Building my first woodworking space, need help

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Hello:
I've always been interested in woodworking since 7th grade when I took shop, but I've never had the time, money or space to get into the hobby. But now that I'm in my mid 30's, own a house and some land, and have some disposable income that She lets me spend I am finally going to get started.
I live in the burbs, on a 110 X 60 plot, in a house with no garage or basement. The old shed I had was tiny, barely enough to get the lawn mower inside, but this weekend I am getting a brand new 12 X 12 shed from Shedsusa.com. I opted for the Gambrel roof for extra storage, and the heavy duty flooring. Style is classic, with the 40 inch doors in the front.
So, my question to you wise people is this: How much work can I get in this shed? Will I have enough room to do any work?
Also, should I wire the inside with electrical cable? I was imagining putting in a light switch and some outlets around the shed, an dmaybe putting in an outlet into the work bench I am going to build. I can't legally run a circuit to the shed, so the best i would be able to do is drag a 12/3 extension cord to the shed and plug it into a jack to power the shed.
Has anyone else done something like this before that has any experiences they want to share?
Thanks, Dave
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I have setup in all sorts of shop environments and some very similar. Sounds exciting and like lots of fun.
- Some good extension cords might be just as easy, cheaper and more flexible rather than wiring in. Can't really see the advantage for the cost other than the overhead light.
- Material storage will be your biggest issue. Consider something under the eaves on one side or other additional storage.
- You should have some good method to quickly setup outside on good days. Trying to manage a 4x8 sheet of ply in a 12 by 12 space would be fun to watch but not fun to do. Not so hard to break it down outside on some saw horses with a skill saw. Maybe even consider a permanent awning addition or 10x10 popup, some good saw horses and table tops.
- Dust collector and compressor outside in a little outhouse type shed built off one side.
- Consider some unique counter\work surface type setups. Things like a planer, counter top drill press, mortiser, etc can have temp location on counter, then be relocated or flipped under to leave working counter space.
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On 6/15/2010 1:54 PM, Dave wrote:

The one thing you did not mention is air conditioning/heating. This will determine a lot. If you live in a climate where 5.5 months you will need air conditioning and 5.5 month you will need heating, that would require that most anything you do would have to be done in the closed building If you will need air and/or heating I would insulate the walls and roof to make all areas of the building comfortable.
If you are in an area where you can work outside, I would have large (double garage door) opening to a patio so you could roll your saw, workbench, or whatever out into the area. The large door would make access to this open area easily and part of the workspace. Instead of a roll up door you may consider a one piece door the could be raised part way to form an awning. Don't forget power outlets that are convenient to the patio.
When you said you were going to have the building wired, I assume that means the building will be hard wire to at least the house 110 system. With 12 foot walls I would have at least two outlets per wall, with amperage sufficient to run all of the power equipment you may want. These outlets maybe multi outlet boxes rather than the standard two plug units, power strips would be another possibility. I would also have good lighting in the upper part of the building. If you don't you will wish you had. You can never have to many outlets, and once the base wiring is in you can expand the outlets yourself if you have the amperage in the original outlet. You may also want a breaker box in for the building.
I would also have outside doors to the upper level so you can put long pieces of material into the area. Sort of like the doors in a barn to access the hayloft. If you want to get fancy you could go completely with the barn concept and have a means to attach a pulley in the very top of the overhang. I would have pull down stairs into that area for all weather easy access. With the outside doors you could put bicycles up there in the off season, and maybe your lawn mower or other small lawn equipment.
I may have one fixed workbench, but would consider a couple on workbenches on wheels that could do double duty as extensions on your table saw. Having them on wheels will give you maximum flexibility in using your space. Mine has been mobile for some years and I don't know if I could go back to a fixed work bench. For some projects the bench ends up "L" shaped with the saw so the pieces I am working of are at my right hand, other times in a similar configuration to the left. I have all of my small power tools mounted to 2X10's so I can store the unit and can firmly clamp it to the table saw or work bench when I am using it. All that is except a small drill press which is use quite frequently.
I would have cabinets built into the movable work benches for the frequently used small tools, and extensive cabinets up stairs for the less frequently used tools, parts, and other "junk" you will inevitably collect.
We are thinking of moving and I don't have any idea what the new house may have in the way of garages or outbuilding so I have been working on things I would like if I had to build a new small workshop,
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wrote:

I've been working in a 12' X 18' garage for 20+ years. I've learned:
1. PLAN! Layout bench, stationary tools, etc., but first, plan ahead on storage for handtools, fasteners, finishes and finishing tools, &tc. first. Also, plan elictrical outlets and lighting.
2. Set up table saw facing the door so you can rip longer boards than otherwise.
3. I'm constantly moving had tools and workpieces from the table saw to the bench and back. Plan ahead on storage, and make storage units your first projects.
4. A good work bench is a priority and will make the hobby more fun. Build storage into it. And attach a good power strip.
5. Dust collection is good.
6. You can't build a 19'+ wherry in a shop 18' long.
7. Don't drop a quart of shellac on the floor.
Best wishes, -Zz
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Good idea, if you know what you're going to be doing. Everything on wheels is my plan. ;-)

How does that help, vs. facing away from the door?

Yes, and I use them for practicing finishing techniques. So what if they're pretty.

One of my first priorities. My shop will be on the second floor. Tracking sawdust into the carpeted upstairs bedrooms will not be allowed.

I wouldn't dream of building a 19'+ wherry. ;-)

I like a guy who plans ahead. ;-)
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vs. facing perpendicular to the door.
-Zz
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You can push that 10' board through the door as it comes off the saw.
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Hey, you got a typo there:
6. You can't build a 18'+ wherry in a shop 19' long.
Fixed it for you.
I've not seen anyone (who wasn't working in a boatyard) who ever built a boat that was small enough to fit in their working space. It seems obligatory that it will be either too long to fit in, or too tall. If you goof and make it just a bit too short, you can compensate by requiring a mast that's too tall to lay down instead. I once worked in a workshop, some sort of Nissen hut, that had been carefully extended at one end with a little bay window. All because of a bowsprit issue, a few years earlier.
Then your home shipyard must be behind at least one fence that won't let the boat past, ideally with a tight corner between two buildings that it won't fit thorugh either. One of my neighbours built a fence to screen his boat, using solid concrete posts and cleverly a couple of light wooden posts in the middle that could be easily removed when the time came. He planted some shrubs to make it look nice too - which by the time the much-delayed boat was ready, had grown into mighty redwoods with more timber in them than the hull.
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How did Gibbs get the boat out of his basement?
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Dave The other folks have some good points. What would do regardless of your shop space, put everything on wheels !!! Every item in my shop is on wheels. This way you can quickly reconfigure the available space quickly. I would also place as big of a landing just outside the shed door as you can. In better weather it will come in handy. For a quick and easy bench checkout the black and decker workmate on thier web site. The unit on the web site is not for sale in stores. I have had mine for over 15 years. It is very close to the model on the web site. And it folds up and stores easily. Last but not least is a trick I see on these home shows. Buy one of those 10 x10 pop-up tents with no center support needed. Instant work area Good Luck Paul

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"Dave" wrote:

I had a similar situation with my world stored in a 12x20 shed.
Trying to make sawdust in a small enclosed space is a total PITA.
I built a heavy duty 4x8 table outside covered by a tarp when not in use and covered by a 12x12 awning canopy (Silver tarp) held up by 1" EMT (Thinwall conduit) and fittings designed for the purpose.
You will be able to work outside at least 8-9 months out of 12.
My table was used for glue-ups, a place for the table top planer as well as general work bench.
Use 12-3 extension cords out of the house rather than the expense of permanent wiring.
Hang a shop light with an extension cord for temporary lighting inside.
Build lots of saw horses and buy some 2x2x1/8x96 aluminum angles.
You can use the sawhorses and angles to form temporary layout tables for sanding, painting, etc.
Build lots of storage inside, you are going to need it.
For example, I hung more than 100 C-Clamps on the inside of the door of my building.
All that was needed was a couple of 1x2 furring strips across the door.
Put your stationary tools on mobile bases so they can be moved outside to make sawdust.
(Simplifies the dust collection)
Get at least 2-3, 30 gal garbage cans, a shovel a rake and a broom for clean up.
Most of all, have fun.
Lew
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Update:
This will get you to a canopy example.
http://tinyurl.com/2dl6qfy
Lew
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"Lew Hodgett" wrote > Update:

http://www.tarps.com/chrome2.htm
I have used them several times to set up canopies for various purposes. If you are going to leave them up in any kind of weather though, you need to bolt them to some planks or put the footing in some kind of concrete in a pail or something.
I have done both. I buy the connectors from them, get the EMT tubing and tarps locally.
More general info on canopies are on their homepage.
http://www.tarps.com /
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wrote the following:

Congrats, Dave. Welcome to the club. We're way weird here, but you'll get used to that.

That'll be nice. Did you have windows put in, or will you do that? Natural light beats electric, and fluorescent beats incandescent. And you'll need the extra ventilation for dust control, exhausting wood finish solvents, and temperature mitigation.

I'd say about 12x12' worth, wouldn't you? Less occupied space for machinery and you, of course. ;)

If you can't legally run a circuit to the shed, you can't legally prewire the shed. But you could dig a trench and lay 2" pipe and fish your extension cord through it. Do it to code and you can also pull your real wiring through it when you upgrade.

That can works. I'm a handyman and live on a single 12/3 cord most days. It'll pretty much limit you to one machine at a time, but that's the norm, anyway.

Some day VERY soon, you'll want to buy a book on electrical work, do most of the work yourself, then pay an electrician to get a permit and hook it up for you.
Some books to peruse: Landis' _The Workbench Book_, _Setting Up Shop: The Practical Guide to Designing and Building Your Dream Shop_ by Sandor Nagyszalanczy, _Smart Workshop Solutions_ by Paul Anthony.
_Making and Modifying Machines_ by Fine Woodworking Editors I have an extra copy of this if anyone is looking for one. $15 delivered. If you're low on discretionary funding after having a shop built, etc., building your own machine is an option.
--
Impeach 'em ALL!
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On 6/15/2010 10:40 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

If you are in the situation like the original poster, where the regulations prohibit a per permanently wire shed, could you get around the regulation with a pedestal like in an RV park. The pedestal installation would meet all code to provide the amps needed to operate your power equipment. ie an outlet on a yard light.
When you were working you could run a high quality extension cord from the pedestal to the shed to supple the power to run your equipment.
It may be legal, and satisfy the building inspector and your power needs.
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Hi Dave,
You should consider using an external rated cord and plug it into a GFCI circuit. Ditto on the other advice.
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Dave
Go at least 20 X 20. RV power pedestal is good. Just below where it comes above ground install a tee and conduit toward the shop. So after the inital time just run some wires in the shop through the tee. A switched circuit from the house to illuminate the RV pedestal would also be good. Run a dummy circuit/cord into the shop so it looks like you are on an extension cord.
Bob AZ
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Get a solar operated shed floodlight so you can drag your cords and hook-up in the dark if needed. The real power would have to be on an extension, semi-permanently mounted, with lots of copper...10/2 extension cord??
Hello:
I've always been interested in woodworking since 7th grade when I took shop, but I've never had the time, money or space to get into the hobby. But now that I'm in my mid 30's, own a house and some land, and have some disposable income that She lets me spend I am finally going to get started.
I live in the burbs, on a 110 X 60 plot, in a house with no garage or basement. The old shed I had was tiny, barely enough to get the lawn mower inside, but this weekend I am getting a brand new 12 X 12 shed from Shedsusa.com. I opted for the Gambrel roof for extra storage, and the heavy duty flooring. Style is classic, with the 40 inch doors in the front.
So, my question to you wise people is this: How much work can I get in this shed? Will I have enough room to do any work?
Also, should I wire the inside with electrical cable? I was imagining putting in a light switch and some outlets around the shed, an dmaybe putting in an outlet into the work bench I am going to build. I can't legally run a circuit to the shed, so the best i would be able to do is drag a 12/3 extension cord to the shed and plug it into a jack to power the shed.
Has anyone else done something like this before that has any experiences they want to share?
Thanks, Dave
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I've got a 12'x12' space that I use for a model shop. I'd hate to try to do any woodworking in that space, there's just not enough space. My woodworking projects involve lengths between 3' and 5', which require a minimum of 6' to 10' of space to run through any tool. This doesn't include any space the tool or you need to perform the operation.
When you get to electrical in your outbuilding, put your outlets at both standard height and 54". This way, you'll have outlets for tools that stay plugged in and be able to plug tools in with plywood stacked against the wall.
Think vertically. You'll want plenty of shelves and overhead storage for the smaller tools, and mobile bases for the large tools. I have a couple bins for tool storage that seem to work well. The trick is making sure the bin isn't too large for the tool, otherwise other junk tends to accumulate.
You can get aluminum sawhorses that fold up into a space about 6"x6"x32" and can be stored on end. They're light enough to store overhead or even hang on the doors. Menards has them for around $12. (I stored quite a few under the wings on my table saw.)
Puckdropper
--
Never teach your apprentice everything you know.

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On 6/16/2010 12:46 AM, Puckdropper wrote:

Not seeing the original post, so responding here.
The OP doesn't say what part of the world he's in. If it's an area where sunny days are common and one can work outside most of the year, and the character of the area is such that you can turn your back on your tools for five minutes without them being stolen, then putting the shed next to a paved area and using it for storage rather than for work area could be viable. When it's time to work, roll the tools and bench out onto the pavement, when you're done roll them back.
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