Author Topic: Workshop Build Advice  (Read 8836 times)

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Offline WelshWood

  • Posts: 194
    • Welsh Woodworks
Workshop Build Advice
« on: September 13, 2016, 11:43 AM »
Hi guys,

So since going self employed I have had more and more work being done in my current workshop, currently it's 18 x 10ft.

Although its a decent space, it's doing my head in, by the time I have a sheet of 8x4 laying flat, I struggle to maneuver around it as my workbench gets in the way; Therefore, I'm looking to build another.

The plans are currently in the planning stage, but the if it gets accepted, i'd be looking to have a Workshop around 22 x 14ft.

My idea at the moment is to build it out of 4x2 or 6x2 (will have to look at cost difference of timber and insulation to see if it's worthwhile), then clad it with OSB3, water membrane, counterbatten and a timber cladding. All of the above being a pretty straightforward build.

Before I start and come up with my finalised ideas, I'm just looking for any advice from people who have been in the same boat as me and anything that I should be looking out for.

What type of floor to have? Anything you've done to maximize the space? perhaps anything to avoid doing?

Sorry if you think it's a bit of a vague question, but any advice would be massively appreciated!

Many thanks,

TS 55 REBQ-Plus | CXS Li 2,6-Set | CTL Midi Cleantec | BHC 18 Li 5,2-Plus | Carvex PS 420 EBQ-Set | OF 1400 EBQ-Plus | DRC 18/4 Li 5,2-Plus | Domino DF 500 Q-Plus Set | ROTEX RO 125 FEQ-PLUS | Kapex 120 UG-Set, Base Frame & L/R Extensions

Offline Ant

  • Posts: 17
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2016, 06:00 PM »
I was in the same position last year, my old workshop had served me well but with space getting tighter & my new neighbour putting up about 20 birdfeeders & enticing rats to live under my floor I decided to knock down the timber shop & build a new one out of block with a concrete floor. The outside was battened & clad with cedar shingles to hide the block. I know a timber frame is a quicker build but I prefer the solidity of the concrete block walls & floor. If I ever move & have to build another I'd definitely do the same again.

Offline Krkww

  • Posts: 98
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2016, 09:33 PM »
For years I worked out of my garage and just made due with the space I had. Yes it was tight and yes it was inefficient.

Four years ago we moved and I decided to build a dedicated building for my wood shop. Ever since I can remember, a 30'x40' shop has always been on my mind. I laid out that floor to scale and made scale footprints of my tools and those I hoped to aquire. From there I positioned pieces where I thought they would work best for flow and safety. This planning turned out to be very fruitful and I can not recommend it highly enough in your case. "Form follows function". When we flip that around we tend to end up usually on the too small size.

One element of my shop pre planning that I did not consider was a dedicated spray booth since I did not have any spray equipment at the time. Then one day I needed to spray and needed a dedicated space. I ended up making a temporary permanent solution out of clear plastic crammed into the corner of the shop. While it works, planning that element into the footprint would've been very very helpful and I would then have added an extra 8'-10' to the length.

I still love my shop and am very happy with it.

Anyway, hope this helps...
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 10:39 AM by Krkww »

Offline CarolinaNomad

  • Posts: 307
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2016, 11:23 PM »

This guy's videos are informative and fun to watch.

I like the dust collection and outlets in the center of the room near a major tool.

I think radiant floor heating is nice to have for wood working.

Plus one for preplanning tool location and a spray booth. 
Air compressor and dust collection is nice to have in a isolated room with sound proof insulation.

Dont forget the beer or wine refrigerator
resides in NAINA

Offline Ollie

  • Posts: 48
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2016, 03:31 PM »
Hi. I find myself in a similar situation regarding building a new workshop. I have been doing a lot of research into different types of buildings and costs vs performance etc. I found the workshop section of to be very useful indeed. There are a lot of threads regarding planning permision etc and some very in depth build threads. Happy buiding.

Offline bigchas

  • Posts: 315
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2016, 06:12 PM »
I'm in the process of building a house with integral garage 20ft x 20ft. My current "workshop" is a garage 10ft x 16ft which I built its 4 in block with concrete floor and Roughcast on the outside and pitched roof with concrete tiles. I built it 15 years ago for about £1200.
I got blocks that were seconds. I think they'd been put outside in the rain before completely set and were a little rough. Anyway they were about 20p each if I remember. I got the roof tiles from one of those free add papers before gumtree. The timber from the roof came from a shop in Edinburgh that was getting stripped out and an up and over door second hand for £50.

Most recently I've built a shed for storage for the new house build. I've put a strip found with two course of block and concrete floor. 4x2 frame with osb, 10 mm strap and log lap t&g lining to outside. 18mm osb on flat roof deck and Firestone rubber roofing membrane. The only reason to go bigger than 4x2 is for thicker insulation if you use a rock wool slab 6 inch would give a good level. 90mm kingspan would be plenty loads but might be a little dearer. I suppose you need to work out a budget and cost different permutations.

Offline RussellS

  • Posts: 328
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 01:39 PM »
Nothing to add.  Just a comment on your shop sizes.  Now 18x10.  New 22x14.  180 sq ft to 308 sq ft.  An improvement.  But not life shattering.  Is that 22x14 set in stone?  Or can you go bigger but think the 22x14 just fits the space best and looks good?  Seems like a lot of work to build a new building and not maximize the size.

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 512
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2016, 08:46 PM »
My shop is 14x24.  I do woodworking as a hobby and it works fine for me.  I rip up sheet goods using a tracksaw on a 3x7 foot Paulk style workbench.  I use a little Ryobi BT3100 table saw on it's own rolling base.  I have a jointer, drill press (floor), RAS, CMS, lunchbox planner and hollow chisel mortiser (on a flip stop stand).  Also a router table.  I think I can still fit in a bandsaw and a workbench but that will be about it.  I have a rolling cart and wall storage for wood. 

On the one long wall without windows, I have a 12 foot cabinet with lots of drawers for tool and miscellaneous storage.  The CMS and RAS sit on top with their fences aligned.  Another Paulk style worksurface is also on this long bench and has flip stops.  Hardwood storage is on pieces of electrical conduit inserted into the doubled 2x4s in the walls.  The walls of the shop are OSB (7/16) skim coated with drywall compound and painted white.  I have a bunch of tools on the walls under the wood storage above the counter type.   

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2016, 07:28 AM »
You all are inspiring me.
Thinking of a 5x3(M) shed , 16' x 10'. Maybe with a 10' roll up garage door on one side.

How important is the floor without any heavy tools?

Offline Carquest

  • Posts: 35
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2016, 07:51 AM »
Man's ability to build shop space is only surpassed by man's ability to fill up said shop space [big grin] I have a 32x30 that I use for everything, and constantly wish I had that much space again. Plenty of cabinets and storage is the key, in my opinion.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2016, 07:54 AM »
Man's ability to build shop space is only surpassed by man's ability to fill up said shop space [big grin] I have a 32x30 that I use for everything, and constantly wish I had that much space again. Plenty of cabinets and storage is the key, in my opinion.

But I have a wife...

Offline Carquest

  • Posts: 35
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2016, 07:57 AM »
Lol, which is one reason I don't have another shop and make do with what I have. I would suggest concrete floor definitely, if your budget allows, just makes moving and positioning items so much easier.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2016, 08:35 AM »
I was thinking a springy floor, and more of a small Haus design (portable) with timber structure and maybe a clear roof (Danpalon), and a roll up door...

Offline clark_fork

  • Posts: 307
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2016, 09:44 AM »

If I had to build again:

1. Add loft or second story for storage. Install ceiling hoist for heavy items
2. Have covered storage area outside for safe wood storage
3. Have raised wood floor and put electrical, air connections and dust piping under the floor. Wood flooring is easier to take on the back and feet. Adequate two season heating and cooling.
4. Dedicated finish room.
5. Set aside partitions for noisy dust collection.
6. Sink, counter space and urinal.
7 Built-in sound
8. Well thought out lighting-LED
9. Well placed windows
10. Built-in desk suitable for lap-top, printer and book shelves-wall hung TV-Land line if still using Small refrigerator and plug in place for cell-phone battery charging. First aid station with eye-wash capability.
11. Battery charging station
12. Intercom to dwelling
13. Thought out storage. Think out in advance, storage for rails and systainers.
14. Safe, Vault or locked storage for non-replaceable or super-valuable tools etc.
15. Temporary hiding space for new Festool packages until you can come with a good cover story for the essential need of the purchase.

Lastly. I would refocus the layout from the planer, table saw and jointer location from center to off to the side. The focus would be on a large layout table dedicated to sheet good breakdown and back-to-back MFT/3 tables or equivalent.(Paulk) I am not ready to give up the table saw but the next generation will not likely make the table saw the mainstay of a shop.
Clark Fork

"A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths."  Stephen Wright

"straight, smooth and square" Mr. Russell, first day high school shop class-1954

" What's the good of it?" My Sainted Grandmother

"You can't be too rich, too thin or have too many clamps." After my introduction to pocket joinery and now the MFT work process

"Don't make something unless it is both made necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful,
don't hesitate to make it beautiful." -- Shaker dictum

Offline Rustys

  • Posts: 39
Re: Workshop Build Advice
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2016, 07:20 AM »

Great list, I had most of those items but several I hadn't thought about. I too am looking to down size my living space and upsize my shop space. I bought a Shopsmith to give me more space but it's still tight. Looking to build as big as I can or find a place with an existing shop.