Creating Your Workshop

There are many ways to make a workshop for your woodworking projects. Most people who dabble into woodworking as a hobby choose to create their workshops in their own homes. This is the place where they feel most relaxed at the end of the day. They usually convert a part of their garage, a spare room, their attic, or they build a covered shed in their backyard where they store all their equipment and woodworking plans.

Other people still choose to build a separate place or rent a spare room or a unit to convert into their workshop, however this takes a lot of resources and money to maintain. Usually those who plan to make a business out of woodworking opt for this kind of setup.

Here are some steps to help you create your ideal workspace for your woodworking needs.

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Step 1. Choosing Your Shop Space

In choosing your shop space you have to consider the area of the space you would like your workshop to be placed. It is recommended that a good space for woodworking should have a flexible space where you can move around freely even while you are carrying your tools or materials for your woodworking project and a place where you can store them after. Your area of the room should be wide enough to accommodate materials such a wood boards and full sized flat sheets that are at least eight feet or longer. Having good plumbing and a heat source is also advisable.

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Note the position of the doors and windows. The entry and exit point of your workshop should be accessible and wide enough to allow easy movements of your materials and tools in or out of the room. The width of your doors should be at least 32 inches or more since standard machines for woodworking occupy a width within that measurement.

The space you choose should also include good lighting and ventilation. A bright, well-lit room is essential in a workshop since this would make your work more efficient and accurate. For example, if you are cutting wood inside a bright room you would be able to see the marks made in the wood clearly. A room with sufficient lighting can also help avoid accidents while crafting. Your workspace should have windows and a good ventilation system to circulate fresh air in the room. When crafting with wood, you are going to create saw and wood dust while cutting or shaping the wood. Wood dust is considered carcinogenic and is hazardous to the lungs. Having windows open, or a vent for air circulation, a vacuum, and wearing a mask can prevent any foreign particles from entering your respiratory system while you work.

Lastly, your workshop should have adequate power outlets placed at accessible parts of the room. It is a rule in woodworking that as much as possible, you must only run one power tool at a time. However, it is necessary to have several power outlets be placed in easy to reach places in the workshop. This would avoid any accidents like tripping on extension cords when you move around your workshop.

Step 2. Making a Sketch of your Workspace

Once you have chosen an area or a room to convert into a workshop, make a floor plan sketch of your workshop. Indicate the measurements of the room. This will help you choose the right size of furniture and cabinets to place inside your workshop. Your sketch will also help you to visualize how much space the storage area will take up in your workshop.

Your sketch should also include the location and the measurements of the doors and windows in your workspace. The entry and exit points of your workshop should never be obstructed by tables, cabinets, or power tools. These must be kept unhidden and accessible at any time just in case any accident occurs that needs you to get out of the workshop immediately.

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Include the power outlets and the lights in your sketch. Your worktables and tools should be under a bright light and near power outlets for ease of access.

Once you have drawn your sketch. Label the areas of your workspace. Make sure to have enough space marked for the storage of your materials, and a small space to keep your first aid kit and safety equipment.  Make a list of the tools you will initially need and the tools you will eventually by over the next years. Working with multi-purpose tools will conserve space rather than using single purpose tools. Your list should coincide with the space in your sketch. If it does not fist, then you will have to amend your list. You can update your list from time to time.

Step 3. Cleaning and Renovation

After you have a final sketch and list that you are satisfied with, it is time to actually start setting up your workshop. The first thing you will do in this step is to remove all the items in your workspace that are unnecessary for your woodworking projects. Once you are done with that. Its time to make the room squeaky clean. Remove all the dust particles, cobwebs, and dirt from the room and make sure there is no leak or draft in the room that could make wood moist. Wood can be susceptible to mold and rot when it makes frequent contact with water. Also, check that the power outlets do not have anything lodged inside to avoid accidents or damage to it. Lastly, confirm that the doors and windows should close and open with ease.

After the room is spic and span, its time to bring in the furniture and equipment. Purchase and bring in the furniture and tools according to your list. Follow your sketch when placing your woodworking tools inside the room.

Once you are satisfied with how everything is placed, you can now build furniture plans and start your woodworking projects in your new workshop.


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