New woodshop #2: Shop layout

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Blog entry by Combo Prof posted 06-21-2017 06:31 PM 4477 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Purchase Part 2 of New woodshop series Part 3: Update »

So far I have contacted an electrician to update electrical service.

Currently there is a 100 amp panel in the house but only a 60 amp service meter. There is a 110 line and a 220 line running underground to the shop.

The plan is to put a 200 amp service meter on the garage and place a 200 amp panel in the garage with a 100 sub panel in the house. (Maybe that means a 300 amp meter?) All power lines to be buried under ground.

I have drawn up this shop layout plan. Please advise me with better options.

Plan 1

Every thing on wheels except the workbench.

The two yellow cabinets next to the miter saw are to act a both support for the miter saw and as out feed tables for the table saw. One may house the planar and the other the scroll saw.

The red line indicates a separating wall.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

10 comments so far

View Mosquito's profile


10687 posts in 3264 days

#1 posted 06-21-2017 06:48 PM

It’s entirely possible that my understanding is incorrect, but wouldn’t the 100A sub panel for the house just be a breaker on the garage panel? So your 200A garage panel would have a single 100A circuit that feeds the house. You would only have 200A service then. At least that’s how my 100A sub panel is hooked up (though mine is the other way, main panel at the house, 100A sub-panel in the garage)

100A is all I’ve got in my shop, and I feel like for a non-production like shop it’s probably plenty, depending on what you do for heat. Gas, Electric, or none?

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View FreddieMac's profile


163 posts in 1319 days

#2 posted 06-21-2017 06:51 PM

Looks like a nice layout. I was wondering about all the caster equipment and was not sure about it for my small shop. Right now I am leaning towards just keeping everything bolted down like my old shop. Once I get it all set, I am unlikely to move it. I really see nothing that can be added to your layout. Very impressive.

View Mosquito's profile


10687 posts in 3264 days

#3 posted 06-21-2017 06:57 PM

Only thing that comes to my mind is maybe a french door or wider than standard door for one of the two doors. May be easier when it comes to moving tools in and out, or even work pieces if any end up on the larger side

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3980 posts in 3223 days

#4 posted 06-21-2017 09:14 PM

Nice job planning the new shop, Don. Couple of observations/questions: Do you have a sharpening station, or is it part of the restoration bench and area? The lathe is going to generate a lot of shavings. Do you plan to run the DC to that wall? What are the boxes labeled 1-2-3, next to the car? Lockers?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View JayT's profile


6417 posts in 3183 days

#5 posted 06-21-2017 09:26 PM

I agree with Mos about a wider door to move materials and work pieces in and out.

I’d think about having the Dust Collector in the restoration/grinding area to keep the noise down a bit more in the the shop. Easy enough to run the lines through the wall.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View magaoitin's profile


249 posts in 1921 days

#6 posted 06-21-2017 10:41 PM

I think I might be with Mos on this one, and am a little turned around on what is feeding what.

It will have to be determined by your electrician and the inspector for the City/County you live in, but typically the larger panel and meter serve the primary residence and a sub panel is allowed to out buildings, so a 200A on the house and a 100A sub panel for the shop/garage is a standard arraignment.

This also does not mean you need a 300A panel, you would only need a 200A panel at the house, and a 100A breaker in it feeding the shop. I just went through this last summer and ended up just getting a dedicated 200A service for my shop, when all the numbers penciled out.

There is one item you need to research (I wont say problems, it is an opportunities to excel)

You say that you have a 110V and a 220V line running UG to the shop now, so I assume there are 2 breakers in your current panel that control these. I dont think the Electrical code allows for standard 110V or 220V wire to be used to feed a sub panel in another building. You might need to upgrade to what is called Service Entrance Cable (SE), from the house to the shop (there are 2 types SER or SEU wire, if it is underground it is a different wire than overhead). This can be expensive depending on how far away the shop is from the house.

It looks like your shop is about 20’-30’ from your house, which is the about the same setup I was dealing with. After I did all my calcs for equipment, heating, and lighting in my shop I didnt feel like a 100 amp panel was enough. And it was going to be about the same price to have a new meter and 200A panel dedicated to my shop, or run new SER and an 100A sub-panel underground (that is assuming I was going to hire an electrician to do the work and not do it myself).

I was looking at $700-$900 for either option for power, so I ended up with a 200A dedicated panel to the shop. (I had an added cost from the power company to upgrade the transformer on the pole as well that bumped my overall cost to $1300)

I hope you get lucky and the underground wire you already have is up to code.

-- Jeff ~ Tacoma Wa.

View Boxguy's profile


2889 posts in 3239 days

#7 posted 06-21-2017 11:19 PM

Don, plan on building larger stuff. Don’t wall off your shop from the garage door. You will want the door up for light and air when you work. What if you build something big or get a load of wood?

If you must build a wall, put it on the back of the shop, not the front. Add a rear door if you must. If you add windows, put them up high for light and to see out. You really don’t want windows at ground level for others to see in. Tools are expensive and need protection. Wall space is precious.

As you plan your shop, think about the process of going from raw board to miter saw for length, planer for thickness, table saw for sides, and sander next.

No matter how well you plan, you will buy additional tools. Keep them on wheels. It also helps with cleaning. In my shop tools moved around for years as I added machines.

I opted for dust collectors for individual tools or groups of tools rather than having one large unit and lots of pipes. It lets me size the collector to the needs of the particular tool and in most cases the collector comes on automatically when I turn on the tool. It also lets me move tools as i am not tied to adding pipes each time I relocate or add a tool. Yes, I have dust bags to empty, but not as often as you would think for most tools.

You will need more 220 outlets than you think. I have one for each of these tools: dual drum sander, table saw, planer, big dust collector for planer and sander, band saw, compressor, large belt sander, and jointer. That is 8 different 220 tools and is a lot of circuits in a box. This does not include a heater. I would plan on room for 10 of your 220 outlets. It may also be helpful if some of these circuits drop down from the ceiling to tools or groups of tools.

Have fun! It is expensive starting out, but it pays off over and over again as you build your shop.

-- Big Al in IN

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

4544 posts in 2249 days

#8 posted 06-21-2017 11:56 PM

Mos and Jeff The electrician was the one who came up with putting the main panel in the garage and the sub-panel in the house and said he had done that before, so I suppose then it is within city code. I assume the plan is 100 amps available for the shop and 100amps for he house. It should be more then enough. I am still waiting for a quote, but befor mentioning burying the cables underground he tendered $1000 as a guess. The current wiring is indeed not correct and you are right about not using standard wire for the sub-panel, but currently there is no sub-panel. The current underground wire will be replaced. It is more like 16 to 18 feet house to shop. Only about 6 feet of the shop to house will be under ground the rest goes above ground under a deck.

Mosand JayT Yes french doors or at least larger doors. I think having the door near the wood rack is a good idea. I think maybe double pocket doors is the key.

Freddie I’m in a 11 by 20 foot shop now. I have to roll out the small band saw and planar to use them.
I some times have to roll out and turn table saw and the sliding compound miter saw for long stock. It is a nuisance.

Don B I have my sharpening supplies at the moment in the under the lathe cabinet. I have had them in the under the restoration bench cabinet. I used to sharpen on the restoration bench but lately I just set them on the work bench. I have not figured out dust collection for the lathe, its just an old spindle lathe that I use to turn tool handles.
I have a DustRight hose now that would stretch from the dust collector over to it, but maybe better to run an over head DC tube. But in truth I am not really sure about positioning the Lathe and the Jointer. I may just sell the jointer I don’t use it. as I rather like jointing with my Stanley 8. The boxes 1 2 3 are 3 by 6 by 1 foot metal cabinets
that I store stuff in. e.g. chemicals (stains, paints, evapo-rust, oils, etc), plumbing parts, electrical parts, and other
crap ( to be technical). With so much more wall space I may not need the cabinets.

JayT. I did think about putting the DC outside the back wall, but it would make it difficult to change out the collected dust. Putting it up front would allow an access panel along the car to be used to change out the collected dust. I may just box it in. I’ll give this more thought.

Al I will take your advice under consideration. I have been thinking about a no separation wall too. Wall is to keep the dust off the car and the wife. It is also to keep eyes out of the shop. I am a block away from the high school, and the hospital and the aqua center. I like the over head wire drop idea. I am with in a few blocks of the evergreen senior center which has a big power tool work shop. As a recall 3 big lathes, SawStop, big planer and so forth. In August I’ll go take some photos of it. It would be a small yearly fee for me to just use that shop when needed so its tempting to just go all hand tools which would solve lots of problems. But I love having my 20 inch band saw and its nice to have table saw, planer and miter saw to rough dimension lumber to late be cleaned up with hand tools. You may be right on the number of 220s. I need to calculate panel sizes.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

View HokieKen's profile


16013 posts in 2110 days

#9 posted 06-22-2017 07:29 PM

Don, I think if you move that yellow box labeled “small car” to the other side of the white box labeled “garage door” you’ll find all your problems are solved ;-) Of course Mrs. ComboProf may give you some new problems if you do…

In seriousness, if you can manage to get a utility sink in there somewhere, I think you’ll be awfully glad you did.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

4544 posts in 2249 days

#10 posted 06-22-2017 10:58 PM

Don, I think if you move that yellow box labeled “small car” to the other side of the white box labeled “garage door” you ll find all your problems are solved ;-) Of course Mrs. ComboProf may give you some new problems if you do…

In seriousness, if you can manage to get a utility sink in there somewhere, I think you ll be awfully glad you did.

- HokieKen

She would be O.K. with the car out side, but there are Kayaks, bicycles and my boat!

I agree on the sink. I guess it could be supported with tank water (A tank on the roof to collect water).

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

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