ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ideas for Building a Workshop

Updated on February 26, 2014
My workshop design plans
My workshop design plans | Source

Ideas for Building a Workshop

Whether you build a new house, buy an older house, or rent a place, you will need to have some basic tools. For the least handy among us, a toolbox may be sufficient. However, most of us not only need a place to store our tools but an area to work as well. The two most common areas to build a workshop are in the garage and in the basement. I prefer the garage because you do not have to carry your project supplies through the house. In addition, you will not be adding all of that sawdust to the air in your house. Another benefit to using the garage is the ability to open the garage door to let in fresh air. One draw back is that most garages are not temperature controlled.

Organized workshop with a lot of storage space
Organized workshop with a lot of storage space | Source
Organized workshop with a lot of storage space
Organized workshop with a lot of storage space | Source

Decisions to be Made When Designing a Workshop

There are several decisions that need to be made before you develop your plans for a workshop.

  • How many cars fit in your garage?
  • Are you planning to park any cars in the garage?
  • Is there enough room to build a permanent work area?
  • How much storage do I need for tools? Scrap wood?
  • Do you need run a new electrical circuit?
  • Do you need to add more outlets?
  • Do you need to add more lighting?

Answering these questions will allow you to develop the right plan for your workshop. Also, it will help you to determine the cost of building your workshop. Remember, the most important part of designing a workshop is to make it as functional as possible. Another tip that I would add is to make sure that you have enough workshop storage. There is nothing worse than a messy workshop that has to be cleaned up before it can be used.


Using retractable wheels on your workbench

Mobile Work Areas

For a one car garage or garages that do not have a lot of extra room, I would suggest making your workshop as mobile as possible. Purchase at least two folding tables that can be set up when you want to work and fold down flat when they are not in use. You can also build a folding workbench that hangs on the wall and swings out on hinges when you want to use it. Another good idea is to put your tools on carts that can be pulled out when needed and pushed back to store.

Here is a book with more workshop ideas

Building a Workbench for your Garage

Permanent Work Areas

For permanent areas, measure the space that you plan to use for your workshop. Draw your workshop design plans on a piece of graph paper or use an Excel (or another spreadsheet program) to make your own graph paper. You can also draw out your plans in Excel if you are comfortable using the drawing tools. Be sure to include enough countertop area that you can. I suggest building two workbench areas. You can either frame out and build a workbench on your own or pickup unfinished bathroom or kitchen cabinets to make your workbenches out of. The top of the work area should be constructed of at least ½ inch MBF or plywood.

My dream tablesaw set up with a router attachment on the rightside.
My dream tablesaw set up with a router attachment on the rightside. | Source

Suggested Tools

Having the right tools makes all of the difference in woodworking. Apart from the obvious basic tools that every homeowner should have, here are the tools that I would suggest any woodworker have:

  • Quality table saw
  • Router with router table
  • Band saw
  • Drill Press
  • Cordless Drill
  • Oscillating Sander
  • Drum Sander
  • Disc Sander
  • Lathe
  • Joiner
  • Plainer

I know that this is a big list and may take several years or more to acquire all of these tools. This is an ideal list, you can manage with basic tools, but these tools make life a lot easier. I am still saving to purchase a joiner and a plainer.

Personal Example: My Garage Workshop

I built my workshop over several years in the third bay of our garage. My dad and brother helped me run a new circuit and a few new electrical outlets in the third bay. On the back wall, I bought five floor cabinets and put them up against each other and the wall. I fastened a ½ inch plywood top to the cabinets. On the other, longer wall, I built a workbench from plans that I saw in a magazine that includes a shelf that allows my chop saw to sit flush with the workbench top. Underneath I build another shelf to store scrap wood and a few tools. I hung pegboard on each wall over the workbenches to increase the storage space. I have two folding tables that I use in the middle of the other two bays when I need the extra working space. For extra lighting, I added two clip-on lamps at the top of the pegboard, one for each workbench. I also installed an infrared heater with a halogen lamp over the area that I work at the most. Of course, I had to add a TV and a radio to make the workshop even more functional.

A garage is a great place for a workshop. There are unlimited workshop ideas to choose from. Check out what others have done and combine any ideas that you like with your own. Build your workshop to fit your needs and style.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      I love the idea of having a dedicated workspace, and have always admired the workshops I've seen in neighbors' and friends' garages and sheds. Perhaps I'll have one of my own someday.... sigh!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Excellent. Since it was once my business, I have all these tools, and this is a great Hub!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)