Setting Up a Small Woodworking Shop

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Setting Up a Small Woodworking Shop

Post by moriswayne »

I have a relatively modest backyard area and I'm keen to maximize the use of space while ensuring safety and functionality.

few specific questions I have

Workshop Layout
Essential Tools
Ventilation and Dust Collection
Storage Solutions
Weather Protection
Safety Measures
Power Supply and Lighting
Permits and Regulations

I would greatly appreciate any advice, suggestions, or personal experiences you can share. Your insights will be immensely valuable as I embark on this woodworking journey.

Thank you in advance for your time and assistance!
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Re: Setting Up a Small Woodworking Shop

Post by edma194 »

It all depends on how much space you have. Then to maximize the utility of that space get a Shopsmith.

What kind of woodworking are you interest in? How much space are you talking about? Do you have a structure yet?
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Re: Setting Up a Small Woodworking Shop

Post by CreekWood »

Moriswayne, I'll try to not offend anyone's delicate sensibilities by telling you the solution to your permit and code question is to move to a free state. Nevertheless, if you yourself are going to build, find out who your JHA is (who do you buy a permit from). Call them and ask which building code AND what version they currently use. They may use separate plumbing vs. general building codes. If you do live in a free country with no building code for DYI construction, you should still educate yourself and apply all rules that will keep you and your shop safe. Don't cut corners. There are a lot of forums and blogs committed to building trades, building science, and inspections.
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Re: Setting Up a Small Woodworking Shop

Post by MartinH »

I have a small shop and I could suggest a few ideas that have helped me.

For the workshop layout I am trying to follow the rule, "It is either mounted on a wall, or it is on wheels". This maximizes floor space and flexibility, as I can move things around as needed. Towards that end I have covered one wall with pegboards and have a ton of hooks and shelves. I am working on a French cleat wall on the opposing wall.

Storage solutions: I have mostly open storage on my walls and shelves. I have one roll-around tool chest, and a shelf under my workbench. Organized storage is an ongoing challenge.

Lighting: I bought an LED ceiling shop light which is really bright and covers most of my shop. I have task lights on my scroll saw and drill press.

Safety Measures: Eye protection, push sticks, and use the blade guard on your table saw. I cringe when I see YouTube videos with a bare table saw blade for throughout cuts. Also, learn what causes table saw kickback, and how to avoid it. I have a dust mask and should use it more often, especially when sanding which really creates dust.

As for essential tools:

A basic set of hand tools: squares, tape measure, a strange edge, hammer, hand saws, miter box, four in hand rasp, and multiple pencils. The shop gremlins steal pencils, so you always need extras.

Power tools: cordless drill, drill press, table saw, router, and sander. I have a circular saw and jig saw and rarely use either. I often rough cut with hand tools and then do the final cuts on a table saw. A shopsmith obviously covers multiple critical power tools.

As for ventilation and dust collection. I need to work on this as well. Most of my power tools have dust collection bags, but that is barely adequate. I was planning on purchasing a shop vac and cyclone separator to improve things.
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Re: Setting Up a Small Woodworking Shop

Post by oso2you »

If you do a Google search for "wood shop design", you will find several good books to guide you. A good place to start. Ditto info on dust control.
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