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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
About 15 years ago, I thought about building a shop myself, but didn't have time. I'd like to know how you would have built (or have built) a shed for a shop. If you've done it, what did it cost, how long did it take to put up? Did you have help, hire someone to help or to build it?

What would you consider a reasonable size shop?

In other words, how about a discussion about shops for hobbyists. I know some of you have very large shops, really almost commercial shops, but I'd like to restrict this to garage size or smaller.

I'll start with mine. My shop is a 12 x 24 ft shed that has been insulated, wired and even has a lean to that houses the dust collection unit. My wife gave me a birthday present and had an electrician install a 60 amp (3 20 amp circuits) sub panel.

The shed was prefab and brought in and put on a rock base via a trailer. Wish I'd gone for the 16 x 24 instead, but it is nice to have a separate shop. Basic cost for the shed was about $4,000. The construction is 2x4 on 24 inch centers. So insulation is a layer of reflective radiant barrier (R4) and fiberglass batts (R13). The ceiling is 2x8, also about on 24 inch centers, so insulation up there is the radiant barrier plus R38 fiberglass batts. The ceiling is 2 inch insulating foam, cut to fit the odd spacing of the rafters, adds another R6 or so with an additional radiant layer.

If I had my druthers, I'd have built it with 2x6 on 16 inch centers and used R38 and radiant barrier all round. The 105 degree heat and below freezing winters here in the high desert would be less oppressive with that extra insulation. I also have some tools and storage space in my garage, so my wood prep happens out there.

Walls are covered by a combination of 1/4 inch pegboard across one long wall with the rest a mix of plywood and some drywall.

There is a second smaller shed next to it that houses my office. It shares the power with the shop, which is no problem since only one is in use at any time. There is a 4 ft space between that is now enclosed completely that has my HF DC, Super Dust Deputy and chip collector inside. The dust comes in via a 4 inch line, and exits the HF unit via a 1 micron drum filter. It then goes into the chamber and returns through a 20x20 filter back into the shop so I don't lose AC or heat. The yellow box on the front, outside wall is the remnants of my first DC system, a washable filter...it didn't work well.

The shed came with two 60 inch long single pane windows, but I covered them over with 2 inch foam sheets because they leaked heat/cold. A couple of years ago I added several very bright LED lights, two 2400 lumen over the bench and table saw, 800 +lumens over key tools and into the corners. No dark spots. It noticeably reduced the power usage and makes it more cheerful. Kind of late to do it now, but wish I'd painted it white before filling the shop. The peg board wall is great for hanging small accessories in their packages.

OK, now what are your thoughts, ideas, wishes, fantasies or plans for a shop, or tell us about your shop or plans for a shop. Would you build your own, got any pictures, plan or drawings?

OK, it's your turn.
 

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My shop is a double garage that came with the house. It was all insulated and ceiling covered with 1/4" plywood ,walls with 1/2" drywall painted white. It had its own 65amp breaker box, which I branched out with surface conduit for 220v.and 120 v. outlets and installed 30 4'X 2 tube florescent lights in big main area and some existing 2X 2 T12 tube lights. I built an entrance alcove for the DC,air compressor, and lumber storage.

Herb
 

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Rick
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I seriously think a guy needs a minimum of 36x36 to be comfortable ,as I’m tripping all over stuff in my 22x26 shop .
My dream shop would be 60x40x14 and have a bathroom. The 70 million hasn’t been won yet, so I’m crossing my fingers lol .

Herb nice looking shop , how big is it ? Most of ours are 24x24, as you need to pour special footings if you exceed that size
 

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I seriously think a guy needs a minimum of 36x36 to be comfortable ,as I’m tripping all over stuff in my 22x26 shop .
My dream shop would be 60x40x14 and have a bathroom. The 70 million hasn’t been won yet, so here’s hoping.

Herb , nice looking shop . How big?
Rick, it is 22'X36'. You are right, never enough room, I think 40'X40' or 60'X60' would be ideal if I won the 70M.
Herb
 

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Theo
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In 1995 the place I was working, closed, moved to South Carolina, so was laid off. I got a nice bonus, because I put in suggestions. All the suggestions were unacceptable, but strangely enough about six months later one of the supervisors submitted the same thing, but different of course. Those suggestions were accepted, along with a nice chunk of $ to the supervisor. Anyway, I got around $1500, and none of the other workers got a cent.

That was extra money, so went for a shop. Knew if I didn't buy a shop then would likely never be able to again. $785 if I recall right, a bit extra because of a window in the back wall. Guy came out on a Saturday morning, about 8AM, put together prefabbed pieces he had done at home, worked alone, and had it up, including shingled roof, by noon. A roomy 8X12 feet. Rest of the money went for tools, in particular a used Shopsmith. Later figured out how to fit in separate tools, so sold the Shopsmith and used that money for tools. Never been in a position to get another shop, so that is still it. Ample room for the stuff I do. It was that or nothing, and didn't want nothing. Right now, I figure for the shop and tools in it I have around $2500 total invested. Money well spent. I always keep it nice and neat at all times also.
 

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In 1995 the place I was working, closed, moved to South Carolina, so was laid off. I got a nice bonus, because I put in suggestions. All the suggestions were unacceptable, but strangely enough about six months later one of the supervisors submitted the same thing, but different of course. Those suggestions were accepted, along with a nice chunk of $ to the supervisor. Anyway, I got around $1500, and none of the other workers got a cent.

That was extra money, so went for a shop. Knew if I didn't buy a shop then would likely never be able to again. $785 if I recall right, a bit extra because of a window in the back wall. Guy came out on a Saturday morning, about 8AM, put together prefabbed pieces he had done at home, worked alone, and had it up, including shingled roof, by noon. A roomy 8X12 feet. Rest of the money went for tools, in particular a used Shopsmith. Later figured out how to fit in separate tools, so sold the Shopsmith and used that money for tools. Never been in a position to get another shop, so that is still it. Ample room for the stuff I do. It was that or nothing, and didn't want nothing. Right now, I figure for the shop and tools in it I have around $2500 total invested. Money well spent. I always keep it nice and neat at all times also.
This is the original Tiny Shop! I’m sure you do a lot of work outdoors in good weather too, huh?
 

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@DesertRatTom..
where's the pics of the inside of the shop???
 

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Theo
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This is the original Tiny Shop! I’m sure you do a lot of work outdoors in good weather too, huh?
Actually, the only work outside so far were my Tikis, and cutting angle iron with an angle grander - way too many sparks to do it inside. Didn't want to wave the chainsaw around in the shop. Everything on the floor is moveable, amazing how much free space you can generate that way.

Oh, I forgot to say what I think the ideal shop size would be. I believe I could get by with around 15,000 square feet, to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
@DesertRatTom..
where's the pics of the inside of the shop???
Posted those long ago. It's kind of tight in there, so here it is in sections, at least as many of pictures as I can find.

Pictures in order.
1 Folding work bench. Harbor Freight. almost always fully open now.
2 Me at my table saw, some of the shop visible in the background.
3 Workbench folded down, it's usual position. Now shown are large amounts of pine under the lip of the table to facilitate clamping.
4 TS, small band saw, sliding miter with DC curtain, all on shop built cabinets with doors to keep dust out. You can also see the outfeed table and some shelving for less often used tools and some larger jigs.
5 Sideways picture of the DC chamber. Look close and you see the HF unit, chip collector, Super Dust Deputy and in the background, the return to the shop
6 Back wall of shop with pegboard covering with smattering of tools and also to the far right, the clamp area.
7 Counter area on the right side of the shop, small stuff, small hardware, all my manuals and receipts.
8 under construction shot of the DC chamber. Door in back leads to a small comfort station., and a bit of the sub panel. This chamber is well sealed to keep cleaned air contained for return to shop.
9 Storage shelves behind workbench. Note matching plastic, covered boxes, labeled with content. Tape, and odd stuff lives up higher, floor area is clear for easier cleanup.
10 The shop with my original TS and tools. Layout is largely the same, just a little tighter.
11 another shot of the storage area next to the workbench. Note it's on racks so they can be changed. It also now holds the overflow of clamps, which just fit into the shelves.
12 Router table with DC box underneath. Still there. Table is same height as TS so I can feed long pieces across it.
13 Tool storage drawers from HF. Keep most larger drills, files, dado set, and some rarely used tool in there.
14 My Laguna Hybrid Table saw with outfeed table and a small storage drawer unit for the odd TS accessories. I've since replaced the miter gauge with an Incra, but also use a Rockler sled in additin to some shop made jigs and tall fence.
15 pix of radiant barrier in garage roof and part of the insulated garage roll up door.

That is all.

The Garage houses another HF DC unit, chip collector with Rockler setup. I keep a Laguna Fourteen 12 band saw, PowerMatic 6 inch jointer and a DeWalt 735 planer out there as well as some storage for 5x5 BB ply. Lots of shelving for misc stuff as well. The Garage had an open ceiling, but we had it insulated and dry walled a couple of years ago and it is far morelivable these days. The inside of the roof sheeting was covered first with about $250 of radient reflective mateial, which lowered the temp by 35 degrees on that surface. then R38 and 50ths sheetrock ceiling. One side was unfinished so we had that insulated drywalled, then shot insulation into the remaining, uninsulated walls. The roll up garage door has a layer of radient barrier, then 1.5 inch insulating foam, then another layer of radient barrier Which was well worth the effort. No longer blasts heat into the garage. I can open the door into the house and let the evaporative cooler air come in to knock off any heat.
 

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Actually, the only work outside so far were my Tikis, and cutting angle iron with an angle grander - way too many sparks to do it inside. Didn't want to wave the chainsaw around in the shop. Everything on the floor is moveable, amazing how much free space you can generate that way.

Oh, I forgot to say what I think the ideal shop size would be. I believe I could get by with around 15,000 square feet, to begin with.
Does that include an indoor pistol range?
Herb
 

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Theo
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Does that include an indoor pistol range?
Herb
Hell no, you think I'm some kind of nut or something. No, I'll make it 15 foot wide and stretch it out, should make a nice rifle range.
 

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Theo
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Actually, the only work outside so far were my Tikis,
Yeah, I said that. But had to get a new set of woodcarving chisels to replace the set I can't find. Possibly walked away with one of my sons. Figure on using just the chisels, not the chainsaw, so would prefer working inside. Besides need a place to lay the chisels and carving mallets out. Had thought of a couple of sawhorses. But earlier tonight it suddenly struck me how to make a carving cradle for Tikis. Need to work out a few details, but should be capable of taking wood from 2 to 4 ft. It'll clamp the wood, can turn it up, so can store in about a square foot. This will also allow it to be turned easily, then lowered to work on the other side. The only thing I haven't actually worked out so far is how to turn the wood over, to work on the sides. I've got several thoughts on this, just need to pick the best method.
 

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Have never had enough shop space, even when I had a 4000 sq ft building for building Pioneer Electronics demo car fleet in the 90s. Also suffer from automotive and snowmobile addictions, so those bring plenty of space and money shortages all on their own.

Been living here in Toronto the last 16 yrs. House came with a 13x20 car and a half garage, totally unfinished, with a asphalt floor which continues to be the bane of my existence. Added a loft for storage, converted the fuse panel to 240V out there, added some sheds for extra storage and remote dust collection. Also put up a 20x10 car shelter / tent in the driveway about 10 feet in front of the garage.

Multiple hobby disciplines and making things movable when possible has been my guiding light. The garage used to serve as a snowmobile service center, since a sled should be maintained and serviced/inspected after virtually every ride.....never mind the modifications like a new track, drive shaft, suspension relocation etc.

The car has lived in the shelter the last 4 years during the current restoration, but it will end up finding an indoor home next winter. The garage/shop functions in winter (partially insulated, oil and ceramic heaters), but for real woodworking the nice weather is required so the little portable table saw and chop saw can sit in front of the garage. Beggars can't be choosers, but I am fortunate that I have most of a complete woodworking, car audio and car restoration/maintenance shop stuffed into this little space, as well as some storage etc in the the basement furnace room. There is a dedicated welding table (I built) comprising the basis for metal working area in the LF corner at the door that is accessible (barely) with the door closed.

Built a 5hp 17cfm 240V 60gall compressor with about 100 ft of iron pipe throughout the garage and feeding outside to the work area and the car shelter, which also has three highbay lights as well as air and electricity in it. Ghetto to the max, but it all works.

The one thing missing from a woodworking perspective is a real table saw; that will be added after the car is screwed back together and I can clean up and take advantage of the newfound space currently taken up by the doors, dash, sandblasting cabinet etc. Below are some pics, incl the car stereo/12Volt test bench I built 2 Christmases ago.

Just bought a double scissor lift hoist for the car (old German made Nussbaum from a Mercedes dealership) that will be installed inside the car shelter later this summer.
 

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My shop is 14'X 30' it is a block building that was on my property when we bought it. I always wished it was bigger. My son and grandson helped me put a new steel roof on it this weekend. My grandson is currently unemployed due to this virus mess. He manages a restaurant in Orlando so I put him to work. We are also going to tear off the original 9 X 30 lean to. We are going to build a new inclosed lean to that will be 14 X 30 with a wood floor for storage. Our idol show vending trailer and truck is sitting to the left of the shop it is patiently waiting to get back on the road.At least I am getting caught up on projects around here.
 

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My shop is in the basement storage room. It is about 14 by 20'. I am banging into things constantly but it is convenient and warm. Building the 8' long tv console was a challenge.

The location keeps me from buying new heavy machines. Saw a great deal on a Hammer combo planer/jointer but the memories of getting the jointer, bandsaw and table saw down there stopped me from buying it. The house is a walk out so it does have a door to the outside ground level but it is still brutal moving things in and out.

A smaller shop makes you organized. I have a lot of things on wheels so you can move them around. My best investment was the Clearvue cyclone and taking the time to plumb all of my machines. When your shop is in your house dust collection is paramount for marital bliss.

PS Before Stick makes a comment about it being too clean. My day job is in a sterile room that is cleaned every 20 minutes and everything has its place. I like things clean and tidy.
 

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I don't have any picture, well I don't have much of a shop at home. My scroll saw is in the garage but what I do mostly is in the spare bedroom. Lots of painting and small HO scale buildings. I keep dreaming about a shop with everything together guess I will keep dreaming. lol
 

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Doug
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I am currently in a 2 car garage under the house, which helps a little in summer and winter, but I have to be mindful of the noise when the ladies are sleeping. We added a sun room off of the master bedroom which gave me about a 12 foot overhang outside of the garage doors. This has been a fantastic improvement in my space, as it allows me to set up the jointer and planer outside, and I don't have to panic if the afternoon pop-up shower rolls through in the summertime.

My dream shop will be detached, in the 3-car garage range to around 30x40 feet. Ten foot ceilings are a must, as I have really gotten used to them. I would also like a wash sink and a toilet if I can squeeze that in. We have looked at a couple properties which would have been perfect, but are waiting until my youngest graduates this summer before seriously looking.

If I have to build, it will either be a pole barn or a miracle truss steel building. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and I am sure to agonize over all of them when the time comes.
 
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