I need help with shop layout and organization.

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Forum topic by mrdunn posted 12-16-2012 06:39 PM 2265 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 1955 days

12-16-2012 06:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workshop layout workshop organization workshop supplies question tip

I’ve got my shop basically layed out but not all the way. I would love any comments and help anyone is willing to give! Especially with organization and layout. THANKS!!!! Jason…....

-- Turning is a privilege, not a right.

15 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3027 posts in 2224 days

#1 posted 12-16-2012 07:04 PM

You haven’t given us much to go on. However, I recommend that you read this book, then ask any specific questions you still have.

-- Art

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10048 posts in 4020 days

#2 posted 12-16-2012 07:05 PM

GOOGLE has a cool software program to use on-line… forgot the name of it… you can define your pieces & move them around, etc. to scale & all…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2804 days

#3 posted 12-16-2012 09:51 PM

Jason – think about the kind of woodworking you want to do and work it out in your head. If your going to use a table saw, it may be the workhorse of you shop so make sure you have room for cutting and ripping long boards. Plan a dust system and how to connect it. Are you going to have a router table etc…

I have a small 24X24 ft shop with 2 posts in the center. It’s more like a cave with short ceiling. What I did, I spent a lot of time just sitting in it listening to music and thinking about my shop. And I moved my stool around in different locations envisioning how I could incorporate all my tools. I came up with a fair idea and I’ve been improving since.

Rule #1 – you will change your set up a few times over the years so don’t stress over it!

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

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2007 days

#4 posted 12-16-2012 09:57 PM

I didn’t so a lot of planning when laying out my shop, just kind of put things where they would fit. One thing I did check for was making sure I could work on most normal sizes of wood without having to move tools. And in the event I do need to work on longer boards, I gave myself room to be able to pull each tool out from the wall to work on the bigger wood. For example my drum sander and my planer are next to each other with enough room to run about 4’ long pieces through each, which is 95% of what I do. But if I want to do longer each can be pulled out easily. I also made a simple work table out of 2×4 studs and a sheet of plywood for the top. It sits behind the table saw and doubles as an outfeed table for the table saw.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18686 posts in 2535 days

#5 posted 12-16-2012 10:43 PM

Maybe a current layout would help.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2652 days

#6 posted 12-16-2012 11:08 PM

I will offer my cynical comment…pick a plan, then use it for a while. then move the tools/benches around and use them for awhile. then move the tools/benches around and use them for awhile (I’ve relocated stuff twice in 2 years now…fortunately I came from a very cramped area so everything other than the DP are on mobile bases).

as said above, it is largely a function of what you do. google “woodshop layout” and you’ll find a lot of programs to play with (grizzly seems to have a good one).

View mrdunn's profile


8 posts in 1955 days

#7 posted 12-17-2012 01:44 AM

Thanks guys I really appreciate the help! I’ve been looking into the layout software. Help and it seems to be pretty nice. I’ve made it so far like, my table saw and assembly table have the most space. I’ve got a little room around the sander and router table but am currently trying to get rid of the clutter and such to make WAY more room. I’m dreading moving my drill press from the back room due to having to anchor it but yeah I’m trying to plan. I’m getting ready to buy a dust collector and duct to run, any suggestions? I’m also in the market for a band saw, maybe benchtop, maybe floor if the price is right. What are the better machines in the low to mid end? I’m thinking maybe a rikon benchtop but I’m not positive just yet.

-- Turning is a privilege, not a right.

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3544 days

#8 posted 12-17-2012 01:57 AM

Here’s one Grizzly has.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10048 posts in 4020 days

#9 posted 12-17-2012 05:22 AM


Thanks, Jim … getting OLD is the PITTS!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2652 days

#10 posted 12-17-2012 01:46 PM

the DP is a bear to move (top heavy and wants to tip if leaves verticle). borrow a set of hands and get an old rug or sheet of cardboard under it then “scoot” it. I don’t know about having to anchor it (I’ve owned 2 and have never bothered). I have a Delta bandsaw (floor model) but I don’t use it as much as many people here so see if they chime in.

dust collection…a lot of people seem to like the Harbor freight unit with a chip separator and a better filter. If you’re thinking about a fixed unit with ducting you are probably going to need a larger unit and maybe in the cyclone category. I wish I could offer more but I am still suffering information overload on the subject. google “cyclone dust collection” and you’ll find a ton of opinions (with little concensus). But do keep that in mind in your shop design (minimize the duct runs).

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5808 posts in 3162 days

#11 posted 12-17-2012 02:47 PM

To give you an idea of shop layouts and originaztion, just pull up some of the shops here on LJs…’ll get an aray of different designs and maybe help you decide where to start…..there are more shops on here than you’ll ever have time to look at… can take a little from this one, and then that one, and put the ideas together…...basically to have a starting place to begin…....

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

View Tbarksdale's profile


22 posts in 1954 days

#12 posted 12-29-2012 07:39 AM

What kind of woodworking and machines you have or want based on that decision dictate placement and layout.Look at some work benches on this site, you have nothing but time to plan, and it does not cost anything.

-- Tbarksdale Cullman Alabama

View MrRon's profile


4719 posts in 3211 days

#13 posted 12-31-2012 11:36 PM

No two shops are identical, nor are they ever permanent. They seem to evolve all the time. When you think you have the perfect shop, something will change your mind and you have to rearrange the shop. I have been doing this for over 50 years and still haven’t fixed my sight on the perfect shop. I doubt that I will ever get there. I probably spend more time rearranging my shop than on projects. What ever you do, don’t make it permanent. Next day, you may want to move it elsewhere. Better to put everything on wheels. I now have some tools on portable stands, but the more I think about it, it would serve me better to have everything portable.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2652 days

#14 posted 12-31-2012 11:56 PM


I have worked with a variety of industries from metal fabrication to hot dogs…they all pay a lot of money every year to optimize their layouts. For them it is $$$ in profits…for the small hobby shop it comes down to “I can live with it or I can’t”. Us hobbly people have to largely consider wiring and duct work for DC systems.

View RogerM's profile


792 posts in 2366 days

#15 posted 01-01-2013 05:45 AM

I am not sure what equipment you have or how big your shop is so it is difficult to provide specific comments. From the experience I have gained in laying out my shop I would offer some of the following pointers.

Put as many major pieces of equipment on wheels as possible.
pay close attention to dust control (location of power unit, location of ducting, duct material, blast gates)
Carefully lay out electrical receptacle locations, and use large boxes with 4 receptacles for each wall location.
Consider putting some receptacles in the ceiling
consider using some retractable reels for power cords.
factor in an air system using galvanized pipe and retractable air hose reels.
Place your main pieces of equipment so that they are easy to use and compliment each other (such as a table saw, joiner, planer, and miter saw).
Consider mounting all wall cabinets with french cleats.

Hope some of this helps make things flexible, it really helps

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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