Are All Shops Too Small?
Issue: Issue 1.06
Posted Date: 7/4/2000
From The Oak
It's an unwritten rule that power tools, stock and the rest of the accoutrements of the woodworking craft will spread out to fill whatever space is available. We don't know too many woodworkers outside of a professional shop who feel like they have anything close to enough room for their hobby. That's why we were pretty sure we heard a collective wince when a beginning woodworker asked advice about building a 15'x15' shop. He asked about the floor, the cost and the electricity needs.
Of course, most of the respondents told him in no uncertain terms that a 15'x15' shop wasn't going to be anywhere near big enough. The first participant points out that you need at least 24 feet of room to rip an 8' piece of plywood comfortably. The original participant quickly agreed to trying a 24'x24' shop since he had 1.5 acres to work with on his property. Another woodworker chimed in saying that, on the advice of the group, he built a 24'x56' shop and that it didn't cost much more than a 24'x24' one.
Others agreed that bigger was better and also told him to add these features:
- 220V electricity and lots of outlets
- High ceilings
- Space for a dust collector
- Space for wood storage
One respondent summed it up pretty well when he wrote "do yourself a favor and build your shop twice as big (30'x30'). That way, after you've worked in it a while, you'll only be wishing you'd built it twice that size instead of 8 times that size." Many of the participants also recommended The Workshop Book by Scott Landis.