Work shop layout books

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Forum topic by Wingstress posted 04-10-2009 06:38 AM 1486 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Wingstress's profile


335 posts in 2932 days

04-10-2009 06:38 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question shop

I’ve just moved to a new house and my workshop has quintupled in size. As you can imagine, I’m so excited I can’t sleep. Before in my old shop, I had everything on wheels with a shop vac and PVC ducting (no it wasn’t grounded). Anyway, I’d like to come as close to a professional shop as possible (Even though I’m a hobbyist). Can anyone recommend a good book that describes the pros and cons of different shop layouts? I checked rockler and there are a good 10 books devoted to that subject. I’m wondering what the most comprehensive accurate book out there is. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

-- Tom, Simsbury, CT

6 replies so far

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 2819 days

#1 posted 04-10-2009 09:52 AM

I haven’t found one good book, but each one has some good ideas in them, so do the annual homeshops isuues from a few of the different wood magazines. When you say you want to come as close to a pro shop as you can, what kind of pro shop are we talking about. A turners ? Cabinetmakers ? Furniture makers ? Because each one is different and specifically designed for purpose. Size can be eaten up quickly if you aren’t careful, I have 1280 sq/ft and I still have many machines on mobile bases. If you have height, then you can store wood vertically, saving floor soace and making the wood much more accesible. You can build a seperate room for your dust collection and air compressor.

In the end there are many options, so one plan may not necessarily be right for you. I can recommend that you go to and use their workshop planner .

Good Luck.

-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

View gerrym526's profile


266 posts in 3226 days

#2 posted 04-21-2009 11:15 PM

I recommend Scott Landis’ “Workshop Book” from Taunton Press ( Found it to be the most comprehensive approach.
A good general approach to workshop design is to think in terms of what might be called “work modules”, ie the operations you’d perform on wood for any project you might build. Then lay out the shop so the work flow supports each module-for example, here’s a typical workflow
1) Store lumber close to the door it’s delivered to
2) Milling lumber-locate the miter saw, jointer, thickness planer, table saw so the work of milling flows from the lumber rack.
3) Joinery-router table, table saw, workbench, hollow chisel mortiser, hand tools, etc.
4) Glue up-glue up worktable(s), clamps on racks, etc
5) Finishing-sandpaper storage, spray booth, etc.

You get the idea. What you’re really doing is laying out the workshop so the flow of activities replicates your “assembly line” for projects.

Hope this is helpful to you. Take a look at my workshop photos for some ideas. (It was designed to maximize a really small space-ie. stationary tools on moveable stands, etc.

-- Gerry

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3313 days

#3 posted 04-30-2009 08:11 PM

Also check out Tolpin’s books

-- Sam

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3162 days

#4 posted 04-30-2009 08:30 PM

Sometimes the easiest way is just to move tools around until you get a set up that works for you. Since you already have everything on wheels, you’ve got it made. Keep in mind the largest items you might be building, if you’re going to be cutting plywood sheets up, and leave yourself with an assembly area, close to the door, that will give you enough room to work. It’s your shop, set it up for how it best works for you.

View Firestarter's profile


16 posts in 2731 days

#5 posted 05-01-2009 12:03 AM

I found the worshop layouts and description in Tom Hintz book 'The New Woodworker Handbook' to be good. It not a dedicated book to the subject, but you may find it useful

-- Rich

View Wingstress's profile


335 posts in 2932 days

#6 posted 05-01-2009 12:25 AM

Thanks everyone, I’ve been poking around and think I have a plan.

-- Tom, Simsbury, CT

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