Gut Shop Reorganization #2: Planning layout

1796 views and 0 favorites in

I finally sat down with a calculator and paper and figured out the layout I’ve been roughly organizing in my head. I also decided to permanently fix certain tools in place because I want a level work surface for all of them to share. My garage floor is pitched so putting everything on casters and expecting them to line up nicely after moving them even one time is pretty much a non starter. Even worse than having my floor pitched is having a fairly rough surface. So I will just say no to casters. And drugs. LOL

Here’s the layout. I hope it’s legible after I upload it.

The table saw, bench and planer are roughly in the same location as where I use them now, although all the table heights are different. I like the table saw exactly where it is, partially because the ceiling is only 7’ high and the emergency latch on the garage door hangs right over the saw table where I’m not prone to bumping my head on it. Also, I can open the garage door to rip long stock. One thing I’ve always wanted to do was build a table saw workstation but unfortunately I may not be able to do much with that because I need the room under the saw side table for my shop vac and mini cyclone collector. Since I won’t get much storage out of it I may just do nothing other than lift and level what I have now. I have plenty of time to decide. I wish I could put dust collection in another room. Space is far too tight for that.

The planer is also located far enough from the inside wall to allow long stock to pass. I plan to make a flip top where the opposite side is simply a table that lines up with the rest of the work surface. I need it to stand about 15" from the wall to allow long stock to pass the garage door edge out into the open if need be.

My compound mitre saw will be roughly in the middle with almost 8’ of table on the left (unlimited on the right when the garage door is open) so I think that should work for nearly anything I plan to cut with it. I rarely use it because it’s a pain to set up. It sits on the floor most of the time, but every time I do use it I think how convenient it would be to have a permanent workstation for it. In fact this is one of the main things that is driving the whole project.

There is a 12" cabinet in between the mitre saw and planer. The purpose is simply to round out a full 5’ in front of the table saw so I can crosscut a full sheet of plywood and to fit a large sheet squaring jig I made. I’ll put drawers in it. There will also be drawers or doors under the mitre saw and bench. All of these storage ideas will be flushed out later as I begin to design the individual components.

This project will probably take over a year to complete as it’s not the only thing I plan to work on. ;-)

-- Losing fingers since 1969

View all parts of Gut Shop Reorganization »

Brian did you look on Pinterest for workshop solutions. I actually found some really cool ideas that i forwarded to another woodworker in new jersey that he is in the same boat.

-- Jeff Vandenberg aka "Woodsconsin"

My scrap bin is on wheels too. Funny thing is I got tired of the mess with all that stuff sitting in the corner. I couldn’t vacuum. The bin makes things tidy and I can roll it out of the way to access some long clamps I have on the wall. Win win!

I have a shop vac and mini cyclone collector under the table saw. I can’t figure out a better place for it. It’s convenient, anyway. For planing I hook the mini cyclone head up to a plastic barrel. Works great. But for normal stuff the container is a 5 gallon bucket. I keep the barrel outside. It takes up a lot of space. I only haul it in when I need it. The planer fills the 5 gallon bucket in no time flat.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

some thoughts based on my own experience and needs. I am sure yours will be different.

My biggest problem is finding space for a midi lathe and clamps shelves/hanger.
I never turned but I have that itch every time I see those wonderful turning.

I would move the table saw forward to where the flip top is and put it where the table saw is.
You will gain an extra 34" in addition to the 36" you have from the wall. That will get you 70" a little under the height of a book shelf sides. Seriously you will have the ability to rip longer pieces.

I would want my bench accessible from both side especially during glue up and clamping. I would put caster on it so I can pull it away from the wall.

I don’t see any space for you dust collector and potential jointer. If you don’t have them yet, I am sure they will come and the bench top jointer is not going to cut it.
I started jointing on the router with a fence that is off to act like a jointer. It works great for small pieces for longer boards a jointer is a life saver. You can have a moveable base for both the dust collector and the jointer.

As to off cut bin, I still have to put it in the right place. It always seem to be in the way. Good thing it’s on caster as it is full and heavy.

I buy the plywood per projects. I usually have them rough cut it in pieces at the store about 1" longer to account for all the splinter their crappy saw blade cause.
That help me in moving them around and also require less storage space.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

It won’t matter where you put the garbage it will always be :
1.) too far away
2.) in the bloody way
3.) full to the brim

-- -- Alec (Friends call me Wolf, no idea why)

My biggest compromise is the ceiling height. At 7’ not including the garage door which takes another 6 inches or so when it’s open , there’s no room for anything overhead. Practically every garage storage “solution” I see in the family handyman and elsewhere puts shelves and cabinets overhead STARTING at 8’ high. LOL that stuff is definitely a no go.

I’ve already packed the walls with clamp racks, tool holders, jigs and all the usual suspects. All that is already above the sheet good storage, which is basically just leaning against the wall. But at least it’s only 4 feet high. I actually already have a shelf above it to store long cutoffs. Also the lumber storage area has all kinds of stuff: long scraps, some leftover metal studs, etc. Not just lumber. And above is another shelf with all kinds of junk. LOL I’m kind of a hoarder.

Also not shown is the bandsaw which will stay on casters.

As to the CMS, it’s not a slider. Part of the reason to fix everything level and at the same elevation is so the mitre saw won’t be in the way.

The only thing I haven’t figured out is where to put the garbage can. LOL.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

Efficient…, and sounds like my shop – sloped floor (everything on casters); the garage door opening to support long rips… so many factors constraining what I’d really like to do with the equipment layout.

With my 1.5-car shop, I’ve had to use the available cube when most woodworkers have sufficient sq’ ft’. Most things are either under, over, or behind something else. No doubt, this can be an absolute pain at times (having to move something to get what I want); but I have only so much room.

Playing Devil’s Advocate for a minute…
1) The CMS – do you need this? I have mine un-mounted in a separate shed. I found that it took-up too much space (right & left, and the slide mechanism brought it out into the working area of the shop. Now, I get by with a circular saw and a triangle-square – mostly. There are times when the CMS is simply the only tool to get the job done, and I haul it to the shop when that arises. However, for the few times that I need a long and precise cross-cut, retrieving the grey space of the CMS has many benefits. For most precise cross-cuts, I use a cross-cut sled on my TS.
2) Sheet Goods – can these be stored behind the Shelving? Or, behind the work bench? I have a garage-shop, and mine sit either behind my workbench or below an on-wall shelf (nuts & bolts, finishes). When behind my bench, I have access from either side.
3) The wall on the left-hand-side (says “lumber…”) – with the sheet goods and the lumber, a great deal of wall-space is consumed. Can you stand-up the lumber (would need an appropriate ceiling height) – I have mine standing on-end, in a large garbage can. Another alternative would be to install ceiling racks (inverted metal T tubes – Home Depot), and hold the lumber flat, near the ceiling. When I start a large project (lengths can be 10’), I can hold 50 to 100 bd ft at the ceiling-level.
4) Can the shelving (nuts, bolts, storage for power hand tools) go above the sheet goods? I have my hand power tools on wire-shelving over-head of the Bench; and nuts & bolts are on a side-wall above my sheet goods; so, no shelving that occupies floor-space.

Just some thoughts – and I do appreciate that every solution is a compromise – one which has to be working-comfortable for the craftsman.
Do Take Care.

Sign in to view comments