Woodworkers Club of Houston
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Shop Design and Layout
By Mike Turner and Bill Harris (Woodworkers Club of Houston)
The February 2016 program was over shop design and layout. Mike Turner and Bill Harris wanted to give our membership some ideas and processes that you can implement into your shop. Mike visited and took pictures of four member’s shops in the Houston – Sugar Land area. All of the shops were basically garages that were transformed partially and in some cases totally into woodshops. Here are some ideas to consider in laying out or reorganizing your current shop. odworking you are going to do, A/C / heating, dust collection system, sufficient electrical connections and finishing/flammable storage area.
1. Inventory your equipment- identify stationary and mobile tools. Tools such as table saws, jointers and planers generally require and take up a certain amount of space, whereas other tools such as a drill press, band saw, disc-belt sander require less space. Depending on your shop space and the amount of tools you own will dictate the placement of each tool.
2. The storage area for your materials also affects your production process and equipment placement. Here are the basic steps in producing straight, square stock.
A) Cut stock to rough length (cut-off saw).
B) Square one face (jointer).
C) Square the adjacent edge (jointer).
D) Plane to thickness (thickness planer).
E) Rip to finish width (table saw).
F) Square one end (compound miter saw or table saw).
G) Cut to finish length.(Compound miter saw or Table saw). Depending on your space, you may be able to align your tools with this process.
3. Measure the area to be used for your shop. Locate doors, windows, etc. Do a scaled floorplan of your shop area on grid paper or on your computer using a CAD program. You can then measure the length and width of the equipment to be used and make scaled cutouts of each piece of equipment. This is easier on CAD if you have access to a computer. Once you have the cutouts you can begin to redesign your shop area without physically rearranging your shop. You can then also check to see what kind of clearances you have between your equipment.
4. Things to consider: island bench or wall bench, type of woodworking you are going to do, A/C / heating, dust collection system, sufficient electrical connections and finishing/flammable storage area.
5. You can also go online on the internet and view tons of information on shop layout.
Thanks to the following members for allowing me to come and photograph your shops:
Fred Sandoval, Sid Hockens, John Gay, and Bill Harris.
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