Small shop brainstorming

JCAlton

New User
Cody Alton
So we are looking at moving and are currently renting as we weren't sure where we wanted to live. I work 100% remote so not tied to any particular locale.

So my shop is a prefab 10x20 shed that is wired and insulated. Double doors on the long wall, the typical shed you see everywhere.

But obviously that's not a lot of size and I struggle with the current setup.

Right now I have an 8'x2' workbench that started its life as a rabbit hutch stand that I repurposed into a workbench. It is along the back long wall centered on the wall. I removed one of the two loft to open up the space, the other is used for storage.

Currently as far as large tools that take up floor space I have a kobalt portable tablesaw, craftsman 6" jointer with base, 20 gallon air compressor, the jet lathe i bought from a member here recently.

I'm thinking of building a smaller workbench that can be moved out of the way to maximize space. Any other suggestions for making the space more functional? In the near future I'm going to be building some upper cabinets to run across one of the 10' walls so theyll give me storage and still space underneath for some of the larger floor tools to live
 

Sourwould

Taylor
User
Hey Cody

A tracksaw has been my solution to having a cramped space to work in. I often rip 5x5 sheets in an area that's about 8x8.
 

Brian Patterson

Bstrom
User
I’ve got half my basement one-car garage setup as a 12’X22’ workshop and it’s pretty nice but still requires moving the car outside and rolling carted tools into that bay to handle typical sheet and roughsawn materials. Your space is adequate for small scale projects but getting into small furniture and the like will be pretty difficult. Hope you get a handle on the space you’ve got.
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
I have a basement garage. Around 650 to 700 sq.ft. There are advantages to being under the house. Heating & cooling comes from the overhead duct work. No vents down there the ducts radiate. I do have a small gas heater to help in the coldest part of the winter. I am a lucky duck because in the spring & fall my back door and front garage door face North East and South West this keeps a very nice breeze coming through the shop.

Pop
 

JCAlton

New User
Cody Alton
I do small furniture now. Just drives me crazy and takes a while because of the constant shuffle. I actually built a 7' dining table in there, but while I was building some nightstands I couldn't figure out how I managed the table.

I'll see if I can get a picture, at the very least ill mock it up in sketchup. Right now its a disaster area. New tools and lumber moved in and I havent got it situated yet. Can't see 1 whole wall lol.

Another thing I'm considering is removing one of the gable vents and installing an exhaust fan to help move some air in there. This time of year I'm drenched in sweat in a matter of minutes even with the doors open.
 

rcarmac

Robert
Corporate Member
I have a small short too. Basically benches with tools on top on 3 walls. Under the benches is cabinets and storage. Middle is open with the exception of the table saw. I have a rolling work bench that rolls and stacks under one of the benches along the wall. Peg board around all walls for more organization.

find what flow works for you. Bigger projects can be aggravating but is workable. I try my
Hardest to get all the tools along the wall and leave the center as open as possible
 

JCAlton

New User
Cody Alton
I've been looking at doing almost the opposite :)

I'm planning on building some cabinets to go just under the loft to give me storage up out of the way and looking to move as much up off the floor as possible. Then under the cabinet will be where I store the jointer and lathe. The lathe Ill be able to use where it's at, the jointer I can roll out when I'm using it. My table saw at the moment is one of the portable saws, not good for big stuff but I usually rip down to a manageable size then use the table saw for the final cuts.

The workbench im thinking will be around 5' long, Im toying with a hybrid between a moravian and roubo style and putting it on those press down casters so I can move it to center or out of the way when needed.

Being its low walls im looking at a lumber rack to put on the long wall above where the workbench is now to keep the wood up out of the way.

I've been stuck in analysis paralysis trying to figure out how I think things will work best so I keep putting off stuff like building a cart for the router table, miter saw, etc. Which again lengthens the time it takes me to complete projects because there's such a long transition between one operation and the next.

To use the router I currently set up saw horses, put a piece of plywood down, clamp things together, then I can use the router. If I have something on the workbench and need to use the miter saw, I have to move stuff out of the way to make room. Thats the part that frustrates me the most, but I keep telling myself I dont want to build a cart for some of these tools until I can figure out what layout or flow will work best in the small space.

Like I said.. analysis paralysis.

Building those cabinets I think will be step one, that will allow me to eliminate the 4' wire rack taking up space and let me clear off some of the clutter that I currently don't have anywhere for. Then I'm aiming at the workbench next, 8' tends to just collect more and I use the same 4-5' section all the time anyway.

Thanks to everyone that has made suggestions or told me things they've done. If you have a similar small shop please post pictures if you have them.

I love woodworking but every time I finish a piece I'm so disgusted with the clutter and bumping into everything that it takes a little while to work up the will power to do it again.

I recently bought a 10x10 canopy, some thick plastic and am going to put it up as a "finishing room" when it comes to that part of a project to help out a little there.

Oh how I dream of a bigger shop
 

Brian Patterson

Bstrom
User
Analysis paralysis - beats being lazy! You'll find you solutions but I took the better part of a year acquiring tools, getting the big guns on carts, and building the benches, wall storage, etc. without losing all the space I'd need. Just try to do it once with the best foresight on operations, electrical supply, etc.

Here’s my 22x24 one-car garage shop - a mess perhaps, but everything has a place to be stored and I can build in relative comfort.
 

Attachments

JCAlton

New User
Cody Alton
Thanks for the pictures. I still need a drill press, planer and bandsaw to round out the bigger purchases. Once I get moved I'll be looking for a better table saw as well. With my current situation I'm hesitant to buy a floor model bandsaw and drill press. I'll most likely hold off on the bandsaw, a benchtop model won't be able to resaw much which is my ultimate goal. A benchtop drill press I can most likely get away with for 90% of my needs.

I do need to build a dust bin like what you have for my jointer though!

I'll be ordering a lumber rack to get the lumber storage situation under control first, once that is out of the way I can start making progress elsewhere.
 

JCAlton

New User
Cody Alton
As much of it as I can get done I suppose. My current shop is one of those pre built sheds they pick up and move to your house. I have spoken to one of the guys that does it and he'd be willing to move it across the state for me, for a price obviously. But it still comes out cheaper than I could buy/build another one for and would give me a temporary shop while I get a new, bigger shop sorted once we move. If I luck out and we find a house we like that already has a shop, I'll convert this one to a finishing space or whatever else we need it for.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
As much of it as I can get done I suppose. My current shop is one of those pre built sheds they pick up and move to your house. I have spoken to one of the guys that does it and he'd be willing to move it across the state for me, for a price obviously. But it still comes out cheaper than I could buy/build another one for and would give me a temporary shop while I get a new, bigger shop sorted once we move. If I luck out and we find a house we like that already has a shop, I'll convert this one to a finishing space or whatever else we need it for.
That'll be an adventure moving it. I guess you'll have to move all of your equipment separately.
 

JCAlton

New User
Cody Alton
He said the weight of the equipment being in the building wouldn't be an issue, I'd just have to take everything off the walls, box up what can be boxed and strap everything down if I want to leave it in there. But I'm not opposed to taking the equipment out either.

This isn't exactly how I prefer to do things but its either keep being unproductive and not wanting to go into the shop having to deal with how inefficient it is OR go ahead and do what I can to make what I have work better.

And in all honesty, we were initially looking to move this fall, but with the uncertainties of the economy as it is now we decided to push back some, which may happen again depending on how this craziness plays out.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
My shop garage is 14x24, so small but bigger than 10x20. I used to have a table saw with about 60 inches in rip capacity in a different shop garage that was not much bigger (I say shop garage because I do not park cars in it, I have another garage for that). I am 100% convinced that a track saw with a table saw with less rip capacity (my current one will be my last, it is a 36 inch PCS) is best for small shops. To cut up sheet goods on a table saw requires about twice the space, maybe 4 times as much. I have a 3x7 outfeed/assembly/workbench behind my table saw where I cut up sheet goods. I ripped a 19 inch wide piece 8 feet long on it a few minutes ago for some shelves. It was a simple matter of lifting the piece of plywood up on the table, setting the long guide rail for the track saw and ripping. No struggling trying to keep a big piece up against the fence or setting up infeed/outfeed support. The shelves are for a 7 foot long base cabinet that has been almost 100% made with the track saw. The only cuts I've made on the table saw were to rip up a 1x2 into 1/4 inch wide pieces to edge the plywood. I assembled the cabinet in the car garage but could have done it in the shop garage. But it would have been difficult to get it out by myself, it is heavy, around 100 lbs and big enough to be a challenge to manuver. I even cut rabbets with the track saw. It did it nicely and well.

Yesterday I took my track saw to my church and we used it to cut down some pews. It did a really nice job despite the curved surfaces. It's a very versatile tool. When I hauled wood in a trailer, I used to cut it up sometimes on the stakes of the trailer before even bringing it inside. I didn't but I could have set up a folding table for this and just moved my foam board on top.

My other thought is even at 10 feet wide I think I would dedicate a long wall to crosscutting. I have an old RAS I rarely use and a CMS on a bench that is around 12 feet long along my long wall that doesn't have windows. I have wood storage on pieces of conduit inserted into doubled 2x4s above the tools. The cabinet they set on is 30 inches high and I used blocks cut from scrap to raise the saws to 38 inches high, the height of my table saw and accessory table. I can set stop blocks over 8 feet from the blade on the left. Drawers are in the cabinet for tool storage and more frequently used tools are on the backsplash area. I have my router table and jointer also along this wall. Both have wheels so they can be pulled out for use.
 

JCAlton

New User
Cody Alton
Thanks a lot JimD, those ideas help. Currently the long wall is a workbench/crosscut/assembly/you name it station. My thoughts are once I get the lumber storage sorted (have one of those wall mounted racks on order right now) I'm wanting to rip the current table out and reconfigure that space. This will mean making a smaller table to go on one of the short walls and moving my tools that are currently on the long wall over to the short wall. Once that is done I'd like to build a miter station on the long wall, possibly one of those fancy carts with the flip up wings to give me more flexibility and space for storage along the walls.

So the way I'm seeing it now:
1) Move wall mounted tools to short wall, install lumber rack on long wall
2)Build upper cabinets to go under the loft area to give more storage and allow space for bigger tools underneath
3) Pull out long workbench and make shorter bench to go on short wall where the wall mounted tools will be moving to
4) Track saw - I've been eyeing getting one, I usually just rip down sheet goods with a straight edge and circular saw. I see the benefits of the track saw, just haven't made that purchase yet

Just doing those I think will free up a lot of space or atleast make it more fluid. The comments I've received here have been a big help in getting ideas of how to work in a small space.

I have no dust collection to speak of, with my size constraints I don't want to dedicate space to a dust collector so will probably make one with a shop vac that I can move between tools. Currently I just hook it up to the tool in use and clean the filter regularly.
 

Martin Roper

Martin
User
One way to save a little space is to buy a CMS without the long rails out the back.

Festool ($$$), Metabo and Bosch have either rails on the side or a folding system to create a minimum of backspace.

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Brian Patterson

Bstrom
User
A few more thoughts:
A bandsaw is cool to have but most 12-14” models only allow a ~5” resaw height, which means you have to rip everything first. Get a height extender if you can to cure that ill. I’m looking at one on eBay now for $102.

Consider putting your lumber racks outside on the Shady side of the shed wall with a cover.

Try to combine your table saw out feed surface as a router table/lift.
 

JCAlton

New User
Cody Alton
I've thought about putting the lumber on the backside. It gets virtually no sun because of the tree line 10ft off the back. But it would require building a cover that id have to tear down when we move. Not a horrible thing and I may end up doing that anyway, wouldn't cost much in materials.

My tablesaw is a fold up portable at the moment, anything else and I wouldn't be able to move in there. As it is now I usually pull the saw outside and put some sand bags on the bottom to hold it still. And never rip full sheets on it haha. Otherwise I love the idea.

The bandsaw, as much as I want, will probably be on the back burner for a while until I get more space. I may get one sooner if a deal I can't pass up comes along. I wasn't exactly on the market for a lathe for the same reason and ended up with one (which prompted this thread as I currently have no where to put it).

I think I need to start getting serious and selling some woodworking stuff to help fund this hobby. Lol
 

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