Setting Up Your Woodworking Workshop

By: powertool
I started woodworking around 1974 in England, where I was playing rock music I and needed a hobby to help me unwind from the rigors of the road. My shop at the time was just big enough for a workbench, a radial arm saw and not much else. I remember constantlybumping things into the low ceiling.

When mywife and I moved back to America I was offered a job in a local woodshop run by a friend of mine. It was there that I began to acquire a feel for how a shop should be laid out. After a few years with my friend I left and set up my own shop in our three-car garuge.I soon learned what worked and what didn't When it came time to plan a shop from scratch,I sought out my local woodworking organization, which turned out to be a fountain of information. I studied lots of shops in my area and asked hundreds of questions about what people liked and what they wanted to change in their own shops.

I saw one place in particular that seemed the best for my needs and settled on that as my model. My budget allowed me 1,500 square feet, so that was one limit set. Light-both natural and artificial-was a major consideration. I placed my building and planned the windows to take maximum advantage ofthe abundant sunlight in northern California. I was also determined to have a wood floor.

I quickly found out that a hardwood floor would be too expensive so I used 1-inch tongue-and-groove plywood and epory paint, which have held up very well over the last nine years. I figured out the floor plan on graph paper and cut out scale drawings of all my machines as well as areas for plywood storage, office space, and a spray booth. It is important to allow enough space around your machines, so I spent considerable time movings things around and testing different scenarios.

The crawl space under myshop has extra clearance because I chose to run my dust collection pipe under the floor, which has allowed me to keep the whole ceiling space clear and airy. One of the best investments I made was in super-insulating the whole shop-floors, walls, and ceiling, which has made it easier to keep the place warm in winter and cool in summer.

I put a lot of thought and research into my shop and there isn't much I would chang except for one thing: I wish I had built it bigger. But that is a common complaint. It seems that you can never have too much space.
Top Searches on
Hobbies
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Hobbies