Another Shop Layout Question

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Forum topic by mtalley posted 08-12-2014 03:43 PM 968 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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98 posts in 899 days

08-12-2014 03:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop layout garage shop grop

So, I have provisional agreement to build a garage shop with Mother-in-law on top in my backyard in Seattle – we will be returning in 18-24 months and it will take that long to get the final paperwork done. I have a maximum foot print of 25X27.5 and have to have 5 feet all the way around for easement – they won’t budge on that. I am working on the internal floor plan and the upper is already laid out. I have to have a 5’ stair well because I need to install a lift chair for my mother – just in case.

I build mostly furniture, some bowl and spindle lathe work, the occasional (twice a year) welding project, and a little home machining for tinkering and to properly void those pesky warranties. I have worked this in my head for months and this is what I came up with. Take a look, tell me if I have missed something or if you have done similar and it sucked.

I should note that I do not plan to ever park a car or truck here, but want still usable for parking so that the next owner (when I die) has the option. The two pocket doors in the machine room open so that if you want to pull a car in, you can open them and have plenty of clearance. I am running the Vac/dust system and some electrical system in the slab.

-- Matt at:

6 replies so far

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 2494 days

#1 posted 08-12-2014 06:10 PM

Thanks for adding the bigger pictures; I was having trouble reading the text in the original picture.

Looks nice!

Plan on rearranging at least a few times. No matter how good your layout is now, you’ll always find ways to improve it later on.

Some people like to put the DC and compressor in closets to help dampen the noise. If you do that, make sure there’s still an air return back to the shop.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View Ripthorn's profile


1402 posts in 2408 days

#2 posted 08-12-2014 06:46 PM

I work in a 3 car garage and I also have some machinist tools and tooling, so I like your idea of a closed off area. I am going to eventually get around to just hanging some heavy curtains that can be pulled back, that way I can keep all of it up against one wall.

I found that I can get 99% of my intended use out of my table saw by having 6-7 ft on the outfeed side to a wall, so no need to be taking up a ton of space in the middle of the area if you don’t want to.

Other than that, it looks like it is well though out.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View RJ2's profile


150 posts in 3208 days

#3 posted 08-13-2014 08:20 AM

I like to roll a lot of my big sawdust ticket items outside instead of running them through the collector system.


View mtalley's profile


98 posts in 899 days

#4 posted 08-13-2014 10:52 AM

Rob: That is a great idea. I could co-locate them in an insulated closet, but would have to have separate piped air intakes for each. I initially thought about mounting the dust collector outside but the city says I can’t. Most of the tools will be on castors and I am planning have outlets everywhere, so I can rearrange a bit. If I run dust pipe in the slab, I need a good idea about the big saws and lathe.

Ripthorn: in-feed and out-feed room are my biggest issues now in my tine Seattle shed. I want to be able to put a whole 4X8 sheet on and feed it without having to kluge something together. This also gives me the option to rip down long stock with the doors open. I was given fourteen 1X12×12 poplar and ten 5/4×9x10 hunks of cherry two years ago and had to wait for a sunny day and drag my table saw into the ally to rip them down. I also need room for my bench and mating it with the joiner, table-saw, and router seemed like a good idea. I visited a co-workers shop last year that had a similar set up and he came up with the idea after being in his place for 10 years and constantly moving equipment.

RJ2: I won’t have any covered space outside (as that would be calculated in my “Use Area” for the permit and with the fickle Seattle weather… I did that a good bit, but it limits what I can to do good weather days and it is hard to keep the shop heated in the winter. Also, it pisses off my wife to have her tiny yard covered in tools and sawdust during the summer, she wants to enjoy the grass and garden. I don’t mind opening a door or three, but I want to do the majority of work under a roof.

-- Matt at:

View timbertailor's profile


1591 posts in 847 days

#5 posted 08-13-2014 01:12 PM

Just make sure you keep in mind that your RAS and miter saw will need to accommodate long pieces of stock like moulding and baseboard. a 12’ piece is not unusual. So, make sure you have enough room to feed them into these saws, and have enough outfeed to work, as well.

A LONG flat workbench along that wall would be ideal. Make it do double duty.

I would also suggest hanging the ladders from the ceiling. Wall space is too valuable to have it taken up in such a manner. I think you are going to want to move the mobile drill press, band saw, and dust collector in their location. Wall space is EXTREMELY valuable. Do you really need double doors on the right? Do you really need doors there at all with the two large sliding doors on the left? Just speaking from experience. Wall space is precious.

P.S. I kinda find these two tools redundant (miter and RAS). One of them is going to get the short end of the stick; Pardon the pun. I would set up the RAS and store away the Miter saw for times when you need to go mobile\jobsite.

-- Brad, Texas,

View mtalley's profile


98 posts in 899 days

#6 posted 08-13-2014 05:23 PM

Hi Brad, Thank you.

Ladders on the ceiling would be a much better use of space. I will do that. I do need the double doors. I WANT a garage door, but I want the wall space more. Good call on the door. I THOUGHT I needed it, but after looking and thinking about your point, I will think on moving and changing to maximize both wall and room space.

My shed/shop now has the bench against the wall and I hate it. It limits how I can work on the furniture carcasses. I like to be able to situate work pieces as I need them and not have to conform to the tool.

I understand what you mean about the RAS and the MiterSaw. I didn’t have a RAS for years because I have a sliding Miter. That has changed. I have the RAS set up with a 3/4” dado and use it exclusively to cut shelf dados and for tenon cutting. I cut a lot of them…

-- Matt at:

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