- What are the biggest projects I’ll work on in this room?
- How often will I be in here?
- What do I need to pull this off?
- Stationary power tools. These woodworking tools — like your jointer, band saw, and wood lathe — will become permanent fixtures in your studio, so they’re among the most important to account for when you’re developing your plans.
- Your workbench. Will you need a full-sized workbench, or will something smaller do? Are you building your own workbench, and if you are, can it double as a storage space?
- Storage for hand tools and fire extinguishers. There are plenty of options for storing your gear, including hanging storage and pegboard, and now’s the time to start thinking about it. Make sure have the essentials covered — a good drill, hand planes (block plane, bench plane, jack plane, etc.), combination square, and your various saws chief among them.
- Shelving for materials. It wouldn’t be much of a woodshop if you didn’t make room to store wood so be sure to create a shelving system that will allow you to easily access whatever wood you need for a project, be it oak, rosewood, mahogany, etc.
- A big enough door for large pieces and projects. You wouldn’t be the first person to build something too big to get out of a room, but do you really want to join those ranks?
- Adequate lighting. Fine-tuning the details with a veneer saw requires you to be able to see – and so does operating a table saw, so make sure you have enough lighting to be able to reliably see what you’re doing.
- Plenty of electrical outlets. You need enough outlets for power tools, your radio, and extra lamps.
- Ventilation. Sawdust and paint or stain fumes require safe passage out of the room (and preferably not through your HVAC system, where they’ll get recycled through the house).
- A moderately high ceiling. While you may not build projects so large that you’ll need an 8-foot ceiling, what happens when you need to flip over an 8-foot board? Make sure your ceiling is high enough to let you work comfortably.
- A locking door. Curious kids and pets don’t belong in your workshop when you’re not there, so a locking door is a must-have.
All these requirements can help you zero in on the perfect location for your home workshop, but if there’s no way you can fit it inside your home, you can use the She Shed concept and build your private enclave in the backyard.
Pen to Paper: Sketch Your Space
- Invest in a pegboard. It’s the holy grail of shop organization, and it’s versatile enough that you can put it inside cabinets (or even just cabinet doors), mount it directly to the wall, or hang vertically in a pull-out drawer.
- Build a fold-up workbench, like a Murphy bed. If you’re working on a project that doesn’t require you to sit at your workbench, you can tuck it away and give yourself instant floor space.
- Use ceiling storage. Building slats along the ceiling where you can store clear bins of infrequently used tools and items can save you floor space while keeping your stuff within easy reach.
- Put in recessed shelves. Removing drywall and putting shelves between studs can provide you with plenty of storage space for smaller items without cutting into your square footage.
- Mount 45-degree-angled PVC pipe to a board. These round storage containers are perfect for thin items – pencils, paintbrushes and other accessories you need but are prone to losing.
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