Workshop Layout - 1 car garage

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Forum topic by OX1574 posted 07-28-2017 07:44 PM 1076 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18 posts in 1562 days

07-28-2017 07:44 PM

I am in need of some major help relocating and making my shop more efficient. As I have been adding additional tools, my large “Ron Paulk” workbench which is 4’x8’ is taking up too much space. I plan to build a new bench that can accommodate not only power tools, but hand tools as well. See the current layout below. Any help on workbench size, placement, etc, would be greatly appreciated. The current workbench is an outfeed/assembly and router table.

I will be uploading some alternate layouts as well.

9 replies so far

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1637 posts in 2410 days

#1 posted 07-28-2017 08:29 PM

As as I was reading your post I was thinking…”SketchUp” would be helpful for laying out your shop and trying different ideas. Looks like you’re way ahead of me. :)

When I was considering a 12×18 shop build in my back yard, One of the things that I did that really helped me was to draw in a 1’x1’ grid on the floor of my layout so I could see how much room I would have between tools and benches. I also found a scale drawing of a man that I was able to drop into the layout to see how cramped it would be. SketchUp Warehouse had scale drawings of most of my equipment so I was able to drop them into my layout.

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

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18 posts in 1562 days

#2 posted 07-28-2017 08:37 PM

All of those shapes for tools, etc are drawn to scale in sketchup. So I can move them around and see what different setups would look like. When I get time tonight or this weekend I will add some alternate layouts. Thanks

View mat60's profile


34 posts in 1230 days

#3 posted 07-28-2017 08:44 PM

Your bench size depends on what your building.

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18 posts in 1562 days

#4 posted 07-28-2017 09:08 PM

Agreed…I’m all over the place. I am thinking of a 3’x5’ max….possibly a little skinnier. I really want to make the largest that will work in this space where it isn’t so tight.

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118066 posts in 4351 days

#5 posted 07-29-2017 04:15 AM

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1368 posts in 1694 days

#6 posted 07-29-2017 04:03 PM


One option would be to build a mobile router table and a mobile work bench. Separating the router table from the work bench would add some flexibility. The work bench and router tables designed to the same height as the table saw would allow the table saw, router table, and work bench work together for wide or long work pieces. Both the work bench and router table could be built with storage under the table surfaces.

A separate router table at the same height as the table saw could also be rolled over to the table saw as a side extension table for wider work pieces, for example when cutting sheet goods. Separating the router table from the workbench would allow the router table to be left set-up and used without having to clear away items on the workbench.

You did not specifically say, so I am guessing your immediate goal is to have a shop-centered work area sized so that walking around the perimeter of the workshop can be easily done. If this is the case, then sizing the width of the workbench so that 36” of free space around the perimeter of the center table saw/workbench/router table could be a good working constraint. I find that a 36” walkway allows me to move around easily.

By way of reference, my workbench on castors sets on the infeed side of the table saw and is ½” below the surface of the table saw. The router table, the same height as the workbench and also on castors does double duty as the table saw outfeed table.

The work bench, including a 9” x 27-1/2” tail vice has an overall footprint of 72” long (including the tail vice) x 27-1/2” wide. This size works well for me. On occasions when I might need a little more size, a piece of plywood or a pair of boards can be laid on the workbench to increase its surface area. Portable hand tools are stored in an enclosed cabinet below the workbench.

The router table is 34” wide (17” of infeed and outfeed support) x 23-1/2” deep. The width matches the width of the table saw. Its size functions well although it would probably function just as well if it were not quite as deep. The router table sets over an enclosed cabinet where mostly router items can be stored.

One other item I have in my workshop is a table on castors with storage underneath, with a small footprint, and a height of 24”. It normally stays tucked out of the way. When I need a place to set an in-progress project out of the way, I screw some wood I-beams to the table top to elevate the table surface and extend its surface to up to 48” wide. The short table, on castors, can be easily moved around when a project is setting on the table.

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3183 posts in 4005 days

#7 posted 07-29-2017 04:39 PM

Take a few minutes and read through my post of the new work table. It is 36×60. So far, it has worked great – much better than I could have ever expected.

With this table, and the last one I had, there have been times when the project was too long (kitchen island). I used another table - the dual router/adjustable height work station- to support the additional length required and that worked out great.

Yep, I am also in a one car garage with all the stuff you have drawn…and a new CNC. It is double decked over the router table! I just lower the router table to about 24 inches and it rolls under the frame I built for the CNC. It is fairly tight in the garage with all the tools but we still have walking room through the garage and into the house, and we travel that route a lot.

Good luck. I hope you get some inspiration that will help you.

Here are some pics. I have done about all of the planning and rearranging I can do so I am stuck with what I have.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View OX1574's profile


18 posts in 1562 days

#8 posted 07-31-2017 05:57 PM

Thanks for all the great info so far. I do like the idea of the adjustable height router table, but I am leaning towards building a mobile bench top router table so that I can tuck it away when not in use. If I had the floor space I would definitely consider that route. I wish i could have 36” around the workbench, but with the current configuration that would mean the workbench could only be 14” wide! I am thinking 28” around the bench is sufficient, which would make the total width of the top around 30”-32”. Below are a couple of alternatives.

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1382 posts in 1269 days

#9 posted 07-31-2017 06:45 PM

Always difficult to squeeze the tools in.

My bench is 30×72 and has been large enough for 95% of the projects I’ve built on over the 15 years I’ve had it. The most notable exceptions were a set of 30 X 84 panty cabinets I built, they were just a bit too big to fit.

Also consider placing your TS dead center in the space oriented so material feeds along the long dimension of the room. That will give you the best use of the machine. Some people like to put the right side of the saw against the wall but still center on the room along the direction of ripping. That works too.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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