Layout of small workspace 18m2

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Forum topic by emilkarl posted 11-13-2015 10:01 PM 1320 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 2231 days

11-13-2015 10:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workspace workbench workshop advice

I have a space about 5×3.4m (16.4” x 11.1”) in size that I am turning into a workshop.

I have a workbench 210×55cm (6.9” x 1.8”) that I will place somewhere. I want to fit a bench for sharpening and a shaving horse as well.

For the future a small lathe would be nice to get as well.

I’d love to get some advice on how to use the space in the best way?

7 replies so far

View conifur's profile


954 posts in 2390 days

#1 posted 11-13-2015 10:29 PM

What I did for mine was I got a sheet of white paper board I put a grid on it, for me that was 1” = 1’, and I got some red construction paper, and made cut out shapes of my equipment to the same scale and moved them around to get the best layout, with the plane to have the work bench in the center or close to it in the room.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10384 posts in 3648 days

#2 posted 11-14-2015 04:07 AM

What looks good on paper does not always work in reality. My shop has evolved over the years and continues to do so as new equipment is added, or a new idea for storage changes what goes where. While it is a pain and time consuming try setting things up and doing a few simple projects. See how the layout works, change as needed. My suggestion anyway.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Robert's profile


4729 posts in 2719 days

#3 posted 11-14-2015 02:33 PM

I started out with a 12X16 shop from experience I think you need to keep the layout fluid and just get in there are start working and figure it out as you go.

Putting outlets every 4 feet 4 feet high gives you a lot of flexibility, too.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View the_other_ken's profile


38 posts in 4214 days

#4 posted 11-14-2015 04:37 PM

I had a workshop about the size for years, with a 2m high ceiling. It looks big when it is empty but fills up pretty fast. Put everything possible on casters so that you can rearrange stuff easily. Don’t create to many immovable cabinets, etc on the walls. Make storage under every flat surface.

You mention a shaving horse, so is this mainly for hand tools? If so, your layout looks OK. You might want the main bench closer to the center to that you can hang stuff on the wall behind it and still easily work from both sides of the bench.

View emilkarl's profile


3 posts in 2231 days

#5 posted 11-15-2015 07:42 PM

Thanks for the input. I guess I just have to try and see what I like.

But would is placing the bench in the center like my picture a good option or would you put in from left to right or right up against the wall under the windows?

View ADHDan's profile


802 posts in 3347 days

#6 posted 11-16-2015 11:04 PM

My current workshop is almost exactly this size. All in, I managed to pack:

-Cabinet table saw with router table wing and outfeed extension.
-12” bandsaw.
-10” miter saw.
-Oscillating belt/spindle sander
-Benchtop drill press
-DW734 planer
-Air compressor
-Harbor Freight dust collector (with separator) running to four branches/drops
-Shop-vac (with separator) in enclosed cabinet
-Easy-access hand tool/power tool storage over the workbench
-Harbor Freight workbench, reinforced and with added storage
-Assembly/-T-track table
-Four lumber storage racks (8’-10’ capacity)
-Offcut cart
-Sheet goods cart
-Racks for somewhere around 80-100 clamps
-Wall-mounted hardware bins
-Wall cabinet for odds and ends
-Hooks and hangers everywhere for jigs, push pads/sticks, straight edges, etc.
-And, most important: Iron Maiden, NOFX, and Army of Darkness posters

As others have mentioned, I put absolutely everything on casters and created storage under every singe horizontal surface. I used the Rockler kick-down casters for my workbench (so that it actually rests on the ground when “locked,” rather than relying on a caster lock/brake), and I repurposed (and reinforced) a bunch of office cabinets as benchtop tool stands. I also used vertical space everywhere I can – including by mounting French cleats across the lengths of my exposed joists to make it easy to hang and move hooks, racks, and other ceiling storage.

It’s definitely cramped (I probably should get rid of less-needed tools and/or move some lumber and panel storage out to the garage) but highly functional. I’ve been meaning to post an update of my small shop project for a while now; I’ll clean up and take some pictures tonight or tomorrow and post them here so you can see my layout.

Unless you’re basically just doing hand tool work, in which case my setup won’t really help you at all :-).

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View HarveyM's profile


159 posts in 3261 days

#7 posted 11-16-2015 11:31 PM

Dan, we need pictures! :)

-- Just a Duffer

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