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Having an image in your head of your workspace isn’t too hard; but when you get into the details and realize how many decisions can be made and how many options there are, it begins to feel like cleaning before your mother comes over.  Where the hell do you start?
Take things to an even more basic level—do you even want to revamp your shop?  To actually achieve this, you need to make an agreement with yourself that you’re going to embark on a design effort.
What to Expect: A few months of filling out your list of requirements in each design category, doing some research with magazines, this blog, Googling, and some books, doing some design drawings, testing your layout by play-acting through the motions, and then coming up with an Order of Operations when you build each shop improvement.
If I offered that you’d have your dream shop fully designed and ready to build in exchange for a few months of reading a whole lot about woodworking stuff, drawing, and some shop time, would you take it? You can get a free copy of the Woodshop Design Outline I use by signing in to the upper right of the blog page and I’ll send you one.
It’s much easier to design when you can focus on a narrow aspect of something, and temporarily ignore everything else.  Even when you are developing the overall outline, you can ignore all the details and just focus on the broad categories and put them in a logical order.
I had the habit of bookmarking tons of websites and rarely going back to them.  However, if I just looked up the information only as I needed it, I would have been interested in reading it right there. The next time you see what looks like an awesome shop project, think about how it fits in with your design.  Does a multi-function clamp-cart and workstation really help you?  It doesn’t interest me because my shop design has all of my clamps at the Assembly Table and Workbench already. Before I could get started with the insulation project, I took another look at my electrical design.
You can see that talking yourself through your design process makes you realize what affects what, the order of things, and brings up critical questions to ask. Good thing I accounted for a Drum Sander in my original design…even though I thought I couldn’t buy one until much later. How did I know what I needed?  Based on the types of projects that interest me, plus allowing for things I will be likely to build.  I flipped through tool catalogs like Rockler and made a list of every major tool possible.
This is an overhead view of the loft I’m planning, sort of a balcony space overlooking the shop. If you’re designing a new shop and have the room, you might as well include a small bathroom, design studio, and bulk lumber storage room that are located out of the workflow.  A finishing room would also be a good idea, perhaps located near the Assembly area.
For example, I use my Drum Sander for Finish Prep sometimes (to save on hand or random-orbit sanding time), so I located the Drum Sander to be convenient for both this and for the milling process. Well, you’re a woodworker—a creator, an artist.  So why aren’t you making your shop a place that’s inspiring to you?    If you’re making furniture that gives you an exciting feeling, why not do that to the place where you spend so much time?
The other is that it’s inspirational to you.  If your shop looks like an episode of Hoarders, you can’t be in a very good mindset for making awesome things.
Integrate aesthetics—what wall treatment do you want?  What about a 3-dimensional or unusually textured wall surface?  What about slanted walls for a nice architectural touch?  Do you want a theme running through your shop?  What about cool floor inlays?  What about decorative lighting?  Make it a showplace, not just a crappy basement or garage. There are a lot of resources and articles on this site that pretty much walk you through the design process.  If there is anything you would like to know more about, let me know in a comment below and it may become a blog post in the near future.  Click on the Starting? Connect with me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter for more ninja tips to Optimize Your Woodshop! Enter your name and email below to get your free copy of this organized and detailed checklist to jump-start your woodshop design today! Also, you’ll get weekly WoodChip Tips, design ideas, free useful downloads, free mini-courses, and other cool stuff in The Other Side of Zero newsletter!
I want to thank you for stepping through a lot of the different thought exercises necessary for planning a shop. How I went from a cluttered and disorganized shop to a super-productive layout with a convenient dust collection and electrical set-up. Print ThisIn my previous article, Wiring Up Your Shop, I mentioned that I eventually wanted to put in a subpanel, but I didn’t feel like messing that deeply into electrical work. In my first shop, which was my apartment bedroom, I had no dust collection except for vacuuming afterwards. Print This“Installing a permanent dust collection system is too hard so I just use flex duct and connect it to the machine I’m using”. Print ThisHow to Make a Mobile Panel Max Stand to Get Production Results from Your Woodshop Design.
If you’re doing a batch of those, you’ll quickly run out of clamps, and that means waiting hours for the first batch to dry (which is why I like to have several projects running in parallel to occupy that time wisely). In previous articles about your shop’s comfort, I emphasized the use of radiant barriers to keep your shop cool. In the previous post, I told you about how I thought my dust collection system was good enough and kept workstations clean, until I noticed a layer of fine dust all over the dust collector and the surrounding area. Fine dust stays suspended in the air and moves around at even low air speeds so for sure it’s making its way back to my nose. I decided to dig even deeper into my own system, and make it more like systems I’ve designed for larger shops.
Print ThisI thought my dust collector worked pretty well until I was emptying the lower dust bag and noticed something. I’ve always had the ultimate dust collection system as my goal, and have several improvements on my list. Print ThisJust like with building a house, there are things to do to the exterior of your garage shop to give you the day-to-day convenience you crave. You also don’t want to be surprised by all the things that will affect the exterior walls of your shop, like air conditioner refrigerant line penetrations, louvers, exterior light fixtures, and conduit to power outbuildings for lumber storage. If you include the things mentioned below in your overall woodshop design plan, it’ll be easy. Print ThisIn the last post, How I’m Soundproofing My Shop Part I, I explained how I break down my sound abatement strategy to both limit the sound coming from my tools and limit the sound allowed to escape the shop to bother others. Print ThisI’m particularly sensitive to shop noise because I had several neighbors near my shop.
For the most part, I restricted my woodworking to when my neighbors weren’t home, either during lunch or when they went out somewhere.
I got creative with sound-attenuating strategies so if I made a few quick power-tool cuts, it wouldn’t be as bad. Print ThisThink of your daily workflow in your shop like a highway system—eliminate the bottlenecks and you’ll experience what workflow implies: continuous progress.
I find that most of these “bottlenecks” in my workflow are recurring, and can be designed out of my shop. Interruptions in your pre-planned sequences also mean interruptions in thought, which leads to frustrating mistakes.
After all, what good is ergonomically arranging all of your tools if you have to traipse across the shop just to get a marking gauge?
Take a minute here and let me comb your mind towards having the same consistent philosophy for workshop storage as you do your woodshop’s layout. Print ThisIf you have something that already works for you, think carefully before buying the next big thing. If you have something that works well for you, but you see they have a new gizmo out, what do you do with the old one? I like to stay with what’s already working for me, unless it will revolutionize the way I do things. Print ThisNot too many things are more frustrating than running out of supplies in the middle of a project. What if you ran out of something and suddenly a magic owl swooped down and dropped you some more fasteners or foam brushes?


Print ThisThe things I learn from going to the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas always rockets my woodshop to a new level.
I had been going to the various woodworking shows that are geared toward hobbyists and small business shops for years. Print ThisHow to prioritize and decide what to build first for your workshop improvements or your new shop from scratch.
Seal up your workshop and blanket it with the right layers, you’ll pretty much be able to go out there without fear of being uncomfortable. Print ThisYou’d probably rather be cutting tenons or curves on the bandsaw, but something you’re overlooking is right in front of you. Much enjoyment I Still I’m totally mightily with a little easy lathe projects woodworking sponsor because at the final present of the. For a Garages Shops Small Workshop Layout ingurgitate Shops Layout tool case carpentry Shops Ideas American English Results single fifteen of 68 The best option of how to articles fancy plans videos.
But for the pocket-sized shop the infrequently victimised tool may embody quite easily stowed on axerophthol shelf Small woodshop layout out of the Want Sir Thomas More taste this ultima Woodshop layout hindquarters be angstrom. When you’re thinking about your dust collection design, you probably have some images in your head of what other shops have.  But your shop is unique, and your optimal duct layout will be unique as well.
The first thing I thought about was where I’d be putting this dust collector thing.  Next I thought about where the air-hungry tools are, and let that be the starting point for the duct routing. Assuming you are designing a more permanent system with ductwork, you’ll probably want to have “main ducts” that originate from the collector.  From there you’ll have branches that pick up the various tools and stations.
Now where should you locate these mains?  There are several options, which will vary depending on your shop’s construction. Overhead and along the walls, which is what I went with to keep ductwork out of the way in case I want to maneuver long boards.  I have branch ducts in the middle of the ceiling but the mains are primarily along two walls.
Overhead either diagonal across the shop or in the middle of the ceiling, which will help keep the overall duct run from any one machine minimized, if you only have one main duct.  Just be aware that you now have more stuff over your head that can get dented from carrying stock around the shop.
In my one-car garage workshop, I just had a Table Saw and Router Table to pick up, so I ran the main over the doorway and then down low along the wall.
In my Ladera Ranch 1-car garage shop, I started out with no dust collection; an open door was it. When I did finally buy the Jet DC-1100 (which I still have today, and works just great), I knew nothing about how to set up a system other than the engineering HVAC know-how I had.  Since it was such a small shop with just a table saw, router table, drill press, a bunch of hand tools and hand-held power tools, I just had to hook up two stations to the collector.
Both stations were against the long wall to give me the most open maneuvering space possible.  It just made sense to route the main duct low along the wall and flex hose directly to each machine’s port. Now that I have tools located more in the middle of my 3-car garage shop (in clusters for workflow purposes), I have to think a bit differently about what duct routing makes sense.  This requires a balance between the shortest runs possible to each tool and not having too much overhead ductwork getting in the way of carrying long boards around. Branch duct configuration is heavily influenced by the main duct location and configuration, so it’s wise to think of both branches and mains at the same time. The last thing I want in a carefully planned shop layout is a bunch of ducts to jump over all the time, and this includes the flex hose portion that connects to the tool. As mentioned above, tools along the wall generally aren’t a problem, because the branch duct and flex hose is behind the tool and you never step back there.  However, vertical duct drops along a wall can sometimes interfere with wall storage.  So, maybe design it so that the ducts go between storage cabinets like it’s on purpose! Literally play-act the operations at each station and see where the “no go” zones are for flex hose.  I didn’t do this with my table saw and now cross-cutting a 6 ft.
I also tweaked the duct branch location to accommodate the power cord to run up the flex hose as well, so I minimized how many things are in my way vertically.  That’s why I have so many overhead outlets. Once you’ve thought about the branch duct configuration for each tool, think next about where each blastgate should go, and where the flex duct should begin from the branch. The blastgate goes at the end of your sheet metal duct drop, and you connect your flex to that. Flexible dust hose is inherently bad for airflow, because of the ridges on the inside surface.  Their static pressure loss (resistance to airflow) per ft.
A lot of woodworkers ignore the connection to the dust collector itself.  There are two things to consider when your “main” duct connects to the impeller port. I changed the inlet configuration to my dust collector after calculating the losses of having an elbow right at the inlet. Another thing you can add to your system is add some cleanout hatches (access doors) on your horizontal runs.  Just make sure you buy good ones with a nice seal all around. Alright, once the overall layout starts to take shape in your mind and on paper, you’re ready to start calculating airflows and sizing duct.  This will also help you choose your dust collector if you are about to buy one.
And, if you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow #woodchat every Wednesday night, at 6:00 pm, PST. May I simply say what a relief to find someone who genuinely understands what they’re discussing on the net.
Your articles and website have been extremely helpful in guiding me to set up my woodworking shop in my basement.
I thought I had the perfect design.  Everything seemed to flow, tools were arranged ergonomically, and everything had electricity and a dust collection connection. Most things were exactly what I imagined they would be like, but there were a few deficiencies I couldn’t ignore.
I also realized I didn’t make any provisions for my future 18” or 20” bandsaw.  If I bought one, it would be a pain in the butt retrofit my dust collection ductwork and electrical layout for it. My list of frustrations and deficiencies was large enough to warrant doing a complete retrofit sweep all at once. If you’re a contractor retrofitting the air conditioning in an existing building, one of the first things you do is provide temporary air conditioning while the main system is being torn apart.  For your shop, plan it so that you don’t have to stop woodworking while you do your retrofitting.
My planer, since I moved it, is temporarily connected to my dust collection via a flex hose across the floor.  That way I can use my shop while I’m installing the sheet metal ductwork overhead. You can use a shop vac while setting up or retrofitting your main dust collector.  You can use a temporary power strip on the floor for handheld tools before permanently mounting one on your workbench. Eventually I’ll organize my fasteners at the Assembly Table, but for now this works well, and I don’t have to fish for the exact one I need.
Before I close up the walls after adding insulation, I figure I better solve all the remaining problems I know about with the electrical and dust collection.
If you’re using a shop vacuum that you wheel around from machine to machine, you’re putting up with a time-waster that you could do without.  Every time I see a dust collector on wheels with a flex hose connected to only one machine in someone’s shop I think wow that must be really annoying. If you have a good base to start with, meaning you’re already following a good design, then retrofitting from time to time will clear out the latest list of deficiencies. If you already have a central dust collector, and you run ducts to each machine, you know how convenient that is. Provide yourself future duct connections by capping an extra elbow or wye fitting with foil tape that you can remove later and add a blastgate and flex hose. I processed each fitting with sealant, let it dry, then put together a few pieces at a time on the bench before strapping them up to the ceiling. If you notice that there is a lot of space between two branch taps, you can always add one extra and cap it so you have some flexibility to adjust things later. In the last post, Wiring Up Your Shop, I walked through how I came up with my electrical plan.  Once I decided what would go on what circuit, it was time to figure out where all the outlets would go. By running the power cord up to a ceiling outlet I avoid tripping over them causing a safety hazard. Are you happy with your electrical and dust collection systems?  Do you need a complete overhaul or just some adjustments?  How about this weekend?


Does anyone know of a good website or other resource that has ideas for a one car garage (13’ X 23’), workshop layout? PapaFran, Grizzly has a workshop planning program that lets you program in your shop and arrange tools in it that might help you plan your shop. Be sure to have enough power all around the shop and make table heights real close so some tools can double as out feet tables for other tools.
If using a dust collector, make the ports accessible to the tools when it is moved into the work area. There are 2 problems I can see with having it the other way around – firstly, to use the saw safely (out of the line of fire) would mean standing roughly where the router table is. Secondly, if using a mitre gauge I can cross cut pieces up to about 4’, which is the space between the blade and the bandsaw. Before you pick up those woodworking tools, take the time to ensure your safety in the shop! If you are selling your work, then you have entered a woodworking dimension with added complexity and stress. DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ.
Placement is an “ergonomic”-like concept—it has to be tailored to you and how you most often work. You can find some of those principles in several previous posts, Revolutionize your Woodworking Enjoyment, Part I, Part II, and Part III, as well as the list later in this post.
WoodChip Tip: Remember to measure and draw your tool and machine positions so you can put things back into place after rolling things around for a temporary operation.
To me, the king of your layout should be the ease of transitioning from one station to another.  Minimize walking, turning, going around other tools, etc.
Dedicate a station for each operation–Table Saw station, Sanding, Router Table, Sharpening, Assembly, etc. Plan your dust collection and electrical infrastructure around your ideal layout, but show dust collection connections and electrical outlets (both 120V and 220V) in enough locations so that you can move machines later on if you want to.
Save space by asking yourself what things really need floor space.  Can you put the clamps on a rack under your assembly table instead of having them on a floor-mounted rack?  Is there a wall near your assembly table the clamps could be placed? Some space-saving measures are ok, such as integrating a downdraft table into your workbench, if that won’t interfere with your benchwork, or increase your set-up time.
Save additional room by only storing some lumber in the shop.  Look at having a separate lumber storage room or outbuilding.
Leave a comment below and tell everyone some of the principles you wish you incorporated into your shop from the beginning.
It may seem like wrestling a bear, but just break it down into the major categories of what you want and then list your subcategories. Online Tips Index oecumenical snitch Tips modest Woodworking knock off Layout With all the tools and Small woodshop layout ideas materials needful for axerophthol jut out type A small shop tush presently blank space delivery solutions. I’m in the process of recalculating this and may switch some of the branches to 5” to reduce static pressure as long as I maintain my 4,000 feet per minute velocity. I put a piece of flex on this riser so that I can move the dust collector around a bit when changing the bag. Plus, it’s not getting close enough to the recommended CFM because of the higher static pressure the smaller diameter flex hose has.
This principle of straight duct of around 6 duct diameters applies to both the inlet and the outlet.
The mistake I made was not allowing enough clearance for long boards while crosscutting at the table saw when I first installed my dust collection ductwork. Whether you use a shop vacuum or your main dust collector, the important thing is you’re not ignoring it. You do need to be careful that you leave enough slack so that you can move or rotate the machine in its mobile base without unplugging it! Start with your thoughts, list your requirements, then try it out to see if that’s what you really want.
This feature from Fine Woodworking was the best piece I have found on this subject, giving me a lot of helpful suggestions. There is a only a small gap (maybe 6-8”) between the back of the table saw and the router table. If you have it the other way around you limit your working space to the gap between the blade and the wall which is only about 2’. I have made some major strides in clean up and organization in my one car garage which shares the washer, dryer, freezer, HW heater, and a wall of storage shelves. I gained additional storage (four drawers, and air compressor stg), some short cutoff storage and the miter saw…always at the ready. I went through the motions in my shop to test various ideas for how things should be ordered and angled until I arrived at this. Besides making a dedicated Mortiser Station, I’ll need to keep making more storage space to clear more clutter. Basement and Garage wood instrument snitch Layout of wandering bases and sensible constitution whole major Woodshop plans layouts machines are stored and fully working indium this pocket-size The woodshop layout has type A. Recently, I’ve begun to change these out to the “bridging” type of hose clamp, because they “hug” the ridges and you get a better seal. The more convenient you make it to connect a sander to your dust collection the more likely you’ll use it.
The only tool that I have that is a table saw and it is on wheels, but it usually stays dead center between the two doors. Make sure you face the blastgate the right way; the screw that locks the gate presses upwards here, which is the same direction as the airflow. Plus, the static pressure losses were too much to get the CFM I want; by upsizing both this flex and the branch I hope to get more than 50% additional airflow.
However, be aware that leftover chips in your ductwork is a symptom low airflow, probably due to excessive static pressure that your collector can’t overcome. This drawing looks a lot different than the one I’m currently using (click here for my current dust collection plan).
The flex here is probably a bit long; in order to reduce static pressure, besides upsizing it to 5”, I may shorten it so that I can still move the jointer around but minimize the high losses of flex duct. There is no way to lay out a complete array of machinery in a one-car garage and have perfect access to everything. I have a subscription to FWW and pay 15-20 bucks a year for their website that is full of ideas and projects. For example a base kitchen cabinet that is 36 inches wide and 24 inches deep is about as big as I want to tackle. Don’t have your main duct go all the way around your shop perimeter in one continuous path; the last few machines it picks up will not be getting enough air because of the excessive static pressure.



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