How do I design and "lower" my shop to be wheelchair friendly?

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Forum topic by FHG1 posted 06-15-2018 12:54 PM 636 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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42 posts in 3083 days

06-15-2018 12:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop design wheelchair friendly shop

For the past 10 years I’ve been able to work in my shop with the aid of a KFO (leg brace) on my left side that extends from my hip to my toes. The progression of my disease has now affected my right leg and I anticipate that I will be in my chair full time by this coming fall.

That being said …. any and all help with regard to “lowering” my shop to a workable level would be greatly appreciated.

-- AnthonyG, Brockport New York

5 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


9202 posts in 3269 days

#1 posted 06-15-2018 01:09 PM

First immediate solution I can think of is to make a floating floor. Not sure how much extra height you need, but you can probably frame it out 2×4 or 2×6’s on 16” centers, and do it around each tool. Tools on original floor, you on upper floor.

Plus then it gives you the chance to run underfloor dust collection, power, and air lines if you so choose.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Steve's profile


2506 posts in 1702 days

#2 posted 06-15-2018 01:12 PM

instead of lowering everything, could you build platforms to bring you back up to the current height at each machine?

Otherwise, you’d have to probably go to table top machines and build the bases shorter

View jonah's profile


2136 posts in 4418 days

#3 posted 06-15-2018 02:06 PM

A lot of machines can be lowered. Jointers, planers, and table saws, for example, don’t need to be ~34” tall. It might take some metalwork, but you could definitely shorten them by six inches or a foot. A workbench, obviously, can also be shorter.

I’d think it would be much easier to lower the machines than to try to raise the entire floor.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2949 posts in 1282 days

#4 posted 06-15-2018 02:53 PM

Anthony – extremely sorry to hear of your condition.
have you given any thought into building a wheelchair that is taller
than the normal? (or have one built for you) I have seen Combat Veterans
build works of art with their chairs personalized to accomplish certain situations.
I was in a wheelchair for six months in a non chair-friendly home
and was very frustrated the whole time. it may be easier to modify the chair
instead of trying to recondition the whole shop.
just a thought – and wishing you deepest Blessings that you can stay vertical
for as long as possible.



-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View JADobson's profile


1449 posts in 3230 days

#5 posted 06-15-2018 04:07 PM

This might help:

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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