Tips To Set Up Your Workshop

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This is the The Evening Woodworker‘s workshop design tutorial on how to layout a small shop or any shop. His garage shop design works well for a variety of different types of projects of various sizes and shapes. If you follow this guide, you can layout your workshop or garage shop with confidence and maximizing your shop efficiency and flow.

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Workshop Design – 5 MORE Tips to Small Shop Setup and Use

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This is part 2 of his workshop design tips on how to layout and work in a small shop or any shop. His garage shop design works well for a variety of different types of projects of various sizes and shapes. If you follow these tips, you can layout your workshop or garage shop with confidence and maximizing your shop efficiency and flow.

[Video] 3 Most Common Mistakes
When Setting Up Shop

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A woodworking friend of mine shared this video by Ralph Chapman with me that helped him set up his workshop. 

The video explains the benefits of Ralph Chapman’s guide about setting up an affordable workshop and avoiding the most common mistakes offers to anyone interested in woodworking.

6 Guru-Level Tips for Setting Up A Small Shop

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1 – Manage you scrap wood. I get ENTIRE projects from the scrap wood I have, and that’s only possible if you effectively manage and keep track of it. I made that large “closet” a few years ago to keep it easy to find the right piece I need, and also keep it dust free. I consider the space it takes up as well worth it.

2 – Keep some lumber on hand. Even if you don’t have a project planned, it’s a great idea to have an assortment of hardwood (and softwood) on hand. The longer it sits in your shop, the more of the drying stress will leave the wood making it much better to work with.

3 – Follow through. A storage solution, whether you buy it or make it yourself, is only as good as how you use it. Take the time to efficiently organize the storage you have and you’ll save countless hours not looking for the stuff you need.

4 – Maximize the space around your go-to tools. If you use a tool almost every time you are in your shop, that’s one of your main tools and you should set it up in the best way possible. For something like a drill press, that means locating where you can use it without moving it or something else out the way, and then building storage space around it to put the space it uses to work.

5 – Avoid single purpose cabinets. Instead work in a modular fashion where you can add new pieces above, below and on either side without having to change anything. Better yet, build (or buy) vertical units that start on the floor and extend up near the ceiling. Section off areas inside for specific things, like drilling accessories or sanding accessories.

6 – Be realistic about dust collection. Sure, everyone wants top notch dust collection, but it’s expensive and takes up a lot of space in a small shop. If you are just doing the weekend thing and not running a production shop, your money can be spent on more important things. Consider a combination of passive dust collection and small shop vacs placed locally, in areas that otherwise wouldn’t be used. Install a high CFM air cleaner to run when the dust is flying to clean the air. And embrace the broom! Sweeping up takes seconds and it doesn’t need to be spotless – it’s a workshop, after all.

[Guide] How To Launch Your Woodworking Business For Under $1000

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If you’re considering turning your woodworking hobby into a part-time business check out this helpful guide on how to get started.

Ask Adam Savage: Tips for Setting Up a Workshop

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What items are essential in a workshop first-aid kit? When moving to a new shop, does Adam have a process for planning its organization ahead of time? What are some of Adam’s time-saving tips for shop layout and tool accessibility? What, if anything, does Adam listen to while working off-camera? In this excerpt from his March 9, 2021 live stream, Adam answers questions from Tested members Joshua Ortega, Emma Gibbs, Jim Smith-Hughes and Adam Grim about shop infrastructure.

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