How to Set Up a Woodworking Shop in Your Home How to Set Up a Woodworking Shop in Your Home

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Graph paper
Set of drafting materials
Computer Aided Design (CAD) software
Basic table saw
Miter saw
Drill press
Band saw
Router

Setting up a woodworking shop in your home requires some careful thought and planning. Will you be using a basement, garage or outdoor shed? Consider the projects you will be building. Will you build small jewelry or cigar boxes, or will you build hobby horses and small furniture? Will your wife want you to build her a newly designed set of kitchen cabinets and drawers?

Step 1 - Draw and Plan Your Woodworking Shop

Using either a set of drafting materials or CAD software, map out your concept of a woodworking shop on paper, preferably 1-by-1-inch graph paper where a 1-inch square represents 1 foot of floor space. Using either the CAD program icons or cutouts of cardboard pieces, estimate the sizes of the machinery (table, miter or band saw) and place them on the graph paper or CAD program until you decide upon a satisfactory placement of all the shop’s components.

Step 2 - Aim for Convenience

In deciding how to set up a woodworking shop, you should aim for convenience and ease of work flow so that the shop is efficient and effective. Ensure that wood is stored at the beginning of the work flow sequence. Next place the table saw, followed by the miter saw in a logical sequence. These two machines will do the primary cutting of pieces for all the shop’s projects. Arrange other shop machinery, workbenches and hand tools in compartmental stages as the project flows thorough the woodworking shop to completion.

Step 3 - Consider Tool Compartments

An important consideration for your convenience, as well as for the efficiency of your woodworking shop, is to make the shop work for you. A good way to do this is to build stations and workbenches for each shop tool and its function. This will include the tool attachments such as saw blades, drill or router bits, and other necessary accessories. For example, consider building a router table, complete with doors and drawers to house dust collection for the router and shelves for its accessories and router bits.

Step 4 - Separate the Work Stations

Deciding how to set up a woodworking shop in your home will also require thoughtful consideration of work stations that will not interfere with each other. An example of this is the sanding and finishing area. Build a work table or bench specifically for sanding finished projects. Attach a vacuum or dust collection device to this station so you will not have to contend with sawdust collecting or scattering to the rest of the shop. Build drawers to hold sanders, sand paper, files and any other materials for shaping or finishing your woodworking projects.

Step 5 - Install a Finishing Station

Design a finishing station where you will clean finished projects and begin to apply a stain or final finish (such as varnish, tung oil or shellac). Cabinets or drawers in this area should house stains, varnishes, and finishing steel wool or fine sandpaper.

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