Making first workshop - any advice appreciated...

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Forum topic by Josh posted 02-12-2012 11:17 PM 4714 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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32 posts in 2290 days

02-12-2012 11:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workshop layout

Hello all – I am new to the site…have worked with wood since I was a kid, but never had the toys for it. I am about to buy a sawstop table saw, dust collection, drill press, maybe a lathe…I am trying to determine the optimal layout for bay 3 of a 3 car garage. I attached a snapshot from Google Sketchup.

Sorry if this is a redunant post (new here) but I would certainly appreciate any feedback and/or advice from the experts. As you see, I plan to build a 28” deep workbench along the entire wall with cabinets above. I will recess the miter saw as indicated. The center bench will probably be something like the shaker type workbench with cabinets and drawers…the others probably just large cabinet drawers (to house a dewalt dust collector for miter saw for example).

Another question is what to make the bench out of…I thought I would use mainly pine for the structure and then a hardwood top…is that reasonable or use more hardwood?

Thanks for any input.


-- Josh, Columbus, GA

7 replies so far

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32 posts in 2290 days

#1 posted 02-13-2012 12:45 AM

Great advice – thanks so much. I do plan to get the mobile stand for the sawstop so I can move it around as needed. I don’t expect to be cutting very wide boards too often, so I plan to get the smaller/est version (36ish?), and also to build an outfeed table that will store wood and/or equipment below, as well as a router table somewhere on the table…

-- Josh, Columbus, GA

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73 posts in 2633 days

#2 posted 02-13-2012 12:49 AM

Why a sparate dust collector for mitre saw? Suggestion move mitre saw over to one side of window and drop a pipe from big one .that way pipe is not in middle of window.
Bench choices are yours , what you can spend , hard surface takes more abuse but is harder to refinish if that time comes. You also could put a sacraficial top of ,plywood or mdf, or your choice on top and replace if too abused.
If you plan on staying in only 3rd bay tablesaw should be on wheels and move out of way when not in use.Same for any other equip. that would end up in the shop.

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32 posts in 2290 days

#3 posted 02-13-2012 12:55 AM

Great thoughts…since this is in a garage, I’m going to try to keep clutter to a bare minimum (we’ll see how that goes)...that is why I thought about hiding the dewalt evacuator that cuts on automatically with miter saw below the miter saw)...then I would do the “real” dust collection for the table saw, lathe, (bigger stuff) in one area to hoepfully not have visible collection pipes…

I have the sacrificial plywood top on my current workbench and like that so far so I may just do that again. What about the framework of the table…is pine a good/reasonable choice for that? I plan to build a 22 foot wide x 28 inch deep by 34 inch tall (to match table saw) bench/table as indicated by the drawing…

I actually thought I would build it in pseudo-segments and then bolt them together just in case I ever needed to move anything for whatever reason…

-- Josh, Columbus, GA

View DIYaholic's profile


19618 posts in 2669 days

#4 posted 02-13-2012 01:39 AM

I can’t really offer any setup advice regarding tools & machines. It really is based upon your projects and personal preference.

I have a blog about the my trials & tribulations of setting up my first shop. It’s a 13’ x 19’ shop with additional rooms/space for storage and finishing room. My shop is temporarily setup, such that I can be productive. My first priority was dust collection. I have not run ducting yet, but ALL machines can be serviced by my, Wynn Enviromental 35A274NANO canister filter equipt, 2HP HF DC. My fist project, currently in progress, is building an ambient air cleaner utilizing a repurposed, variable speed, squirrel cage, furnace blower.

With that said, IMHO, Dust control should be a top priority as you plan out your shop.

Good luck with your shop setup.

BTW: I like the SketchUp rendering of your shop. I haven’t quite “mastered” SketchUp. I can’t even draw a straight line!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Josh's profile


32 posts in 2290 days

#5 posted 02-16-2012 01:42 AM

I think that I’m going to use pine for the bulk of the structure and then 3/4” plywood for the top…sound reasonable?

-- Josh, Columbus, GA

View FreshSawDust's profile


68 posts in 2324 days

#6 posted 02-16-2012 02:03 AM

pine makes a fine structure but if you plan to do any hand work on the bench, a double layer of 3/4 ply would be in order.

-- TJ - Perryville, Missouri

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2916 days

#7 posted 02-16-2012 02:05 AM

I have my shop in one stall of a three car garage also. I built wall mounted benches on three walls of fir 2×6’s with MDF tops. Nothing of the benches touches the floor. Easier to sweep clean that way. Here is a layout of how I did my shop. Table saw and drum sander are on wheels the rest of the equipment is not.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

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