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Thread: Sketching up workshop layout; Software tools?

  1. #1

    Sketching up workshop layout; Software tools?

    I'm about the begin the process of sketching out the layout for my woodshop in a 20'x20' 2-car garage (it's sharing space with one car).

    Is graph paper and pencil the best way? Any other ideas (a small, crude model maybe)? What about software; maybe something like Google Sketchup (although I've never used it).

    Thanks,
    Greg

  2. #2
    Several methods are available. Graph paper is a little crude, but graph paper and machine cut outs is a nice upgrade (this way you don't have to keep erasing machines). There are also several software packages that are just like the graph paper method if you prefer a PC. Grizzly and Delta both have software that is very similiar to this on their websites.

    3D methods are also available including Google Sketch-up, which is nice as the software is free and there are models of "common" machines already out there for download. Sketchup also has many video tutorials to help you learn.

    In the past I have used 2D CAD and then once done with something "close" I move to 3D modeling. If you view my web page you can see an example of this. My model is a good representation. Objects are close enough in shape to represent the volume taken up, but are not detailed enough to waste time rendering and make it look real. This method has worked out well for me in the past two shops. I went through 8 seperate shop layouts in my current shop before I ever moved anything in (I had several months to play with layouts while the house was being built). It seems the Wood Shop has always been a growing, changing beast. The layout might workout now, but you may get a new machine or two, which changes everything. Or maybe you decide turning is more for you. Or you like Cabinet work only...

    Hope this Helps. Chris
    Last edited by Chris Jenkins; 11-04-2008 at 2:15 PM.
    Almost 10 years of WWing and something tells me I'm going to stay a Newbie the rest of my life, but still having all kinds of fun doing it.

  3. #3
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    Grizzly has a nice little tool on the bottom left of their home page. It is quick and easy.

  4. #4
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    If you have the time to learn Google Sketchup (easy to learn, a lifetime to master ), it's a great way to do your layout.

  5. #5

    Thanks!

    I'll try out Google Sketch-up and that Grizzly software tool on their website. Thanks for the help

    -Greg

  6. #6
    Within the past few months, an SMCer (laurie Brown?) posted a link to download free software. The program is called EasyShop. I tried it and it's very simple and straight forward. For $20, you can become a registered user, but I don't know what this adds to the program.

  7. #7
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    For Linux users, try QCAD its only 2D, but easy to learn and uses DXF format naturally. With that and a dwg convert program I have a library that includes close matches to most of my tools. I would like 3d but don't want to spend the $$ to buy such, and google sketchup seems to not work well on Linux.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Sturgill View Post
    For Linux users, try QCAD its only 2D, but easy to learn and uses DXF format naturally. With that and a dwg convert program I have a library that includes close matches to most of my tools. I would like 3d but don't want to spend the $$ to buy such, and google sketchup seems to not work well on Linux.

    Google sketchup doesn't work very well for me on my mac, either. Everything is fine until I start adding textures then it slows to a crawl.

  9. #9
    For 2D drawings, I find PowerPoint (with a visible grid turned on) works pretty well.

  10. #10
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    On my Macintosh I'm using Home Designer Studio from Punch Software. It's pretty good and has a 3-D view which helps tremendously. I've been able to find websites with all the major woodworking tools except for a jointer and DC. I would like to have them to add my plan, but they aren't critical at this point in my planning. I enjoy playing around with different layouts. Punch has several home designing software programs for PCs. Warning -- they aren't cheap.
    Last edited by Don Bullock; 11-06-2008 at 10:41 PM.
    Don Bullock
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    The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.
    -- Edward John Phelps

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