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Thread: Office in the woodshop?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio
    Posts
    4,631

    Office in the woodshop?

    I have the luxury of a 3 car garage separate from the attached garage to the house for the cars.
    I have pieced my wood shop in that space since I was a teen. Mismatched cabinets, bunch of "It will do" stuff. etc...
    Retirement is still 10 years away but starting to think about doing a major remodel of the garage. Wanting to start getting ideas and make a plan in my head what I want to do. I thinking a mixed use shop. Major part woodworking but also mower repair. A little metal shop and very, very basic car maintenance.

    First question. Who has an office in their shop? Do you have a space in the corner, open to the rest of the shop, or did you enclose that space in? What would be the minimum size to make one?
    It would be a place to get all my woodworking books and stuff out of the house. A TV and recliner too for a place just to chill.


    Would love to see a photo of that space too.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    58,256
    It's not a terrible idea...you just have to decide the balance between the space required for the "Creature comforts" vs a basic office. It's probably best for it to be walled off, maybe with just a door; maybe with a door and window into the shop; maybe with a door that has a window to do both functions. A basic office probably needs to be 8x8, give or take. You can squeeze it smaller, of course. And for a recliner to chill, you may want it slightly bigger if you also want a desk and other furniture. Now if the building would permit you to do a an office/man-cave on an upper level, that would be really nice and not take away shop space.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,960
    My shop is in an open basement space. I tried keeping an "office space" in a somewhat separate area. But its the dust that made that non-workable. Dust settles everywhere on everything. So if you get that under control, it sounds great.
    Hobbyist

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Western Nebraska
    Posts
    4,341
    Seconding the dust. In our shop, we have three enclosed offices with separate HVAC and the dust is still an issue. Definitely enclose it if you do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    MT
    Posts
    375
    Can you build above what you have?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    6,009
    Office built off the back of a shop, with a separate outside entrance, no connecting door to shop. No dust, and quiet when I want it quiet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    4,940
    Hobbyist. I have a shop separate from the house, and built in a corner of it for my office/MAN CAVE area. It has a bay window to the yard, and a 5' sliding window that looks into the shop area. It is 10' X 13' and holds a desk, filing cabinet, small smart TV, 12' of bookcases, two recliner chairs and a small sofa bed.

    The older I get, the more I use it, although I actually draw my projects out on the workbench in the shop. It gets used about every two months for visiting kids and adult grandkids to sleep in.

    I'm very glad I have it finished like a house with a ceiling fan, as well as a small AC/electric heater in the insulated wall. This unit was only $200 (8,000BTU) and heats and cools the room just fine.

    I am very glad I built it in the shop, just wish I could have done a bathroom, but the location wasn't feasible.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    central tx
    Posts
    465
    I have a detached 20x30 shop. Its been my home office now since covid started. Just plopped down in the middle. I have a TV, stereo, and table with monitor for my laptop. When I'm doing anything particularly dusty on the weekends I cover up the monitor with a towel. If you have decent dust collection I'd just leave it open, flexible to move and not a huge space to clean off.

    I like it enough that I'm going to build a nicer desk for the space since I'll probably be at home 1 or 2 days a week for the long term now. I will do something like 30" deep by 60-70" wide. More space than that and I just stack junk on the end.

    IMG_7334.jpg

    IMG_7335.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    central tx
    Posts
    465
    also the best part is the mini-split for texas summers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Crozet, VA
    Posts
    474
    Thomas, I like the set-up. However, I have this vision of being on a Zoom call and someone saying, hey could you mute your line while running boards through your planer!?!
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    11,175
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lehnert View Post
    ...

    [B]First question. Who has an office in their shop? Do you have a space in the corner, open to the rest of the shop, or did you enclose that space in? What would be the minimum size to make one?
    Dave,

    When I designed my shop building I reserved an 8’x12’ space just inside the entrance for an office. The space is enclosed but the access to the shop is door-sized space but without a door. I did the plans, site prep, and construction myself so I got exactly what I wanted.


    The main door to the shop actually opens into the end on that space then the main shop is immediately to the right. I find this ideal since I often enter the building just to use the office area. My shop oss also multi-use with a small welding shop, little machine shop area, photo booth, electronics bench with oscilloscope and such, equipment maintenance area on the back room (with big rollup doors), farm medical supplies, and incubators and brooders for hatching peacocks and such. (I built the building 24’x62’, the back 22’ is a separate room and the front 40’ has a 12x12’ room for the weld shop)

    I can’t imagine the shop WITHOUT the office area - I use it every day. Among other things it has:
    - two large desk/workstation units with upper shelves and cabinets on the top
    - good Aeron office chair
    - bookcases for my woodturning, woodworking, tree/plant, animal care, and maintenance books, all of the user and service manuals for the farm and dirt-moving equipment
    - file cabinet
    - cubbyhole cabinet for organizing magazines, graph paper, drawing supplies, notebooks and such
    - precision scales and a variety of instruments to measure temperature, humidity, light, sound, air quality
    - a glass front display case for woodturnings,
    - low-power stereo and laboratory microscopes for wood ID and biological use
    - complete first aid supplies
    - monitor and DVD player
    - wifi router, ethernet switch, multiple UPS units (gigabit ethernet, underground)
    - powerful desktop computer with dual monitors for video editing and such and pro mics/audio equip for voiceovers
    - speakers for playing videos and 100s off albums stored on the computer
    - Prusa 3d printer with environmental enclosure (also controlled by the shop computer) an 50 spools of filament
    - security system with video monitoring inside and out
    - image-stabilizing binoculars for keeping an eye on the farm and animals
    - various ammunition and multiple devices for dealing with varmints and ax murderers
    - handy racks by entrance door for safety glasses, respirators, and hearing protection
    - boots, spare shoes, rain gear, and lots of gloves
    - a big fire extinguisher close to the front door
    - a bank of 3-way light switches just inside the front door to light zones throughout and outside as needed
    - a large "bulletin” board, actually the inside surface of the steel entrance door!
    - a snack cabinet with fridge close by in the shop
    - one window
    - a guitar, trumpet, violin and harmonica to enhance my quality of life

    At 8x12’ the office space is tight but comfortable for one person. I use every sq ft of floor space and all wall space from floor to ceiling. I can imagine an extra foot or two of width would be useful but would take away from the shop space. The entire building is heated and cooled so it’s comfortable year around. This also allows safe storage of animal feed and medicines that might degrade in heat, humidity, or cold.

    I built this near the barn about 250’ down the hill from the house which has several benefits, not the least is the exercise opportunity. More importantly I can keep an eye on the llamas and birds and have quality interaction with the horses through the day. All the riding gear is just steps away at the barn.

    One of the most useful accessories is keypad deadbolts on the doors so I dont have to carry a door key.

    Missing is a bathroom with shower and a small kitchen but I’ve drawn plans for an annex.

    Typing this on an iPad so I can’t add photos.

    JKJ

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    9,732
    I don't have an office in the shop, but I do have a restroom. Gauging by the amount of dust that gets into the restroom, an office would not be feasible.
    I do have good dust collection in the shop -- cyclone for the stationary machines, and a tool-triggered dust extractor for the handheld power tools.
    I'm in the shop, making sawdust, 50-60 hours per week. That has to factor into the dust accumulation.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    11,175
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    I don't have an office in the shop, but I do have a restroom. Gauging by the amount of dust that gets into the restroom, an office would not be feasible.
    I do have good dust collection in the shop -- cyclone for the stationary machines, and a tool-triggered dust extractor for the handheld power tools.
    I'm in the shop, making sawdust, 50-60 hours per week. That has to factor into the dust accumulation.
    I guess the difference with mine is I release very little dust into the air. Woodturning doesn't produce much dust except when sanding and I refuse to power sand with rotating disks, a huge dust generator especially for larger bowls and platters. I do run a 22-44 drum sander but it has good collection when connected to the big cyclone.

    If I had a dust problem I'd probably add another door for separation or perhaps a curtain.

    JKJ

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