Shop Organization

LAYOUT OF A SMALL SHOP

Laying out the shop

The illustration below shows one way of making efficient use of the space in a small shop—in this case, one-half of a two-car garage. The three stationary machines chosen are essential for most projects: the table saw, the jointer, and the band saw. The saw and jointer are mounted on casters so they can be moved if necessary. With the bench and table there is ample space for hand tool and portable power tool work. The storage space— perforated hardboard and shelving—is located along the walls; a lumber rack is positioned near the garage door. Any exposed framing in the ceiling could also be used to hold stock. Refer to the key in the bottom right-hand corner of the illustration for the type and location of electrical outlets and light fixtures. Note that there is an overhead master switch (near the bench's tail vise) that controls all three machines. Attention is also paid to feed direction of each machine (represented by the arrowhead in the key); the access door to the shop is always in the user's field of vision. Caution: If your shop shares space with motorized equipment you will not be able to spray finishes.

Shop Organization

SHOP TIP

A safe attention-getter

If the door to the shop Is outside your field of vision when you are at a machine, there is the risk that someone might enter the shop, tap you on the shoulder, and startle you. To avoid accident-causing surprises, mount a light bulb at eye level near the tool and wire the switch to the door frame so that the bulb lights when the door is opened. Wiring another bulb to the bell circuit of the telephone can solve the problem of missing phone calls: Each time the bell rings, the bulb will light.

A SHOP DOLLY

To wheel workpieces or large projects around the shop, use the shop-built dolly shown below. Start with the base and corner blocks, cutting them from %-inch plywood to a size that suits your needs. Screw the corner blocks in place, then fasten

Shelved Dolly

A SHOP DOLLY

To wheel workpieces or large projects around the shop, use the shop-built dolly shown below. Start with the base and corner blocks, cutting them from %-inch plywood to a size that suits your needs. Screw the corner blocks in place, then fasten a caster onto each block (above). To build the shelved section, cut the skirts and the eight pieces for the legs from l-by-3 stock; the shelf from Vfe-inch plywood; and the top from %-inch plywood. The legs should be long enough for the top to sit at a comfortable height. Screw the leg pieces together, then attach the skirts to the legs' inside faces. Fasten the shelf and the top to the skirts. Secure the legs to the base with angle brackets.

SAVING SPACE

Tool Shop Organization

Setting up a shop in the attic

Attic shops have several strikes against them: They are often uninsulated and their floors are not designed to support heavy weight. In addition, headroom is limited and access can present problems, especially if you are working with long planks or full sheets of plywood. But for a luthier, carver, or woodworker who specializes in small projects, an attic can be an ideal spot for a shop. As shown in the illustration at left, nailing sheets of sheathing-grade plywood to the joists will produce a floor that is sufficiently sturdy to hold up a workbench and one of the lighter stationary machines, like the band saw. The spaces between the studs and rafters and down near the eaves—where the roof and attic floor meet—are ideal for storing lumber, tools, and supplies.

Positioning stationary machines in a confined space if your workshop is cramped you may have to forego an ideal placement of stationary machines to allow you to make the most of your limited space. Consider the design of your machines and the feed direction you need to use; you may be able to place two machines close together if they are matched properly. The high table of a band saw and the feed direction normally used with the machine, for example, makes it an ideal match in a tight space with a jointer (right). The two can be placed close together while still providing adequate space to operate each machine at separate times.

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Wood Working 101

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