What size should my workshop be?

Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Projects What size should my workshop be?

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #656341
    matthew richardson
    Participant

    I have the opportunity whilst renovating my house to set aside / repurpose a spare room as a workshop, and I’m trying to decide on its dimensions. My current thinking is that a room about the size of a reasonable double bedroom, so about 3m x 3m, should be plenty, but if other requirements mean making the room smaller, how small would be the minimum acceptable size for the room to be?

    All thoughts gratefully welcomed

    Matt

    #656366
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    You might be going at this from the wrong end.
    What are you going to build?

    You could work in a space as small as the size of your bench plus a meter or so on three sides, but that limits the size and amount of work you will be able to run through your shop at once. Wood storage would be elsewhere.

    You wouldn’t be the first to do it, though. I build a Kayak in a space not much bigger one winter.

    I’ve also found it more calming to swmbo if the shop does not share a door with the rest of the house. Much easier to prevent tracking things into the living space.
    Ten steps across a covered porch or breezeway is about right.

    #656386
    Benoît Van Noten
    Participant

    3 m X 3 m is nice, I would not reduce it under 3 m X 2 m. You need some room to manipulate boards, store the tools, store some boards and maybe keep a band-saw.
    For board manipulation, it is also depending on the ceiling height. Can you turn a 2.5 m board?
    If you make some furniture, you might have to assemble/glue it outside of this workshop.

    #656590
    matthew richardson
    Participant

    Haha well at this stage I’m not planning any kayaks!

    Thanks for the replies – helpful perspective to think more about the builds and about the sizes of the planks etc that I’d be bringing in and out. I might consider a bigger window that’ll open wider so it’s easier to get things in and out.

    #656620
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    If you are starting from scratch and working with sheet goods or 8’ boards are part of the plan, then ceiling height is important In a shop where you are moving large goods.

    You can flip a sheet of ply vertically on one corner if you have a 9”’ Finished ceiling height, which means you don’t actually have to lift the sheet.
    but with an inch shorter, you have to bear all the weight yourself or have more floor area to make the turn. The diagonal of a 4×8 sheet is just shy of 9’.

    It doesn’t cost much to go up a foot. Precut studs for 9’ ceilings are a stock item. They come 104” 5/8 , which with a bottom plate and two top plates get you 9’ 1” 1/4 before drywall and finished floor. Foundation, floor, ceiling , and roof costs are the same. You also don’t have to worry so much about hitting lights and such with the extra height.
    A cathedral ceiling will do the same in at least part of the shop.

    The smaller the shop, the more you have to think about breaking down materials before they get in the shop. You can break down materials in the driveway or get them cut by your supplier. . I did enough volume at the local yard that they now indulge the old retired guy without charging for the service. Have a cut plan ready. Even if they charge, the fee is usually minimal.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Larry Geib.
    #656629
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Haha well at this stage I’m not planning any kayaks!

    Thanks for the replies – helpful perspective to think more about the builds and about the sizes of the planks etc that I’d be bringing in and out. I might consider a bigger window that’ll open wider so it’s easier to get things in and out.

    Plan the window sill to be the same height as your bench. In line with the door is good.

    #656937
    matthew richardson
    Participant

    Unfortunately I think I’ll be fairly constrained in terms of ceiling height – I will max it out as far as possible but the first floor ceiling is already there and with a floor slab down there will just be what’s there. But I will certainly do what I can in terms of not building the ceiling down into the room with extra insulation or dropped lights etc.
    I will definitely have to get a lot of big cutting done before things get into the room, so yes the cut list will be super important, no doubt.
    I like the idea about the widndow sill — genius! Much appreciated 🙂 m

    #656947
    Colin Scowen
    Participant

    Also worth considering how you will get stuff out as well. Not sure what size the door is, or how much space there is on the other side, but it would be a shame to glue something up and then have to break it apart again just to re-assemble once again.
    If it’s an external door to the driveway or garden, then not too much to worry about, but if it’s a doorway to an internal passage, or there is something else on the outside, then that may also be something to consider, as turning / manipulating space may be limited.

    Colin, Czech Rep.

    #657081
    matthew richardson
    Participant

    Also worth considering how you will get stuff out as well. Not sure what size the door is, or how much space there is on the other side, but it would be a shame to glue something up and then have to break it apart again just to re-assemble once again.
    If it’s an external door to the driveway or garden, then not too much to worry about, but if it’s a doorway to an internal passage, or there is something else on the outside, then that may also be something to consider, as turning / manipulating space may be limited.

    Nice tip, thanks – perhaps all the more reason to get a nice big window!
    🙂 m

    #657142
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Also worth considering how you will get stuff out as well. Not sure what size the door is, or how much space there is on the other side, but it would be a shame to glue something up and then have to break it apart again just to re-assemble once again.
    If it’s an external door to the driveway or garden, then not too much to worry about, but if it’s a doorway to an internal passage, or there is something else on the outside, then that may also be something to consider, as turning / manipulating space may be limited.

    Nice tip, thanks – perhaps all the more reason to get a nice big window!
    🙂 m

    Or a nice set of double French doors

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.