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Forum topic by Mrowell posted 07-31-2017 02:43 AM 2226 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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298 posts in 2352 days

07-31-2017 02:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood shop woodworking layout design question help

So after nearly two years in our new house my wife is fed up with the basement woodshop. She doesn’t like the noise or the mess the dogs track in from it (you have to go through the shop to get into the finished area of the basement from outside). We are talking about building a new detached shop so I would love input. I am currently thinking something around 25’x35’ but still struggling on layout so any advice for more experienced or anyone that has been through this process would be great!! We have also tossed around the idea of building it 25×35 then adding a small storage area on the end for yard equipment, maybe 8’ wide?

-- Matt R

29 replies so far

View Rich's profile (online now)


7339 posts in 1802 days

#1 posted 07-31-2017 03:10 AM

My shop is in the garage, which is the typical path we take to get in to the house. My wife was complaining about the same tracking in of sawdust, so I bought her a gas-powered blower that she uses to keep the shop floor clean. Win-win.

We are on an acre-and-a-half and have a perfect spot for a detached shop, but when the estimates came in, we decided to just deal with the dust in the garage.

I’m looking forward to hearing how yours progresses.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Rich's profile (online now)


7339 posts in 1802 days

#2 posted 07-31-2017 03:11 AM

Duplicate post.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Mosquito's profile


11251 posts in 3505 days

#3 posted 07-31-2017 03:14 AM

If you’re planning on also using whatever you build as yard equipment storage, I would definitely make it separate/enclosed/isolated from the shop space if you can. Right now, we’re lacking a storage shed (or room in the car garage), so the riding mower lands in my shop until we have another place to store it. Even though I don’t do much woodworking out there at the moment (still working on finishing it), the riding mower gets covered in sawdust anyway.

As for input on a shop, a garage door is nice for getting a trailer in for equipment or wood loading/unloading, but I would only go with a single stall door if I were to be building a new shop, unless a person were more concerned about resale value. The larger the garage door, the harder it is to climate control if you so chose. You can insulate the walls to R19, but at the end of the day, an R5 8’x16’ hole in the wall is going to be the best spot for thermal transfer.

I’ve also grown fond of having taller than 8’ ceilings. Mine are little over 9-1/2’ tall (9’ wall on 8” cinder block) and I find it quite nice.

I don’t have the experience of building new, as the house we bought had a separate 24×28 garage in the back yard, but I’ve been installing electrical, insulating, and putting up walls for the past year. One thing I’ll say, is make sure your drainage and grade are squared away. Whoever built ours didn’t have a vapor barrier under the slab, and it’s also poorly graded around it, so any hard rain means the shop has some leaks at the back cinder block wall. Springtime with frozen ground and melting snow means upwards of 1/4” of water on the floor in some areas of the shop… not good.

Also, when my shop was in a spare bedroom in our old rental house, I cut and put a rug in the doorway to the shop, so that when I left I could wipe my feet on the rug. That cut down significantly on the amount of sawdust and shavings I tracked through the rest of the house.

Good luck!

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View WoodES's profile


197 posts in 2903 days

#4 posted 07-31-2017 04:41 AM

Also, keep the dimensions to even foot increments, (e.g. 22×36 or 22×34) lumber, sheet goods, etc. comes in 2’ dimensions and you’ll pay for the extra foot with the odd dimension. Might as well add the space.

View OleGrump's profile


581 posts in 1557 days

#5 posted 07-31-2017 02:22 PM

Ditto the comments on keeping the yard/outside equipment separate, if at all possible. My garage is a combination woodshop/lawn equipment building, with general storage in the loft. Yep, the mowers and the grill attract sawdust like a bug zapper. BUT, the electric leaf blower sure does a good job of moving that sawdust so it can get picked up with the shop vac. BTW, the garage door is also a good idea for when you want to roll tools outdoors, like when working with pressure treated lumber, on projects making a LOT of sawdust, or just when the weather is nice and you wanna be outside.

-- OleGrump

View JohnJenkins's profile


14 posts in 1879 days

#6 posted 07-31-2017 02:48 PM

I built a similar size recently. Going from cramped to a generous space, it is impossible to create a layout that you won’t end up changing as you grow into the space. That said, plan for the layout changes. That means 110 and 220 everywhere. Also put your dust collector in the yard equipment room. I put a dust collection six inch sewer pipe under the slab to a single location where I thought it should go. If I was doing it again, I’d pop up the six inch in four locations, knowing that I’d probably not use all of them. But then I’d be good without all the overhead ducting.

Beyond all the other normal stuff, AC and a bathroom really are game changers.

-- Slow but.............well just slow.

View Robert's profile


4714 posts in 2693 days

#7 posted 07-31-2017 02:52 PM


The first question I would have is will the shop be climate controlled? If not, I heartily suggest you consider building a bench room which is insulated and air conditioned. This was the best thing I ever did for my ww’ing. No more rusty hand tools and I keep my project wood in there so it stabilizes better. Of course, this depends on your climate the type of ww’ing you do.

I think you’re best bet is keep all the noisy machines (planer, jointer, DC) in one area or even a separate room.

A separate lumber storage room is also nice to have.

The size of the shop is largely going to be dictated by the machines and large footprints like TS/outfeed, assembly tables, benches, etc.

FWIW, my shop is 34 X 48 and is too small. :-)

Once you get it done, I would consider it a woodworking shop, not a storage area or place to do oil changes.

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

View jonah's profile


2158 posts in 4511 days

#8 posted 07-31-2017 02:58 PM

I’d build it with the header and structure for a single garage door, but frame in for a set of double exterior doors, which are far, far more energy efficient than even the best garage door. That way if you ever sell the place you can advertise the structure as a garage or auto shop. There are a lot more car guys out there than woodworkers.

I would also insulate the hell out of it.

View Mrowell's profile


298 posts in 2352 days

#9 posted 07-31-2017 03:24 PM

Thank you all for the feedback! I am taking notes so I can plan accordingly when the time comes. My yard equipment will definitely be in a separate area of the building if that is the route I take. I want to make sure I think about as many different things as possible before constructing the building.

Does anyone have layouts for a shop close to this size. I would love to put my eyes on different lay outs to get at least some starting ideas for my shop.

-- Matt R

View Mosquito's profile


11251 posts in 3505 days

#10 posted 07-31-2017 03:52 PM

Since you’ve already got a basement shop, are you aware of the grizzly shop layout tool? Could be useful to help you play around with layouts with tools you’ve got. I’ve not got many, and my shop is not yet in a state of usable, so I can’t help much further than that :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2698 days

#11 posted 07-31-2017 04:55 PM

If I had a shop that size I’d try put the jointer, planer and ts in the middle as I hate to move equipment around. Then build around that.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Kirk650's profile


741 posts in 1961 days

#12 posted 07-31-2017 10:07 PM

I had a small barn built (30×40) and had 20×30 of it made into a finished shop with a/c, and a small bedroom, bathroom. So my actual shop is 20 by 20, which is enough, but I wish it was bigger. Once you put all your stuff in there – TS, BS, jointer, router table – it gets a lot smaller in open area. So, make it bigger than you think you need, add a/c, and be sure you are wired with lots of wall plugs in 110 and 220. The 110’s need to be 20 amp. And the barn half of the structure is where I do the real messy stuff, like using the planer and big router jobs.


View ArtMann's profile


1483 posts in 2028 days

#13 posted 08-01-2017 03:02 PM

I would suggest 24 X 36 because it is even 4 foot increments and finishing will be easier and more economical. That is the size of the shop I am building right now.

View tomsteve's profile


1182 posts in 2431 days

#14 posted 08-01-2017 04:54 PM

id suggest at least 9’ ceilings with 10’ being pretty nice

View Mrowell's profile


298 posts in 2352 days

#15 posted 03-03-2018 03:53 AM

I know it’s been a while but life’s been busy!! Finally getting around to building my shop! Decided on a 24×40 (as big as my wife would agree to haha) building with a 8×12 finishing room, 9’ walls with a vaulted ceiling to gain extra height. This size will virtually leave no waste on material so it should be economical. Im going to build it on a crawl space and run ducting under the floor to minimize duct work in the shop. Having some of my suppliers pricing it up now with hopes of starting to grade in spring.

-- Matt R

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