How to Plan Your Workshop in 10 Simple Steps

If you are thinking about building a workshop then it is a wise move to take a bit of time to plan out the layout before you get to work.

It’s easy to get carried away and draw a quick layout and then get cracking with it but that is the wrong way to go about it.

A bit of planning will take you a short amount of time and will save you time and maybe even money in the long run.

If you have benchtop power tools you will be installing then include those in the first plan you draw out to discover any issues that may arise well before you install anything.

how to plan a woodworking workshop

Any other large pieces of machinery will also need to be included in your first draft and the power source decided.

10 Simple Steps to Setup a Woodworking Workshop

Let’s delve deeper into the topic directly! The following are some efficient tips that can help you in setting up your workshop perfectly for your endeavors so that you can get the most out of it size-wise and creating a really organized workspace.

1. Draw your plans

Start with drawing a shop layout, you will need to measure your space first and then add all the equipment and workbenches you will be using.

Draw it to scale, the squared paper is really useful for drawing to scale.

You will need to know the sizes of anything you are going to include in your workshop.

Include any power cables that will be feeding your workbench tools or machinery.

2. Keep it Convenient

Mount all the tools and accessories near the workbenches. The list should include-

  • Saws
  • Screwdrivers
  • wrenches
  • Blades
  • Hammer

You can build simple plywood storage boxes or shelves so that you can keep the tools you most commonly use.

3. Moveable Workbenches with Wheels are Helpful

If you will be dealing with many different sized or shaped workpieces then it’s a good idea to use wheelbases or castors. It will make moving large and heavy materials much easier.

You will need good heavy duty castors just to be on the safe side.

4. Look For Unused Space

Check for all available vertical spaces in your shop as these are amazing when used as little cubbyholes.

There you will be able to add overhead storage and it will work as an excellent space saver.

5. Create Storage Below Workspaces

Use the workbench or tables under space for storage whenever possible. You can also fit doors to the underneath of your workbench and hang small items like a steel ruler or saw blades.

Under workbench storage has a large unused amount of space and they are great for storing your larger tools and power tools.

If you are limited to space these are really great ways to maximize the space you have.

6. Plan According to Electrical Power Outlets

If you already have power outlets installed in your workshop you will want to organize your workshop so it incorporates those into the plan.

If you haven’t got any outlets already in place then you are free to plan as you want.

Check thoroughly and point out the areas where you need electrical outlets. You can also consider using the ceiling space and extension cords. It will award you with clear floor space.

You can consider storing the electrical cables off the ground. Running them along the ceiling will omit the chances of tripping over them.

7. No Power Outlets Accessible?

If you don’t have any way of installing new outlets and you have some quite close you can get a retractable cord reel and keep power handy. It will still work but it best used as a temporary setup.

Remember you will need to work out the number of Amps you are going to be pulling by calculating all the equipment that is using electrics total Wattage and then using Holmes law to calculate.

You will also work out voltage drop for extension leads that are going to run along a long distance. It is best to get expert advice if you are not competent at working those out.

8. Recycling is Always Preferable

While setting up the workshop, always utilize the power of recycling if you have the chance.

You can often turn an old cabinet into one that looks new!

9. Make Your Workspace Dynamic

Organize it in a smart way by asking yourself some simple questions.

How many people will be working in it at the same time?

Will they all be able to work in different positions in the workshop without getting into each other’s way?

You should also carry out a risk assessment and try to run through potential accidents especially with the power tools.

10. Make Workshop Safety a Priority

This is an important one. If you are going to be using power tools you should be familiar with the PPE you will need for operating those tools.

You will need somewhere to store all of your PPE so it doesn’t get covered in dust and debris every time you get the saw going.

You should have a fire extinguisher ready to go just in case you have a worst-case scenario.

The fire extinguisher should be suitable for all fire types.

If you have high powered electrical power tools installed you will need to have some electrical fault fail-safes in place.

RCD’s are the best way to ensure the safety of the electrical circuits which in turn protects you and your equipment.

A first aid box is a must and one with something you can stem any bleeding from a cut inside it.

Always keep a way to quickly switch off the electric in an emergency.

If you are going to carrying out work that creates a lot of wood dust in the air it may be worth installing a simple dust extractor and situating so it will remove the dust-up before it can go anywhere.

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