Woodworking: Planning Out Your First Workshop
If woodworking is one of your hobbies, then odds are you’re getting by using one little corner of your shed or garage, with all your tools scattered haphazardly around. While you can certainly complete some great projects this way, there’s nothing quite like building your own workshop. If woodworking has become a large enough part of your life, and you’re ready to make the investment, then here’s a brief guide to planning out your workshop.
Before you buy a single piece of apparatus, the first thing you need to plan for is your workflow. This is the path your project takes from raw lumber all the way up to the finished product. Think of a project right now – something big and complex, possibly on a scale that you’ve never attempted before. Then, jot down a rough plan for completing it. Divide your work into the different stages you’ll need to go through, and plan out an area for each individual phase. You’ll need somewhere to break lumber into smaller pieces, somewhere to sand and shape it, and of course the core of any good shop – the workbench. Get some rough measurements, and then compare this to the space you actually have available. You may need to clear out a different room, or find ways around certain issues. Remember that having mobile bases on your heavy tools can make it so much easier to move things from place to place and re-arrange the layout of your shop.
The next thing you need to consider is the tools you’re going to bring in, and the storage you’ll need to organize it all. Seen as you’re making yourself a completely new workshop, odds are you’re going to buy some new tools for it. It’s important that you budget well for any big tools you’re going to want, and that this doesn’t eat into your money for more important things too much. Make sure you’re doing a lot of research, and making a point to spend the least amount of money for the best possible performance. See here for the best benchtop planer reviews, for example. Separating your tools according to what you’re actually going to be using them for is a great way to make sure you have an efficient and convenient storage system. Look into getting some small wall racks which you can install over the different “stages” of your project.
Finally, make sure you’re taking rust into account. Seen as you’re reading this, you’ve probably sunk a great deal of money into your woodworking hobby, and you’re probably planning to spend a lot more. If you set up your workshop somewhere that’s exposed to moisture, you may have some serious heartbreak in store when you come in and see that all of your tools have been damaged by rust. Aside from that, your wife will have infinite gloating rights about how she told you it was a waste of money! Make sure you have some sealable boxes for keeping your smaller tools in, and that you won’t have any larger ones that will be too exposed to moisture.