16 ft so you have to plan to use the double doors to give you a little extra space for long rips.

I would consider putting the back edge of the TS about 6 ft inside the double door with the out-feed feeding toward the double door. That will handle most work and for the occasional long piece you just open the doors. Put the right hand side of the saw near the back wall of the shop, about 12” clearance for the fence.

If you want to have a work bench in this limited space, you need to put it against the wall in that 6 ft space behind the table saw, and a little lower than the saw. That way it can serve as an outfeed table. Be sure to keep any vises or other attachments flush with the top or they will be in the way.

I would put my Jointer on a mobile base and park it against the back wall, in front of the table saw. If you put the table saw 12” away from the wall, like I suggested earlier, the jointer can serve as an in-feed for the TS. The jointer’s fence will be be to the right of the table saw’s fence and therefore not a problem. Just be sure the mobile base doesn’t make the jointer too tall.

To the right of the jointer I would put a small mobile base and that would be the home for my planer.

To summarize: you are standing in the front door.
- Look to your left, there is a work bench in the left rear corner.
- To the right of the bench is he table saw.
- To the right of the saw is the jointer.
- To the right of the jointer, and in the right rear corner, is the planer.

To finish it up, while still standing in the front door and looking to the right, I would put my lathe across the end of the shop on a narrow bench or heavy shelf, about 16” wide with room to mount a grinder for sharpening my turning tools.

In front of the right hand window, across from the jointer, I’d put the drill press and the band saw.

In front of the left window, across from the work bench and table saw, I’d put the miter saw. When cutting long pieces they will block the front door, and they may extend out the double door, but it would be useable.

If you ever think about dust collection, I’d put it outside the middle of the back wall with a shed around it and a hose or duct coming through the wall right under the right hand fence of the table saw and convenient to connect to the jointer or planer as well. Make that little dust collector shed a little bigger and you can put the air compressor out there as well.

View brtech's profile


1028 posts in 2890 days

#9 posted 06-30-2011 11:40 PM

You might want to get all of your smaller tools on carts. Take a look at this one:

Cheap, strong, easy to make.

A shop vac is not a dust collector. DCs have much higher CFM, and possibly lower FPM. You want a DC. If you are on a budget, the HF 1.5HP DC is available for $139 with a coupon, you add a Thein baffle to it (you can put the baffle INSIDE the DC, which saves space), and you have to upgrade the filter to a .5micron canister ($105 at Wynn Engineering). Getting it outside would be cool, if you can do that, but the usual problem is that whatever HVAC you have, an outside DC requires makeup air from somewhere. Don’t skimp on dust management; it’s a health thing. Wear a respirator until you do it right, and even then, for some operations, you want the respirator even if you have the DC.

View Absinthe's profile


90 posts in 2499 days

#10 posted 07-01-2011 05:18 AM

I recently bought a big old blower with a 10” impeller and unfortunately a 1 hp motor. Lots of ducting and connectors and such. It will be the beginnings of my DC system. I spoke with the mfg of the blower and it is rated for 4500 rpm and a 2.5 hp motor. It will be the beginning of my system, but eventually I will look to replace the motor.

I am in the process of building a cyclone (to Pentz’s specs). I may still try to do a Thien separator as well.

I am not intending on using a shop vac for a dust collector. However, I have a dust deputy to assemble and it will be the dust collector until I get the proper cyclone or Thien separator completed.

Most tools will have to either have their current stands modified, or replaced with wheeled cabinets.

I am not sure where to get resonable prices on locking casters though.

-- Absinthe

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