I need to isolate my woodworking from my other hobbies. I have a 60'x60'
shop of which 40'x60' still has some flexibility left. I would like to
partition some of it for woodworking. What would be a reasonable size? I
own the following woodworking tools: Table saw, radial arm saw, jointer,
molder, lathe, dust collector (haven't used it yet) and bench.
I would like to keep the size somewhat to a minimum. It is not my primary
hobby. My other interests are machining, welding and auto restoration.
Woodworking is an occasional repair job, and someday I would like to build a
Presently, when I need to rip a single 2"x6"x8' for a onetime use,
everything I own throughout the whole 60 feet of shop gets covered with a
fine dust. My solution has been to drag my table saw out to the driveway
for that occasional cut. Not too uncomfortable except here in the NW we
don't have dry weather very often.
I would like to know what room sizes you all are enjoying.
You will expand to the size of the tank, just like gold fish. If
you leave the shop at 60 x 60, you will fill it.
I am using a 24 x 36. I t is full yet functional. I would not
have room to build up a set of kitchen cabinets. I do not have a
finishing area. My next purchase has to be a dust collector.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
Wow, 60x60. What are you in, an abandoned warehouse? My suggestion
would be to determine how much space you need for the other hobbies, and
reserve space for them. Then, use what's left for wood. (That is, if
your other hobbies don't overwhelm your space.)
Something to consider would be some kind of semi-permanent divider. With
a good system, I'd hope you'd be able to work in the wood shop area
without spreading sawdust. (A cheap solution is plastic sheeting, but a
better system would probably look and function better in the long run.)
If you decide to go this route, I'd love to see a followup here. I've
got a garage I'm planning on using for multiple hobby uses and don't need
sawdust over everything either.
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
My shop is 19 x 26.'4"
The width is sufficient for a row of moveable machines/cabinets along
each side plus some back to back as an island in the center and ample
aisles. It would be better 12-18" wider. The length is more than
adequate for wood 8' long, OK for things 10' long, touchy for 12'.
Tools are: table saw, router table and Performax 16" drum sander in
the island area; RAS and 2 tall storage cabinets on one side; floor
drill press, joiner, bandsaw, belt/disk sander and lathe on the other
side. One end of the shop has a sink and tool storage bench. Other
end stores sheet goods flat, lumber above.
The size is entirely adequate for anything I have ever built including
cabinets for a large kitchen and a small sailboat.
The size is inadequate for materials storage and finish spraying.
Latter is NP as i don't have a sprayer :)
If I had my druthers, I'd add 12-18" to the width and a generous
amount in length - 12 feet? - for material storage. Sheet goods in
particular suck up a lot of space. Add another like area for
spraying/finishing at the opposite end and I'd wind up with 22' x 50'.
Grizzly has a workshop planner you might find useful...
I have about 500 sf for my wood shop but I have lost a lot of space
for storage of tools to sell, furniture to refinish and a dog crate.
If I got rid of the unneccessary items that space would be pretty good
for me. Radial arm saw, table saw, planer/jointer, bandsaw, wood
lathe, small dust collector, workbench and lumber pile. Most of the
tools I muscle around or on wheels so I can get them to a better place
for use. Since some tools get rarely used this is not a big deal. If I
were a serious woodworker I would probably want a thousand square feet
so I could walk up to any machine to use it with no shuffling of
I attached the dust collector to the contractors table saw at the
bottom of the saw. Even with the open back on the saw for the belt and
motor, the 1100 cfm dust collector does ok keeping dust down. When the
dust collector is attached to the planer or joiner it keeps the mess
under control. Without the dust collector running it is a mess. I used
to drag the table saw outside to use before I had the dust collector.
Measure your tool footprints, add dotted lines for required infeed and
outfeed, make paper cuttouts to scale, and fit them to the space with
required walk around room and stock storage. Do it on CAD if you are
capable and so equipped. I found the paper cuttouts quicker to move
My shop is 20 by 27, I took one 20 foot wall and made 2-10 foot wide
swinging doors of the wall with heavy rollers on the bottom and a well
made commercial gasket system. That left the rest of my barn for other
things (cars, flowers, storage, etc). 99% of the time I can do
everything in the shop with the doors closed and latched - meaning no
sawdust in the rest of the barn. Because I only heat and cool the shop,
the walls are 9 inches thick (Michigan summers and winters) and fully
insulated - including the doors - the rollers were needed to support the
weight of the doors. I have had the barn setup this way for 10 years -
it takes about 2 minutes to swing the doors open, once everything is
clear. The doors open smoothly enough that I can hang tools on them. The
key for me was to make the ceiling 12 feet, which greatly improves the
ability to handle long materials.
My shop is 14' x 24' and handles all that you listed with the exception of
the DC which is plumbed through the wall to save space. I also store all my
sheet goods in the next garage bay and my finishing is done in the basement
since I don't do any spraying (don't worry, I ventilate properly).
Thank you all for the replies!! The suggested square footages are a little
larger than what I am able to give up from the big shop. Therefore, I will
be getting quotes on pouring a 12'x60' slab alongside the existing shop.
Eventually I will close it in and use some/most of it for woodworking.
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