I am not sure whether this is the right forum, but as I am treating it as a project I think it should be ok.
I have been tasked with the setting up of a new woodwork workshop. This is a greenfield site and I have the luxury of also creating a shopping list of all the tools that will be needed or wanted in the workshop as these will hopefully be supplied for free – on the assumption that we do not go too crazy.
The room itself is about 50M² in size and everything relating to woodworking will have to fit into this space. It is possible that as many as six people will be working concurrently on different projects. What we not will be doing is working commercially. This is all about private projects and possibly also prototypes for start-ups that will be our neighbours over the coming years.
Where I would like your assistance is in the creation of the equipment list. This will include the larger items such as a planer thicknesser, table saw, bandsaw, lathe, CNC milling maching etc. But will also go down to the level of chisels, hammers, planes, etc. The information will need to include the quantity, model, any accessories and approximate price for the budget.
As I am located in Germany, the equipment will have to be easily sourced here. Therefore my idea is that we concentrate in the beginning on what is needed with a suggested quantity rather than specific models which may not be easily bought here. Also any comments on what to take into account when buying the equipment or even what to think about when setting this up would be much appreciated.
Thanks you for taking the time to read this. I look forward to your responses.
I suggest asking people experienced with machines about the feasibility of erecting a partition to separate the machine room from the hand tools area with the objective of isolating the dust and noise. If local code permits it, dust collection might be located and exhausted externally.
Really the point here is to refine your notion of 50m2 and how it is to be allocated. This will put constraints on how much room you have for machines. You will get a different answer if you isolate the machines vs. commingle them with the hand tool area, so that is why that is an early decision. It may also have a large effect on the ease of meeting air quality requirements.
Paul taught at the Maplewood Center for Common Craft in New York where I took his month long intensive. They built a studio, greenfield, like you are describing, although at a larger scale. You might find it useful to contact them.
When you think of planers, think about a drum sander and whether it has a role for you in wood preparation.
I had used the Grizzly site to start a wish list for a shop. These tools are on the large size and you could certainly substitute benchtop equipment to save space and money (i.e. Dewalt 13 inch planner instead of a 20 inch). I am not advocating Grizzly but the site was useful as it offered most of what is needed and Grizzly prices are normally very reasonable. The total cost for the equipment listed below is approximately $14,000 US.
$2,899.00 PCS31230-TGP236, Sawstop, Professional Table Saw 3HP, 1ph, w/ 36″ Fence Assembly
$99.00 Sawstop outfeed table
$1,625.00 Grizzly G0514X2B – 19″ 3 HP Extreme-Series® Bandsaw with Motor Brake
$2,650.00 Grizzly G0609X – 12″ Jointer w/ Spiral Cutterhead
$1,825.00 Grizzly G0454Z – 20″ Planer w/ Spiral Cutterhead
$1,575.00 Grizzly G0441 – 3 HP Cyclone Dust Collector
$1,595.00 Grizzly G1066R – 24″ Drum Sander
$1,300.00 719T Mortiser, 1HP 1PH 115/230V
$449.95 Grizzly G0794 – Floor Drill Press with Laser and DRO
I don’t know much about power tools, but I am taking classes at a woodworking college, so I can tell you how they’ve tackled their situation. They are a very well-established and popular program, with over 1000 students enrolled at any given time, so perhaps their requirements are not in line with yours, or perhaps they’ve learned important lessons which can benefit your situation — only you can decide. They have a dozen or more woodworking shops, each about 100 square meters. Many are configured for specific woodworking tasks, and I have not been in all of them yet, but I can speak to those configured for general woodworking use.
First steps would include sourcing a dust collection system that will be able to handle the dust created by all the many machines you intend to have, as well as a ducting system from all of the machines to the collector.
You’ll want the collector to be easily accessible and serviceable, for obvious reasons.
For safety and efficiency, hand tool work is done in the “classroom” portion of the shop, desks are actually workbenches, and the room with the power tools is physically separated from the “classroom”. Their experience has shown them that students working with hand tools move around much more than those using power tools, and iterate between different hand tools, different angles to their work, and different approaches. So the increased foot traffic is not the safest mix with large power tools and machines, where an operator is focused on safety and might be less aware of surrounding foot traffic. Obviously you don’t need high-end dust collection in a shop where only hand tools are being used, so that’s an increase in efficiency as well, and the physical separation enables machines to be used while the “classroom” space is still quiet enough for some teaching to occur, so this also increases efficiency.
Dimensioning equipment will probably be your biggest bottleneck, because just about everyone will square up their lumber before dispersing to work on it in their individual ways. So thicknessers, jointers and (commonly) table saws. Typically, the flow I’e seen is to joint a face, thickness, then joint an edge, rip to width then cross-cut to length. So two operations on the jointer and if you’re using table saws for all your machine sawing then there’s two operations there, and sure enough, they bottleneck the hardest.
Keep in mind that what might seem a luxury (having a table saw dedicated for cross-cutting and another for ripping, or even a dedicated rip-sawing machine, a jointer for face jointing and another for edge jointing, etc) might actually be more of a necessity if it prevents a traffic jam from disrupting everyone’s work flow. With a max of 6 students, this is probably not a big deal for you. Heck, you could probably do everything with a few Felder C3’s and save a ton of space.
Anyways, the machines are arranged so that work can flow from one directly to the next with as little movement across the shop floor as possible, so the jointer used for the initial jointing of faces is adjacent to the thicknesser which is itself near another jointer (used for jointing the edges) which leads to a row of table saws. Sheet goods are broken down at a panel saw, and very large boards are broken down outside with circular saws or at a portable radial arm saw station, then the lumber can flow onto lumber racks which allow vertical storage of lumber at key points along the workflow, the first of which is right near the jointer where the flow begins.
The jointers and thicknessers all have helical blades. For a busy shop, they seem to be worth the investment because they yield better results at higher feed speeds, lower down times, longer life, and greatly reduced noise. One of the maintenance guys told me the chips they create are easier for dust collection systems, too.
Table saws are oriented so that kickback accidents will happen away from the rest of the shop as opposed to shooting across the entire shop floor, so table saw operators typically have walls not far behind them, and nothing else besides lumber storage or other things which can take a beating better than expensive machinery or fragile humans.
3 router tables, 3 bandsaws, edge sander, disc/belt sander, 2 thickness sanders, oscillating spindle sander, sharpening station with sink and first aid kit, miter saw station, and shop vacs with cyclone dust collection attachments (to save on expensive filters and bags) round out the general machine list. We don’t have any lathes or CNC machines in the general-use shops, they have dedicated shops for those.
Power cables are only available from retractable wheels which hang from the ceiling so there’s never a hazard of tripping over a power cord.
This may seem obvious, but you should think about both a barn/loading door and a standard door for access. The big door can be open in nice whether and makes loading material ,4×8 sheet stock especially, a lot nicer. I only point this out as I have the pleasure of moving a lot of lumber in an out of places that have not though about a loading door.
I once read a blurb from a Company who professionally plan workshops for you – a bit like Kitchen Designers.
I didn’t know they existed before that, but it makes sense. You tick-off the machines you need now and in the future and they design it, knowing the pitfalls to avoid (such as dust-extraction). Dunno what they charge, but it might be money well spent if you avoid re-arranging it later.
Good point. Our location used to be a garage. The folding doors are 4m wide and 4m high. I think we should be able to squeeze everything in.
Also the space has been upgraded! We now have 115 sqm of space. Nice big windows with plenty
of natural light. Ceilings are about 5 m high. It is going to be expensive to heat in winter.
Fortunately I am not being asked to pay for it.
I am looking forward to my new playground 😄.
Unfortunately the contract has not yet been signed. We now expect a final version next week. Once (if) this has been approved by the members, we will be scheduled to move at the beginning of March 2018 and then we can get on with the final plan of what we need or want etc.
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