Work(shop) in Progress #10: Reorganizing Single Car Garage I - The plan.

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 08-25-2010 04:37 AM 4948 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: so, what's the plane? Part 10 of Work(shop) in Progress series Part 11: Reorganizing Single Car Garage II - Machines are Resting »

Lately, everytime I go to the garage whether it be to get something, or work on something I tend to always come back with bruised/scratched shins.

The garage is a somewhat of a mine field. It never really started as a workshop, so tools and machines just accumulated as they came with no order or planning and each one made it more and more stuffy and cramped.

My wife just asked me ‘why don’t you take everything out and reorganize the place’.... hmm.. that means spending more time in the garage – and not even for any woodworking :( but I guess it WOULD yield some fruits.

So. since I have some of my things modeled in SketchUp (router table, workbench) I was able to mock up the 1 car garage in SU with the addition of some machines that HighlandTools posted on SketchUp’s 3dwarehouse (thanks guys). This is what it looks like today (uh… no my planer is not THAT big, and my jointer is also smaller, but these are the machines I was able to get without having to model them – call me lazy ;) ):

there’s also a snow blower there, and a bunch of stuff laying around that just doesn’t have a place. you can probably see the pics in my workshop page as have been taken not too long ago.

There are a few issues with current setup:
  1. there’s little room to move around
  2. I can’t utilize the workbench wagon vise as I can’t really reach it
  3. milling lumber is difficult as the area the milling machines are located in is cramped and tight – I do roll them aside , but it could be better.
  4. stuff laying on the floor – safety hazzard

The plan?

Reorganize everything and place it in the perimeter:

This should address the following:
  1. most important – I’ll have room to walk around, and be able to reach everything comfortably and safely
  2. workbench will have easy access all around
  3. milling machines will be positioned closest to DC
  4. stationary duct for DC will be easier to setup (future plan)
  5. machines will be grouped by usage (milling, shaping, joinery/fitting)
  6. did I mention I’ll have space to move about?

So, this is the plan I have set for myself. hopefully I can get to it one machine at a time, and get it done within the next few weeks.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

20 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35270 posts in 5406 days

#1 posted 08-25-2010 05:02 AM

I’ve found that it’s the shorts that I wear in the summer. When I have on long pants the cuts, scrapes and blue bulls-eyes. are not around.

But I’m not discouraging you from moving things around.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4002 days

#2 posted 08-25-2010 05:18 AM

I like your wife’s plan better than my wife’s idea. When I shower her how crowded I was, her immediate response was “You need to get RID of some STUFF” NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
A man never wants to hear those words: ”GET RID”
All I said was IF I had 3 car garage I would have space.!
I don’t think that was to much to ask.
PS: I DO LOVE my wife so I may get rid of some “tiny things”

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View PurpLev's profile


8645 posts in 4654 days

#3 posted 08-25-2010 05:21 AM

hehe, canadianchips – I hear ya.

Karson – the bruises and scratches are from when I’m with heavy duty long pants. if I’d go there with shorts, I may not survive!.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4779 days

#4 posted 08-25-2010 06:42 AM

With a one car garage one has to be mobile and keep the equipment along the outside walls. My table saw and miter saw can be used at all times with out moving. The planer, sanders and shaper has to be pulled out to use. Depending on the lenght of the pieces I am machinig on the band saw, mortiser, jointer and drill press, determines if they have to be pulled out. I have a shed out side the back door to keep off-fall, jigs and mics.

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 3841 days

#5 posted 08-25-2010 06:52 AM

Canadianchips, I just threaten to go up a story and raise the garage roof one floor if she threatens the need to get rid of tools, that ends the argument quick. It helps if you look up building code to back up the threat.

Good looking plan.

-- A posse ad esse

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3862 days

#6 posted 08-25-2010 10:30 AM

I went to a wood show a few years back to pick up some clamps.
I selected about 12.

Shirley said, “you cant have enough clamps”. Then proceded to load another 12 clamps.

I Love my wife

My shop on plan has lots of space. In reality I’m full. Wish it could look like the plan.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4387 days

#7 posted 08-25-2010 10:42 AM

That little model scene is adorable. Nicely made and reorganized. Good luck finding the time!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4438 days

#8 posted 08-25-2010 11:56 AM

And… of course, there will be no sawdust on the floor… just like the mock up ;-)

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4054 days

#9 posted 08-25-2010 12:29 PM

One way to do it is to bit the bullet and to build a new shop, I should have done it 10 years ago!

At home ,I am the one who never want to keep anything ( I hate keeping stuff and mess) and my wife encourages me to keep.
In the same way I am cheap when it comes to buy tools but my wife encourages me to buy more and better tools!.
I know she is almost perfect, but do not tell her!

-- Bert

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4054 days

#10 posted 08-25-2010 12:39 PM

-- Bert

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4054 days

#11 posted 08-25-2010 12:46 PM

I am waiting for more money to install the sheet rock and to finish the whole thing.

-- Bert

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 4748 days

#12 posted 08-25-2010 01:51 PM

Sheeesh! I need to do that…I have a two car garage dedicated to car, extra refrigerators, two pallets of hardwood pellets for the wood-burning pellet stove, a snow blower and way to many fishing poles and tackle boxes; a 12×12 storage shed for lawnmowers etc; AND a 22×44 second garage for a shop. Like you I accumulated tools and equipment on a piecemeal basis without a real plan. I filled it up and now it is like a minefield. LOL I think I need to “rent” a couple of young strong backs to empty the place and start over.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4887 days

#13 posted 08-25-2010 02:22 PM

Good start. Ambitious.

I wish all shops looked like Sketchup drawings.
Of course I wish all my projects looked like Sketchup drawings too.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View PurpLev's profile


8645 posts in 4654 days

#14 posted 08-25-2010 02:54 PM

yup – always looks more manageable and clean in SketchUp. I guess I should model some sawdust while at it.

Bert – that’s a great shop you put up there. unfortunately I don’t think I would want to spend all that time and money in a rental unit. when we own our own place – that will definitely be on the list of things though. For now, I do with what I’ve got – which I am grateful for having.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4054 days

#15 posted 08-25-2010 03:24 PM

purplev: ” in a rental unit”
I think I do not understand.
I own the place

” which I am grateful for having.” very good attitude. I am content and blessed also.

-- Bert

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