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Forum topic by 1978 posted 07-14-2008 04:59 PM 1448 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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167 posts in 3634 days

07-14-2008 04:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workshop scrollsaw carving

I have a question for all the woodworkers that scrollsaw and carve. How big is your workshop? I’ve been in woodworking for about 5 years. I carve and also do scrollsaw work. I don’t plan on making anything else, such as furniture or nothing bigger than what I can scroll out of my scrollsaw (for right now). I had planned on building a workshop in the back yard that is 14’ x 18’. But, I don’t have a lot of spare money laying around. I was also thinking of converting a 10’ x 12’ shed I have in the back yard into a workshop. For a starter workshop, I thought converting the shed would be the cheapest way since it is already built and on the plus side it has electricity. It will get me in a workshop seperate from the house, unlike the garage shop (and I use that term loosely). Any advice would be great.

12 replies so far

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4047 days

#1 posted 07-14-2008 05:10 PM

You seem a bit entrapped with a limited budget and perhaps a limited interest in woodworking.
It might be a good idea to give it a few months until you have a clearer insight into what you want to do.
I am building a shop as we speak and it is costly and time consuming.
Best to be sure you really want this.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 3866 days

#2 posted 07-14-2008 05:12 PM

Will the shed work for heating, if you can insulate it. I’m not sure where your at maybe you need to cool it. With that small of a spce it shouldn’t be a problem. Your shed would give you 120 sqft, for what your going to be doing it sounds workable. I’m stuck in a one car garage, building furniture, but I’m always having to move something out of the way just to move.

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3768 days

#3 posted 07-15-2008 12:36 AM

Go with the shed conversion. You can always add a small propane heater when it gets cold. When I lived in TX the only place we had for my carving and my wife’s scroll saw work was a single car garage with lots of other stuff in there. I hand carve and power carve at times and you really don’t need to have a lot of room.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4014 days

#4 posted 07-15-2008 12:44 AM

For just scroll sawing and carving just use a big closet inside the house. :-)

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3921 days

#5 posted 07-15-2008 01:34 AM

Depends on what you want to scroll saw. You can do some pretty huge panels scroll sawing——making small panels and joining them. But if you are never going to do anything more than the size of your scroll saw table——a small room – even smaller than your shed would work.

The size is not so much limited by your work but by your comfort level. I would not be comfortable with a shop smaller than 8×8. Anything smaller and I feel closed in.

if you already have the shed – I’d go with that.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2658 posts in 2947 days

#6 posted 12-23-2012 06:06 PM

Most of my projects include scroll saw work. I do Intarsia, lettering, and lots of inlay work. I have two Hegner scroll saws that I use. These scroll saws do not take up much room in my, separate from the house , 22’x13’ workshop but my shop is FULL of other tools I use to make these scroll saw projects, including: Table saw, band saw, routers, jointer, planer, power carver, drill press, “V” sander and two work benches. I use these other tools to prepare the wood for scroll sawing on. I buy rough wood and resaw and plane it to make inlays and lettering with. (I do not do fret work….yet). Having these tools, and a dust collection system, makes it possible to do the desired projects with ease. I think the separate shed is what I would start with but keep in mind that in the future, you may want to get some of these other tools to help with your scroll saw projects.

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

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2136 days

#7 posted 12-23-2012 08:45 PM

Jim is on the right track.

I do a variety of work in my shop including scroll saw projects. But, even if I limited myself to scroll saw work I would still want a band saw to resaw my wood. You will pay the same for 1/4 or 1/8 inch wood as 4/4. Perhaps even a premium.

You can start with the shed and a small heater / cooler and then if you want to continue with the hobby build yourself a better workshop. Mine is a 1 car oversized garage that I added a 12×16 foot building onto. It is still too small (woodworking is ok, but no place for finishing).

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

377 posts in 3108 days

#8 posted 12-24-2012 12:17 AM

It sounds like you only need a small amount of space. Use the shed. Insulate it so it stays comfortable.

If you built the 14×18 shop, you would have room for a table saw, jointer, planer, miter saw, and a small lathe in addition to your scroll saw.

-- Steve

View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3256 days

#9 posted 12-24-2012 12:29 AM

A shed in your back yard will be easier for someone to break in to. That’s what happened to me.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View TeamTurpin's profile


85 posts in 2087 days

#10 posted 12-24-2012 01:02 AM

I have a 12’ X 16’ shed in my backyard. I paid two locals guys $3K and three days later it was done and I was moving in. It was one of my better decisions. I was then able to do all the interior work and finish it out like I wanted. It’s very well insulated. I only have a small infrared heater out there, but I was out there today and it stayed quite cozy. If you want to see what it looks like, follow the link below.


View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2861 days

#11 posted 12-24-2012 01:52 AM

I can see a 10×12 being a good sized shed for a lot of what you want to do. I’d build a 2’ deep workbench along 5’ of one short wall, that allows for assembly, finishing and with some decent vises a decent size for planing out, jointing, and working with the shorter boards you will be dealing with. I’d splurge on a decent bandsaw which could go against one wall, a planer on a mobile cart with a small dust collector and that would leave plenty of space for the scroll saw in the middle. With some decent handsaws and band saw you should be able to do without a tablesaw and most other tools. I’d also stick a drill press in the opposite corner from the bench along the same wall.
Under the bench put a series of shelves for finishing supplies and smaller pieces of wood and make a couple of higher racks that would get longer pieces high enough to not bump into but not so high you need a step stool. Biggest things will be insulating, surfacing the walls, making sure the electrical is run throughout, and lots of lighting.

Rough layout assuming a door in the middle of one of the long walls, although I put it opening in when usually they open out. This is what I would view as the basic tools needed that I mention above. This is to scale as a 10×12 with 2×5 bench and the footprint of the power tools that I have. Yours may vary. My scrollsaw footprint assumes a stool and the small garbage can I keep next to it to drop in small cut offs.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2862 days

#12 posted 12-24-2012 08:02 PM

Magicman – LJ has a new forum for scroll saw and it’s a new forum. Go down the page a bit to Sheila’s post and click onto her home connection. Take a look at her workshop which is a corner of her kitchen and porch. Then visit her projects and web site to see her work. Doesn’t sound like you’ll need a lot of space so consider snooping around to see what other folks have or do with their space.

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

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