Small Workshops


I would be interested in hearing and seeing examples of very small workshops (closets/small apartments/small bedrooms) and how people have adapted a workshop to a very small space. Pictures or links to pictures would be great. I would think the challenges of lighting, ventilation, power, dust control and space would create some interesting solutions. Any articles that discuss this subject would also be welcome.
Thanks for any contributions you might offer.
TMT
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Search for "Little Shop Mark II". It was a project in Popular Woodworking.
Mike
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Hmm, that's a good idea; I'll take some pics and post them on a site today. Frist set will be "in use" as it now, and I'll follow that with the constant "pickups" afterwards.
Hope this thread works - sounds interesting, to me at least.
Pop
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I'm currently renting an apartment (top half of a house) but there's a little workshop space in the basement that the landlord graciously said I could use. It apparently used to be the coal room (house was built in the early 1900's). So I frequently retire to my sub-100-sq-foot shop to relax and work (that sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?). Anyway, I'm not sure about posting pictures yet, but I'll describe my shop layout a little bit (warning - this gets long). Workbench takes 6ft of one long wall (el-cheapo kit deal, constructed and used/abused by previous owner or renter). Lots of scraps live under the workbench. Next to that is my home-made router table, mounted in my B&D Workmate. In the corner is a trash can and more scraps. Along the other long wall, there's a set of shelves where my portable power tools live, along with organizer containers for screws, nails, bolts, hardware, etc. Then my 10" bandsaw on its own stand with a mobile base, a dehumidifier for summer and radiant heater for winter, and sheet-goods storage (mostly less than 4' square). The door is in the middle of one of the short walls, and my drill press (old old Atlas bench-top model - built like a tank) is on a customized rolling tool cabinet that's usually along the other short wall. The shop vac gets pushed to whatever floor space isn't being used, or near the router table or bandsaw to serve as dust collection there. I also made an air cleaner from an old dryer motor/blower and furnace filters that hangs from the ceiling. Most of the walls are lined with pegboard, so almost anything that can hang, does. There's almost no open wall space. The 'ceiling' (1st floor's exposed floor joists) is also used for storage - lots of screws and nails with stuff hanging there or resting between joists, including a set of sawhorses. Clamps are mostly hanging from nails, conduit, or water pipes in the ceiling. The drill press table and router table often serve as bench space at least for storage (no planing or hammering on those). Router table has sub-fences so it can serve as a jointer for small stock. Nothing valuable sits directly on the floor (other than tool stands, obviously), as flooding has been an issue in the past in this neighborhood. Obviously no room for a table saw, but I've found that most of my cutting can be done very effectively with a handheld circ saw, bandsaw, and Bosch 1590 jigsaw. Sometimes I have to leave the door open and put the roller outfeed stand outside if I'm bandsawing or routing something of any length. I'm set to inherit an old Rockwell cabinet saw as soon as I have space for it (hopefully moving to a real house within the next year). For me, noise (with a neighbor above the shop) is a bigger issue than space. My job is flexible enough that I can do power tool work during the day sometimes, and I've gotten to appreciate hand planing and scraping quite a bit recently as well. It's interesting, though, to listen to the neighbor's TV shows while I'm planing away... For lighting, I make do with a 48" shoplight and a 100 watt bulb. One of these days I'll take a little battery headlamp downstairs for times when that isn't sufficient. One tiny ground-level window doesn't let in much light. As far as power, I have one heavy extension cord from a 20-amp circuit designated for the washing machine that I use for most power tools, and an outlet by the overhead light that I use for the heater and air cleaner. Bandsaw+shopvac or router+shopvac are the biggest draws, and the one 20-amp circuit can handle those no problem. Finishing is often done in the bathroom upstairs, because it's heated and has an exhaust fan, unlike the basement shop. SWMBO laughs at me for that, but as long as I check with her first, she doesn't mind. Most finishes and glues are stored upstairs so they don't get too cold in the winter. In conclusion, I'd say my "solutions" to limited space are hanging almost everything on the walls or from the ceiling, and putting everything that can't be hung on wheels. I hope this was somewhat useful (or at least not too boring) to other small-shopped woodworkers. Andy
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Well, I didn't get the pics posted that I threatened to, for lots of reasons. But this time, instead of excuses, here's a link to some pics of my tiny workshop. It's an odd shape, about 7' x 8' x 6' (Including door to outdoors) x abt 8' with a door into the house in the middle of that. Pics are located at: http://www.twaynesdomain.com/GarageSale/Category/WorkShop/Smallest/smallest.html If that URL wraps on you, you might have to copy/paste it to get it to work; sorry, not sure what my client's set for at the moment, to be certain wrapped links still work. .
It's not exactly what the OP wanted, but it does serve its purpose. As for light, the far wall has two large windows, and I have one celing light near the entry door. Ventilation? No problem; just open the door going outside. Heat? No problem, just open the door going into the house. Dust Control? Mmm, well, that's kind of a problem; I do have a vacuum I keep handy and use it a lot. Wife forces me to if I want to sleep at night <g>. Or, well, u kno. Anything that'll hang is hung, wedged, or somehow stuck to a wall or the ceiling or stuffed into a little 18" jut-out in the wall behind the table saw.
If this turns into a contest, here's my entry! ;-}
I think the best suggestions I can offer, which I actually do use a lot, is to hang anything that will hang, even from the ceiling. And use/make cabinets as much as possible. Any corner, especially out of the way corners, is prime for storing something in it. Plenty of drawers helps a lot, too.
Regards,
Pop
... : .
: ::I would be interested in hearing and seeing examples of very : small :: workshops (closets/small apartments/small bedrooms) and how : people have :: adapted a workshop to a very small space. Pictures or links to : pictures :: would be great. I would think the challenges of lighting, : ventilation, :: power, dust control and space would create some interesting : solutions. :: Any articles that discuss this subject would also be welcome. :: :: Thanks for any contributions you might offer. :: :: TMT :: : :
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Wed, Jan 25, 2006, 8:01am (EST-3) too_many snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Too_Many_Tools) doth wondereth: I would be interested in hearing and seeing examples of very small workshops <snip>
Depends on what you consider very small. I've heard people bitch about "only" having a two-car garage to work in. I've known people who made furniture for a living in a one car garage - but never any bitching about it. My shop's 8X12. Started out using a Shopsmith, then figured out how to put in stand-alone tools. Now have, 37" HF wood lathe, shopmade stand; 10" HF benchsaw, saw sled, shapmade stand, carbide tipped blade; HF bench drill press, on side shelf zero runout; Craftsman bench bandsaw, on side shelf; router table, on shelf below bandsaw, Craftsman router; Craftsman scrollsaw, on shelf below drill press; Delta planer, shopmade stand; 4 ft chainsawn carved Tiki, by me; arc welder on cart; and various hand power and non-power tools. Move the planer, saw, lathe to use; sit to use router table or scrollsaw. The tools are on shelves, or hang from the walls or ceiling - eventually I'll probably make drawers for most of them. Wood rack along back right ceiling. Plus, window in the back wall, fan, heater, radio, folding chair. Everything works well (including all the HF and Craftsman stuff), and is all paid for. That's what I could afford when I got it. It was a choice of get it then, or probably never get anything. If I'd waited, I doubt I would have any shop at all. So, I made the right choice. Accordingly, I try to be properly grateful that I've got what I have.
Plus, I've painted most of the tools bright yellow - including the lathe, saw, bandsaw, scrollsaw, and various hand tools. The rest will also be eventually painted yellow. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/STUFFMADEPAINTED/ Probably need to up date that.
JOAT You only need two tools: WD-40, and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the tape.
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... : : Plus, I've painted most of the tools bright yellow - including the : lathe, saw, bandsaw, scrollsaw, and various hand tools. The rest will : also be eventually painted yellow. : http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/STUFFMADEPAINTED/ Probably : need to up date that.
I paint my tools also, but not all the same color. Black for straight slots, Yellow for Phillips, Orange for R&P, Red for huge of either family. Anything I might lay down somewhere or that stores near similar things gets colored to something that feels "logical" to me (not anyone else). I've even color coded my wrenches and sockets with the resistor color codes, since I'll never forget bad boys rape young girls but violet gives willingly. I just like to make things easily visible for grabbing without having to squint to see the sizes/types of things. Fortunatelyt I haven't had to paint the table saw, drill press, etc. yet ;-}. We share a lot of body problems from the sound of it, so I know you understand.
Pop
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Wed, Jan 25, 2006, 10:17pm (EST+5) From: snipped-for-privacy@devnull.spamcop.net (Pop) ..Wed, Jan 25, 2006, 10:17pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@devnull.spamcop.net (Pop) doth sayeth: <snip> We share a lot of body problems from the sound of it, so I knowyou understand.
SomehowI think we have different problems.
JOAT You only need two tools: WD-40, and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the tape.
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Went over to the older son's place today, to check out the leanto he added to the side of his shes, among other reasons.
Pretty damn neat job. Four 4X4 posts, two just next to the shed, then two laminated 2X12s running on the posts running along the shed, and the two outside posts. Then 2X4s running from the shed to the outer 2X12, topped with chipboard, and shingles. He'll probably panel in the back and side later.
Checked out his shed while I was there. It's only 10X14, but versus my 8X12, it's seemingly awash with space. Couple that with the leanto, which is about another 10X14, and he's got a warehouse, compared to my space.
He's probably got less than $75 tied up in the leanto. He bought the 2X4s, 4X4s, some sacrete, and chipboard. He was able to scavange shingles (new) from some of his job sites - he didn't try to match colors or anything. He used screws to hold the shingles to his metal roof. And, later may shingle the rest of the roof too. His brother gave him the two 2X12s, used, and also salvaged. I'm now thinking about maybe putting a leanto on at least one side of "my" shop. Thst would double, or more, my work space, and if I did "both" sides, that could give me a nice sized wood storage, and drying, space, too. Life is basically good.
JOAT You only need two tools: WD-40, and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the tape.
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On Sat, 28 Jan 2006 22:28:15 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:
... snip

Like the new sig! Describes the old Iowa farmer approach to just about everything really well. :-)
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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Pop wrote:

My high-school electronics teacher could, of course, only offer us the "clean" version:
"Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls Behind Victory Garden Walls."
So much for clean. And ya left out orange.
er
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On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 22:17:29 +0000, Pop opined:

bad boys rape OUR young girls but violet gives willingly. ^^^ Looks like you forgot... :)
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message : On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 22:17:29 +0000, Pop opined: : : > since I'll : > never forget bad boys rape young girls but violet gives : > willingly. : : bad boys rape OUR young girls but violet gives willingly. : ^^^ : Looks like you forgot... :) : DANG IT!! I learned that so many years ago I thought I couldn't mess it up if I tried!
Good catch! lol
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How about a garage? Not small enough?? ;)
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I've managed to wedge most of my stuff into the unfinished basement of my rental house, basically a 12' x 11' area, with storage under the stairs.
http://woodblog.sitestrong.com
Mike

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