It is the handyman’s dream to have his own home workshop. Imagine the convenience of going out to the garage and working on your latest project. You can work on your projects in the evenings and weekends without ever leaving your home. If you have some vacant space, you can develop your own home workshop with a little foresight and a lot of planning.
It is important to plan ahead before you randomly start putting your tools into space. You should really give a lot of thought to where you are going to put your workshop. Do you have a large yard where you can build a separate building for your shop? Or perhaps you have a shed sitting empty? An unused garage is a great place for a woodshop as well. If you have a large basement, you can easily put a woodshop downstairs in your house as well.
Selecting a shop space
When you select your workshop space there are a few things that you will definitely need to consider. Where is the shop in relation to the rest of your house? Will your shop be in the house? If so you will need to consider some factors such as the level of volume and insulation. Workshops are very loud, and you will need to be sure that a shop is properly insulated to muffle the excess volume from the rest of the house; otherwise, your family members will not be happy when you go to work!
Installation is also an important consideration if you are looking at an outside workshop for the same reasons. A loud workshop will not make your neighbors happy, so you should take the proper steps to insulate your woodshop. An outside shop is also vulnerable to the elements. It is not very enjoyable to work in a cold shop in the dead of winter either.
Accessibility is a big issue when you are considering a shop space. Think about the types of materials you will be working with. Are you going to need to get 4 x 8 sheets of plywood into your workshop? It is very important that you have a large access window or door into your shop where you can get wood in and finished projects out.
Setting up a shop
It is best if you are able to plan ahead before you set up your shop. It can be very easy to get carried away when you are setting up a shop and throw your tools in with no particular order. However, with a little planning and thought, you will be able to have a well-organized and efficient shop.
Think about things like dust collection. You will create a lot of dust and wood shavings during your construction. However, if you think ahead you will be able to decrease the amount of dust in your shop. Install a dust collection system around the walls of your shop. Another nice to have item would be compressed air piping around the walls. Both of these things are much easier to install before you begin using your shop.
Think about the large items that you will have and plan accordingly. You will need permanent areas for a drill press, a chop saw, a band saw, a planer and jointer, and a table saw. Some items can be mounted on carts with wheels in order to bring them into the working area and roll them out of the way when they are not in use.
The last thing that you will need to think about is also the most important. Safety needs to be a primary consideration when you are planning your shop space. There are a lot of heavy tools that could seriously harm someone, and you will need to be responsible to take the necessary steps to prevent any accidents. Installing a sub-panel in your shop is an excellent idea because you can simply lock-out the electricity to your shop when you are not there. It is also very important to have a door that locks securely, and remember to lock the door! Also, have a cordless phone or cell phone handy in case you injure yourself and need medical assistance.
Having your own home woodshop is a great thing. The convenience of your projects will encourage you to get out there and build. With a little bit of planning, you will be able to create an amazing space that will serve you well and that you will enjoy spending time in.