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Hey All, I'm planning on building a more-or-less 2-car-garage sized shop in my backyard with rear-alley access. The architecture needs to match my home to some extent, but I wanted some input on overall shop design. I'm going to mostly make furniture, work on my motorcycle, and Land Rover Defender in the shop. I might store one car in the shop that I would back out when I needed the full shop space. If anyone has any shop photos, design ideas, or important do's/don't I'd love to hear them before I set this project in motion.

I have a budget of about $20K.

Thanks,

Alex
Portland, OR
 

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Hey All, I'm planning on building a more-or-less 2-car-garage sized shop in my backyard with rear-alley access. The architecture needs to match my home to some extent, but I wanted some input on overall shop design. I'm going to mostly make furniture, work on my motorcycle, and Land Rover Defender in the shop. I might store one car in the shop that I would back out when I needed the full shop space. If anyone has any shop photos, design ideas, or important do's/don't I'd love to hear them before I set this project in motion.

I have a budget of about $20K.

Thanks,

Alex
Portland, OR
Welcome Aboard!

See Fine Woodworking #195 Winter 2007/2008 issue.

Smart Workshop

http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/FWNPDF/011195044.pdf

I think it will help you... Hope so...
 

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I saw a shop that was once a garage, where the guy had a small door above the garage door. It was a great place to store long lumber as it's virtually wasted space.
My other thought would be...if you think it will be big enough, think again. Build it as large as the property and your bank account will allow.
 

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Alex, don't know where you live so I'm just throwing this out there... Only doors that can be locked from the inside with no outside access.(Big Doors) If you have a service door Place it so it can be seen from the house. motion lights and no windows to the rear of the building. you wouldn't believe how fast they can clean of a shop now days. Dale
 

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Alex, don't know where you live so I'm just throwing this out there... Only doors that can be locked from the inside with no outside access.(Big Doors) If you have a service door Place it so it can be seen from the house. motion lights and no windows to the rear of the building. you wouldn't believe how fast they can clean of a shop now days. Dale
Hi Alex

Welcome to the forum. I see you live in Portland, a fairly big city. Dale's advice and mine agree.

Make your doors strong enough to resist kicking in or cutting through. Put keyed deadbolts inside as well as outside, so if anyone gets in they cannot open the doors to move all your goodies out. Put shatter proof /wired glass in any windows you install, or install inside screens for security. Put in an alarm system. Make some provision for quick exit, in case of fire.

Build as much shop as room/budget, and lot size will allow. You will be astounded how fast you can fill it up.

Put the best electrical service in that you can afford to, and make sure you wire for 220/240 volt. Plan on having a lot of light circuits, even if you have to add some of the lights later. Also, go into overkill with your equipment circuits and outlets. Running out of places to plug into, or having breakers tripping all the time is a right pain, you know where.

If your budget gets tight consider installing heating and insulation at a later time. You live in a relatively temperate area, so you could survive for the first year without them if you have to. [Yes, I know Portland winters can get right cold, but it probably would only affect you for a month or two each year] I live in Powell River, BC, Canada, considerably up the coast from you, and I can work in my partially heated shop most of the year.

Above all else, have fun in your new shop, and if you get the chance, post some pictures of your progress.

Best of luck.

Gerry:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

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When you are running your electric from the house throw a few extra pipes in the ground for future use, like an intercom or whatever future technologies we haven't even thought of. I also saw something in a magazine that was kind of neat. It was keyed switch to turn off all the electric to the power tools. Even if you don't do it. maybe have provisions to do it in the future. Leave room for wood storage also.
 

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I'd think that mobile (locking casters) type tools would help make best use of the space. I made a 4' x 8' work table and have the tablesaw and jointer surfaces just a tiny bit above the level of the work table so I can use it as a run out table too.

Also vertical lumber storage against a wall - makes it easier to get at which board you want. Truly vertical, not leaning to bow the wood.
 

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Hey All, I'm planning on building a more-or-less 2-car-garage sized shop in my backyard with rear-alley access. The architecture needs to match my home to some extent, but I wanted some input on overall shop design. I'm going to mostly make furniture, work on my motorcycle, and Land Rover Defender in the shop. I might store one car in the shop that I would back out when I needed the full shop space. If anyone has any shop photos, design ideas, or important do's/don't I'd love to hear them before I set this project in motion.

I have a budget of about $20K.

Thanks,

Alex
Portland, OR
I built mine about five years ago to match my house. It's 24 by 28 and now not as big as I would like but still works fine. I built a heavy-duty ceiling in it and dry wood in the attic. I have a loft door to get boards into the attic. Did everything myself except the brickwork - and have between $15,000 to $18,000 in it.
 

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Thanks, Gerry, I just included costs for materials. I don't dare tabulate the sweat and black thumbnails. Other than the roofing and the bricks, I built it myself (actually, much of it totally by myself - I had a buddy help with the heavy work like lifting walls, rafters, decking, and siding). My Dad is a concrete mason so I got the floor cheap too.
 

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I'll second you on the cost of materials. Our housing boom is still raging, much to my surprise, and the cost of everything is absolutely mind boggling. I have no idea how anyone starting out can deal with it.

Gerry
 
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