Minimum size for woodshop

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I would like to add a room to the side of my house for a small wood shop. The best I can do with my property is a shop no more than nine feet wide. Length can be as much as twenty feet. I would need a table saw, of course, as well as a work bench and some of the essential, smaller power tools (router table?, band saw?, etc.) Do I have enough space? RB
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Yes. I've seen smaller.

course,
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I have seen a "complete" woodshop contained in one portable box! It really depends on what you intend to build. You can improvise too. I know one shop that when he needed to rip a long board he opened a window to feed the board. In another shop he rolled the machines out onto a patio--of course this can only be done on good-weather days. A table saw is very important to me, but I've seen small shops without one. At one time my "shop" was my apartment living room, and I waited until my neighbors left before powering up my tools.
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It depends. What do you anticipate building? Do you really need a cabinet saw with a 50" fence? Will a benchtop DP, BS, etc be adequate?
In any event consider putting everything on wheels so you can park the stuff you aren't using at the moment out of the way.
Art

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That's about the size of my shop in the basement.
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Bob wrote:

It depends on what sort of projects you're going to be doing and how much stuff you plan to cram in there. It's probably more of how efficiently you set up the shop and how well you use the space, rather than simply the square footage.
Rule #1: go vertical early. Start thinking of utilizing the wall space for cabinets and hanging items from the ceiling rather than just planning the floor layout.
R
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On 3/26/2006 5:46 PM Bob mumbled something about the following:

That's larger than my original 10x14
--
Odinn
RCOS #7 SENS BS ???
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I've been working in half of a two-car garage (with the double door on the long side) for years.
Small shops are a real challenge, and like others have said, you have to be very selective re: big iron, and what you can realistically build. In my shop, a highboy or armoir are not realistic.
The biggest challenge is to balance the floor space occupied by tools, bench, &tc., and still have enough room for a make-up table for larger items. That's my biggest grip: no room for a make-up or finishjing table. If you're not careful, you'll always be moving tools, jigs, &tc. from the bench to the TS and back.
My advice: PLAN AHEAD. Think through and implement the dust collection, wood and sheet goods storage, clamp strage, and fastener and hand tool storage BEFORE you clutter it up with power tools.
-Zz

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wrote:

Overall size is secondary to layout.
I have a 24x32 basement that is all mine, minus a furnace, 275 gallon tank, and washer / dryer pair. Said basement has 7' ceilings, a center staircase, and lolly columns down the center.
It's not as big as it sounds!
Two recent projects were a 6 (comfy) person QSO dining table (for me), and a king sized maple platform bed (for a client), and they really maxed out the space. The bed is built using two ~twin sized units, with the headboard being a third piece, along these lines: <http://www.pompy.com/furniture/?category=9&producti38&pid=2
The guy wanted a clear maple bed with a birdseye headboard, which isn't available from the factory. The bed really pushed the space for all it's worth.
The toughest part of maxing out ANY space of any size is not damaging work in progress while you move it about the shop. It's taken me years to learn how not to move large parts around without banging them on walls, posts, or stationary tools. So even if the space is small think "parts movement"!
Barry
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Bob wrote:

Mine is 12x14. Pretty crowded, I don't have room for a bandsaw or a separate finishing room. My table saw, drill press, lathe, and stationary disk sander are all mounted on storage cabinets. My workbench also has storage under it. Other tools like my planer, scroll saw, grinder, etc. fit in the cabinet under the tablesaw and most of the hand tools hang on the walls or fit in cabinet drawers.
It's not ideal, but I do OK except when building large pieces of furniture. Your 9x20 would be a bit larger than mine.
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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wrote:

Mine's 9' x 18' with a furnace in one corner. I'm still in the process of building storage cabinets and such so I can get all my tools in and still have a place to stand. With mobile bases and clever storage, all the standard stationary machines and accompanying accessories can fit, but it's a big PITA!
Jon
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Doors and windows AND a 10 foot ceiling. Carefully plan the placement of your doors and OPENING windows and you can plane, miter 16 foot boards and molding, and cut full sheets of plywood on a table saw in that space.
Don't under estimate the value of a high ceiling in a small shop. It will make a HUGE difference.
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Bob wrote: Do I have enough space?
Also agree with many others about wheeled tools. It will make your life so much easier! Also, plan for wood storage. To be honest it is the WORST thing about my shop - not planning for it and buying too much at one time. I'm considering a separate whole building just for that! I'm building some wheeled storage units for the small pieces and I have racks for the longer ones. The sheet goods are another matter and are quite troublesome in my arrangement.
You will NOT have enough space - you never do. Your space is fine for a number of things and as you get more 1) tools, 2) wood you will feel a squeeze!
MJ Wallace
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My shop is 9 x 19. It is tight, but managable. Here is a list of the major things in it: workbench, 14" bandsaw, 6" jointer, 12.5" planer, 1.5 hp dust collector, 12" CMS, a little wood storage, router table, bench top drill press. I think not having a table saw is the key to making my shop work. It just takes up too much floor space. If you do get a table saw, make sure you get the smallest one you can find. You will be cursing a 52" fence.
In addition to what others have said, here are some things that I have found useful:
* Working with plywood in a shop this size with these tools is very unpleasant. It is very difficult to manipulate the sheets, even if I got out and cut them on the driveway. Aside from dealing with plywood, I feel like I do just fine without a table saw.
* I moved most of my wood storage outside. I just got adjustable shelves at Home Depot and put them on the side of the building, under the eaves. I don't store fine hardwood out three, but it is great for material left over from fencing, etc. that was taking up room in my shop. Under the eave, it is actually very dry.
* I have a garage door at one end and a man door at the other end. I didn't choose this configuration. The garage door is very useful and makes the effective shop size bigger because you can stick long boards out the door. A man door actually takes up quite a bit of room, especially if it swings in. I would consider just having french doors at one side that swing out.
* If you have a garage door, remember that raising the door impacts things. For example, it may block your lights or hinder your plans for rafter storage.
* My band saw jointer, planer, and dust collector are all smashed together as tightly as possible at one end of my shop. That leaves a much larger open space to do work.
* Remember that with 9 x 19, the 9 is almost always your limiting factor, so try really hard not to put things against the wall. For example, my workbench is 24" wide and I have considered building one that is 18" wide, just so I don't use up as much space.
* At the end opposite the garage door, I put up shelves. The very top of the shelves hold lumber < 9' long. The rest is tools, etc. I used to have shelves along the 19' wall, but that eats up too much width. Again, try not to have anything permanently attached to the 19' walls.
* I feel like I really don't have room for lumber storage. I basically have to buy wood for a project, use it up, and then move on to the next project. I have one sturdy set of supports pretty high on the 19' wall to hold that wood. Then as it gets milled down, I can move scraps over to the shelves on the 9' wall.
* As somebody else mentioned, vertical makes a big difference, too. I built shelves all the way around the top, very high, to hold paint and finishing supplies. My clamps are stored in the rafters. That's the only thing that I've found I can effectively fit in my rafters.
* When you start building miter saw stands, router tables, etc, build them small! I've basically rebuilt very thing because they were way too big to start with.
* Somebody on the web has Visio templates for shop layout. Those are very useful. If you don't have Viseo, make scale drawings of tools you have or plan to buy and arrange them on paper. As somebody else said, I would definitely buy one tool at a time based on what you need right them. You will quickly get to the point where your shop is "full."
Mark
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On Sun, 26 Mar 2006 14:46:53 -0800, Bob wrote:

I have 11 x 31 (1/2 basement). I find myself crammed in because I didn't plan ahead. I most especially didn't plan for "windfall lumber" ... which has to be grabbed when it's offered or lost forever.
I am in the process of re-arranging based on a scale profile layout and about 18 months experience.
As you plan this room, figure on about twice as much lighting as you think you'll actually need. Also allow for about twice as many amps as you guess you'll use and outlets much more often than code requires.
If I could build my ideal shop (say 24 x 60 or so with high ceilings and an overhead office), I'd have to convince my wife that it was time to move ... or else buy & demolish the house next door.
That's not gonna happen.
What IS going to happen is that I am going to learn how to use the space I have. I expect that I will be moving things around again in a year or two ... I might be able to talk my wife out of half of her laundry room by doing a bang-up job of remodeling the part that's left over. But I will never have a 'model shop' unless or until I can squeeze a lot more money out of this one.
Then I can buy those 20 wooded acres in Tennessee my wife and I were looking at last year.
Bill
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Look at it this way, if this is what you can get, then it is 180 square feet more than nothing.
Certainly this is do-able, you will really need to plan ahead regarding where you are going to store things (sheet goods are going to be an issue, as will other wood storage). You might want to see if you can store your wood elsewhere.
As others have mentioned, see how high you can build up. Vertical height will help with both storage and the ability to rotate long pieces.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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I've read all the replies and it seems everyone is answering in terms of what they have at hand. But you are talking about building new, from scratch. That's quite an investment and it pains me to think about all that new construction for only 9 feet of width. On top of that you're talking about building it as an addition to your house. It seems to me you are going to be getting very low bang for the buck, that is overbuilding. Have you considered selling the house and finding something with more room?
Bob
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While I don't think I would add a 9' wide addition to my house unless it would make it proportionately more valuable and suitable for other uses by potential future owners, my theory on shop size is this:
No shop is too small to start with; no shop is too large to outgrow.
Mine is 16' x 24' completely separate from the house. I considered it huge when I built it. I now consider it outgrown and I am laying out a 25' x 40' which will be the next step. Have reached a consensus agreement with my better half that now that the kids are gone, house size can be reduced by one third, shop size can increase by a factor of three. This, of course will require a move.
Frank
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Strongly consider building your 9x20 room, moving your furniture into that room and using the house as your shop... '~)
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I always have to laugh at what some people consider 'necessary' for a wood shop. My father did an amazing amount of woodwork in the basement of our house when I was a kid. Now, this basement was nothing more than a dirt hole. The ceiling was so low (and Dad was 6' 2"), he would literally bang his head if he wasn't careful. The basement was small, cramped, and stuffed with all sorts of things to get in the way (oil furnace, water heater and water softener, canned food shelves, etc.).
And yet, somehow, he managed.
If you've got the space, use it! If not, work in the space you got!
Jack
Bob wrote:

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