Planning a workshop... again! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-21-2015, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Planning a workshop... again!

So the idea is I don't want to drive to my unit when I have a bigish garage. Big enough to do small joinery jobs anyway. My wife is ill so I need to be closer to home if at all possible.

I'm struggling to know where to begin since my garage is just tool storage I've never worked in such a small space and I would love to know the do's and donts of small workshops..

The 10" contractors saw and the combination machine I'm giving away because I neither need nor want them.... location is Wiltshire UK

Video of the workshop should help

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ5A_Dxu5WQ

wiltshirebuildingmaintenance.co.uk
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-22-2015, 09:15 AM
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Consider first measuring/drawing the space of your workshop, where electric outlets, doors, etc. are located. Make a floor plan layout, listing which tools, and the size of them (footprint) you will be keeping/using. Think about putting tools (table saw, router) on wheels. Also your ceiling lighting IMO should be increased. Some of the wood & other materials could be stored above in the rafters. Going on line, and looking at books/magazines for "small shops" may give you other ideas that would create benches & storage with a multi-purpose. Good to take some pics before and during the change over. Plan your work, then work your plan, and be safe.
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-22-2015, 03:05 PM
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Small workshop really isn't too different from a big one, but there are a few rules that help:

1) no unitaskers. Got that magic tool that only does 1 task and nothing else thanpt you need once in a blue moon and takes up space otherwise? Chuck it

2) everything on wheels. Everything. Make everything easy to move and rearrange. I garuntee you'll be working on something and have to move everything at least twice.

3) have multipurpose work stations. Do you really need a tool stand just for your thickness planer, or that unused space in your table saw wing with a full router table in the corner of the shop? No. Build the planer a stand that also houses whatever other tools you can think of, and make a router table extension wing for the saw

4) don't underestimate the value of dust collection. When you're in a tiny space, even small messes are huge.

5) try to keep open floor space whenever possible

I went about 2 years with a shop about the size of a single car garage, and I got through it pretty easy. That last rule in particular took me a bit to learn, but comes in handy. It may sound like a good idea to have every possible square inch of floor space planned out, but you'll screw yourself over the first time something doesn't work with the plans you make. Oh, and before I forget:

6) make everything you can disassemble-able

Trust me on that one, it makes life way easier
faith michel likes this.

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post #4 of 16 Old 08-22-2015, 10:07 PM
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I got dizzy from watching the video. :-(

First question I have is what are you going to do with all of that stuff that is taking up your space?

Add plenty of lights. They will make it easier to work in there.

My garage is a one car affair about 12 x 20 feet with a washer, dryer, hot water heater, deep freeze and a section of industrial storage taking up a considerable amount of room.

Everything except my worktable and table saw is mounted on casters or mobile bases. Sayin' all that, I have managed to build kitchen cabinets for a rent house, our house, and some for my mom. A wet bar (five base cabinets) and our buffet (also five cabinets) were all built in this one car garage.

Build some storage cabinets so you can get organized. I have attached a few pictures of my cabinets. I wouldn't swap them for anything. I use 'em, every day.

Note: My table saw sits near the garage door facing inward. Anything longer than 48 inches requires I raise the door. I'd rather not because I have the room insulated and air conditioned. :-)

Good luck with your reorganization.
Mike
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-22-2015, 11:00 PM
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Develin I understand your problem. I have one as well. 8 yrs ago I ran a cabinet shop from home. As the economy crashed little by little I slowly shut down and went to work at a Commercial cabinet shop. Over those 6 years I took on less and less customers to were the shop closed and for other reasons(health mainly) I just let it sit. Doesn't cost anything but crap builds up, sound familiar?

Anyway I work now for a company making furniture pieces. I have taken many tools to work(they warranty these tools) and have several in the truck. One would think that this would give me more room on the shop, nope.....

so here's what I learned recently so as can get the shop running so I can enjoy it making furniture for myself...We had a company come in at work to get a better understanding of production procedure. I didn't agree with it as I'm a hoarder of jigs and lumber. The easiest to understand was

#1... if you aren't using it and can't see a use for it in the current future get rid of it.
#2...If its in the floor it takes space so anything that is on a wall leaves space to work or clean.
#3... if you put things back at the end of the day they tend to be easier to find the next day

Now this company just started organizing us and we have a long way to go to get more on the production side, but I would say we are in the same boat as far as reorganizing and being productive as wse should be.

Now here's a few examples of my problem...
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-22-2015, 11:01 PM
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Even more...
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-22-2015, 11:06 PM
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Why stop there...
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-22-2015, 11:38 PM
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Wow! Suddenly my shop looks pretty neat and tidy! But it's not.

I have found that if something is in my way, and I move it somewhere else, I will need to get to that very spot within the next 15 minutes. You can spend a lot of time just moving stuff around only to find out it is still in the way.

I too need to chunk a few things like jigs I haven't used in a couple of years, or patterns that turned out to be one off projects.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-23-2015, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Stringer View Post
Wow! Suddenly my shop looks pretty neat and tidy! But it's not.

I have found that if something is in my way, and I move it somewhere else, I will need to get to that very spot within the next 15 minutes. You can spend a lot of time just moving stuff around only to find out it is still in the way.

I too need to chunk a few things like jigs I haven't used in a couple of years, or patterns that turned out to be one off projects.
I understand many want a cool looking shop and tools and being productive and I know "production" can be a bad word but if your compressed your not enjoying it as a hobby. You can't enjoy it if your spending you main time moving things to work.

Everybody wants a bigger shop. But why???

Me and Develin have the same problem I think. More isn't always best
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-23-2015, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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Before I can even think about using this space what I need to do is throw lots of this stuff away!

I like the idea to put everything on casters that should make things easier to move around. The Base in my garage is quite uneven so moving anything is pretty hard work even if it's on wheels. I can't lay more concrete to smooth it out or my head will touch the rafters.

Everything you see in the video with very few exceptions is going straight in the bin/trash! I always use traditional workbenches for their strength since I do a lot of handwork. But I'm looking into something more portable for the time being.

Planer thicknesser
Table saw
Router and table wing on table saw

Apart from that and my site tools which I use for installing things all my other tools will fit into a single chest. Can't really get more compact than that

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post #11 of 16 Old 08-23-2015, 09:51 AM
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Now that you have ideas as to what to do - START DOING IT NOW! Do a little at a time, and try to sort things into areas - such as hand tools, power tools, usable material (wood, metal, etc.), electrical wire, fasteners. If you do need to use a tool, it may be easier to sort through one stack rather than everything again. Think about wall & rafter storage and stackable boxes. Stick with it, and tell us about your progress. Be safe.
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-24-2015, 06:46 AM
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Their once was a day when my shop was all in a closet. Then I had it sharing a one-car garage with my truck. Pull the truck out, pull the tools out from the walls and get to work. Now I'm running out of room using 3 bays of a 4-car garage. Many a day I wish I was back in the 1-car garage and I could move all my tools in the back of my pickup.
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-24-2015, 12:29 PM
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Build a HD bookshelf with cleats on the inside,go wide not high,mount things like thickness planer,wide belt sander,etc.to 3/4" plywood a little bigger than the tool,and make a cart about the same height as the cleats in your shelf unit.the store the tools on the plywood,in the shelf unit on the cleats,keep all the I don't want to lift tools at cart level.now when you need that tool you bring the cart over,slide the tool onto the cart,leave it on there,use it,then slide it back in to the shelf.no lifting because it's at cart level.and then you can use the cart for other things when you don't need a shelf tool.
And every tool should have at least another use.
You can also mount a fold down table/bench to use.fold it up when not needed.

Last edited by daddywoofdawg; 08-24-2015 at 12:40 PM. Reason: double post
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-24-2015, 12:35 PM
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Build a HD bookshelf with cleats,and no shelf's on the inside,go wide not high,mount things like thickness planer,wide belt sander,etc.to 3/4" plywood a little bigger than the tool,and make a cart about the same height as the cleats in your shelf unit.the store the tools on the plywood,in the shelf unit on the cleats,keep all the I don't want to lift tools at cart level.now when you need that tool you bring the cart over,slide the tool onto the cart,leave it on there,use it,then slide it back in to the shelf.no lifting because it's at cart level.and then you can use the cart for other things when you don't need a shelf tool.
And every tool should have at least another use.
You can also mount a fold down table/bench to use.fold it up when not needed.
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-25-2015, 08:04 AM
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It's been my experience that if you have horizontal surfaces... they will collect..stuff! Lots of stuff..
I have a OSB bench that runs the length of the back wall of the barn / shop.. 2.5' x 30'.
Its covered in..stuff.
I'm going to tear most of it out to gain floor space & put in many shelves, cabinets probably on a french cleat system.
Get everything you can..on wheels. As others stated.. you'll be moving things a lot so make it as easy as possible. Here's a video of a retractable caster system for bigger tools.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TTnb3TyH5Y
Here's another build of a very similar design under a coffee table. Scroll down to step 7 for the landing gear.. Click on photos to enlarge.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Lift...Gear/?ALLSTEPS
Hope these hints help get things organized for you.
Good luck & post up some photos of your progress.
..Jon..
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-25-2015, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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https://youtu.be/I3Q2IRS9C1o

Made some progress and cleaned things up today. All I need to do now is actually focus on storage solutions and get everything put away. I'm also wanting to get rid of that machine. It's still up for grabs........................................

Definitely going to make a cabinet like Mr. Stringers for my drills and such like. fold down workbenches seem like a good idea too!

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