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I am in the process of moving to a new home. We will be tearing down an existing garage and replacing it with a 20×40 (two story) one with the intent of having a wood working shop downstairs, and other craft issues (pottery, soap making, fiber craft etc. upstairs).

I am looking for ideas to do it "right".

I assume I want to start with dust collection.

Any suggestions on layout and best practices?

I was thinking about maybe trying to build Bill Pentz' system or just buying clear-vue or perhaps there is something similar?

Given an empty space what is a good strategy to laying out the necessary ducting? What sizes?

Y'know stuff like that. Perhaps if you had the opportunity to start over, from scratch…?
 

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The latest fine woodworking email had a link to a podcast that talked about this: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/113772/stl-65-wicked-workshop-tips?&lookup=auto&V18=&V19=&V20=&V21=&V22=&V23=&V24=&V25=&V26=&V53=&V54=&Taun_Per_Flag=true&&utm_source=email&utm_medium=eletter&utm_content=fw_eletter&utm_campaign=fine-woodworking-eletter

My advice would be to make sure you have lots of outlets in the cieling, they are very useful and will save you from having wires running from the walls to machines in the middle of the shop.
 

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Dust collection and wiring are both very important. A little thought before hand can save you lots of time aggravation and money later. Layout what you have and what you will acquire in the future based on the work flow through the shop, then figure out the dust management and electrical requirements for each machine.
 

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I encourage you to think very hard about the size of your shop. I have recently built a shop and regret that I didn't build it 5 ft. wider and 5 ft. deeper. I love my shop but still wish that I had built it a little larger. I wish you well with your plans. It's always exciting for someone to build a new shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com
 

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Make sure your chop saw or RAS has a long, clear work surface that can be fed from outside.

Long pieces of baseboard, quarter round, trim, etc. can be difficult to fit into a shop layout without proper planning.

When I have large pieces, sometimes they hang off the bench and out the garage door until I have time to whittle them down to size.

Lesson learned and I thought I would share.
 

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A good book to reference is "SETTING UP SHOP" it show examples of shops from garden shed to full production shops. It will not tell you how to set up your shop but rather how to approch and think about the optimal layout for your needs and space
 

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I got a whole lot of ideas for you. In my 60 years on this earth I've never heard any one say they wish they had built a smaller shop. Bigger is better, more lighting is better as are more outlets, more cabinets and shelving. A minimum of windows visible to the general public. They don't need to know what you've got in your shop. Secure mandoors and overhead doors. Oh yeah, keep the outlets at least 50" off the floor so a sheet of plywood doesn't block them and investigate a quality epoxy floor coating system in a light color. It helps with the lighting and makes clean up real easy or find parts that fall on the foor. Shoot for a 10 foot ceiling. Do your research on how your going to heat your shop. Have plenty of electric service to you shop and at least 2-3 220
outlets.

But most important don't cut corners. It's your shop, you deserve the best. So do it right.
 

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Before you pour your floor slab (assuming you are), run dust ducts underground from the center to where your DC will be. Run electric conduits from the center to where your breaker panel will be. Build power outlets and dust ports into the floor everywhere you will have a machine in the middle of the shop.
Agree with BurlyBob on all points. I would have suggested a 9' ceiling, though a 10'er would still be better.
Build a miniature model of your shop (out of scrap plywood, cardboard, foamcore, or LEGO bricks), with same-scale machines and furniture, so you can see it in 3D. Cut a bunch of scaled pieces of wood and cardboard, to represent lumber and sheet goods, so you can see how the place would function. Window placement is another thing to think about. If you'll have a work table or a machine near a corner, a window by that corner can be opened to accommodate a long workpiece. Include a finishing room, bathroom, mechanical room, maybe even a kitchenette. You're thinking, mechanical room? That's for your DC, WH, breaker panel, water shutoff, its own door to the outside, a place for muddy boots, and maybe also include a washer/dryer combo unit, for washing your work clothes.
Pick whatever scale works for you. If you daughter has dolls (Barbie, etc.), or you son has, say GI Joe figures, build the model in the same scale as your kid's dolls/figures, and pose them like they're using tools and building things. This may help with the layout. Use your imagination. Run with it.
Consider heating with a wood burning appliance. Use your offcuts as fuel. If you have the few extra kilo$'s to set aside, build a Masonry Contraflow Heater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow, that's a lot, and very specific
We are going to pour the floor. How does one put dust ducting in there? And what size does one choose? I have seen the arguments over 4" vs 6" vs 8" but to no full out optimal solution. Is there a good way to do this so that hey are still accessable in case of clogs/jams etc.? What ducting material is safe to do this with, especially if it will be in contact with concrete?
 

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If you bury it in the ground under the floor, it will have concrete contact only where it goes through the floor. Good old fashioned PVC pipes should be fine. Regarding diameter: I would probably go with 6". About clogs, use a wet/dry vac to push clogs (build a vac hose adapter) while the DC is running, but there's the possibility of totally stubborn clogs, so maybe instead, use hoses snaked through an oversize pipe. If the hose gets clogged, just pull it out and flop it around until the clogs come out. The pipe would only be a conduit for the hose. For example, if you'll be using 6" hose, run 8" pipes. Elbows might be a problem (may turn too sharp). If you can find large elbows, like the kind used with electric conduit, that would make it easy to run a hose. Otherwise, use 22.5-degree elbows and pipe segments to build your own 20-inch-radius (or larger) elbows. Bury as deep as necessary to accommodate the elbows. Experiment by dry-fitting elbows and pipes together (use tape if they won't stay together) and pushing hoses through them, before construction.
About the diameter argument: Maybe run 10" pipe, and use whatever size hose works best. Whether you're willing to splurge on 10" pipe, that's another matter. $141 for a 10" 22.5 elbow @ Home Depot. Yikes!
Another idea I had earlier, and just found out it is called a cable trough, in the floor, covered with steel plates. All your cords, wires, pipes and hoses can be run thru the trough, and have power outlets there as well, eliminating the need to put pipes in the ground before pouring concrete.
 

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+1 for Setting Up Shop

+1 for EVERYTHING from BurlyBob and splatman. Especially the outlets 50" off floor. They don't get blocked and you don't have to bend over.

+1 for outlets in the ceiling.

Don't forget air cleaning/filtration as a part of dust collection. I have a 12'x18' basement shop. My filtration system exhausts to outside. Consider that instead of a system that filters and then recirculates.

Consider putting large machines on some kind of wheel base. You may not move them a lot but when you have to you'll be glad they're on wheels.

Good luck. Enjoy. Be safe.
 

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Tall ceilings are a must if you are going to be using a lot of 8 foot lumber. Also lighting is very important. Will the walls and ceiling be sheet rocked? Light colors will help spread the light. If the walls are going to be studs you will need more light. I used the 6 foot long 2 bulb fluorescent fixtures. I have 4 on two on a switch for an 18×18 shop. They provide a lot of overlapping light without shadows.

A wide entrance door is also a must. How else will you get all those new tools in the shop? I also alternate the outlets so I do not have two from the same circuit breaker next to each other. This helps when another person is running a tool at the same time.
 

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I forgot to mention this, so I'm glad Chris did re wall color if you sheetrock your walls. Ceilings can be left white. However, white walls with fluorescent tubes give me a headache. You might not have the same experience but it is worth considering. I painted my shop walls a light taupe color.

"I also alternate the outlets so I do not have two from the same circuit breaker next to each other." Outstanding suggestion Chris. I wish I had thought of that.
 

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This is going to sound bizarre, but think about putting large garage doors at both ends of the shop. I suppose that would mean a 2-car door on both 20 foot sides. I had this feature in a 1-car garage in my last shop and it was awesome. If I needed airflow (which we almost always do), and the weather was decent, I just opened both garage doors. It made easy work of clearing dust, smoke (don't ask), and fumes out of the shop in a matter of 2 to 3 minutes on a calm day with "no" wind. You could also put a large gym fan or two at one end and do a thorough cleanse of the shop in 20 minutes. Turn on the fans, take out the leaf blower, put on the respirator, and start blowing all of the dust into the air stream that the fans are exhausting out of the shop.

This is really just another way of protecting yourself against dust and fumes. Nothing beats fresh air, including the best DC setup in the world. I also just love having fresh air in the shop for relaxation reasons. It can get stuffy in there at times.

I love this feature so much that I actually have dreamed about a shop with garage doors on all sides that turns into a outdoor workshop of sorts with a roof.

Looks like you are located in Central Virginia, which means you ought to have relatively stable and pleasant weather for a good amount of the year, so the doors could be open probably 6 months out of the year, if not more. You may just want to insulate them for the winter months. I am lucky to live in Texas where this option worked well for me. I'm no weather expert, but seems to me like it could be a decent option for you in Virginia.

Hope you'll think about it. Clean air in the shop, and I mean really clean, is hard to come by. Good Luck.
 

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Outlets on alternating circuits = Smart Idea.
Color-code the outlets. so you can tell at a glance if a circuit is near/at capacity. Big tool plugged into a green outlet? Plug other big tool into a yellow outlet. Spraypaint the outlet cover plates before installation.
Or, up the ante, and put each outlet on its own 20 Amp circuit. Be ready to put in a Huge breaker panel, or use tandem breakers.
 

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Oyster -

The garage doors on both ends of the building is NOT bizarre! I lived in a house that had a garage like that. In 1971 my Mom and Dad moved to Miami. We had detached two car garage. One side of the garage was for a car. The other side looked like it was set up as a workshop by previous owners. Conduit and 4 plug outlet boxes 48"-50" off the floor along the walls. Shelving everywhere. The garage had its own breaker panel too. Both car and workshop sides had doors on either end. I wasn't into woodworking then and neither was my Dad. However, it sure was nice to have all those doors open when you had to wax the family car.

Anyway, this was a great idea for Absinthe to consider.
 
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