Building new woodshop--any advice

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Forum topic by Bob posted 02-26-2017 10:20 PM 1571 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 2635 days

02-26-2017 10:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop wood building new questionconstruction

My friends,

The time has finally come where I am building my dream wood shop. It will be a 36’ x 36’ building with 2 sliding 12 ft doors. I am planning to have water and power. I am looking for any simple advice on what I should do before it is too late. I am planning on a concrete floor and using 1/2 plywood on the walls. I will run power outlets and air outlets every 5-8 feet. Any simple advice would be appreciated.


-- Bob

11 replies so far

View Nostradamit's profile


41 posts in 1925 days

#1 posted 02-26-2017 10:32 PM

A couple of thing I regret not doing is
1. Outlets in the floor At least conduits run to the center to facilitate wiring. Hat dragging extension cords.
2.Duct work in floor for table saw and centered tool dust collection

View diverlloyd's profile


4113 posts in 2945 days

#2 posted 02-26-2017 10:34 PM

36’x36’ is what I hope you meant. if I was building a shop I would keep in mind that I would be rearranging things and would want to have plenty of power point options. After that it would be up to what you wanted to do. My wife’s uncle does a lot of machinery moving for his company he said when they ran power they left 10’-15’ of extra wire so when they move things they don’t have to rerun wiring just the drops to the machines

View Bob's profile


20 posts in 2635 days

#3 posted 02-26-2017 10:46 PM

I appreciate the idea of running duct work and electrical in the concrete. I have heard this before, I had decided on electrical but I need to consider dust collection. Yes, the shop is 36 feet x 36 feet, typo, I have corrected—thx

-- Bob

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


17329 posts in 3706 days

#4 posted 02-26-2017 10:49 PM

If it’s possible you might be partitioning the interior space anytime in the future, think about it now. That’s a large interior; heating / cooling for the whole thing could be needlessly $$ if you’re not in all of it all the time. I have 1/3rd of mine walled in and I love it this way. It’s my ‘lived in’ shop as opposed to the part that housed lumber, etc.

Good lighting plan is huge, and include a window at the workbench for natural light.

Floor outlet installs is a good idea. Don’t fail to use vapor barrier under the concrete. 10’ walls are also nice.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View diverlloyd's profile


4113 posts in 2945 days

#5 posted 02-26-2017 11:29 PM

No problem bob when I read it at 36”x36” all I could picture was a Japanese knifesmith little shop.

View Redoak49's profile


5252 posts in 3076 days

#6 posted 02-27-2017 12:41 AM

I would think about internet/phone/cable and also security alarm/ fire alarm. It is easier to put these thing or plan for them when you are building.

View BurlyBob's profile


8882 posts in 3353 days

#7 posted 02-27-2017 12:43 AM

Wall outlets above 48”. Epoxy floor coat-light color. Lots of lighting. 200amp electrical service. Several 220 outlets. A small bathroom, toilet and sink.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


9262 posts in 3496 days

#8 posted 02-27-2017 04:08 AM

Wall outlets above 48”. Epoxy floor coat-light color. Lots of lighting. 200amp electrical service. Several 220 outlets. A small bathroom, toilet and sink.

- BurlyBob

I would add a small refrigerator, for liquid refreshment of your choice. Or a coffee maker / Hot tea etc etc

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

View lysdexic's profile


5348 posts in 3710 days

#9 posted 03-02-2017 11:15 PM


Seriously- I am a big fan of natural light. I have shop ideas in my head but just haven’t pulled the the trigger. One thing I want to do is put in clerestory windows in the roof.

Something like this….

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View rustfever's profile


800 posts in 4398 days

#10 posted 03-03-2017 12:38 AM

When building my new shop, I put nothing in the concrete floors. EVERTHING is overhead.

I have a very high celiing, so I installed a grid of unistrut at 9’ AFF [above finished floor] and at a 5’ x 5’ grid.

This grid allows me to easily electrical, air, dust collection to ANY spot in the shop. On the unistrut, I have air lines and retract reals; electric power for hard connections to equipment, power cord reels and lighting; air scrubbers and fans; dust collection ducting.

When make any adjustment in equipment location/placements [Yes, there will be a lot] all it takes is a ladder. [You will not need a Jackhammer!]

After having a number of shops over the last 50 years, this is, [IMO] the only way to do it. All other system demand you make equipment location based upon your current equipment and live with those decision for ever.
Sorry, but new equipment is alwasy on the horizon.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View shipwright's profile


8717 posts in 3885 days

#11 posted 03-03-2017 01:20 AM

When built mine (30×40) my first priority was a raised wood floor and for twelve years now my feet and legs have thanked me. I also had no trouble getting all my dust collection and major tool wiring underfloor. As a bonus I have a nice cool dark place to store my best veneer.
If you can work a raised floor you will never regret it.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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