Need advice about shop consolidation

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Forum topic by natenaaron posted 05-09-2015 04:08 PM 805 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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442 posts in 1822 days

05-09-2015 04:08 PM

I am downsizing my work areas to free up space to rent out.

Right now I have my wood shop in a two bay unit and in truth the space is too big for what I use it for. Next door I have my welding shop in a two bay unit. Basically I am looking at a whole bunch of wasted space as I don’t need this much space. I always figured I would just move my welding shop if someone came by to rent the space. The realtor and the wife sat me down and both told me it was time to consolidate. No problem right? Wrong.

I see this as a pretty big fire hazard if I don’t think it through. So, I am asking people with experience how would you go about doing it short of building a wall between the two? That is something I just don’t want to do. The roof is right around 20 feet high.

3 replies so far

View bbasiaga's profile


1234 posts in 2020 days

#1 posted 05-09-2015 05:11 PM

I think your biggest risk is dust collecting in your ventilation system. My highschool lit on fire one day when they had to temporarily move the metals class into the wood shop. Not sure how you are set up right now, but installing separate ventilation systems for your welding area, and covering the vents when not in use so wood dust doesn’t get in there might be a place to start.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Wagon173's profile


50 posts in 1557 days

#2 posted 05-09-2015 05:21 PM

I deal with sparks and sawdust all the time. In truth it really sucks and puts a damper on production. I have my wood and metal shop also jamed into a two stall space. I keep my welding/metal lay out table in the center of the space. My wife parks in the other one, so if I want to work with heat, I have to move the truck out and wheel my welding table over to the open space to avoid the sparks and spatter getting close to saw dust or wood. I’m not much of a house-keeper so I guess it’s good in that working metal in a wood shop will force you to keep it swept and dust free. There is also a fire extinguisher mounted to my welding cart and pretty much within arms reach from anywhere in the shop. Another downside is I have to keep my lathe and milling machine under cover at all times while wood working. Any loose tooling or gauges have to be put in their boxes and in the cabinets instead of where they’re always easy to grab. The sawdust itself doesn’t seem to effect the tools, but seems to promote mositure build up if there is too much of it. Gotta love living on the coast! I can never have two projects going at once. If I’m playing with wood I don’t want the dust on my machines and if I’m playing with metal, I don’t want a rogue spark or chip to scratch or burn a wood project that is going. I think at a minimum it would be a lot easier if I had a dedicated finishing room. I’m by no means an expert at multitasking space, but these are the bigger gripes I have about it. I’ve been thinking about getting enough welding curtain to cover my wood bench so I can still weld and grind and pound in that general area. In the army we used to have some tools that mounted in the hitch receiver so I’ve got my grinder, belt sander, 8inch bench vice, a small lathe and a small milling machine all mounted to 2 inch square tube so that it’s storable but easy to use and set up. There are also two receivers on my metal table and 1 on my wood bench. Hope it helps.

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442 posts in 1822 days

#3 posted 05-11-2015 04:07 PM

Spent a good chunk of Saturday evening trying to figure this out. Considering the weight of my welding table (1500 pounds) and the fact that I don’t have wheels on it yet I can’t tryout different configurations. The height of the building means a curtain is very cost prohibitive.

My ventilation is 2 wide open 12×14 foot bay doors so nothing to clog there. The more I think about this the more I realize it just might be a bad idea from a safety point of view. Last thing I need is the fire Marshall wondering in. The draw back to being very close to the fire station. Two different sets of rules for homes and businesses, and the shops are part of a business. While I have the space I think I need to just make everything easily movable in the off chance we find a renter for the second shop space and worry about it then. I will eventually need to consolidate though, but I have time to plan.

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