Thoughts on workshop layout

Although my single garage workshop is currently very cluttered I’ve started having some thoughts on an inital layout.

The garage is around 8 feet wide by 16 feet long with an alcove on the right just inside the up and over door containing the gas boiler for the house.

A small internal buttress protrudes in on the left hand side towards the back and there’s a door into the house at the back on the right.

Currently a large fridge freezer lives to the left of this door but I hope to evict it when we get round to updating the kitchen!

A large aluminium ladder is currently fixed to the wall on the right but I’ll move it higher during the reorganisation and one day hopefully I’ll have a shed big enough to move it out of the garage altogether.

Sketchup plan of garage floorplan


One thing that has always stood out is the gap between the two sets of kitchen cupboards on the side wall, which I’ve always thought would fit a chop saw or something. It is beginning to look to me like a space for a bandsaw 🙂

Possible space for a bandsaw between wall mounted kitchen cupboards

I measured it last night and I think even with a mobile base my currently favoured bandsaw would fit into the gap both “flat” against the wall for storage and “out” for use.

Positioning it relatively close to the up and over garage door (but not so close if fouls) would be in line with most of the suggestions I’ve read so far, where the machines used first on raw materials are placed near the entrance, along with material storage.

I think the drill press will end up in a corner somewhere, probably the one behind the fridge freezer.

There’s a load of old paint tins and other stuff that’s survived previous clearouts behind there at the moment, but I think I’ll be a bit more brutal next time I tidy that corner.

I had considered keeping the drill under a bench like this free Fine Woodworking article, but I think it’s too heavy to move about, so maybe a mobile cabinet is the answer.

The planer-thicknesser is relatively light and will definitely live underneath something.

Dust collection

I plan to run some 100mm hose from my Numatic NVD750 vacuum to the various workstation positions which the machinery will be used in and use the blast gates from the dust extraction kit I got a while ago.

I’ll probably just use flexible hose everywhere as they won’t be particularly long runs as long as I keep all the machinery against/near the left hand wall.

I’ll hopefully be able to tuck the workshop vacuum under or behind something, preferably fairly close to the garage door so I don’t need to take it through the house to empty it.

Materials storage

At the moment my small storage area for wood is by the internal door from the house into the garage and makes use of some old and rather rickety shelving.

There’s not really any provision for sheet materials and I’d like to redesign and possibly reposition it all.

Tool storage

I currently have tools lying about on shelves, in the old kitchen cupboards on the wall and in a couple of chests of drawers.

One of these is small, steel and will probably stay and the other is a larger wooden affair with some rather dodgy looking laurel mouldings on the drawer fronts and some naff looking handles (those have to go, but I’m thinking I’ll probably fit some simpler handles and chisel off the mouldings as it’s solidly built from a decent thick ply).

There are a couple of kitchen units in the shed which match the wall cupboards and I also found a couple of matching doors in the loft, so I’m considering putting a worksurface on top of some cupboards to the left of the bandsaw, below the left hand cupboards.


I’m beginning to think that the space under the right hand wall cupboards, to the right of the bandsaw.

If I choose the correct height and depth I should be able to use it to support outfeed from the bandsaw.

I’ve still not given the bench a great deal of thought – I’d better read my books on the subject again!


There is a sink in the toilet just inside the connecting door from the garage to the house, so I’d like to keep my lovely new grinder close to the supply of water (and the drain to dispose of it).

I think depth wise the Tormek and associated bits will fit nicely behind the door on a shelf, although whether I’ll want to move it out for use (perhaps on a drop leaf style table).

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4 Responses to Thoughts on workshop layout

  1. Pingback: Clutter redistribution | Aggravated Wood Butchery

  2. Pingback: Further reading | Aggravated Wood Butchery

  3. Sounds like you’ve already got a plan that might work, John.

    What I like about having almost everything on wheels is that it can make it easier to reorganise your space, if you ever feel that it could be improved. Sometimes, it’s hard to develop the perfect ‘plan’ until you’ve tried working with it first.

    I’m glad you’re in the reading mood, as you should have another seven landing on your doorstep sometime tomorrow! ;-D

    • John says:

      Hi Olly,

      I think given the small garage and my aquisitive nature I’ll be fine tuning and rejigging almost indefinitely!

      Working with wood is only ever going to be a hobby I use to de-stress, so whether I’m actually making something or just rearranging the workshop for the umpteenth time I’ll be happy 🙂

      Excellent news about the books – I look forward to having some new books to read on the train 😀


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