HELP - Im running out of room in the workshop

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Forum topic by Zuki posted 11-12-2007 10:31 PM 1808 views 2 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 5413 days

11-12-2007 10:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop space zuki

I was out in the garage\shop today to see where I would place the next two pieces of equipment – band saw and lathe. I have neither picked out (nor the permission from DW) to purchase . . . but I was just sizing up the shop. To my ultimate dismay . . . I have no open spaces against the walls to place my proposed additions.

What is a LJ to do ? ? ? ?

-- BLOG -

17 replies so far

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5372 days

#1 posted 11-12-2007 10:41 PM

Hey Zuki!

I feel your pain. However, there is ALWAYS a solution! I have a shop that you couldn’t park a car in…well, maybe one of those little pinball Smart Cars, however, I have a table saw, drill press, band saw, lathe, jointer, planer, spindle sander, hollow chisel mortiser, router table, dust collectors, workbench, assembly outfeed/infeed…..yada yada yada! I’d say this sounds like an organizational project for:

Spidato Man!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 5341 days

#2 posted 11-12-2007 10:49 PM

This is one of the reasons i went with the Felder combination machine. The swapping over for task is well worth the space saved. Plus i can slide my pallet jack under the whole 2000 lbs and move it by myself.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 5413 days

#3 posted 11-12-2007 10:58 PM

OMG Mot . . . How did you manage that? My shop is 16’ x 18’ and it seems smallish to me.

Ask Spidato Man if he wants to take a trip out east?

-- BLOG -

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 5275 days

#4 posted 11-12-2007 11:14 PM

Say Zuki I’ve got room for a bandsaw in my shop, so if you’ve got nowhere to put it, I’ll keep it for you. Emphasis on keep.

-- Working at Woodworking

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 5224 days

#5 posted 11-13-2007 12:13 AM

Hi Zuki,

I wish I could make a wonderfully creative suggestion, but I don’t.

If you come up with something that works, let us know the answer. I am sure there are many out there who are in the same boat.


View mjpierson's profile


86 posts in 5329 days

#6 posted 11-13-2007 12:18 AM

for sure, take a look at mot’s shop tour…from what i remember he has maximized the space….

look around in some of the WW mags and shopnotes, there are always some tips here and there for maximizing space – there is a article a couple years back in FWW Tools and SHops about small shops – I remember i pulled a few good ones from that article – I studied it over and over….

or you can do what I did – move! In my third shop in 5 years…each time I made sure that the shop got a little bigger ;) (of course we moved for other reasons besides shop space)

-- Mike - Columbus, Ohio

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5402 days

#7 posted 11-13-2007 06:42 AM

Zuki, if your shop is 16’x18’ you should be able to fit everything you need in there. My shop is 10’x22’ and it’s crowded, but I have a bunch of tools in it. I’ve got a tablesaw (Bosch Contractor), Planer, Jointer (benchtop), Performax 16-32 Drum Sander, 14” Grizzly band saw, large router table, Nova Lathe, Hawk 16” scrollsaw, Ringmaster, Delta DC, Rigid Shopvac, Jet Overhead Air Filtration AND a CarveWright. It’s crazy crowded, but I can stumble around in it. Oh, I also have a 5’x20” workbench jammed in there.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 5412 days

#8 posted 11-13-2007 07:51 AM

Zuki, you can do what I do. I place all my power tools on mobile stands and roll the ones I am not using out of the way. I work a lot outside, too, on my “dirty” workbench where I rout and do most of my “dirty” cutting like sizing panels and sheet goods. My table saw is a Ridgid portable, my planer is mounted on a Ridgid wheeled miter saw stand and I use it outside. My desktop planer is enclosed in a portable storage system (see it in my projects) and I use it on my outside “dirty” workbench. About the only power tool I don’t ever use ouside is my bandsaw, which is on a mobile base with small wheels that will only roll inside my shop, and my router table. I hang pipe clamps, wood, and anything else I can on the ceiling rafters.

The only problem I have is that it usually takes me 10 to 20 minutes to get ready to work and 15 to 30 minutes to get everything back in place. I am planning to knock out the rear wall of the garage to make an assembly/finish area as soon as I can make enough money with woodworking to pay for it…LOL The most important thing is to prioritize your space, clearing everything out that is not readily used. An extra storage shed helps. It seems that whatever space we have, we will fill it with our toys.
Downsize, too. I sold my big 10” miter saw that occupied a lot of shop space, and used the money to replace it with a smaller 7 1/4” miter saw that fits in a crany of my workbench. The smaller saw fits my present needs for picture frames, boxes, and small cabinets. Just remember: Prioritze, prioritize, prioritze!

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View Dadoo's profile


1790 posts in 5326 days

#9 posted 11-13-2007 10:22 AM

Yeah boss, you just gotta get organized. Build stuff into the walls. Go check out my woodrack :

Rolling benches with storage underneath, tools on wheels, overhead storage, etc. Just be careful not to open it up too much as the DW might decide that it would serve better as a garage for her car!

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

View Dadoo's profile


1790 posts in 5326 days

#10 posted 11-13-2007 10:26 AM

And where did Spidato-man go? Comes swinging in with “This is a job for Spidato-man!” then disappears. Guess maybe he had to go to the bathroom, huh?

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 5210 days

#11 posted 11-13-2007 11:00 AM

My shop is small as well but it CAN BE DONE!

Look around your shop. What is there that is not necessary? Is it time for a yard sale? Start by eliminating as much as possible. Then get organized. Create a specific space for everything. Finishing supplies in this cabinet, hand tools in this tool box and on the pegboard, lumber here… Dadoo’s lumber storage is one of the best I’ve seen!

Look up. What about all that empty space above your head? Could lumber go between the rafters? What about a shelf up there for stuff you rarely use but need on hand?

Look down. Is there empty space under stationary tools that could be built into a cabinet? What about the space under your drill floor model drill press table? How about under the wings of your table saw? Is the stuff under your bench organized or a jumbled mess?

Group tools together as efficiently as possible. For most people a drill press can go in the corner. I raised my table saw up about three inches so the jointer could snuggle up under one wing. The bandsaw can go up against the wall and it usually had a high table. So putting other tools such as sanders, grinders, sharpeners, (even your lathe) etc. right next to it or even in front of it will not interfere. You have a “portable” planer? Put it on wheels and move it out of the way when you are not using it (usually it is only for the beginning of the project). I put my planer on a rolling base that was low enough to allow it to fit under the other wing of my table saw.

-- Happy woodworking!

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 5330 days

#12 posted 11-13-2007 05:23 PM

This is a great thread for those of us with small shops! If you have a small shop, you will be constantly evaluating how you can maximize your space.

In a way, It’s good to have a small shop, or I would always be looking to buy more equipment to fill it up, which could put me in the poor house!

Blake, Those are great suggestions – I’m going to favorite this one!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 5232 days

#13 posted 11-13-2007 08:15 PM

My problem with my shop is that I recently moved from a 5-car garage and 900 square foot basement space into a 2 car garage and no basement. So I really had to consolidate my stuff. I did what Blake suggests – got rid of the unnecessary stuff and started grouping things, etc. I still have a ways to go. It’s been hard going from such a big space to hardly any. I also lost almost all of my “holding scraps for just in case space” when I moved. Now I have to be very careful what I keep and what I get rid of. It may sound like I had a lot of stuff, but in reality I was just really spread out among all that space.

Now my biggest problem is organization and that fact that I keep loosing my horizontal surfaces as I work. I end up moving stuff from one surface to another depending on what I’m working on. I’ve got some storage space in the attic, but I need to get someone over to replace the attic pulldown steps which currently can hold the weight of an overweight mouse and that’s about it.

Long and short though – you can make your space work if you need to. There has been a series of articles in Popular Woodworking about small shops that you might find interesting.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 5463 days

#14 posted 11-13-2007 09:49 PM


My woodworking genre is rustic.
I created more space in my shop by working outdoors.
I have split-log benches outside of my shop, where I do most of my work.
I prefer small tools and especially portable tools, so working outdoors is not a problem.
As a side benefit, my dust collection system is a gentle Kentucky breeze. <grin>

-- 温故知新

View clieb91's profile


4264 posts in 5271 days

#15 posted 11-13-2007 11:40 PM

I agree with Tom this is a great thread. My shop is 10×20. All my tools are portable and I generally have to rearrange several times when I am working on something. The wall provides great space (still working on those cabinets) My make shift lumber rack is a pair of shelving standards and some brackets that were no longer being used which seems to get a lot of the wood off the floor. Still trying to figure out what to do with sheet goods, though sonce my shop is in my basement, I generally have to cut sheets upstairs before I can bring themn down. Someone suggested rafters, there is a good idea in “Black & Deckers Complete Guide to Home Storage” for pull down joist shelves they may help get some things off the floor.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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