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Posted By: Woodreaux Workshop Layout and Priorities - 01/06/21 03:24 AM
I have the opportunity to convert a two car carport into a workshop (first picture). The garage door in the photo is the lawn mower garage that I'm currently in (14'x19'ish). It's got one long built in bench with a machinists vise along one end (second picture) and a roubo woodworking bench as well as a harbor freight bench jumbled with a small wood lathe, a bench top drill press, a belt grinder, and a bench grinder. And I've got lumber and other storage space in the attic above the carport (the stairs go up there). I'll be basically doubling by space in the new shop.

My question for the group is this: If you could redesign your shop, what things would take priority for space, ergonomics, arrangement etc? I know that this question also begs the question of what are the most important tools and equipment in the shop, so fire away on that as well.

This will not be a shop used exclusively for gunsmithing. It will also be used for woodworking, knifemaking and some other hobbies, but I am mostly a hand tool (aka non-power tool) woodworker, so I don't need loads of space for jointers, planers, and other such saw dust makers. And I want to design it primarily with gunsmithing in mind.

I would welcome any and all input.

Posted By: BrentD Re: Workshop Layout and Priorities - 01/06/21 03:56 AM
There are many plans for workshop layouts on line. Some, like my shop where I start with my own rough-cut lumber, prioritize the positions of the jointer, planer, and table saw. Everything else goes around that triumvirate (like the stove, fridge, sink triangle) in a kitchen. Compound miter saw is up there in importance and use as well (for me).

My shop lacks for storage as I have too many windows, doors, and a stairs in the shop. Storage of lots of small things (nuts, bolts, nails, glue, and all the other expendables) is a real PITA for me.

Dust collection? if you have it, that position relative to the big three tools is also critical if you are going to have a centralized dust system (I wouldn't trade mine for the world).

Looks like you have space for a big layout table. I have one that is 4x6 ft. It can be folded away if necessary, but never is. It is used more than the my fancy homebuilt woodworking bench.
Posted By: craigd Re: Workshop Layout and Priorities - 01/06/21 12:36 PM
If you are not going to use your current shop anymore, I would consider eliminating the connecting door, and one of the back doors?

If possible, I would make a small dirty room for metal grinding. Belt, metal and wheel grit can make metal and wood finishing difficult, and it gets everywhere. I would not mix metal and wood dust collection, if that is part of the picture.

If the lift garage door is staying on the left, then maybe make the new right side swing out door to mimic it for appearance? If power tools are lower on your usage priority, maybe the table saw can get shuffled to a back door, so it's easy to use, but not necessarily front and center?

Only thoughts, it's always exciting to figure out more shop space, lobby your gang to keep both spaces?
Posted By: Woodreaux Re: Workshop Layout and Priorities - 01/06/21 02:31 PM
Thanks both of you for the ideas.

As for The current shop, the way I got the go ahead for converting the carport was with the promise of an enclosed storage shed for things like bikes, fishing poles, deep freeze, etc. we currently have essentially no outdoor enclosed storage, and with five kids that translates into junk everywhere. so keeping the current shop is definitely not going to pass committee.

On the other hand, I think that I might be able to use a corner of the storage shed for a grinder, maybe a belt grinder, and other dirty room kinds of things. I had planned to put all the grinding machines in a corner away from the workbenches in the main shop area.

my table saw is a job site folding rig, so it is easy to move around. my idea was to have a assembly and layout in the area in front of the double doors. I was thinking I would build a work surface that could serve multiple purposes like an outfeed table for the table saw, a welding table, and a glue up/assembly table. and I want to keep the left side of the ship relatively open to bring in the occasional bigger project. e.g. I inherited a small sail boat that needs a new transom and some other work.

I've even thought about building a small fume hood like in a laboratory for working with certain toxic chemicals and other smelly jobs. For instance, my older kids have gotten into making their own fishing lures and could definitely use a fume hood for pouring soft plastics. thought it might be a good addition to a gunsmithing shop as well, although I don't recall seeing one in any pictures of other shops.

brent, I've been thinking about a dust collection system. my table saw, belt grinder, and wood lathe are the only large dust makers that I've got, so I think I can get away with a shop vac or two. not sure.
Posted By: SKB Re: Workshop Layout and Priorities - 01/06/21 03:03 PM
I have a custom made exhaust hood for my bluing tanks and also use it when I solder or put charcoal in the oven.

I am not very space restricted so like Craig suggested, I have my metal machines seperate from my wood work.
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Workshop Layout and Priorities - 01/07/21 01:19 PM
That exhaust hood is also nice for casting lead bullets/balls.

One way to separate the metal and the woodworking areas is by using the heavy, clear sheets of vinyl stuff. It comes cut into strips from the floor almost to the top so you can walk right through it. Not 100%, but pretty effective for enclosing heat/cool or dust.

Posted By: Woodreaux Re: Workshop Layout and Priorities - 01/08/21 01:18 AM
I like the plastic idea. with my limited space, partitions could be a good solution. is like to keep the space open for the most part and that would allow modification of the space as needed
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