Setting Up a Small Wood Shop?? Advice Needed? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Default Setting Up a Small Wood Shop?? Advice Needed?


Hi All: I am planning on setting up a small woodworking shop in a 12' x 24' shed that I am going to purchase. The shed will be placed in the back of my house and will be free standing. Anyway, what I'd like some advice on from anyone is what machinery to purchase & how to set up said machinery within the alloted rectangular space? I will have eclectrical run after the shed is in place. I am planning on at least 6 outlets with perhaps one of the outlets being 220. Here is a list of the basic equipment that I feel is necessary:

1. Good Table Saw (Delta or Powermatic)
2. Band Saw
3. Drill Press
4. Scroll Saw
6. Sanding Planner
7. Router Table
8. Small wood planner (not stationary type)

Obviously, all of the tools, etc.. are too numerous to list but will include sanders, wood clamps, various glues, etc.........

Question: How would set up & locate the various pieces of machinery? Most of which will be on wheels so that I can move them around if needed.
I will also only be doing small projects & nothing bigger than perhaps a computer center, end tables, etc....

Thanks for any input,

Steve
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post #2 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 08:40 AM
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I would take a look at a ShopSmith.
Of course, I'm a little biased, having owned and use one for 30 years. You can get nearly all your requirements in one machine.
Not sure what you mean by a sanding planer. You might check out Stockroom supply's "V Sander" for a smaller footprint than a true drum sander.
BTW, you will need a bench, too.

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Last edited by Gene Howe; 06-07-2010 at 08:43 AM.
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post #3 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 11:03 AM
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Hi Steve, there are a lot of opinions, books and such as to how to set up a shop, wheels on everything is a real good idea, believe me a shop will get real crowded real fast no matter what size it is,espically if you are a tool junkie. You can use old fashion paper and pencil or download google sketchup (free) and arrange it to your liking and then see if it works for you and as you go you will tweak it until it fits you.

I've had a delta table saw for 13 years and enjoy it, more so after I put a good fence on it, I research which tool I need and do not stick with any single brand and always buy the extended warranty.

I got lost in thought. it was unfamiliar territory.
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post #4 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 12:18 PM
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Hi Steve,

Wow, your post brings up lots of memories and ideas. A Shopsmith multi-tool that my Dad owned was the first power tool I ever used. They are terrific at saving space. But, when I became a cabinet maker, separate tools were better suited to production speed, capacity, and work flow. You don't state your skill or experience level, so I can't say what is appropriate for you. You'll have to make up your mind on that.

A good, solid work bench with a good vise or two is a must. Anything you can put wheels on helps, as is the ability to have multi-purpose stations. Your router table can be the side extension of your table saw. Your bench can serve as an outfeed table for multiple machines. You'll definitely need shelving for hand tools, fasteners, hardware, etc. Some of that can be under tool stations.

I have also found that a covered outdoor space for finishing helps in warmer months. You can keep making sawdust while pieces dry. Doesn't need to be too big and can be enclosed temporarily with sheet plastic to keep the gnats out.

If you visit sites like finewoodworking.com, woodworkersjournal.com, rockler.com, you can find lots of books and videos on small shop layout.

Congratulations on having a dedicated building for woodworking. Sure beats working in the garage or basement.

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post #5 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 02:32 PM
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I hope it's a wooden shed you're installing/building (not metal). I hope you will have a good lock on the door.
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post #6 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of those excellent comments & suggestions! I would consider myself a moderately advanced woodworker that has not done much in quite some time. I am presently making a Jewelry box for my granddaughter's 16th birthday working with a fellow in the next town over who has a wood shop. The shed will be made of wood not metal & will have double doors that can be locked when not in use. Anyway, as I have found out, there are lots of good info out there & I will continue to search around. This will not be an easy task but will hopefully be well worth the research & time. Thanks again,

Steve
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post #7 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 05:40 PM
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As strange as this may sound, insulate that shed first thing. Sometimes, these "sheds" aren't, they're just a quick build type of thing.

For your equipment, the shopsmith is a nice "tool" but, having the right tool for the right job is important. Each has it's own design. Not against a shopsmith at all. IMHO, a TS should be the center point in any shop, work in a circle, everything right together yet, not interfering with one another. Also, any chance to purchase a piece of machinery that can or is wired to go either 110v and 220v, get it. When time and money allows, rewire it for the 220v. You won't regret that. IMHO, any equipment that is 220v just runs smoother.

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post #8 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Ken: I totally agree with you about both the insullation & the 220v hookup which would be especially useful on a nice Bandsaw! There's just so much to think about that it's overwhelming at times! That's why I am asking questions & researching this now rather than waiting until I order the shed.... Makes sense to me.........Thanks again,

Steve
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post #9 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 06:25 PM
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I had a 12'x18' shed set up as a workshop years ago here in Alaska. Since it was made from 2x4's, I installed R-11 fiberglass insulation after I had an electrician drop a 60A sub-panel inside. Even at -20F four 1500 watt heaters would warm the air in 10 minutes and the tools in 30. Then I'd turn 3 heaters to "fan only" and one to low heat and let the thermostat take care of keeping it ward. The insulation made all the difference!

My recommendation is to put drawers and cabinets every place you can, including under the extension on the table saw. I'm now in a 2-car garage and everything I build still has wheels and I'm planning on building a cabinet to go under the extension table on my Unisaw.

BobJ3 says "You can't have too many routers". In a small shop "You can't have too much storage!" I have a floor standing drill press but have build a chest of drawers to go under it (un wheels). I set the height to let me use short bits and thin stock without moving the cabinet but when I need to use a long bit or drill thick stock, I roll out the cabinet. I get 24"x24"x32" (three 5" drawers and one 15" drawer) of extra storage this way.

Check out that new high-tech cordless router.. wireless and no recharging required!!
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post #10 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 08:22 PM
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RJM60, you commented that you hoped he was building one of wood and not of metal. I have a wooden shop and 3 years ago I had a lighting stike, I was not in it at the time (good thing) but it prompted me to do more research and I found out that a wooden shop is one of the most dangerous places to be in with lighting in the area, it was equated to be inside a big bug zapper with me being the bug but I've been called worse and now when I hear thunder I go in the house, but I do agree with the lock on the door.

I got lost in thought. it was unfamiliar territory.
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