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This is similar to those "meaning of life" questions. If you were lucky enough to have just won the PowerBall Lottery, you'd be in a position to design the ultimate dream shop. Reality, however, is that most of us start with the space we have, and make it work . . . somehow.

I'd suggest starting with thinking about what you want to build immediately, and what you're likely to want to build in the future. That will give you an idea of the size of the stock you'll be working with, which, in turn, will help with machine positioning. Remember, you'll need space for the machine itself, plus both in-feed and out-feed space.

Work flow (minimizing distance between the sequence of steps involved in preparing stock) can be a consideration for larger shop areas, but is often a luxury in small shops. If you have enough space, try to plan on having both a "work" bench and an assembly bench. Here again, the size of your projects will influence the size of both benches.

Consider using open space for multiple purposes. For example, a walkway/aisle can also function as out-feed or in-feed space if the machines are placed and oriented correctly.

Make a list of the machines and tools you have, along with their power requirements. Where possible, plan on plugging the larger machines directly into a (properly-wired) wall outlet. For most non-commercial machines, 20 amp, 110v circuits are sufficient. Make sure that lighting is on circuits that are separate from machine/tool circuits. Try to minimize the use of extension cords, particularly with floor machines. And, make sure that extension cords are sized properly for the tools you are using.

Google's SketchUp program (free) can be used for both designing projects and planning your shop layout. There are "models" for various tools and machines already available for free, as well.
 
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