My current 'workshop' is a two-car garage. To work on anything I have to
pull one or both cars out, leaving one or both out for the duration of the
project or putting everything away every evening. Leaving the cars out
makes the wife unhappy, particularly in the winter (Michigan). With both
cars in the garage it's a bit of a squeeze just getting in & out of the cars
- there's no room for making sawdust. And there's the whole issue of snow,
salt, water, mud etc getting all over everything.
For various reasons we're thinking of moving and one of my criteria for a
new house is either the presence of a 'sufficiently large' workshop or
enough land on which to build one (plus space for a large garden and some
fruit trees). One house we've looked at has a huge outbuilding, but my wife
thinks the house is too big. She's fallen in love with another one which
has no workspace, but with the possibility of building an outbuilding.
How big a workshop would you recommend? How much room is needed around a
table saw? a drill press? a bandsaw?
I don't want to go overboard on space, but I don't want to move and find
that it's still not big enough.
I'm definitely an _amateur_
woodworker, so a production workshop isn't
needed. I'm not a good woodworker (good enough that I still have all my own
fingers), but would like to become better.
I currently have a 3' x 6' workbench, an 8" benchtop tablesaw on a stand, a
10" radial arm saw and two wood lathes (plus sundry hand tools). I plan on
upgrading the table saw to either a nice contractor's saw or a hybrid
shortly after we move into the new house and getting rid of the old tablesaw
(one of our kids wants it, along with one of the lathes). I eventually want
to add a drill press, a bandsaw, a planer (maybe a jointer) and dust
collection. Dust collection is currently either a shop vac and/or an open
garage door, depending on the weather. I'd also like room to store wood, do
assembly, finish, etc.
If you have suggestions regarding tools (what kind and which model) that
wouldn't be amiss, either.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
Al Dunstan, Software Engineer
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