The Woodworking Shop
Layout for Efficiency!

In an ideal shop, the woodworking shop layout is crucial.

A Woodworking shop layout should work smoothly and efficiently. However, in most shops that I've seen, planning is lacking. With all the machines and materials required for a project, a shop can get crowded and cramped.

All it takes is a little planning. You can make your shop layout for woodworking efficient!
The key to planning is to think about how a typical project "flows" through the shop. Then establish an area for each part of the process.

Workshop Layout for Woodworking

Stock Preparation

When I begin a Shop project, it's handy to have an area to resize pieces into manageable ones. I position equipment for stock preparation (like a Table Saw, Thickness Planer, and Miter Saw) close to each other.

Joinery and Shape

Once the stock is flat, straight, and square, the next step is to cut the joints and shape the pieces. To make this go smoothly, I position the Router Table, Band Saw, and Drill Press near each other. I like to have my workbench nearby. Some of my joinery jigs are attached to the workbench.

Woodworking Finishing

I can access my workbench from all sides. That makes it more useable. My workbench is near the outfeed table for my Unisaw. It is easy to assemble the project with this large area. And it is easy to apply the finish to all parts.

Paper Planning

Rather than dragging heavy tools across the floor, I plan the shop on paper first. Just draw a floor plan of your shop to scale. Then cut paper templates of your tools to scale and positioning them around the "shop." One thing that can make a small shop work "big" is to organize tools by groups.

Woodworking Shop Layout

Space Requirements

While your equipment may look properly spaced on paper, wait before moving them into place. Remember, each machine has its own space requirements. This isn't the visible "footprint" of the machine. It's the extra space needed so the work piece that feeds in (or out) of one machine doesn't bump into another one. Example: My tablesaw is situated so that I have ample room on all sides.

Workshop Equipment Overlap

One way to provide extra space is to overlap the infeed and outfeed areas of two machines. For example, position your Thickness Planer so the outfeed passes in front of the Table Saw. I custom made an outfeed Table for my Unisaw. The Thickness Planer is set up at the same height to out feed wood onto the tablesaw Outfeed Table. In addition, I added a support table to the front of my Thickness Planer. That provides support for long pieces on my Miter Saw, as well as my Planer.

Woodworking Shop Layout

Woodworking Shop Layout
For Storage

Finally, you will need storage for tools and lumber. My outfeed table has storage for surplus wood. My workbench has storage for tools. Both are relatively close together.

All of these ideas make your Woodworking Shop Layout more efficient.

A shop about the size of a single car garage is more efficient when work flows from one area to another.

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