View Full Version : Need help setting up a small workshop
Alice in Michigan
05-24-2001, 02:53 PM
Well, I am sick of working out of my cramped little Florida room and getting sawdust all over my house so I've decided to have my garage wired and move everything out there. It's just a little one-car garage and I'll have to share it with the lawnmower and some other stuff but it's still a lot bigger than what I've got now.
My problem is in planning the layout of everything. The electrician wants -- rightly so -- a floorplan. I've been looking at different layout ideas in magazines and books but I'm hoping that someone out there has the same sort of workshop situation and can give me some good advice or -- better yet! -- send me a picture of their setup.
I'm presently trying to work it out on graph paper, drawing my tools to scale. (I'm so low-tech.) Any advice/pics would be greatly appreciated.
05-24-2001, 03:27 PM
Alice; the following url is to a share ware shop design / layout program. Its very basic but free, I've been using it for a couple of years and enjoy playing with it. It will save you alot of time if you have a clone pc not a mac.
Hope this helps
PS if this doesn't work for some reason go to my private inbox or send me an e-mail and I will send you the file, it an 833k zip.
05-24-2001, 05:49 PM
Alice - I undersatnd your situation, I use to work out of a 9x10 shed so I totaly feel for you. I have seen a lot of posts on setting up a new shop. With most one suggestion is to space receptacles one every 6 ft so as to avoid using extension cords. also keep the receptacles 4' from the floor. Also you may want to consider a couple of overhead drop cords. you should also have a 220 volt line installed for your tablesaw and an extra 220 for future tools.With the lighting issue it's suggested to use flourescent along with incandescent. I beleive there is more info on this topic at the wood magazine website.
IRISH PRAIRIE ROOSTER (Guest)
05-24-2001, 07:58 PM
i have worked with electrical for over 30 years and know some about wireing.you may want to ask the person doing the work about installing some individual circuits.one run of romex from your loadcenter to a box for a receptical.us (http://receptical.us)e these plugins for your heavyest loads.depending on codes where you live these circuits could be converted to 240 volt recepticals later should you later on need 240v there.
When I first set up I was only in 1/2 the garage. I had almost all the tools moble. My table saw was in the middle of the shop so I could opent the door if I was running long boards. I had the planer on a role around tool chest. I wish I had some pic's but I have spread out and taken over the whole garage. There are alot of pics out there on small shop layouts. If you haven't check this page out http://www.woodmagazine.com/shops/ they have some good stuff. Good luck I know it is alot of work to get it set up. I thought mine was set up and but I am going to do some changes when I get this table completed. I need another work bench.
D for Dusty
05-25-2001, 07:27 AM
Good morning Alice...
My shop measures 13x16 that i utilize now..The other part of the basement is off limits but available if i had to spread out for a particular project. I laid something on the pingpong table one day...ooops..didnt go over big. So I had to punish my son for being a wise guy!! I will take a picture of what I have so far (maybe this weekend). I have my router and table, workbench, another table with a hand mitersaw on it along with the hand power tools..Its not greatly organized but will be better as soon as I get more shelves built. My table saw is out in the garage where it will stay for now..Im thinking about moving my router upstairs to the garage also..It make a heck of a mess, worse than the tablesaw.
05-25-2001, 09:22 AM
One piece of advice I'd give for shop layout is to 'think angular.' If the tablesaw is set in the middle of the space, and allowed ten feet on each side for clearance, it eats up your space. If it can be angled to allow infeed and outfeed to come and go to the corners of the room, or out a garage door. Same thing with a floor drill press...angle it. Chop saws and RAS almost always go against a wall, with long tables usable for other things like assemblies or glue up racks (protecting your tabletop, of course.) Likewise lathes...against the wall. Benches, often centered for walk around, and don't forget some kind of assembly table, low for cabinet work and with a power strip attached to it. You'll be surprised how essential it is once you have it, separate from the bench. An overhead power plug is good for using the router near the bench so you don't have cords at your feet. You said you've been into books and magazines....do you have Sandor Nagyzsalanski's 'Setting Up Shop?' -Barb S.
05-26-2001, 12:12 PM
Irish Prairie Rooster -- may I ask your opinion of installing GFI type outlets?
05-27-2001, 10:49 PM
Edfan - Hi leonard here I hope I'm not intruding, but I couldn't help it. On the subject of GFI recptacles the national electric code states that they must be installed in all non-living spaces(ex: basements, attics, outdoor workshops, garageshops ect.).As of 2002 the code will change. there is a new GFI recptacles that also monitors for spark as well. This recptacle will have to installed in all living spaces in new construction.
IRISH PRAIRIE ROOSTER (Guest)
05-27-2001, 10:56 PM
ground fault circuit interrupters gfci should be installed according to the electrical codes in your area
gfis will trip off sooner than a regular breaker and will give you better protection
Edfan, I'll butt in also with a reply. As Leonard and IPR have already said, GFCI is required by code in a basement or garage. Be aware, however, that this does NOT mean that every outlet must be a GFCI type of outlet; rather, the FIRST outlet (closest to the breaker box) on a given wire run should be GFCI. If the GFCI outlet is wired correctly, it provides protection to all the outlets "downstream."
GFCI is more than just a "faster circuit breaker." They really do different things. A circuit breaker trips when a given current load is exceeded through the "hot" wire, whether due to a short circuit or simply to too many devices being used at one time. A GFCI is much smarter, but different: It does not trip when too much current is pulled -- it does NOT replace a regular circuit breaker -- but rather it ensures that the current flowing through the "hot" wire is identical (within a few milliamps) of the current flowing through the neutral. The point of this is that you could easily be killed or injured by, lets say, 15 amps of power flowing through the hot wire, through your body, and into a wet concrete floor -- without ever tripping the circuit breaker. Such a situation WOULD trip a GFCI, however.
Hope this helps!
05-29-2001, 07:41 PM
Monitors for spark? I hadn't heard a thing about this! Could you point me toward a web site with more info? Should I be replacing residential outlets?
05-29-2001, 07:43 PM
I tend to do more than is required. If my brain says a thing is a safety improvement, I'll go ahead and do it. Electrocution and fire are two things I think deserve WAY BIG attention.
05-29-2001, 07:49 PM
After getting one installed in a remodeled bath, I'm thinking of replacing every outlet. Might as well, it's just not that expensive. For $7 a room, why hesitate? But I just found out in an earlier message there's a new type of GFI outlet around. Now I must investigate some more.
05-29-2001, 08:00 PM
>Edfan - Hi leonard here I
>hope I'm not intruding, but ...
No such thing, Leonard, I'm glad for all hints, tips and war stories on this.
05-30-2001, 05:00 AM
Edfan - Give me a little time to dig up the information on GFCI recptaclesand I'L get back to you.
05-30-2001, 05:36 AM
EDFAN - The recptaple I was referring to is an arch-fault circuit interrupter. It's my understanding that this devise is going to mandated for new construction only starting on January 1,2002. It wiil be for all 125 volt, single phase, 15 and 20 amp recptacle outlets in a dwelling unit bedrooms. If you go to www.forums.woodnet.net (http://www.forums.woodnet.net) you can read the entire post on GFCI recptacles and ARCH-FAULT INTERRUPTER recptacles.
Hope this helps to clear things up.