Your Woodworking Shop Layout

Your woodworking shop layout depends on a lot how you use it. Are you going to use your garage or your basement? Maybe you have space in a separate building. Wherever you set up your woodworking equipment you still have to decide how much room you need for each machine, based on what you plan to make in the first place.


Are you working with long lumber or sheets of plywood?

Working with a full sheet of plywood can be awkward to handle without infeed and outfeed supports. It can also be a bear to handle without side supports. Long lengths of lumber could need as much as twice the room on the infeed and outfeed sides.

Either one needs a machine that will not move as you feed the stock through. If you have your machines on rolling machine bases, (which I wholeheartedly recommend), make sure the wheels are locked before using the machine.


Are you planning to buy more equipment for the current woodworking shop layout?

Some people are completely happy playing with their lathe or scroll saw, then hand sanding, show the piece to a few friends and then on to the next project. For the rest of us, if we haven't used our shop in months and we see a bargain on something that makes sawdust, we must have it. Then it's out to the shop to figure out what necessary object to make with it.

In all reality we keep accumulating tools and machines until we don't have any place to put them. (I guess this could be another sign that you've outgrown your garage.)


Are you planning to make small woodworking projects or build large casework and furniture?

Small woodworking projects are fun and relaxing but you should definitely leave enough working room to include the larger items. If you're doing projects for others, eventually you'll be asked to build almost everything if its made out of wood


Are you planning to make one of a kind items for yourself or dozens at a time to sell?

Planned small items are a necessity in my shop. After you start accumulating piles of cutoffs and end cuts from the lumber or plywood these small projects only make sense. Then when someone says "Oh, make me two of those for gifts!", then you'll be glad you have them already made.

You'll find that if you're trying to make a few bucks or even trying to make a living from your shop, you will be able to make much more money if you have your standard items that you make in quantity rather than let your customers tell you what they want you to make. Making one of a kind small items just isn't profitable.

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