I am oplannign on converting my garage into a workshop and am looking
for some suggestions on anything from the best way to build a
workbench to the most effective setup. Any websites or pictures would
Put all large equipment on mobile bases. That's RULE number one.
Put in lots of outlets, about 49 inches above the floor, or higher.
Don't forget a couple of 220V outlets for the bigger equipment like a
cabinet saw and DC.
Plenty of lights, and white walls.
The type of WW'ing you plan on doing dictates to a large extent the type
and size of workbench. you haven't told us much, yet.
Pick up some books on the subject to see pictures of existing shop
layouts to get some ideas. Take a look at Wood magazine, Fine
Woodworking, Workbench, to name a few.
If you give more info, you'll get more definitive help here, Ryan.
Ryan Morin wrote:
My two car garage is too small, too! I'd be happy with a shop about 40
x 50, judging from the auto shop I leased that was 50 x 50. That would
give me plenty of room for materials storage, a finishing room, and
plenty of "elbow" room around the various equipment. I could retire the
mobile bases, perhaps!
oh, and room for a sink with hot/cold water; a toilet... (I can dream,
Yeah, they are leg savers. Bought the kind that comes in rolls from Lowes a
couple of years ago. They're cheaper and do the job.
Did you see today's "lunch in the shop" segment?
Project Page 3, last project.
Sorry *ss mothers .... can't even buy a decent burger anymore, everything is
becoming a rip-off (and in some other language besides English) these days.
Well here is some more information about the space. It is apprx. 16 x
20 feet, single car 50 YO garage. It will not be sharing with
anything. I am just getting started in woodworking and want to build
things for around the house. and move on from there.
Currenlty the space in uninsulated but i am planning to insulate in
the new year. My friend who is an electrician is going to be coming
down to do the electrical work for me.
If you can,insulate then add OSB or plywood($$$$) on the walls,painted
white. Run electrical in conduit. I did his for my basement shop, though I
laid 5/8 drywall horizontally( cheaper than ply !!). I used 1by6 to cover
the horizontal joints and to mount the conduit and boxes( every 5
feet,doubles), can't have enought outlets ! Also wire the lights up as at
least 2 separate banks and never have an outlet on either of them. That way
if a machine trips a breaker the lights DON'T go out !
If possible 'add a room' outside to house a dustcollector and or air
compressor,amazing how much space THEY can take up.
hope this helps
The following might give you some ideas with regard to electrical
requirements for a serious small garage woodshop. With the below I never
have to hunt for a plug or trip breakers, and the sub panel is nowhere near
full. Each of the 120V/20A GFCI protected branch wall circuits has at least
two receptacles 6' apart.
For lighting, I installed 4 fourplex receptacles in the ceiling joists and
use 8, four foot flourescent fixtures with plugs on the end, suspended from
2 X 4's on the rafters so that they can be moved easily if/when machinery is
If you put in a sub-panel, which you should if you're serious, check out the
cost of the breakers for that model.make panel before you make a decision as
to make ... there can be a big difference in breaker cost, particularly when
you step up in amperage.
Since you are in a garage, you may find your local codes requires GFCI
protection on non-dedicated circuits ... do so ... and make sure you get
your wiring permitted and inspected ... you don't want to jeopardize your
home owners insurance in the event of a mishap.
0 West Wall 220V/20A Dedicated Table Saw
1 West Wall 120V/20A GFCI protected
2 North Wall Bench 120V/20A GFCI protected
3 East Wall Bench 120V/20A GFCI protected
4 Ceiling Lights 120V/15A Dedicated Lights - Dual SW
5 East Wall Center 120V/20A GFCI protected
6 East Wall 220V/40A Dedicated Dust Collection
7 West Wall 120V/20A Dedicated - Burglar Alarm
Sub-Panel Circuit Breaker - 100A 24/12 with 60A MBrkr
Brkr# - Circuit Description
1a 1 West Wall
1b 2 North Wall + Bench
2a/b 4 Lights
3a 5 East Wall Center
4a 3 East Wall Bench
4b/6a 0 West Wall - Table Saw - 220/20A
6b West Wall - Burglar Alarm
7a/8b East Wall - Dust Collection - 220/40A
Hope this helps ...
Given the size, depending upon the tools you plan to get, you are
going to need to be very efficient in your use of space. Make sure you
put all you tools on wheels, look to every nook and cranny for storage
A few points
1- If you live in the frozen north, the first priority should be heat.
Trust me on this one! Working in the cold sucks.
2- In general, many stationary tools can be fitted with mobile bases which
makes it easy to rearrange them as you need. Especially handy if the space
is to be shared with vehicles, etc.
3- Consider a dust collector at a minimum and ideally a dust collector and
an air cleaner.
4- I painted my floor with epoxy paint from Home Depot. It looks nice and
it is easy to clean.
5- White walls will go far towards making the shop well lit.
On Fri, 19 Dec 2003 13:24:51 GMT, "Frank Ketchum"
How's that paint been lasting for you. Is it easy to scratch dragging
things across it? Was the paint the water based epoxy for floors?
Been thinking of painting my shop floor also but saw a lot of bad
results on others.
John, in Minnesota
I think it was the water based. It was the behr one part epoxy system. I
painted my basement floor with it 3 years ago and it has held up great. My
shop floor got painted 2 years ago and it has also held up without incident.
Disclaimer!-- I don't drag heavy things across it, so I don't know how it
will fare in that regard.
Last month I had a plumber jackhammer up some concrete in my basement and
install a sewage pit for the eventual bathroom going there. I had to
cleanup the resulting dirt and concrete with a shovel. My dad remarked at
how there was virtually no scratches on the floor even after just shoveling
the crap up into pails (we weren't trying to save the paint).
From what I understand, the results are determined 99.9% by the preparation.
I washed the floor with the specialized wash. Then I etched the concrete
with the etcher. Then washed again. Then put down 2 coats. I didn't put
in any sand or traction flakes. I spent a lot of time getting everything
just right because I didn't want the paint to fail. I am happy with the
results but admittedly I don't abuse the floor as bad as some might.
It makes it a breeze to clean up and it keeps my basement dust free since
the walls are also painted.
Frank in Michigan
Thanks for the info Frank. As usual prep is the major part of the
job. Many years ago I spilled some thinned down poly on the basement
floor. It held up extremely well. Been thinking of doing that for
the shop. Any comments from Wreck readers on that idea?
John, in Minnesota
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