Workshop design – it’s time to be creative!
Having a really nice workshop seems to be a dream for lots of folks, but workshop design can sometimes be tricky. Growing up I always wished my dad could somehow get a better space for his tools. We used to watch New Yankee Workshop and drool over Norm’s amazing facility. For most people the first obstacle is having a space large enough, which is capable of supporting a shop full of power tools. Unlike Norm most of us just don’t have a handy old barn kicking around for a world class workshop.
Basements, Attics & Sheds
The shop above is my new workshop. Believe it or not it’s located on the 2nd floor attic above my garage. Crazy right? I have to be honest, it’s been far more successful than even my dreams. Basements also work great for shops. My buddy Rob over at AConcordCarpenter.com uses his basement for a great workshop as well. While neither of these spaces is “perfect”, they do offer a solution to the space equation. If you end up building a shop in an attic as I have, be sure you have the structural design checked for the heavy machine loads.
The Key is Space Planning
When I built this shop I had tons of doubters. In fact, there were far more doubters than supporters. What none of them realized was I had designed the layout using a 3D model and input from several really good wood workers. By using a three-dimensional model I was able to design several options before I ever pounded a single nail. I used the Free Program SketchUp. Today it’s easier than ever to create 3D models for all kinds of projects. The models make space planning a breeze and reveal interesting conflicts.
The bottom line is a workshop in a single story barn would be perfect, but for many of us that is simply not possible. Get creative for your workshop design and the possibilities are endless.