Pro Woodworking Tips.com
Setting Up a Home Woodshop
How To Set Up a Home
There are many things to consider when setting up a woodshop at home. The
task can be somewhat intimidating, and even professionals find decision making to be difficult.
This is easy to understand when you consider, for a professional, his
livelihood depends on production. The faster he / she is able to move the project out the door, the faster he
gets paid. No pressure here, right?
The situation isn't quite so critical for hobbyist woodworkers, though the
enjoyment level you experience will be much higher, if your work area is well organised. The frustration
experienced in searching for your "stuff" is quite irritating.
If you're sharing an area with cars and washing machines, is even more
important to take care in your layout. (free woodshop layout software is available on my website).
If I had to work in a small space, I would consider a multi purpose tool, like
a shopsmith. Actually, prior to owning a woodshop, I did use a shopsmith for a number of years. Many of my first
commissions were done on this machine. I simply didn't have space for every machine available for woodworking,
nor could I afford them.
Another plus is you're likely to find a good used machine, bought by someone
who thought they would like to give woodworking a try. (kind of like those exercise machines, with clothes
hanging from them). These machines may have less than ten hours on them.
On the down side, they require much more planning, when switching from one function to another. I can't say I
wouldn't prefer dedicated machines, but they do require much more space.
Most independent machines for home shops are small enough to put on mobile
bases. This will be a big asset in small spaces. You'll be able to keep everything against a wall, and pull it
out as needed.
If your space is in the home, such as the basement, you'll need to be very
conscious of dust, and noise. Your spouse won't appreciate all of your nice projects, if you keep the kids
awake, or have dust tracked around the house. I worked in a basement woodshop for years.
A drop ceiling will do wonders in reducing the noise level, as will sound
insulation between the joists. Another way to handle this is make use of the machinery early, and save the hand
work for later.
Dust can be controlled through religious use of a dust collection system, even
if it's just a shop vac, hooked to the machines. There are several brands of room dust collectors that hang from
the ceiling and do very well at keeping the air clear.
Try to layout your tools in the order they are used. Woodworking machines are
used in a specific sequence. Meaning a jointer next to the table saw makes sense. A planner next to a jointer
also makes sense. If you consider the types of projects you want to do, and the order that you do it, layout
will be easier to determine.
Electric is another item to be considered, but use of extension cords will make
this a non critical factor. Just make sure the cords are heavy enough for the tool or machine.
Also, the quality of your tools will play a big part in actually enjoying this
hobby. Poor quality tools lead to poor quality results. It's far better to have a few good tools, than it is to
have lots of junk.
Things to consider are plentiful, but better to do most of it prior to setting
up, than having to change everything later.
The old adage: "never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do
it over", is very applicable here too.
The Workshop Book
The craftsman’s guide to making the most of any work space.
Fully- illustrated guide features over 300 photographs of workshops as well as 20 detailed
floor plans for a range of work-space possibil..
The Workshop Book
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