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Thread: Layout a 16' x 23' shop?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Near saw dust

    Layout a 16' x 23' shop?

    This is my first post here and I would like to say that it is incredible how much depth there is in the membership. Answers to all questions simple and complicted from pros and joes. Great stuff. Hope I can contribute.

    My shop is 16 x 23 (built new garage with additional 16' in rear, full width) and I'm not sure that I'm happy with the layout even though I planned in advance. I guess that's standard with the limited size but I just was wondering if anyone had any photos of shops about this size. The space is really long and narrow and poses some challenges for infeed and outfeed areas, lumber storage and assembly benches (everything). There are so many shop tour photos but few that I have been able to find with the approximate dimensions of my shop.

    I just got my new electric service and immediately following that was the Sawstop. Wow. Other old tools include PM 6" jointer, Delta 12" BS, Delta Mortiser, Delta DP, DeWalt 12" dual compound chop, Festool guided circular saw and Delta sanding station. No DC but plans for gorilla a.s.a.I can afford it, maybe before. Pictures to follow when time permits learning how to attach them.

  2. #2
    Hi Ben - My shop isn't that big either. My Rigid TS came with a lift system that brings it up on wheels for rolling to the side when not in use. It inspired me to put locking caters on the planer too. Maybe that type of thing could help you out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, WA
    Give this a try.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I usually find it much easier to be wrong once in while than to try to be perfect.

    My web page has a pop up. It is a free site, just close the pop up on the right side of the screen

  4. #4
    I figured mine out the old fashioned way: draw the space on graph paper and cutout little pieces for each major machine and play around with configurations. You know that most everything will want to be mobile, right? Start by placing the TS and other machines that require large infeed and outfeed areas and then tuck the other stuff where you can. I like having the BS, J/P (a combo), TS and DP stationary; all but the DP require significant infeed outfeed areas. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Brentwood & Altamont, TN

    That's a cool little tool to determine placement! I figured out that I wouldn't be able to get past the 6" planer to use the other tools in the back of the shop until this new diet kicks in real good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Central NY State
    Hi Ben,

    Sounds like our set-ups are the same. My shop is 16 x 24 [outside dimensions] at the rear end of my new [now 2 year old] pole barn. Anyway, I went with mobile everything, and use a window for outfeeding long pieces over the TS.

    I also use shelves in the garage for hand held power tool storage, to keep the shop less cluttered. Major lumber storage is in the attic. Some on shelves.

    The only thing bolted down is the work bench.

    I'd keep everything moving until the shop evolves to where you want stuff. I have found that keeping tools out is better than in - some go in the garage between uses, so that there's more flexibility depending on the project.

    I made insulated double doors to go between the garage and shop, to make moving in and out easier.

    I'll send images later, if I can figure out how.

    Welcome to the creek.
    Last edited by Ken Werner; 05-16-2006 at 8:59 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
    My shop space is similar at 16 X 24. Like all the workshop books state, you will find that a shop is always a work in progress. There will be something that will change after living with it for a while, no matter what the layout ends up looking like. New tool acquisitions, work habits, storage challenges.
    While I cannot do a drawing here, I will explain how mine is laid out:
    1. Unisaw on the middle right wall, situated against the wall. Gives me at least 8 feet infeed & outfeed space.
    2. Jointer/planer on the opposite long wall for obvious reasons.
    3. All the other tools are on mobile bases. Bandsaw, shaper, router table, lathe, drum sander roll around as needed, and store against a wall while resting. Drill press sits on the floor-not a good machine to have mobile.
    4. Work bench centered on the short wall behind the TS under the window.
    5. Storage cabinets and bookcase/library mounted on the walls. Used long screws going into the studs for mounting. Best use of wall space off the floor.
    6. Clamp wall in the far right corner wall space.
    7. Lumber inside an attached 16 X 16 storage bldg, as well as in the rafters.
    Get your hands on a couple of the workshop books for some great ideas on shop layout. Just remember that a shop is a work in progress.
    Stay safe and watch those fingers.

  8. #8
    My shop is 18X18 about 40 Sq ft smaller than yours, Here is my floor plan. Most tools are on mobile bases. For dust collection I have a Jet 1100DC plumbed with 4" PVC pipe. A cyclone would have been great, but not enough room or money to do one. Dust collection and dust filtration is not just a luxury, but a health issue. And if you apply your finishes in the same area like I do, some control of dust and shavenings is important.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Hello, My name is John and I am a toolaholic

  9. #9
    hi ben,

    you're lucky you've got a huge shop - at least compared to mine my workshop is only 10' x 18' but i've managed to squeeze in all of my machines including a tablesaw, planer, jointer and dc - works pretty well!

    if you want to see what i looks like, the easiest way is is to look at the workshop page on my website - there are some pics of it there as well as a design layout for a 12 x 24 workshop:
    Rick in Cowichan Bay, B.C. Canada - 30 miles north of Victoria, B.C.

  10. #10

    Thumbs up

    That is a cozy shop Rick. My wife and I work together in our shop. At 18'x18' is seems very small most of the time. On larger projects like the kitchen reface we did for a neighbor, we have to take some finished parts into the basement of the house to make room in the shop to continue the project. You shop is very well organized, good job!!!
    Hello, My name is John and I am a toolaholic

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Raleigh, NC

    Layout tool


    What tool did you use to do that shop layout? Are there models for a large variety of shop tools available? I am moving my shop to a 12' x 23' garage on August 1, and I am trying to do the layout now.

    I want to build a 15' long bench on one of the 23' walls but am concerned that I will reducing the already small width of the shop. One further factor for me is that I buit an extra wide bench 37" x 48", and I built a cabinet underneath with drawers and cabinets on one side and shelves on the other. Therefore my bench has to be in the middle of the room instead of against the wall. I plan on positioning it perpedicular to the TS so that it can serve as a out feed table.

    The good news is that the ceilings are 11.5' tall so I can use the extra height for storage.



  12. #12

    Try the free version of Sketchup. Do a search for "free sketchup" from google. I'm pretty sure that you will be able to find pre-drawn shop tools to help you lay out your shop. Good luck and have fun.

    Maybe you could justify your 15' bench by building some tools into it. When I get around to revising my shop, I will include a long bench that incorporates several cabinet making tools - line borer, hinge borer, pocket cutter and miter station. All of the tools will be situated to make use of a common benchtop height.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Northern New Jersey
    Here's an overhead computerized view of my 17' x 26' shop which is close to the size of your shop. However, since my shop is in my basement, I have to share it with the heating system, hot water heater and a gas meter. It also only has a 7 ft ceiling height.

    Even though the rendering below is from an actual scale model, all the stuff hanging off the walls and in the corners is not shown giving my shop a very roomy appearance. In reality, I'm pretty jambed-up. I wish I had more room to upgrade some of my tools. I would love a stationary planer, and perhaps an 8" jointer, but there is simply no more room.

    cheers, Jeff

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Raleigh, NC

    Shop layout

    Roland, I plan to build a miter station into the 15' bench and to store my hollow chisel mortiser in it (and perhaps my OSS).

    Jeff: I like the overhead view! How do you get the grinder to float like that?


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Seabrook TX
    My work area is 12x26 located at the back of a 2 car garage. There is a overhead door on the one long wall. Some suggestions from a fellow Sawstop owner:
    - Take out the wall between the vehicles and the shop (if there is one). This is a battle for floor space between the vehicles and something more important. Prepare to win.
    - The saw is too heavy to move regularly. Locate it with 10 ft in front and back for longer boards. If you have a router table or Incra, watch the clearance on the ends. Put a big trash can under the right hand side fence.
    - Locate the workbench behind the saw to double as an outfeed table.
    - Jointer goes on left hand side of saw if it fits. Up against a wall with 6ft clearance on inlet and outlet if it doesn't.
    - Build a fliptop cabinet for a lunchbox planer. It provides free surface area near the saw infeed working area to store project pieces and works with the jointer when preparing rough stock.
    - Drillpress goes into a corner.
    - Move everything that isn't WW related out of this area. Put full height metal shelving in the rest of the garage for stuff. Plus a metal cabinet for finishing supplies. Take over the walls in the non-WW area. It's plenty wide for two vehicles plus storage shelves.
    - If you live in the south, put the DC outside the back wall. Put a couple of storage buildings outside for lawnmowers, sawhorses, jigs, etc.
    - If the ceilings are 10ft, use the height for storage. Lot's of 16ft boards can fit in that upper 2ft.
    - Wall space is a premium. Use cabinets around the perimeter to maximize storage.
    - Put another workbench along one wall.
    - Think about how you will assemble and finish projects. Locate some flat surfaces and equipment in that area.
    - Stack plywood vertically along the walls. Behind the overhead door frame works well. Put plastic sheeting and masonite on the floor to prevent moisture damage.

    I'm not a big fan of roll around machines. In a small shop, there is usually only one place to put the machine. In a REALLY small shop, one rolls the machine onto the driveway.

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