First solo shop - layout advice please hive mind

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Bretonfox

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Hello all,

Having rented a bench for the last few years I'm moving into my own space buttock clenchingly soon (end of July) and have been planning and agonising over how to fit everything in to a smaller space.

I'd love any advice on laying out machines, and clever arrangements with shared clearances. My goal is to try to squeeze in the machinery to do the bread and butter joinery efficiently and accurately, while having flexibility to pick up the furniture and sheet good work as it comes up.

Context:
  • Trained (very briefly!) as a furniture maker, currently doing quite a bit of joinery, some solid furniture and bits and bobs of fitted furniture. So mostly solid wood work, at a range of scales from furniture to door frames, with the occasional need to process full sheets
  • The only plant I possess currently is a spindle moulder and lathe, the rest of the big machines are to be purchased (though likely to borrow a table saw from a friend to being with)
  • The space is approx 10 x 5m, 2 big barn doors, with 3 phase going in shortly (partly why I've pushed ahead with the layout as need to get sockets in roughly the right places)
What I've come up with is:

Eggardon plan v2.jpg


The flow I envisage is rough sawn stock comes in to storage racks on the bottom wall, rough cut at the chop saw, rough width if very twisted at the bandsaw, then the table saw and P/T dance. Working around to the spindle, mortiser and tennoner. Sheet goods get broken down on the assembly table by track saw and then ripped on the table saw.

Some points:
  • Tables and surfaces to be at same height for clearance
  • Extraction ducting to hopefully run in a straight line down the middle of the shop to the central cluster of machines, bringing the 3 phase with it to them
  • Would prefer to keep my hand tool workbench for furniture joinery, and use a big outfeed table for assembly/joinery size work
  • Compressor to live under the chop saw table
Some questions:
  1. Could I put the spindle on wheeled base to pull out from the wall when/if I get into circular work on it?
  2. Should I give the bandsaw more infeed space (having today needed to rip 2.4s as they were too twisted to feel safe on the tablesaw)?
  3. Pillar drill? Although so far I've mostly used one for cutting plugs which seems a waste. Still, perhaps staked/spindle chair making will be in the future....
  4. Router table?
As I'm writing this I'm starting to feel like I'm just asking too much of the space! Trying to future proof everything is tricky when you're a bit of a generalist.

I've had some advice from a couple of helpful forum denizens, one who suggested I rearrange the central machines to poke wood out the doors. Another thought the assembly table needed to be smaller to give better indeed for the band and table saws. Both good points, though a smaller assembly table reduces it's function as a sheet good cutting table.

Any advice or critiques gratefully received.
 

Jameshow

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Looks like plenty of space...

However a couple if projects in the go and you got not space. Think of where your going to store projects which are waiting to glue / finish / glass etc.

Is the bandsaw on wheels? If not it looks to me it would get snagged all the time where it is? .

Router table no need of got an SM.

If you really need one can it go in the out feed table?

Pillar drill - small footprint can go in top left hand corner.

Put hand bench under a window nothing worse than a shadow from artificial light.

No experience of a large shop so ignore above!!
 
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Doug71

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My old workshop (barn) was about 5m x 9m, it soon got full and I didn't have a tenoner or mortiser and only had 1 bench. The barn I was in had a pair of doors at one end which dictated the workflow but doors at the side makes the space look a bit harder to deal with.

Put everything you can on wheels and things will soon find a natural home.
 

rogxwhit

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I'd want to maximise the through-feed for the sawbench and have it at the halfway point like the planer. And the morticer loks a bit cramped!

Hard to utilise the doors given the floor plan since they're in the side not the end.

You could have a saw / spindle combi, there's only limited conflict in changing function especially since you envisage a tenoner for tenoning.
 
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PDW125

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If this is owned not rented, are you able to put your dust collection outside in its own housing ..? Gives you more space as long as noise isn’t an issue.
 

niall Y

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Your layout seems fine to get you started, but it is really a case of ' suck it and see ' I had a similar space to this ( a converted cowshed ) . You'll find it really handy if you can move the machines, which will give you a lot more leeway to tackle certain jobs.
The best position for most machines, would be the centre of the workspace, but there is no way realistically that's going to happen!
You soon realize with old farm buildings like this, that the outside space can be your friend, I tried to do all my spraying outside, especially kitchens that comprised lots of doors drawers and cabinets. And its often convenient to have a machine positioned by a doorway so you can feed timber from the outside, This allows you to handle longer lengths of timber.
A fellow joiner who had the barn workshop next to me used to leave the large doors open to give him additional daylight. Though that;s only possible if there are no neighbours to annoy with the noise of machining. Wishing you the best of luck.
 

Bretonfox

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Looks like plenty of space...

However a couple if projects in the go and you got not space. Think of where your going to store projects which are waiting to glue / finish / glass etc.

Is the bandsaw on wheels? If not it looks to me it would get snagged all the time where it is? .

Router table no need of got an SM.

If you really need one can it go in the out feed table?

Pillar drill - small footprint can go in top left hand corner.

Put hand bench under a window nothing worse than a shadow from artificial light.

No experience of a large shop so ignore above!!
Hi James, yes I know how valuable free space is, at times I have 4 stable door sets all waiting to go and need somewhere to work without being backed up! Perhaps putting as many things as I can on wheeled bases will help with more flexibility in that regard.

The bandsaw doesn't exist yet but just to be clear do you mean it's tight on the infeed? The outfield shares the assembly table space with the table saw.

I find a router table useful for small things like trim and beading, but perhaps I just need to up my spindle moulder game a bit. Currently just got a bench mounted table for the router when I need it so that could continue.

Ideally I'd have the hand bench under the north facing skylight which is on the bottom wall for the best light.

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

Bretonfox

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My old workshop (barn) was about 5m x 9m, it soon got full and I didn't have a tenoner or mortiser and only had 1 bench. The barn I was in had a pair of doors at one end which dictated the workflow but doors at the side makes the space look a bit harder to deal with.

Put everything you can on wheels and things will soon find a natural home.
Yes I'd thought the large doors were great at first for getting materials in and projects out, but they consume a great portion of one of my long walls. I have toyed with the idea of leaving one leaf shut most of the time and sticking something movable in front of it...maybe the bandsaw on wheels!
 

Bretonfox

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I'd want to maximise the through-feed for the sawbench and have it at the halfway point like the planer. And the morticer loks a bit cramped!

Hard to utilise the doors given the floor plan since they're in the side not the end.

You could have a saw / spindle combi, there's only limited conflict in changing function especially since you envisage a tenoner for tenoning.
Yes I take the point about the saw bench, I'll have a play around with moving the bandsaw and maybe assembly table to give it a more central position.

Quite right about the mortiser, I banged it in quickly but will need clearance both sides for door stiles.

I'd been thinking about a Hammer saw/spindle combo but I don't think I have the budget, and the flexibility of them being different machines with different set ups left on them is attractive - though that was before I realised a tenoner would be a good idea to make the joinery more efficient.
 

Bretonfox

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If this is owned not rented, are you able to put your dust collection outside in its own housing ..? Gives you more space as long as noise isn’t an issue.
It's rented, but an accommodating landlord so I might ask about that, though there are rental properties across the courtyard so I imagine it'll be a no.
 

Bretonfox

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Your layout seems fine to get you started, but it is really a case of ' suck it and see ' I had a similar space to this ( a converted cowshed ) . You'll find it really handy if you can move the machines, which will give you a lot more leeway to tackle certain jobs.
The best position for most machines, would be the centre of the workspace, but there is no way realistically that's going to happen!
You soon realize with old farm buildings like this, that the outside space can be your friend, I tried to do all my spraying outside, especially kitchens that comprised lots of doors drawers and cabinets. And its often convenient to have a machine positioned by a doorway so you can feed timber from the outside, This allows you to handle longer lengths of timber.
A fellow joiner who had the barn workshop next to me used to leave the large doors open to give him additional daylight. Though that;s only possible if there are no neighbours to annoy with the noise of machining. Wishing you the best of luck.
Thanks Niall, yes I'm realising that my tendency to want to plan everything to make sure it's right and all problems anticipated may need to give way a bit to also not committing irrevocably to a layout and leaving myself the ability to adapt once I'm in there and working and realising things I'd thought were off the mark.

I really would love to be able to continue spraying and couldn't see how I was going to fit it in inside. Another joiner across the courtyard uses the outside space in front of his shop quite a bit, worth keeping that in mind as a workspace. As a relative newbie to spraying, does doing it outside get dusty much? I'd worry a bit about paint dispersing all over the environment as well.

Cheers
 

Doug71

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Yes I'd thought the large doors were great at first for getting materials in and projects out, but they consume a great portion of one of my long walls. I have toyed with the idea of leaving one leaf shut most of the time and sticking something movable in front of it...maybe the bandsaw on wheels!

My current workshop has a large pair of doors and a pedestrian door. 99% of my deliveries and things I make fit through the pedestrian door, the big doors are hardly ever opened, in fact they get taped up over winter to keep the draught out. My spindle moulder sits in front of the big doors but it's on a wheeled base so is easy enough to move if I need to open them (although I do end up stacking wood in front of them which is a pain when I do need to open them).
 
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