Im getting ready to build my shop (see previous neener post) Id like to hear
from those that have been thru it (and those that wish they can go thru it)
about what they would love to see/have in their shop. What pitfalls others
have been thru. What "DOH"s people have been thru when its finally done.
(Its done and you say DOH how did I miss that)
Just looking for some ideas and things that I dont want to forget. This is
pretty much my 1 shot at the "ideal" shop.
My wife rules - she already told me - go ahead an make it 5 foot bigger -
b/c I know it will be too small when its done ;) How cant you just love a
woman like that!
OK, you need some provision for insulation, be it to keep the cold out in
the winter or the heat out in the summer, but certainly not what is req'd
600-800 miles north.
If you are going to pour a slab, consider installing a heating system as
part of the pour.
You are going to require some kind of heating system.
Standing on concrete for extended periods is unpleasant. If you pour a slab,
rubber mats to stand on will be appreciated.
Consider installing a compressed air distribution system overhead using 2"
NPT black iron pipe. You want a detailed design, I'll give you one.
Run your electrical system over head /W/ power drops as req'd.
A 120/240V/1PH/60hz/60A service will be adequate.
Design clear spans if possible. Having 9'-10' clear at the eaves can be very
Include a provision to have a double door removable "plug" in a wall so that
if you build something large, you can get it out of the shop without tearing
the shop apart.
This is a list to get you thinking, not something chiseled in stone.
S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
Wood is nicer to stand on than concrete, so I'd have a two-level dream shop.
The cyclone dust collector would be on the ground floor and all the tools
would be on the 2nd floor. It would be easy to poke holes in the floor
wherever necessary to connect tools to the dust collector & power.
I'd also have a separate finishing area.
====================Mark Mark Mark..... lol
As you know I play with cars so MY shop is located upstairs ...over one of
WHAT A PAIN !
Wish I had a freight elavator ...
The dust collection solution is, as you say, much easier...
You could always put in a 4-mile long ramp up to the shop.
(That would be ADA approved, y'know.)
Without a doubt.
--This post conscientiously crafted from 100% Recycled Pixels--
http://diversify.com Websites: PHP Programming, MySQL databases
Way nicer. I've got a friend who did just as you state. Concrete walk-out
basement, plywood floor above, huge shop (32' x 48' plus full basement). DC
downstairs, holes in floor (be sure, though, you're placing tools where they
will stay, as it's a PITA to patch the floor after moving them). Downstairs
includes things like a lawn mower, DC, air compressor, wood storage rack,
refrigerator (also a wood storage rack on the main floor), such items that
don't do well in the woodshop. Much quieter upstairs with all the noise below
decks. Much more fun working with a wood floor. On the stairs leading down, he
built a platform that holds his oil furnace...I think, but don't recall for
sure, that he's got some sort of sliding access platform in case of problems,
but in any case, the innards are accessible from the stairs. A great deal of
though went into his shop and it works like a dream.
"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who
believe it." George Carlin
Naturally, the house and shop are on the top of a gently sloped hill with a
breathtaking view of the countryside. ;-) Both floors of the shop are
walk-in. The floor of the 2nd story is similar to the raised floor of
computer rooms. If I want to move the table saw, the floor panel with
cutouts for dust collection and power can be moved too. If a tool like a
shaper throws a lot of dust that isn't caught by dust collection, the floor
panel where the dust settles would have holes in it like a sheet of pegboard
and would be part of that machine's dust collection.
There is a built in sprinkler system and several fire extinguishers. Each
floor has a first aid kit and several panic buttons that ring a bell in the
house and/or dial an emergency number.
The bathroom in the corner has a handicapped toilet. I'm 6'2" and I hate
the modern, itsy-bitsy thrones.
The office in another corner has a large window looking out at the rest of
the shop. The computer in the office has one monitor as a projector on a
wall of the shop. A 2nd mouse and keyboard in the shop lets me use the
computer from the shop.
* make every effort to install a wood floor;
* lighting, lighting, lighting;
* storage for sheet goods as well as for the accumulated hardwood
off-cuts you can't part with;
* 4-gang 120v outlets every 6 feet (minimum)- include single 240v
outlets every 6 feet if you don't have a set-in-stone tool placement;
* piping and connections for compressed air;
* simple and inexpensive piping and sprinkler system which can be
quickly hooked up to an exterior water supply should the unthinkable
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
Get some squared paper and draw the floor layout at, say 1" = 1ft for
simplicity. Make scale cut outs of your machines' footprints and do test
layouts, allowing for working space round each machine, particularly at the
infeed and outfeed stations. Remember to also allow for those machines on
your "someday" list. Don't fudge things by thinking you can rely on
moveable castored bases to get you out of trouble space-wise and
lay-out-wise - they can help, but they're a pain in a working shop unless
you're fanatically well-organised and tidy in your working habits.
Design as much off-the-floor storage as you can in terms of cupboards and
shelves - wall-hanging tool-kits rather than floor-standing chests of
drawers. Overbuild your ceiling joists to give you the capacity for serious
overhead timber storage. You might want to design in a gable peak trapdoor
to let you get long lengths in and out of the roof-space. Remember to run
your wiring along the sides of the joists, rather than on top, to allow for
Figure how many power points you need, then double it. Use metal-clad
surface-mounted double-sockets and set them at chest height all round the
walls, plus a hanging tail from every second joist and a floor-mounted point
every 6 feet of so (those ones covered with a spring-loaded metal flap)
Try to include piped DC and air, and site the machines in a lean-to outside
the shop - you don't need the noise and you do need the space. Similarly,
try to organise covered timber storage outside the shop - DAMHIKT!
Paint all wall surfaces, cupboard doors etc brilliant white and install
fluorescents on every joist and try to let in as much natural light as
If I had to condense all of this into a paragraph, I'd say, space, space,
space - your wife's a wise woman. Your biggest limitation will always be
space. All else can be done later, but you can't achieve much without ample
space, and I can't overemphasise the amount of frustration and extra work
caused by the lack of it. If your budget won't stretch to a large
well-equipped shop, then just go for a large one initially. You can add the
piped DC and airlines, heating, insulation, air-conditioning and Coke
machine later as you get the money!
Have fun, and try to resist taking on projects until the shop is finished to
your satisfaction, or , like me, you'll find yourself 3 years later in full
production with bits of trim etc still missing!
Best of luck,
You didn't say if you were building a stand alone or attached. We've just moved
and I am in the same process. My last shop was in a 2 car garage and worked for
me but was quickly to small. I have found a company that is known nationally.
Their name is Morton Buildings. Here is a link. http://www.mortonbuildings.com /
They are located in 3 cities in North Carolina: Lexington, Fletcher and
Wilson. Around here in Lexington Kentucky they are one of the premiere barn and
arena builders don't know if any of them are close to you but you should look
them up. Around here the will build a 30 X 65 metal shed/barn for $26.00 sq.
ft. I posted this earlier but it has 6 windows, 3 walk-in doors, 1 - 9 X 12
roll up door, 1 - 9 X 12 sliding door, concrete slab, fully insulated with R38
in attic and R19 in walls, wood paneling 8 feet up from floor and metal the
rest of the way up to the 12 foot ceilings, 200 amp electric panel with all
electric run, and a roughed in sewer and water. This company will build any
size shed you want but I don't know what it does to cost. You might check with
I agree with everything that has been said except having all my tools on a
second floor. Getting the raw wood up there would be a PITA in less you are
doing small projects and you cut the wood down to smaller sizes before they go
up the stairs. I deal with 4 X 8 sheets of plywood by myself and would not want
to be walking up a flight of stairs with them. You should do a Google search
about suggestions because this has been discussed many times here nevertheless
here are my suggestions.
Wood floors are gentle on dropped tools and legs. But I've worked on cement
floors all my life and have not suffered from it. If you have the shop build on
some kind of crawl space it does make it convenient to run your dust collector
and compressed air plumbing. But remember change is a bitch after you've
punched holes into the flooring.
Lucky you; a new shop and an understanding wife. Since you're blessed
with an understanding wife, take her advice, but double what you think
I've had two shops, one with concrete slab and one with wood floor
over crawl space. Both have their advantages. Down heah in
Mississippi, the ground temperature is warm enough that an insulated
shop with slab-on-grade never gets very cold. The inside of that shop
never dropped below 40 degrees even when the outside temp dropped to
20 overnight. Nothing ever froze. Much easier to warm that one up.
My current shop, with wood floor and crawl space, gets just as cold as
outside temp. Takes much longer to warm up in the morning. But, it's
really handy to be able to run another circuit under the floor each
time I add a machine. If I ever get around to installing a dust
collector, I'd put pipes down there too.
I'd intall LOTS of electrical outlets, maybe one on every stud. Put
several in the ceiling too. I always seem to be out in the middle of
the shop with two sanders and a saw and cords everywhere.
Lots of florescent light fixtures. You'll find yourself working in
the darkest spot someday, so light it well.
I love the idea of a separate finishing room. Wish I had one.
If I build another shop, it will have a gambrel roof like a barn and
I'll store all my wood upstairs. Wood keeps accumulating, and it
takes up lots of room.
How big are you looking at? That changes lots of things.
I mean, in a *perfect* shop I think I'd have, well, pick your nearest
furniture factory and go have a look. When I think of what I'd *like* to
have, I keep flashing back to scenes from my favorite factory. They have
nice machines, plenty of room to run them, and a large finishing room in
If you have less than 30,000 sq. ft. to play with, you're probably not going
to be able to build my idea of a perfect shop. :)
On a more practical level, I'd be happy with much less. I dream less about
floor space than climate/dust control and higher ceilings. I want a
bigger/better table saw, and room to use it, and I need a bandsaw pretty
desperately. Otherwise, I'm pretty well tooled up in my tiny shop.
I'd really love to have room for three separate areas. One with a good
joiner's bench for hand planing and joinery. Another with a good bench for
assembly and clamping. Both of these with front vises, tail vises, and dog
holes out the wazoo. Then a big work table in the dedicated, separate
finishing area. I currently use the same bench for all three, and it's up
against the wall at that, really limiting my options. Lots of room to step
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
Do you have a clue what that does to your small tool and measuring gear needs?
You sure as hell don't want to walk back to the other end, or even the other
side, for a square or rule or compass or trammel.
I mean, that's not quite a football field, but at 100' x 300' basic dimension,
you could wear out some shoe leather easily...is an electric golf cart a part
of your perfect shop. :)
"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who
believe it." George Carlin
I don't know about 100' x 300' either. I sure would hate to pay the
heating/cooling bills. But it sure would be nice to be able to rip/crosscut a 4'
x 8' sheet and joint/route/plane a 6' to 8' long board without out having to
jockey machinery around.
An assembly area and a separate finishing room would be nice as well.
Buffalo, NY - USA
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