how many wood worker can use 1800 sq feet at the same time

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Forum topic by sandhill posted 01-22-2013 11:04 PM 1966 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2128 posts in 3946 days

01-22-2013 11:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am trying to figure out how many wood worker can use 1800 sq feet at the same time safely, with out getting in each others way in a fully equipped shop. This is for a wood working club. The club is getting a new building and I am trying to be reasonable as to what I ask for. I am guessing 10 to 15 people at once is there a rule? Thanks

13 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#1 posted 01-22-2013 11:09 PM

If there setting carving 40 or so if there making cabinets 10 or so. Mixed woodworking projects up to 14 people.
Just a wild guess. It will depend on how it’s laid out ,the amount of equipment and benches etc.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3670 days

#2 posted 01-22-2013 11:11 PM

It’s a matter of having machine work envelopes around
each machine and walking pathways between them.

So start with your machinery and figure out the workflow
of bringing material in the door, machining it and
then you have the question of how much space
you want to devote to assembly, work benches and

I lived in an 1800 square foot loft for awhile and I
would not try to have 10 or 15 people building
cabinets or furniture in that size space unless the
focus was hand tools and the machinery, if any,
was minimal and small.

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2029 days

#3 posted 01-22-2013 11:13 PM

10 or 15? I find it hard to believe that someone wouldnt get hurt with it that crowded. My shop is 30’X40” (1200sq ft) and with my meager equipment in there, I’d feel very crowded with 2 or 3 people trying to work around each other.

Just my 2cents

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3253 days

#4 posted 01-22-2013 11:27 PM

When I was in junior high, our wood shop may have been about that size or bigger. The problem was, there could be a wait to use certain tools, so for some there was nothing to do. Then the finishing room wasn’t all that big so another bottleneck.

What size are the dimensions?

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3946 days

#5 posted 01-23-2013 12:08 AM

the dimensions are 30’ X 60’ I have 24 X 30 and its OK for 3 people at the most. The photo represents about 5 to 6 feet around each person 5 people at any station I feel that 10 people may be OK but I am not sure. I have to balance what I ask for vs what we need vs what they will pay for and not get pissed off if I say its not enough.

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2887 days

#6 posted 01-23-2013 12:13 AM

I think largely it will depend upon the layout and obviously the kind of tools involved. A system might need to be put into place to synchronize people movement/use of certain machines . And perhaps a buddy system would be helpful also to prevent bumps and other actions that could result in an injury.

Also I would think that much time will be spent at workbenches. The layout of those would have to thought out as well.

If practical would it be possible to have two different meeting times to divide up the members ?

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3946 days

#7 posted 01-23-2013 12:51 AM

Our meeting space is at a different location right now. They have a jounor High School that is empty and although we cant occupy the school they want to put it on the same grounds or another location may be a small air port. The big plan is to have all Arts & Crafts in the same location (different buildings).
Here is what our long term goal is and what we would like to form.

Orange County Virginia Handcrafters Guild
Clay, Pottery and Ceramics
Decorative Arts
Drawing and Painting
Fabric and Fiber Arts
Glass Arts
Metal Arts
Mixed Media

Woodworking (This being the spear head)

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2658 days

#8 posted 01-23-2013 01:38 AM

Getting enough room for people to work with machinery is one thing, but having space for project assembly and storage is a rather easily overlooked necessity. When I worked at the workshop at while in college, there always seemed to be parts stuffed everywhere. At the end of the semester it was like walking through a maze in the bench room.

View Wiltjason's profile


56 posts in 1985 days

#9 posted 01-23-2013 01:49 AM

I would call some of the woodworking schools like north Bennet street and collage of the redwoods, may sound silly but I bet they would know

View bondogaposis's profile


4755 posts in 2374 days

#10 posted 01-23-2013 02:15 AM

It depends on the kind of work you want to do. I mean if 10 or fifteen guys are going to be breaking down sheets of plywood and 20’ boards all at once it is going to be the 3 stooges x 5. But w/ a little planning and sequencing I think about 6 should be able to use the space you have laid out and be working simultaneously.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Woodknack's profile


11771 posts in 2402 days

#11 posted 01-25-2013 07:27 AM

Probably not much more than 1 person per machine and still you’d want to stagger project times so everyone isn’t waiting to use the jointer and planer then tablesaw. Similar to MT’s experience, we had around 12-15 people in my HS woodworking class in a building about that size and the beginnings are always people in each other’s way and waiting for machines. Also make sure you place the tablesaw and planer in such a place that any kickback will be away from the center of the room. Now if you have a mixed crowd of hand tool users and power tool users then you can squeeze in a few more. 2nd’ing the comment about making sure there are enough assembly tables with vices for everyone.

-- Rick M,

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3946 days

#12 posted 01-25-2013 02:08 PM

Thanks guys, Its up to the money people now I put in my 2cents and we will see what happens.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2936 days

#13 posted 01-25-2013 03:47 PM

sandhill: ”...the dimensions are 30’ X 60’ I have 24 X 30 and its OK for 3 people at the most. ...”

I also have a 24×30 and I agree that 3 WW’rs maxes out this size shop in the practical sense. And my “assembly area” is only 1/4 of that space or just under 200sqft.

That would make 7-8 max for the larger 1800sqft shop using that same ratio. Though if 1/4 of the new shop were to be set aside for “assembly area” would allow 450sqft. I personally hate crowds and would probably keep it to 6 or so. But then again… How many TSs? How many BSs? Jointers? Lathes? etc… The number of machines will make a big difference on how many folks would work in the shop.

Just thinking out loud…

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

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