Sizing a workshop?

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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
--
Al Dunstan, Software Engineer
OptiMetrics, Inc.
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We just built a house two years ago and I sized the garage for a shop.
- 32' x32' Just over 1,000 square ft. - Two, 9' Garage doors as opposed to the standard one small/one large door configuration (large doors rob wall space) - Garage doors are spaced 3' apart with provides for a 4-5' vehicle spacing. This allows placing floor tools and compressor between cars. - Garage doors are centered on the 32' front allowing about 5' on either side of the door for tools, storage racks, etc.
RonB
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On 1/14/2011 5:54 PM, RonB wrote:

I personal could see a similar arrangement but with one large double door centered on at the first third of the garage. This would leave about 14 X 32" space for my shop, and about a 10 by 20 foot space in front of the cars for the storage of whatever. I also would like an oversize pedestrian door on the driveway side of the garage to be able to get the tractor, snowblower, bicycles, snowmobile out without disturbing the cars.
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Agree, if you plan to put three cars in the garage that is needed. We had a 'conventional' 3 car garage at our last home and I had the lathe and a stack of sheet goods up against the small door during the entire 9 years we lived there. That was what led to the two single doors. On one side I have one of the "Sam's" Gorilla metal storage racks with tools, jigs, etc. The other side is the house side but also has my 6 level wood storage rack and a couple or roll around tool boxes.
RonB
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A. W. Dunstan wrote:

How long are the pieces are you planning to make, cut, drill? You don't want to feel cramped, do ya? If you build a shop, build in nice windows...wish I had some.

Gosh, that would really hurt if you had too much space, huh? I don't think it would be a problem though, "squatters" would find it...

Just curious, with your willingness to go through all of the trouble and expense of building a new shop, how come a decent cabinet saw isn't on your list? Are you more of a turner?
BTW, when you are looking at garages and spaces, don't forget to look at their elecrical configuration (capacity for 220v, etc.).
I eventually want

Better not skimp on space!

If you can justify the $3K, look at SawStop tablesaws.

My experience is this is a very friendly place to ask questions! I'm going to school here. Good luck!
Bill

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RE: Subject
It's "Paper Doll" Time.
AKA: Plant layout using graphical techniques.
Using a pair of scissors and quad paper , cut out scale rectangles including clear space around the tool for each item.
Arrange rectangles as req'd to provide good work flow.
The above dictates the req'd shop size.
Basic plant engineering layout design technique before computers.
Still works.
Lew
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I wrote:

------------------------------------- Two things come to mind.
If you are going to work with furniture or cabinets, most stock will be 60" or less in length.
Biggest space hog will be for breaking down 48" x 96" sheets of ply.
Suggest building a 48x96 table covered with a replaceable melamine top
This table serves the following purposes.
1) Runout table for table saw. 2) Add a 2" thick lift off foam sheet.and use it with a circular saw to break down ply sheets. 3) A glue up station.
Equip with lift up casters to aid moving as req'd.
(Norm built a neat one, check NYW.)
BTW, no matter what size shop you think you need, double it<G>
Have fun.
Lew
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Good idea but isn't that foam become a hell of a mess that is hard to clean up with all the static it generates?
Or do you live in one of those humid climates that deoesn't understand static cling?...LOL
Two things come to mind.
2) Add a 2" thick lift off foam sheet.and use it with a circular saw to break down ply sheets. Lew
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Different type of foam. Not the peanut type, but the flexible open pore type. It often comes in blue or yellow.
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I have applied about 5000 sq. ft. of that stuff to my home...it makes a mess if cut into sawdust! My house was all pink for almost a year! LOL
I used a utility knife mostly and avoided that mostly but a sawblade would make a hard to clean mess.
I would take this is the usual insulating type of foam. i.e. Styrofoam SM or SIS?? Blue, yellow or pink, depending on brand.
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Expanded Poly(tetrafluoroethylene)(ePTFE) And no, it's not the usual type of insulating foam.
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wrote in message

I have a basement workshop. While it may be possible to get a 4x8 sheet down there, it is easier to cut up in the garage, which hasn't held a car in all the time I've owned the house. I made a simple frame of 2x4's on collapsable legs as on a setup table. Saw the design somewhere here long ago. OK, when I cut plywood I cut a bit into the 2x4s but hell, that's no problem. Collapsed the thing just stands against the sheets and the canoes. Can post pics on abpw.
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Best regards
Han
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Sure. Post away.
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OK Pictures to be up in a minute. I tried to look up the original design, and this comes closest to it. Uses a set of collapsing banquet table legs.
--
Best regards
Han
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wrote in message

http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/panel_cutting_table.htm
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Best regards
Han
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On 1/15/2011 12:37 AM, Upscale wrote:

I use a blue insulating 3/4x4x8 foam sheeting by RMax called R-Matte-3 ($10/sht +/-)
This one has had about 30 sheets cut on it and is still going strong. The saw is set to cut about 1mm into the foam insulation. It also helps a bit with mitigating splinter/tearout on good-side-down cutting with some materials:
http://www.e-woodshop.net/images/RMaxCutSheet.jpg
Leon has a cool breakdown, 2 x 4, cutting table that fits on folding saw horses he designed and built that we also put the foam sheet on when cutting, although like Han's rough cut table, it is not necessary.
I'll let him toot his horn on that if he wants.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 4/15/2010
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Yup. Leon told me about it when I was getting advice from him about my purchasing a Festool TS55.
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I don't remember it being blue... LOL

Done deal on a.b.p.w.
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On Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:40:38 -0500, A. W. Dunstan wrote:

I have never seen a home, commercial, or industrial shop that was too big, make it as big as the pocketbook will allow and add 50%, it will hurt but in the end it will be worth the pinch.
basilisk
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A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse

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Agreed.
I have worked in many shops and have had a few of my own. I never had enough space. In fact, on my last house, I extended the garage several feet on one side to add more space.
I also used to build gym equipment and set up a lot of gyms. Same thing there. The gym (shop) was determined by how much space was available. Space is the ultimate luxury. With enough space, you can do almost anything.
And think ceiling height. With both shops and gyms, anything less than ten feet introduces all kinds of compromises.
The more space the better. Trying to use a small space for many different things means spending lots of time moving things around. Being able to dedicate a certain space for a particular function is really nice. Not only is it a time saver, but it makes everything you do more enjoyable.
Build the biggest space possible. And remember, any shop is always in some sort of transition. You make changes, build jigs, buy tools, experiment with different finishes, etc., etc. Whatever you plan is just a starting point. You can always add to it later. Particularly if you have enough space.
And all your friends will envy you!!
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