Shop Ideas?


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How big is the area you work. Right now I have everything in my garage and it is very cramped. And a pain to sweep up all the sawdust when doen to keep it from being tracked in the house.I would liek to build something but funds are short. I have a 12x16 shed, but it has a gravel floor and no electricity. I am just seeeing what you guys do. Would a plywood floor be ok?
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I probably hold title to the world's smallest shop, at 13 x 15, but with good organization, it works very well. The tablesaw is on wheels and can be positioned to cut 8 foot boards by running them diagonally or out through the doorway. I cannot rip a full 4x8 sheet, but I can't get one home in my car anyway. The router table is on wheels, as is the drill press. Even the bench is on massive, locking wheels and though it slides around easily for different tasks, is dead stable when locked. Clamps hang on the wall, lumber is stored in the garage, with small, skinny stock up between the joists. A plywood floor would probably be OK, as long as you could join the sheets so as not to pose a tripping hazard, but you'd also want to ensure that you can prevent water from infiltrating. Keep in mind that humidity is the worst enemy for many tools as well.
--
Bob

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My shop is 32x22 and could be twice the size 60x40 would be just about right
what ever you build, it will be to small

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wrote:

We're moving to our new house in Mexico in October and into the first shop that isn't shared by a washer, dryer, sink and family junque...
It's 18 x 21' and money permitting would be at least twice that size, too.. Space is something that I've never had enough of and from what I've seen it makes both work and cleanup easier...
OTOH, I'm grateful for what I do have and it beats the hell out of the 1 car garage I used to use, also shared by the laundry and family artifacts.. Mac
https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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roemax wrote:

Enough space is definitely a good thing, but I do believe there's a point of diminising returns. And it comes much earlier than I once would have thought. The trouble with too much space is that I lose my incentive to use it efficiently. Rather than thinking about how I can fit all of my clamps into the area around my assembly table, and building an appropriate storage solution, I can just hang them on the wall on the other side of the shop. Takes just a couple minutes to screw a board to the wall. But then, late in a complex glue-up, I've got to hustle across the shop to grab one, bruising a rib on an overhanging 6-footer I used because it was the only one nearby, and generally getting pissed off about the whole process.
JP
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bob wrote:

I think I have you beat - less than 9'x11'. No TS, BS and DP are on wheels, lumber is stored under the bench, almost every wall space and most of the ceiling is covered with shelves or hanging tools. Hence, the queen size bed I'm finishing right now is spread all over the apartment upstairs (SWMBO has been amazingly patient and has even done most of the finishing!) Router table is next to the workbench, and gets pulled out when needed. Since it's in the basement of an older house, a dehumidifier is very important - I've been trying to decide recently whether I can somehow suspend that from the ceiling, or build a work surface over it. I just got a belt/disc sander, and right now that's hanging on the wall above the dehumidifier. Sheet goods obviously have to be cut down before entering the shop. Outfeed roller stand for router table or BS often sits outside the shop door when working with longer pieces. Dust collection and cleanup is accomplished with a 9-gal shopvac + HEPA filter. It's far from ideal, but since we have to rent right now, I'm grateful for any shop space at all, for a generous and flexible landlord, and for a patient downstairs neighbor (whose TV is just upstairs from the shop). Shop space is definitely a priority when we buy a house (hopefully in the very near future!). It's also a good thing I've kind of started down the slippery slope towards galoot-hood - you can spend a lot of money on hand planes without taking up much space in the shop! Andy PS - there have been a variety of threads on small shops here in the past - search google groups archives for "small shop" for more ideas/stories.
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stryped -
While my 'shop' is a bit larger then yours, my 'floor problem' was very similar to yours.
When we moved in, about 25 years ago, we had other concerns then the what was basically the rear extension of the driveway !!
To make a long story a bit shorter, it was simply the same 4 to 6in depth of course broken stone, with a few patches of 'smoothish' concrete - here & there. {found out later - they were the 'empties' from the foundation pouring}. The previous owner left a LOT of other JUNK as well.
Anyhow, when I decided to make this area into a simple, covered, shop - a 'flattish floor' was my first concern . . . and how to do it with NO MONEY !!. What I did was 'turn junk to gold'. Although Joanne wasn't to happy with the 'preparations'. There were a couple of business around that simply piled their old SHIPPING PALLETS outside until they could be taken away. I would 'sort' through the piles to find 'good' ones, bring them home, and stack them in 'our' backyard. When I figured I had enough {plus extras . . . TOO LONG by Joanne's calculation !!}, I laid them down on top of the stone and 'leveled' them with bricks & chunks of scrap PT lumber. I then took the junked wall paneling, and laid that down on top of the pallets. Where I needed extra strength, or 'flatness', I put down 4x8 sheets of OSB.
Although the paneling is thin, the load is spread enough that it works. Other then certain places around the edge, it is STILL holding up.
Of course I still dream of pouring a concrete slab . . . . but something always comes up . . . and now I have a LOT MORE tools, benches, cabinets, etc. to move . . .
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

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My shop is my garage. It 18' x 25'. That sounds large and is for a 2 car garage but it daily houses my wife's car, washer and dryer, freezer, water heater, 2 large and tall tool chests, drill press, router table, dust collector, 15" planer, spindle sander, garbage container, 20 gal compressor, jointer, 50" rip capacity cabinet saw, 16" Laguna band saw, work bench, scrap wood bin, 36" lathe, and a 4 drawer fire safe file cabinet.
All stationary tools listed are on casters except for the spindle sander, IMHO that is the trick. They are all kept around the perimeter of the garage so that my wife can park her 2004 Accord in the garage with enough room for her to fully open the drivers door and with it wide open walk around the door. With the car out of the garage I have a 12" x 20" clear work area to move any tool into that may need the room when in use.
Between the dust collector and my yard leaf blower the garage stays pretty clear of saw dust on the floor.
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stryped wrote:

Shop size/floor is as shop size/floor does. At one time my (former) condo master bedroom was my shop. The radial arm saw made a handy place to set the TV but that was a nuisance when I wanted to use the saw. PITA getting the sawdust out of the wall to wall carpet too.
Now I have a large house with a separate but attached 20x25 shop with a slab floor. The size is adequate for working but I'd sure like another 12' in length to store lumber and sheet goods. The sawdust and chips - especially the chips - are still a PITA...
--

dadiOH
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My current shop is 16' x 24' and it is dedicated. It has become far too small. I have machines (several shapers and a Laguna 16HD) in storage I can't set up. And no stationary dust collection. I was contemplating moving before Katrina, now contemplating doubling the shop size at my current location.
Biggest problem I run into is when I get to the point of finishing. If it is the wrong season to do it outside, I'm stuck with tarping everything, cleaning up the dust, and then the shop is out of service for anything but spraying on additional coats of stain, sealer, finish.
If I double the size, I'll make provisions for a knock down booth of sorts. Still not a perfect solution, but better than current situation. When I was considering moving, I had a 26' x 40' with a permanent finishing booth planned. I think that would be ideal.
Don't see anything wrong with a plywood floor properly supported.
Frank
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I have a gravel surface in our new carport that I was planning to cover with plywood and 2 x 4's to extend my shop area... thinking that it was the next best thing to cement but lots cheaper..
I found out that if you figure it out by the square foot, (at least in Mexico), it's actually cheaper to pour a slab over the gravel that build a plywood floor over it... Cost balance between countries would be that labor is a lot cheaper but re-bar is more expensive because it's "imported", but it still came out less expensive and should be longer lasting and a lot more stable.. (I hope)
Mac
https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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Build twice as big as you think you'll need and leave room for expansion.
Steve
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stryped wrote:

If it was me, I'd spend the money to put insulation in the garage. It's not that bad to sweep up the floor after a day of wood working. If you're in a rush, just clean off the walkway into the house.
I don't think a gravel floor lends itself well to woodworking. Even if it's always dry, what happens when you are putting together a bookshelf or trying to finish it? The dust and crap will come up from the gravel and ruin your finish. Not to mention a gravel floor will make it impossible to roll things around on mobile bases.
Stay in the garage. Especially since you have electricity in there. Move the bikes, shovels, and all that crap to the shed, so you have more room in the garage.
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stryped wrote:

Four car detached garage - cement floor, 220V 60 amp service, water line, gas line and sewer line. Bought this 1100 sf 2 Br one bathroom place because of the detached garage. Divided up into two separate areas - one for dust and noise and the other for layout, assembly and finishing.
Though I haven't update the floor plan layout to show the current set up this should give you how my shop's set up.
NOTE: Wall hanging cabinets with deep doors let you get a lot of your hand tools and small stuff in one place, doesn't use up any precious floor space AND almost doubles the wall space they occupy.
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/ShopMap.html

DUST COLLECTOR! - preferably a cyclone - and one with a lot more CFM than you think you need. The other dust capturor is a small vacuum cleaner type thing - like the Fein or Festool. Catch the dust at the source and sweeping up time will go down. Ain't cheap but neither are new lungs or a divorce .

Plywood on gravel doesn't sound very flat or stabile. Doesn't take much to stop a wheel on a tool stand. If the gravel were compacted and leveled and you went with mud sill and floor joists it would do - but then it would be easier to just pour a slab. You can pay for improvements with dollars or sweat, but woodworking gets expensive.
charlie b
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