Glad to be back! Time to plan my workshop.

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Forum topic by AngieO posted 01-21-2013 06:23 AM 1759 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2145 days

01-21-2013 06:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: workshop planning question organizing

So glad to be back!!!! I’ve been away from LJ’s for a while. I’ve been strolling through lots of projects. It’s getting me all geared up and excited. Lots of changes have been happening. I finally will be getting my own workshop. It won’t be anything fancy… But it will be all mine… And I will finally have a dedicated place to work. I have to do some planning and organizing.
So… I would love to hear any of your ideas or suggestions. It’s only a small space. I’ll try to get some measurements. But it’s a small one car garage. Barely fits one car. What are some things you’d include or tips on things to think about as I plan it out? I can’t wait to hear your suggestions.
And… I can’t wait to start making some sawdust!

21 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#1 posted 01-21-2013 06:33 AM

Glad your back to woodworking,enjoy you shop set up.Plan everything around your table saw being centered in your work space and take a look at everyone’s shop on Ljs for Ideas.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4003 posts in 2231 days

#2 posted 01-21-2013 11:53 AM

Welcome back! It’s inspiring to hear about a “fresh” start.
I started my woodworking affair in a one car space. Didn’t have a table saw, but I quickly learned that access to all sides of a workbench is essential. It is much easier in a small space to walk around to work on the other side of something than to turn it around, especially if it is a bulky item. I even had a large mirror (family exchange—curbside pickup) hanging opposite the “main” or front side so I could see the back without walking around. Helps with assembly of bulky items.
Modularity and portability are important too because things change, especially as you “grow”, get different tools etc. My tool chests are not highly customized for specific tools so I can quickly replace a tool without redoing its storage. In a small space, you quickly learn the value of organization, as in you might as well put the tool back where it is stored as opposed to leaving it on the bench. So my tool chests are behind me when I stand at the bench front and it is a matter of turning around to pick up and put “down” a tool. It normally never lays on the bench, even for a little bit. Lesser used tools are slightly farther away, high or low but all within two steps.
Dust collection, compressed air, and a drop cord are on an overhead swing arm (see my shop discussion).
Photobucket’s beta has messed up my Home page link and I can’t find a way to correct it yet.
Anyway, good luck!

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

5949 posts in 3350 days

#3 posted 01-21-2013 12:58 PM

Welcome back Angie!
Looks like your off to a good start with some good advice from Jim and Dan.
A one car is small but it’s a place to work. I have a two car and for me I find it very helpful to have all my heavy tools on wheels. I’m not sure that would matter much in a one car. Depending on what I’m building dictates what I need so I try to keep all the machines I don’t use tucked away so I have room to move.
I also like lots of light. So I hung 5 shop lights up and I also have lights on my band saw and drill press.
I find having power outlets on every wall a must. Or like Dan mentioned hanging pull down reels that can be up and out of the way. I have a compressor also. It’s not cheap to set up a shop so it’s going to take time. You could start with a table saw and a good sturdy work bench with a woodworking vise. Then think about how you want your tools to be displayed. When I first got started (48 years ago) I would take a job and with the money I made and I would buy another tool to add to my shop. I had a full time job also aside of woodworking but used the profits from woodworking to buy more tools.
One more thing! Save your health! Get a good vacuum system! Dust is very very bad so that’s a must have item!
Good luck!! Work safe!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View helluvawreck's profile


31071 posts in 2864 days

#4 posted 01-21-2013 02:30 PM

Welcome back, Angie. Don’t skimp on the table saw. A lot of things can be done with portable power tools. Nether would I skimp on the hand tools. This is just my 2 cents worth.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2911 days

#5 posted 01-21-2013 02:40 PM

Welcome back Angie!

Charles has a point about getting a worthwhile table saw. What does the ramp to your garage door look like? Is it smooth all the way into the driveway? Or does it have a ‘step’ or ledge where the door fits? The reason for asking this is that this could help you decide on what equipment and how mobile that equipment needs to be. There are many folks who will move their big tools/saws etc. into the driveway for the day when working “in the shop.”

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4216 days

#6 posted 01-21-2013 03:16 PM

The key to working in a small space, as mentioned already, is to have as much stuff as possible on wheels so you can move things around as needed. My shop is only one side of a two-car garage, and I have a full-sized table saw.(I agree with Charles on the importance of that.) I also have a lathe, a planer, a full-sized router table, a 9” band saw, a drill press, an oscillating spindle/belt sander, belt/disc sander, bench grinder, miter saw mounted in a flip-top cart that doubles as a rolling workbench, and countless other portable power and hand tools. My point is that you can do a lot in a small space.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2968 days

#7 posted 01-21-2013 09:38 PM

Good to hear from you again. Was afraid some one ran you off or something.

Now, get to work ;^)

View Grumpymike's profile


2238 posts in 2313 days

#8 posted 01-21-2013 11:36 PM

Glad to see you back, I was once in a one car garage and found like the others here said having everything on wheels was a biggie. the next thing I found was wall space at a premium. Carefull orgaization of shelf and cabinet space … Then when you figure you got it whipped, here comes a new tool or gadget … reorganization never stops. Enjoy your new shop.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2795 days

#9 posted 01-21-2013 11:58 PM

Welcome back.
For what it’s worth I did a blog on my very small shop in Az. I have a lot of capacity in a small space and for not much financial outlay. Maybe not for you but on the other hand maybe some of it will help.

Best of luck with the new space.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2335 days

#10 posted 01-22-2013 01:01 AM

Glad you’re back. I was afraid you were
Ad at Roger :-)

Good luck on shop.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2968 days

#11 posted 01-22-2013 03:22 AM

My first shop was a 3’ x 10’ storage room at the back of a carport.
Basically, just a place to store my tools before I pulled them out into the carport.
From that humble beginning I built a little barn shaped 12’ x 16’ with a loft that I built from a bunch of discarded shipping crates I picked up at work.
Glad you’re back, be safe and have fun.

View jeff's profile


1080 posts in 3462 days

#12 posted 01-22-2013 03:54 AM

welcome back…12×14 shop here…so far my table saw/workbench and drill press table are on casters,works well in my tiny shop…post some pics for all of us…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3228 days

#13 posted 01-22-2013 04:05 AM

I can sympathize with you on the one car garage. That is what I have been working out of. I have my power tools on wheels so I can move them around as needed.

My table saw sits near the front door with a combo outfeed/assembly/work table behind it. Other tools include a band saw, 6 in jointer, planer, oscillating sander and a shop vac with the Oneida cyclone dust collector.

Good luck filling up your shop.

Note: reclaimed pallets, huh? I have torn down a few. I like to build stuff that doesn’t resemble the lowly pallet. :-)
Here are a couple of projects made with the pallet boards.
Condiment rack
Shelf on workbench


-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View knotscott's profile


8013 posts in 3373 days

#14 posted 01-22-2013 10:28 AM

Grizzly has an online shop planning tool that’s to scale and really easy to use. That should help you with a reasonable layout to get started….highly recommended!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2145 days

#15 posted 03-30-2013 03:20 AM

Finally got some pics posted. Go check them out and tell me what you think :)

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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