Woodworking ShopOnly an enthusiastic woodworker can understand the ongoing obsession of another avid woodworker in wanting to improve the functionality of woodworking shop. Those who can, expand their shop as one advances in skill and as more woodworking tools and equipment are acquired. It is most ideal for any woodworker to determine the kind and extent of woodworking to be done from the start to be able to make a conservative estimate of space to be needed. This helps in projecting the amount of space needed in the future, thus preventing costly repairs and expansions. The goal at all times when building, expanding or setting up a shop is efficiency, cost effectiveness and safety.

Avid woodworkers must have seen hundreds of shops online or in magazines and books and must have some basic ideas and designs in mind. There is no doubt that a great deal of enthusiasts are dreaming of having huge spaces devoted to woodwork on some wooded lands with a view of the great outdoors. Regrettably, that is not possible to most hobbyists who need to keep a job in the city. Consequently one contends by planning a small work shop. So, rather than spend time on dreaming an impossible dream, why not make the best of what you have as a space for a woodworking shop?

Plan. Plan. Plan.

There are infinite ways to make a small shop work like any functional shop. Start with some well-thought planning. First, it is important to decide what kind of woodworking you want to pursue. Do you want to work on large or small projects? This is important because the kind of tools, machinery and work surface you will need depends on the size of the projects you intend to undertake. The projects also determine the kind of woodwork machinery that you need in the process. In this connection, think of how much space you need to make room for all the intended acquisitions. If the space in the house is small, you need to find some ingenious solutions to the space problem. Alternatively, you can consider renting out a vacant or unused building space in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, rather than buy big stationary machines, look for alternative portable counterparts especially if it will not be a central piece to the intended woodwork being pursued.

Laying out on Paper

With a limited space, arranging all the stationary tools and fixtures pose a challenge. Before even lifting a finger and wasting time, make a layout first on a scaled graph paper with cut outs of scaled drawings of the bigger tools and fixtures. See how they will fit on a scaled paper to be able to make the adjustments. Remember to give allowances for the infeed and outfeed spaces with the tools. Think of the workflow that you commonly follow when working. Having workbenches and storage cabinets of the same height make these double as infeed and outfees tables rather than have these built and occupy additional spaces. If there is a door that leads to the outside, an outfeed near the door can accommodate long or large workpieces.

It is realistic to store smaller power tools and to have these set up on a work bench only when needed to save space. A folding workbench is also practical to keep rather than a traditional one that eats up space even when it is not in use. Stationary tools can be placed on rolling bases to allow them to be placed out of the way or side by side when not in use. Most of the time, these are not used simultaneously by a hobbyist. And the best strategy is not to buy anything too big that are seldom used anyway. Opting for scaled down or portable tools is preferable.

Storage Increases Space

Maximize your space by putting up practical storage solutions. Since you are into woodworking, make your own storage cabinets to customize them according to your needs and space requirements. Customize them to accommodate the various tools that can be stored when not in use. Make the storage cabinets functional and use every free space, nooks and crannies in the shop to ‘expand’ the shop. Use the walls to save the valuable floor space for those that can’t be stored on cabinets. Maximize the spaces occupied by stationary tools with open stands by using those as storage opportunities.

There are other important things that woodworkers must not fail to consider when building a woodworking shop such lights, electrical outlets and safety devices like exhausts. Regardless of the design of the shop, never fail to be practical and ensure safety precautions.

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