Setting Up Your Very Own Home Workshop
by Jessica Ackerman
If you enjoy working on home do-it-yourself projects or other types of crafts, you probably have a need for a well-designed and supplied home workshop. When you have a dedicated area in which to work, you will not only enjoy your building activities more, but you will be safer and more organized.
Work Space Considerations
The first step in setting up your home workshop is deciding how much space you think you will need. If you have a lot of power tools or other types of equipment, you are going to need much more space than somebody who just needs a place to work with hand tools. Many times an area in the garage or basement is ideal. You'll want to take your heating and cooling needs into consideration, as well as making sure that whatever area you choose has adequate lighting and power sources, proper ventilation, and enough room to not only store but also safely operate all of your tools.
Lighting in the Workshop
You'll need to have adequate lighting in your workshop in order to work safely. One of the most effective and inexpensive solutions for workshop lighting is one or more overhead fluorescent light fixtures. The best type of fluorescent bulb to use is a "full spectrum" bulb, since that will give you the best clarity and color accuracy. This will be important if you are doing any type of work that requires colors to look realistic, such as wood staining or painting. You might also want to have an adjustable workbench lamp, for times that you need a spotlight to shine on whatever you are working on. A few clamp-on lights are also good to have around, in case you need them.
Setting up a Workbench
One of the most important areas in your workshop will be the workbench itself. Unless you are really restricted on space, you'll want to make sure your workbench is at least six feet by two feet. Many people prefer to put their workbench against one wall in the workshop. You can either purchase a workbench, or build your own using a sheet of three-quarter inch plywood for the top and two-by-fours for the legs and supports. Your workbench should also include a vise, as well as a comfortable stool of an appropriate height so that you can sit while working. For the sake of safety, choose a stool that doesn't swivel. Also, don't put your tabletop tools directly on your workbench. Not only does this take up valuable workbench space, but it can also be less safe than having a separate table for these types of tools
Storage and Organization
Once you have your workbench set up, add whatever storage facilities work best for the type of work you plan to do. Many people like to have a pegboard behind their workbench for hanging tools. Cupboards and shelves are also handy, as are multi-shelf units. Small plastic containers or bins are handy for nails, screws and other small fasteners and hardware, and you'll also want to keep a tool belt handy that you can use while working in your new workshop.