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Turning* Shop

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Michael Giery, Jan 6, 2021.

  1. Michael Giery

    Michael Giery

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    Location (City & State):
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    My wife and I are about to begin construction on a new home in March and I will finally have a designated work shop off the side of the garage. I have read and re read all sorts of threads about shop size but would specifically like this forums opinion. As the title indicates this will be strictly for turning, I have access to a shop with table saws, planers, jointers, etc etc. Currently the plan is 20x12 and I will be storing most wood outside. The major tools will be a lathe, bandsaw, grinder station mounted on workbench, dust collection system and then I'll have an 8x4 project table and the back wall (12ft wide) will have a workbench with storage above and below.

    Easy answer is "always bigger!" but I'm afraid the budget is what it is, so I am interested to hear if you all think this will work for a turning shop.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Personally I think I could fill up a 3 car garage, but efficient storage and organization may not be my strongest suits.

    One suggestion I would make, though, is to make sure you have at least one wide door at grade level (preferably no or minimal threshhold) for getting heavy items in and out.
     
  3. egsiegel

    egsiegel

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    my shop is 12 X 25 with some odd placed doors and a post in the middle.
    I have 2 lathes (16x42 and a mini), bandsaw, drill press, small table saw that I roll out, workbench, and some other tools on wheels that I don't use much (jointer, mitresaw, etc).
    you will have plenty of room for a turning focused shop in your space.
     
  4. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    I converted our detached one car garage into my shop. A few things that make mine work more efficiently that I didn't think of when I started and have evolved to over the years.

    - overhead garage doors on both ends. I can open up both ends, get out my blower and blow the sawdust and debris out one end or the other, depending on wind direction. Very handy for cleanup after I sweep and vacuum since I can blow off the shelves, racks, tables, etc.

    - plan for chip accumulation and don't build shelves or spaces where they will just pile up and be hard to clean up. My lathe sits at one end of the shop across the opening so easy to sweep up the big chip piles right into the wheelbarrow outside the door.

    - take full advantage of wall space and overhead space for storage - cabinets, hooks, shelves, etc. I've migrated a ton of stuff up onto the walls.

    - decide early on where you want your lighting and how much.

    - decide on the design for your dust collection early. I had to redesigned mine more times than I can remember. My dust collection is two stage with a garbage can separator and then the exhaust from the motor goes up the wall and outside through the soffit. No filter bags or filters to clean.
     
  5. Timothy Allen

    Timothy Allen

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    I have a 12x28 space (half of our garage), but a lot of that is used up with "other" storage, that's not really part of my turning shop. Within maybe 12x16 of that space, I have my lathe, dust collector, band saw, drill press, bench with grinders, tool and accessory storage cabinets (drawers), and a lot of wood....
     
  6. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    It is a shop that is smaller than mine, but I have seen people work wonders with fitting full shops into small spaces. For a shop, I would plan it so you could convert it to another part of the garage in the future if you want, so front side framing could be removed and roll up garage door can be installed later. I would want a level floor. I would want an entry door towards the driveway, probably 4 or more feet wide, which may mean you might have to get one of the French/double wide doors, and I would go with full length windows in the doors for light. I would go with at least 2 windows in the sides, and one in the back. You might want to consider a door in the back, and one as an entry from your garage in case the weather is nasty and you don't want to walk outside. If you go with a low slope roof, you may need to have to go with metal. If possible, consider running any dust collector pipes in the rafters rather than at ceiling level as it will give you more ceiling room. You can leave the ceiling 'unfinished', but insulation up against the roof. Electrical advice would be to have more in there than you 'think' you will need... Who knows what other hobbies you may start up......

    robo hippy
     
  7. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    Sounds terrific, but if you’re starting with a 12x20’ space, a 4x8 project table is going to take up a lot of room. I’d love such a table if I was planning on building lots of cabinets and furniture, but otherwise I’d think a bit smaller (narrower?) would be more practical. Just my $.02. Enjoy the planning!
     
  8. Dave Bunge

    Dave Bunge

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    Your 12' x 20' space should be plenty big enough for a lathe centered shop. My shop is 11' x 19'. I have a Powermatic lathe, dust collector, bandsaw, drill press, table saw, grinder mounted on a chopped down mechanics cart, 2'x4' shelving unit, and 30" x 6 ft bench in my shop. Plus a few piles of stuff that just seems to accumulate. Casters are your friend.
     
  9. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Tall ceilings (9' or 10'). Multiple 20 amp circuits. Separate circuit for lights.
    Wooden floor?
     
  10. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    My shop is smaller than that. You can survive but it might be a bit crowded. I have wood in the shop and some in a storage building.
     
  11. Russell Nugent

    Russell Nugent

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    Dont forget to account for drying rough turned pieces(if you do that) that takes up a lot of space.
     
    odie likes this.
  12. Michael Giery

    Michael Giery

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    Thank you for the responses. Sounds like I can keep the plans as is (it’d be an uphill battle to convince the boss otherwise!). I have attached a picture of it which I guess I should have done beforehand. It will have a 10’ ceiling and concrete floor.
     

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  13. Tim Connell

    Tim Connell

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    Good points above, but I'd like to reiterate the comment on the 4x8 "project" table. Don't do it. 4' is too large to reach across and at least half that table will turn into to nothing but space to lay and stack things. I started woodworking as a hand tool worker, and most recommend 24" for the width of a hand tool bench. Mine is 30" by 84" and I wish I'd cut it down a couple inches in depth. Even at 30 inches, the last few inches are unreachable without bending over, and it just takes up space. I would also strongly consider shortening the length of the bench unless you plan working on projects that are 8' long.

    If there will always be 2 people working from both sides of the bench, I might consider something that wide/long, but otherwise it will just be wasted space.

    If you want that large of a bench because you anticipate using it for different " workstations" where you will permanently set up for different tasks, I would encourage you to make several smaller benches/spaces dedicated to those tasks.

    In addition to the above mentioned reasons, I would get very tired of constantly walking around that bench to get from one part of the shop to another.
     
  14. Glenn Lefley

    Glenn Lefley

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    Make your project table a fold down 3 x7 table you buy at Costco. In that size of shop a 4 x 8 dedicated table is way to big. IMHO.
     
  15. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Have you considered using the attic in the garage for storage? Put some plywood decking down above your garage and install a set of steps or a pull down ladder to access the attic. This might gain you work space in your shop area and provide an indoor storage area for some of your equipment, tools, materials not used regularly. If you had a tall enough roof on your garage you could actually have your shop on the 2nd floor and have about the same work space area and have storage areas where the roof line drops down to the walls. My nephew built a large shop for his work trucks and car racing trailers and he built a storm shelter in the floor of the building, it has concrete stairs going down to the room, you can also park a vehicle over the stairwell and have access to work on the undercarriage of the vehicle, change oil etc. Many people these days are building small freight lift elevators to move materials to and from the garage attic, these are simple to build and makes it easy to move materials or access the garage attic with the push of a button. Several videos on YouTube show the mechanics of the system.
     
  16. Hugh

    Hugh

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    When you say that you will be storing your wood outside. I would make sure that area had a cement floor and some sort of roof over the top of it.
    My biggest problem is "storing wood" or roughouts. If you get into the roughout part of bowl making......you need a place to dry them and store them.
    I used to store them on the floor. A friend of mine (cabinet maker) fixed my shop up and put a shelf in 2' down from the ceiling around 1/3 of my shop. Stores a lot of rough outs.
    Also, when I built the shop, I had them build it with 9 foot ceiling.
    Another storage thought is to have the rafters made on the stout side and create a storage area in the attic.
     
  17. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Wow! 12X20. Twice the size of my shop. I, too, am puzzled about the 4X8 table, especially since you're also planning a 12' workbench. My 18"X36" workbench gives me enough space to fuss with 1 bowl or box at a time, but I don't decorate stuff.
     
  18. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    Location (City & State):
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    My shop is 24 X 36 with 10' ceilings. Two things if I did it again I'd go with 8' ceilings (heating a lot of unused space up there). Secondly I would go at least another 12' to 48' (you never have enough room).
     
    odie likes this.
  19. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Gee, I have 8' ceilings and I wish they were 10' :).

    Here is another thought about ceilings, which may or may not be relevant to you. Somewhere on here a little while ago we had a discussion about using joists as an attachement point for a hoist to use when assembling heavy equipment or lifting heavy logs. The point was made that ceiling joists are not designed or rated for these sorts of load. So I would look at putting in at least one pair of "heavy joists" that could--or I'd try to come up wth some other plan to allow me to lift the heavy things in this hobby by myself.
     
  20. Lawrence Duckworth

    Lawrence Duckworth

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    howz this for bragging:D
    make it big enough for a pandemic shuffle board court...
     

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  21. Ricc Havens

    Ricc Havens

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    odie likes this.
  22. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    20 x 12 for only turning - thats huge, plenty of room. Hope you have heating and cooling included. Ditch the 8’x4’ table, makes no sense, even for segmented turning unless you do some incredibly large projects. Benches are good but nothing over 20” wide. Some folding tables are very useful, there when needed, gone when not. Agree with designing for chip sweep up and removal. Windowed doors are great, but careful with other windows. Most shops end up with walls covered with shelves or stuff hanging - windows reduce available space. One off the end of the lathe, out of the line of fire, would be nice. Use a floor layout planner, Grizzly has one online, to work out the shop layout.
     
    odie likes this.
  23. odie

    odie

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    Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
    My shop is 2/3 of a three car garage. I use every square inch of available space. If I were to give advice.....give yourself more space for your shop than you think you'll need. Believe me......eventually, you'll use it all, and wish you had more!:D

    -----odie-----
    shop photos november 7 2020  (59).JPG shop photos november 7 2020  (21).JPG
     
  24. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    need dust free area for finishing....nice to have photos area.....a drawer to dry fresh turned turning with no air flow a must
     
    odie likes this.
  25. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Well, for your work bench, if you use a 30 inch wide piece of plywood for a bench area, the cut off would be an 18 inch wide shelf. If you go for 24 inches, you could get 2 12 inch side shelves. Looking at your shop plan, you will have a hard time fitting that into the space you have. I would suggest doing a drawing of the shop area, then scaled pieces to represent your lathe, workbench, drill press, bandsaw, and dust collector and experiment with placement, keeping in mind how much room you need for moving around them. It looks like you have a roll up type door for the front. That may or may not work well. The sliding type barn doors are now very popular, but I don't think they seal well. An overhead roll up door takes up a lot of ceiling space. My shop was designed so my turning room could be converted into a garage if some one wants to when my birth certificate expires some day... You could still frame in for the roll up door, but inside that, frame in a man door and window. Your weather is fairly mild down there, except for summers which get hot and humid. Might want to consider air conditioning....

    robo hippy
     
    odie likes this.
  26. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    "My shop is so small, I have to outside to change my mind."
     
  27. stu senator

    stu senator

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    Your "STUFF" will expand to fit the available space, no matter the available space. ( a law of nature)

    You will set up an optimum shop and in a few months (perhaps days) you will want to change it.
    ( another law of nature)

    There are a lot of these laws of nature.

    Stu
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
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  28. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Keep the male and female items separated as they tend to multiply in the dark. Get up the next morning and there is a new bowl gouge!
     
    Lars Hansen likes this.
  29. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    And then there's the call of nature. How close are the facilities?
     
    Dennis Weiner likes this.
  30. Kevin Jesequel

    Kevin Jesequel

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    And here i am throwing good money at adopting new gouges, while I could have been breading them all along!
     
    Lars Hansen likes this.
  31. stu senator

    stu senator

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    I wish. perhaps I should just throw them in a drawer rather then putting them in a hole in a rack.

    Stu
     
  32. Hugh

    Hugh

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    I thought about ceiling height again. This is what morning walks are for.
    I have 9' ceiling. Made them that height so I could stand a sheet of plywood up on end if I wanted to.
    The more I think about it......I should have gone for 10' ceilings. More room to store stuff once the shelf was put in. Still room for a nice wall cabinet to fit too.

    I really like the idea of having a rafter that is heavy enough to use to lift items. I wanted to put in a steel "I" beam and didn't as I was too cheap at the time. Wish I had.

    Also....make sure you put in a wide door somewhere. I have a garage door and love it.
     
  33. Michael Giery

    Michael Giery

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    Location (City & State):
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    All great points. The 8x4 work table is just something I already have, could be modified or ditched completely. The plan was to have a work bench running across the back wall opposite the garage door with a depth yet to be determined and shelving/cabinets above it. The space will be conditioned and I've gone back and forth about windows. Seems like it'd be nice to have the added light but also could see broken glass in the future. A few of you mentioned the Grizzly layout program but seems it is "being updated". Any have a working link for that?
     
  34. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    Those 10' ceilings when I was in my 50s were easy enough to get a 20 or 25 pound piece up an 8' ladder to put it on a shelf 1 or 1 1/2 feet fro the ceiling but now in my 70s going up that 8' ladder is a whole new ball game where sometime now I feel like I could trip over a sheet of paper:p Believe me there is stuff on all 4 walls that I need that 8' ladder to get to.
     
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  35. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    The Grizzly shop planner is currently unavailable, Flash support was discontinued by google. Grizzly is working on a working version. 3 suggestions - search for another shop planner or house layout planner, or create something in ms powerpoint (what I would probably use), or do it with paper and cut outs. Its worth the time to do it.
     
  36. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    Location (City & State):
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    I love having windows. My previous shop was 30’ X 56’ without windows. when I built this shop 30’ X 50’ I didn’t want to feel like I was “locked” in. I installed 3 windows. The only window that I had broken was when the tree trimmer was removing a dead cherry tree right next to my building. He could have been more careful in his methods. Also in my 70’s, I have a drywall lift to put things on my shelves. I have 12’ ceiling. Another thing, I put ceiling tiles in this shop. It does help with the heat (I don’t have ac). My real luxury is I installed a 1/2 bath in this shop. I have water and a toilet. I really appreciate that as I don’t track chips in the house.
     
  37. Kevin Jenness

    Kevin Jenness

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    Location (City & State):
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    Many good suggestions here, especially about planning the layout on paper or computer but also plan for changes. More space is better, but available funds will rule. 12 x 20 will suffice with good habits and use of wall space for storage. Ditch the 4 x 8 table and build a big overhang into the roof or a small shed for outside storage

    Your style may vary, but I really like being able to turn on the far side of my lathe and having the access for cleanup and tool storage on the wall there. I have about a 3' clearance at the ends and back.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
    Timothy Allen likes this.
  38. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    4X8 worktable. Saw a project of a table that had folding legs and attached to the wall. However, one can only work from one side.
     
  39. Lawrence Duckworth

    Lawrence Duckworth

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    it's a bit pricey, but this may be one of the best things Ive done for myself. I enlarged the table dimension slightly with a plywood top so my legs fit under ez'r when detailing something.
    makes for a great table with adjustable heights and can roll things in and out of the back of a pickup, lift heavy stuff to bench, lathe, etc.

    https://www.uline.com/BL_1821/Manual-Lift-Tables
     
  40. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    If you want to layout a floor plan you can use Microsoft Excel and change the cell format to an equal width and height and start with an outline of the shop foot print and block out cells for each piece of equipment, work benches and tables. Each of the cells can represent a specific measurement of inches or feet and you can start with a blank template with the foot print of the shop and save that file to make multiple variations in your shop design. Whenever I purchase a new property I usually create a drawing like this and layout the doors, windows, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, sewer, gas, electrical systems, telephone, and cable systems. Laying out a shop floor plan helps in estimating materials and labor for running your electrical outlets, air outlets, and dust collection systems, a scaled drawing like this will save you or a contractor time and money estimating materials and labor as they don't need to walk each job down to get basic measurements for bidding jobs and ordering materials. You can email the drawing to any contractor doing bids or work and this saves them a lot of time and provides a lot of information.
     

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