Gut Shop Reorganization #1: Preliminary ideas

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My garage /shop is tiny, weighing in at 10′ × 19-1/2’. Recently I acquired a couple of tools and all of a sudden I’m running completely out of floor space. My goal over the next year is to reorganize the shop so that I have maximum floor space to work on things that the big tools don’t have anything to do with like painting and sanding large things like the interior doors I’m making.

I wasn’t a continuous bench along one long wall that will incorporate my mitre saw, planer and table saw all on the same table surface. However, the space is so narrow that I can’t pay my table saw out to clear the bench. So that means when I need to fully utilize that Biesemeyer 52 inch fence, I need the hence to have a clear, flat surface.

The opposite wall contains the door to the house, shelving storage and sheet good storage. I plan to eventually replace the shelving with cabinets but the basic layout will remain the same for that wall.

The trick is to keep that saw clear because I use the full fence capacity more often than I’d like. I have a basic idea for the planer that involves a flip out table.

I considered putting everything on wheels but my garage floor is pitched a couple of inches over the length. So I finally decided on making everything stationary and on a level line so I have one long level bench. Rolling stuff around would be convenient but next to impossible to level up to the table next to it.

So that’s my goal. I expect this to take a year or more. Well see how it goes. :-)

-- Losing fingers since 1969

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Yeah shop junkie! Believe me I give that a lot of thought when doing stuff like this. I do not want to build a garage mahal and nothing else. LOL. It’s easy to get tripped up into that.

-- Losing fingers since 1969


I’m in a similar quandary. Awhile back , before assembling my larger shop equipment, I built a bench attached to the wall. One section has a compound 12" sliding miter saw. The last section was to double as a sheet goods support when cutting on my old belt driven Craftsman. I’ve since bought and refurbished a grizzly cabinet saw ( different height..LOL!) I’m putting every large piece of shop equipment on dollies. Repurposed the third section of my bench into a woodworkers hybrid bench. did well save my idea for wheels on the bench. The bench is against the wall right now. Need time to figure out how to make it functionally mobile.
Grizzly sells dollies. I have one of them on my cabinet saw, and one on my band saw. Made one for my floor stand drill press ( not too mobile?).

You can get layout planners on line to lay out the work patterns but sometimes that changes in a small shop?

Best of luck on your path to enlightenment. My wife says “You need to work on a furniture piece as well as the shop?” she is right in this suggestion otherwise I’ just a shop junkie. LOL!

-- Thomas J. Tieffenbacher/aka docSavage45

Thanks for the input. Actually, my saw is close to the garage door and my current plan – the one on my head that hasn’t yet seen the white of paper yet LOL – is to move it a few inches even closer to the garage door. I’ve always had to open the garage door for long rips. That sucks in the winter. I’m thinking of putting the planer on a flip top base and if the mitre saw is still in the way I guess I could pull it off the table for those rare cuts. I don’t know. The idea of organization appeals to me. Maybe I’m just taking this shop thing to far. Thats why I’m here: to solicit advice from people far more experienced than me. I’m sure many people have done this and regretted it because of the time involved.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

A lot depends on the kind of work you do. If you only do small stuff, then maybe your idea would work, but if it’s bigger stuff you do, then the option of rolling machinery around is attractive.
I don’t do small stuff. I have a (lovely) bench that I never use – it’s just a dumping ground. My work is done on an assembly table with a sacrificial mdf top, and that is on wheels, incorporates storage for mitre saw, powertools being used on the job, toolboxes, cutters, all sorts.
The thing that springs to mind with your set up is the max length of any cut or bit of jointing will be the distance to the wall, but if it is only small pieces you are working, it might work out for you.

-- Doing the best I can with what I've got

I’m more or less just rambling some ideas out at the moment. The whole reason to post my ramblings is because someone here is sure to have a better idea that would be helpful to me. Obviously I’m in the very beginning stage of this. I don’t even have a design yet. :-)

I would like to use the mitre saw for much more than it gets used for now. I bought it just for moldings in the house and I wasn’t expecting it to be useful for much beyond that but I find myself setting it up and tearing it down a lot more than I’d like and it would be really nice to have a work station for it. It’s also too big to store anywhere except the floor at the moment so it’s in the way when I’m not using it.

The other thing is my bench. This is my first ever workshop and when I moved in I took a bunch of 2×4s that were demoed from the house and laminated them together to make a butcher block style bench top and mounted it onto a bookcase that was left in the garage. I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread because it’s reinforced and tied to the wall. You can beat it with a sledgehammer. But for woodworking it’s kind of useless because it’s too tall and narrow. I’d like to rebuild it to make it more useful.

So the basic concept of my layout is to have one continuous work bench/infeed/outfeed table with stationary tool layout and storage so I can free up as much floor space as possible. One good thing is that my wife has completely given up the idea of ever parking there. :-)

-- Losing fingers since 1969

What do you use your miter saw for?
I have one and I used it to cut lumber to rough dimensions before I take it to the table saw.
Now I do that with a cheap circular saw. It is still in my shop but I am seriously thinking to store it in one of the garden shed outside so I can free up valuable space.
Yes I used it for trims, molding when I did some work on the house. I also used it when I build a pergola.

I have the same pitch like you have. I suspect a lot of houses have that . It helps when the water heater leaks (yes I learned that).
I still put everything on wheel. when I am done for the day everything goes against the walls.
My wife like to park inside (2 car garage).
The only level I ever have to worry about is the infeed and outfeed table for the table say.
I simple make the out feed table part of the table saw and foldable.
The infeed, I rarely use one. When I do I pull 2 rollers.

I am not criticizing what you plan to do but just throwing some ideas at you. You know your space better than anyone else.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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