Any good sites for effective shop layout?

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  • Any good sites for effective shop layout?

    Was perusing Barnes and Nobles at lunch today and was browsing through shop layout books. I'm just getting ready to insulate and drywall the garage and want to plan the layout and outlets, etc. Before dropping $20 each for these books, anyone have any good articles online about effective shop layout? Of specific interest are topics like workflow, machine layout, workspace required around machines, etc.


  • #2
    Bob, check out The Workshop Book by Taunton Press for some discussions about workflow. This year's Fine Woodworking Tools and Shops issue has an article with templates for common power tools and the workspace required around them.

    <font size=\"1\">Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- <i>Heinlein</i></font id=\"size1\">


    • #3
      Grizzly Tools has a pretty cool on-line workshop design program. Just click and drag walls, doors, workbenches, storage cabinets, and powertools to various locations and look at the lay-out. They even price a package deal for you (if you buy their tools).

      I also purchased a really good book titled, "Working at Woodworking." I utilized it for starting my own cabinetmaking business. He covered converting a small garage into a functional shop. Lay-out, material flow, jigs & fixtures were very helpful, and of practical application. Good Luck!


      • #4

        There's also some freeware that's available at that can help with the process of designing your workshop.



        • #5
          Thanks. I've seen the grizzly one before and like that. But I was looking more for information about what tools should be near each other, what tools should be always available vs. something you take out and use when needed, etc. I did a lot of googling and couldn't find anything. Looks like a book might be the only solution for this one.



          • #6
            Fine Wood Working's shop issue a couple of issues ago had some of the best advice I had heard for a small shop. The author said he finally put his tools where they fit best, figuring that in a small hobby type shop effecient work flow was relatively less important (because everything is close by anyway), and getting tools to fit without getting in the way was relatively more important.

            Hint number two: Make everything mobile. Then you can change your mind.


            • #7

              See if this helps, it's how I set things up.
              Mike in Bon Secour, Alabama
              aka Reckless_2350


              • #8
                Mike, I like your approach to shop layout. Now, if I only had 1000 sq. ft. to work with! Instead, I have half of a two-car garage, with the outer wall broken by a door to the side yard, and a water softener cutting into the back inside "corner" of the space. Works out to about 20'x8', or 160 sq. ft. So much for moving the wood to the tools. My problem is getting all the tools into the space with enough room left over to move anything! Requires designing in 3 dimensions: what can sit higher so something can be used under it? What can serve as an outfeed table for the table saw and also have some other purpose? Can I use the planer safely and efficiently while sitting on the floor? How heavy a tool can I safely lift from a cabinet up to a bench?
                - David

                “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” -- Oscar Wilde


                • #9
                  Check out Dec/Jan issue of Family Handyman also has great mobile modular workbench plans. As I have subscription, not sure if FH available on newsstand. Can scan & email or post if not available.

                  When you think you've built it idiot-proof, they build a better idiot...