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

The first step when setting up a woodworking shop is deciding where it will be located. For those with access to a garage, basement, or shed, it’s a matter of choosing which one is more convenient. If you’re planning to turn a spare room inside your home into a woodworking area, it takes a little more planning.

The first step when setting up a woodworking shop in your home is deciding where it will be located. For those with access to a garage, basement, or outdoor shed, it’s just a matter of choosing which one is more convenient. If you’re planning to turn a spare room inside your home into a woodworking area, that involves a little more planning. When choosing the location, there are several things you must keep in mind, starting with the type of projects you plan to do and when you plan to do them. Consider the things on the following checklist when deciding on the location:

  • What type of projects will you be doing?
  • What time of day or night will you be working on them?
  • How close is your woodworking shop to your neighbor’s home?
  • What will the level of noise be?
  • Will your neighbors be disturbed by the noise of a saw?
  • Do you have access to proper power outlets?
  • If the workshop is outside, can you secure it against intruders?

Convenience, Organization, and Efficiency

A man standing by a workbench with tools and a piece of wood.

Your woodworking shop is a place for relaxation that should not promote stress—just creativity. With that in mind, keeping things organized and having a place where everything belongs will promote an enjoyable work environment. The best way to ensure projects run smoothly and you can find tools and accessories when you need them is by setting up the workspace in a logical order. This means using the space to the max through placement, organization, and no wasted space. Begin the planning process by sketching a layout of the way the woodworking shop should be organized for the optimum in accessing the machinery, ease of use, power outlets, and utilization of space. Try different layouts to see which one is the most effective.

Putting it all Together

A pegboard with tools hanging on it.

Whether you build your own or plan to buy an already constructed workbench and worktable, measure the height from the floor to where it is most comfortable for you to work. An approximate measurement is about 33 inches high for a table saw and a little less for a workbench. Make sure to buy or make a workbench with drawers to hold accessories and items that can't be hung on the wall.

To keep small items in place and out of the way, include a long pegboard for the wall to hang items such as saw blades. This is not only convenient, but it saves space in drawers and the items are visible so there's no hunting through compartments to find a hammer. Drawers and compartments are best suited for items like drill bits, nails, screws, etc.

Next, consider a worktable that mounts to the wall and is fitted with front fold-out legs. When you need it, simply pull it open from the wall. The legs drop down and create a sturdy work area. When you're finished, fold the table back against the wall and secure with latches. This is a space saver. Any organization steps you put in place will make your projects more efficient.

Comfort

Two things are important to any working area: ventilation and foot comfort for extended standing. It's great if the room has a central heat and air unit, but you're going to have a lot of sawdust and particles in the air. If you use varnish for projects, you'll need fresh air. For this reason, the work area needs access to ventilation to dispel dust and fumes. Place and secure a standard fan in front of an open window to circulate the air. If the room has no window, open the door and let fresh air circulate. Regardless of whether you do or don't have a fan, it's important to vacuum frequently to remove the dust particles.

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