Workshop Interior - suggestions and critique

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Molynoox

Established Member
Joined
17 Jan 2021
Messages
995
Reaction score
709
Location
Billericay
I have put together a rough plan for my workshop interior (at long last), 4m x 3.5m
  1. mitre station and wood rack on left
  2. bandsaw at back
  3. mft and workbench on right

WS1 sketchup.jpg

WS2 sketchup.jpg


Cabinet structure
cabinet structure.jpg

here is status quo:
IMG_20230129_200611.jpg

IMG_20230129_200555.jpg


I am primarily looking for thoughts on the following at this stage:
  • structure of the cabinets - is there a cheaper or better way to do it
    • I'm planning on using untreated construction timber/CLS/C24 for the skeleton but also considering MDF or cheap ply (I would ideally do it all in birch ply or valchromat but I don't have the budget)
  • material for tops/sheathing/shelving
    • nice ply, cheap ply, MDF?
    • thickness=18mm, 12mm, 6mm?
Considerations
  • I do want it to look nice, but I also want to try and use cheaper materials where I can get away with it - so thinking of things like drawer carcass being cheap ply but birch ply drawer fronts. Or cabinet tops being birch ply and interior cabinet sheathing and shelving being MDF
  • I haven't yet figured out what type of storage to have in the cabinets - maybe shelves, maybe drawers, maybe a mixture - advice on that welcome
  • I also NEED to create a rack for my clamps (they are in a plastic box on floor and driving me mad), don't know where to put that yet though
  • at some point I will create a french cleat system on the wall for storage of hand tools and some other stuff I might want easy access to - perhaps that would be good for my clamp storage seeing as I don't know where I want that yet
  • my woodworking style will be a mix of power tools/MFT track saw stuff and hand woodworking - haven't really found my groove yet so I'm doing a bit of both, maybe a bit of both IS my groove....

Description of the general concept
  • everything on castors
  • the cabinets from the mitre saw area will be wheeled over to the MFT area when I need a bigger working surface (such as if I cut down full sheets)
  • everything is set at 950mm (including castors) so its all compatible, other than the workbench which is 850mm (and the funny little mitre saw stand which is about 900mm)
  • mitre area situated near the french doors in case I need to cut very long stuff
  • workbench near the window for max light

cheers
Martin
 
Last edited:
We made a simalar trolley workbench at our men's shed just after lockdown using 4x2. After I'd built it I realised it was really heavy and the size of 4x2 rails limited access to the shelves.

But it is robust and gets hauled 50m to our work area from its storage place.

I think you could use 3x1 tbh. Or 18mm plywood cut up.
 
My thoughts are based on what I’m planning for my own workshop but note, I haven’t done this yet :)

I think your cabinet construction is a doubling of materials - I assume you are still going to wrap it in panel so just build it out of MDF and birch ply fronts.

Peter Millard did just that for his router cabinet build


He uses his loose tenon jig to put the carcass together. An alternative is the Freebird Assembly jig which uses screws



(I assume you haven’t bit the bullet on a domino yet 😂)

Personally I would go for drawers for hand tools and shelves for systainers etc (build the cabinet with the dimensions to take 2 systainer deep)

Peter M used Finsa Fibracolour which is a little bit cheaper than Valchromat but is not as dense as Valchromat I believe as it’s still MR MDF.

The other option for coloured MDF is to find the cheapest MR MDF you can find and use some Cherry Spirit Stain who have a range of rainbow colours.

Agree on looking nice with birch ply fronts. I’m considering getting some 6mm birch ply and laminating to 12mm MDF which will keep the cost down.
 
I realise that it's only a concept drawing, but your cabinet sketch doesn't show any joints. Without joints in the wood the only strength would be given by whatever fasteners you use. If you use something as simple as a halving joint, the load on the horizontal members will be directly passed into the verticals. Diagonal members or in-fill panels will resist the tendency to twist or 'lozenge'.
Les
 
I would say that your legs are way overkill and that the way you have them at the moment puts all the load onto the fasteners as a shear loading, place the leg under the top frame so the fasteners only hold it together and the load is passed straight down the leg wood to wood. You could also put groves in the legs and slide ply panels in to fill the gaps.
 
Lots of good suggestions, thanks.
I think I need to rethink my strategy.
Maybe use MDF carcasses and do away with the CLS completely.
I don't have a domino, no 🙂 I thought about getting a pocket hole jig but it's another £100 which I would rather spend on materials
Martin
 
Simple castors has a habit of making the bench a bit wobbly. I used large type with locking mechanisms on them.
I thought about getting a pocket hole jig but it's another £100

Is that made of gold or something ?. I've been using this one for decades
https://www.toolstoreuk.co.uk/kreg-...MIs4-W59P6_AIVVIBQBh3u9QEEEAQYASABEgJrQ_D_BwE
The clamp makes very versatile. In last employment It was what I and others used in radiator cover construction, and I used it for any carcassing done at home.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/37446651...MI6abeuNT6_AIVQevtCh1YQwp9EAQYAiABEgItNvD_BwE
 
Last edited:
Simple castors has a habit of making the bench a bit wobbly. I used large type with locking mechanisms on them.


Is that made of gold or something ?. I've been using this one for decades
https://www.toolstoreuk.co.uk/kreg-...MIs4-W59P6_AIVVIBQBh3u9QEEEAQYASABEgJrQ_D_BwE
The clamp makes very versatile. In last employment It was what I and others used in radiator cover construction, and I used it for any carcassing done at home.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/37446651...MI6abeuNT6_AIVQevtCh1YQwp9EAQYAiABEgItNvD_BwE
cheers - I just got lost in the pocket hole research universe for over an hour

my thoughts:
  • for joining 2x4 I need a Kreg XL jig (normal jig is only good up to 38mm material thickness, or so it says...)
  • getting hold of the screws is not easy - screwfix and toolstation only have 30mm screws, useless for me and my 4x2
  • I investigated other options for screws, the two best options seem to be either pan head screws or normal screws combined with M4 washers. The difficulty is getting the screws and/or washers that are the right size to fit into the pocket screw hole - the biggest challenge is finding out the dimensions of things you are buying, I got to the point that I just gave up
Because I want to start this project today I am now considering buying the cheap £25 PH jig you linked, the 30mm PH screws that I can get from screwfix etc - and then switching away from 4x2 material and just making MDF carcasses joined with pocket holes.

Martin
 
Why not use cls legs and ply / MDF rails??

That way you don't need a great deal if timber.

Also you doors can fin in-between the rails too.

I'd have doors otherwise you'll have dust on all your shelves.
 
thanks James - I will draw that quickly in CAD and get back to you to see if I understood it correctly, sounds like a cool idea

for doors am I looking at 12mm ply or something?
 
Why not use cls legs and ply / MDF rails??

That way you don't need a great deal if timber.

Also you doors can fin in-between the rails too.

I'd have doors otherwise you'll have dust on all your shelves.
cabinet structure - MDF rails.jpg


like this?
 
I dont like the idea of loosing 100mm every time I put a rail in, same issue with the 4x2 if situated vertically (which is obvs best for strength)

here is an option I'm looking at where I only lose 50mm:
cabinet structure - 2x2 front and back rail.jpg


Structure
  • 2x2 front and back rails
  • 4x2 side rails
  • legs 4x2 legs notched for the front and back rails so that these structural components (front and back rails) are not held up with fixings only
I dont know how Im going to do the bottom rails yet (for the bottom shelf), I don't want to notch out a rebate as that will take a while. Actually thinking about it it wont take that long....

Martin
 
My thoughts are based on what I’m planning for my own workshop but note, I haven’t done this yet :)

I think your cabinet construction is a doubling of materials - I assume you are still going to wrap it in panel so just build it out of MDF and birch ply fronts.

Peter Millard did just that for his router cabinet build


He uses his loose tenon jig to put the carcass together. An alternative is the Freebird Assembly jig which uses screws



(I assume you haven’t bit the bullet on a domino yet 😂)

Personally I would go for drawers for hand tools and shelves for systainers etc (build the cabinet with the dimensions to take 2 systainer deep)

Peter M used Finsa Fibracolour which is a little bit cheaper than Valchromat but is not as dense as Valchromat I believe as it’s still MR MDF.

The other option for coloured MDF is to find the cheapest MR MDF you can find and use some Cherry Spirit Stain who have a range of rainbow colours.

Agree on looking nice with birch ply fronts. I’m considering getting some 6mm birch ply and laminating to 12mm MDF which will keep the cost down.

Have you seen Dennis' video about the drawers?
This is they direction I will take for my drawers I think - I like how it keeps the drawer carcass material usage down even on the bigger sizes and simply uses bigger fronts. And its modular so you don't need to plan it to death

Here is is: link

Martin
 
This bench was made using ply for everything except the top.


Yeah I've watched his videos they are great. Was trying to save money so looking at avoiding loads of ply but I think I'm going to go for a sort of hybrid approach using a mixture of 4x2 CLS,18mm birch ply and 9mm MDF MR for drawers
 
Yes his skills are good and laminated plywood which is itself a laminated product must give good strength and being a man made product not likely to warp. Also his joints where he incorporates them into the legs whilst making them so not having to cut afterwards, a clever guy.
 
Hello, regarding your goal, my opinion may not suit, but I will give my 2cents anyway.

I don't see any emphasis for ripping timbers, be it with a tablesaw or larger bandsaw.
Planning for this before you start making workshop abutments, would likely make designing
the rest more straight forward IMO.
The way it looks to me, as it stands now, the mitre saw is the workhorse, and basis for the
whole workshop.
Great machine no doubt there, but from a freestanding furniture making perspective, in a small space, it's taking up the room of a machine which could do it all.

If I were you, I'd flog the curve cutter and get a decent sized i.e 20" bandsaw which can do it all.
Much less dusty than a circular saw of any description.

And I'd certainly not be thinking of having racks affixed to a wall for multiple reasons,
but if really set on the idea, I'd have compact metal shelving on casters, should you really need it, lots of things to sort out before that IMO, so you could simply stack your timbers vertically for the time being.

Those things alone is enough to digest, that there's not much point in mentioning more.

All the best
Tom
 
Hello, regarding your goal, my opinion may not suit, but I will give my 2cents anyway.

I don't see any emphasis for ripping timbers, be it with a tablesaw or larger bandsaw.
Planning for this before you start making workshop abutments, would likely make designing
the rest more straight forward IMO.
The way it looks to me, as it stands now, the mitre saw is the workhorse, and basis for the
whole workshop.
Great machine no doubt there, but from a freestanding furniture making perspective, in a small space, it's taking up the room of a machine which could do it all.

If I were you, I'd flog the curve cutter and get a decent sized i.e 20" bandsaw which can do it all.
Much less dusty than a circular saw of any description.

And I'd certainly not be thinking of having racks affixed to a wall for multiple reasons,
but if really set on the idea, I'd have compact metal shelving on casters, should you really need it, lots of things to sort out before that IMO, so you could simply stack your timbers vertically for the time being.

Those things alone is enough to digest, that there's not much point in mentioning more.

All the best
Tom
Hi Tom,
The mitre saw defo isn't the hub of the workshop. In terms of size it only takes up a 500mm x 500mm footprint and the infeed and outfeed are both modular units on wheels that will be used for expanding the size of my MFT / assembly area as and when required.

Ripping is taken care of with my track saw, in conjunction with the MFT, rail square and dogs and such like so I'm covered in that respect. I think....

The wood racks look quite imposing now I've modelled them so I might reduce the size but the design is such that the horizontals can be slid out and/or reconfigured into shelves or just nothing. I'll post some cad of that so you can see how it works. In theory 🙂

Thanks for the feedback 👍

Martin
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Back
Top