How to Set Up a Workshop in Garage (Advice & Layout)


So, are you thinking maybe turning unused garage space into a workshop?

The garage is a great place to set up any kind of workshop for your DIY, work, projects, hobbies, woodwork, metalwork, crafting, you name it!

Figure out workshop purpose and how much space you need. Make sure there are power and access to it. Consider the location of tools, the layout of the workshop, and workflow. Ensure proper lighting, ventilation, and, if necessary, warming and cooling. Take care of the safety and safety gear.

Let’s look at what you gonna need for your new workshop.

Can I Use My Garage as a Workshop?

Of course, you can. Garage is great place for a workshop.

You can run even a business, in some cases, out of your garage. Check your country or state laws first. So you know what kind of business you are allowed to run in your home.

Many famous companies started from a garage.

It’s good to start at the garage or basement, and if things go really well and business is booming, you may be looking to locate your shop away from your home.

What Does Every Home Workshop Need?

  • Workbench
  • Proper tools
  • Enough power outlets
  • Good lighting
  • Ventilation
  • Plumping or at least a sink
  • Heating and cooling
  • Safety Equipment

Optional

  • Garage insulation, Although insulation keeps your power bills in check with a heated or cooled garage. Insulation also acts as soundproofing in the workspace if you use loud machinery.
  • Mini Fridge
  • Soundsystem

What Is a Good Size for a Workshop?

This really depends on what kind of projects you are gonna do in your workshop. Check out typical garage sizes here.

Workshop Storage

How much stock are you gonna keep on hand? Or are you gonna ship the products off as soon they are done?

Workshop Material Size

Think about the material sizes you’ll be dealing with. If you need to store longer objects like 16ft one by and two by wood, for example. What is the widest sheet of metal or wood you are gonna bring in? Plywood and other sheets stock is sold in 4ft by 6ft sheets. So you are gonna need room for them or cut them down first.

How to Set up a Workbench

You can have a traditional workbench or a hydraulic one.

Opting for an adjustable modular modern workbench can be a good choice. Your knees and back will thank you later.

Think about the size of the workbench. How large should it be?

  • Are you working standing or sitting?
  • Do you need storage shelves or drawers in the workbench?
  • Do you need access to it all around or just front?

Wherever you buy or build your own workbench. Make sure it withstands the jobs you are gonna put it through. The base and legs need to be sturdy, and materials used durable and not easily dented. Make sure the workbench is made of materials appropriate for your project types. For example wooden or metal workbench.

Most workbenches range from 25 inches to 40 inches deep, 45 inches to 100 inches wide, and 25 inches to 40 inches tall. The amount of space you have usually dictated a bench’s depth and width. Size your bench so you can move material and equipment past it easily.

How Do You Organize a Workshop?

Figure Out How Much Space You’ll Need

How you want your garage to function? Do you need space for storage and a car beside your workspace?

Make a plan to partition your workshop away from your garage if you need the space for cars and stuff too. Installing a simple plywood wall can be enough in some cases.

Make Sure There Are Enough Power and Access to It

The attached garages usually have outlets already. Detached garages can be trickier and maybe in need of circuit upgrades first. Access and installing enough outlets is key to your workshop either way.

Location of Tools

Place your tools where you need them the most and where they serve their purpose the best.

Warming and Cooling

Working at the right temperature is just so much nicer depending on your geographical location and climate. Make sure your garage is insulated and adequately heated or cooled. So you can keep the garage comfortable for any kind of work.

Lighting

Make sure there is enough natural light through the windows and invest in suitable LED lamps. Have two or more light sources to eliminate the shadows.

Poorly lit workspace is just asking for troubles and can be dangerous.

Ventilation

Ventilate your garage properly to avoid inhaling toxic fumes or sawdust, and always wear safety masks if the job requires them. You can ventilate to the sidewalls or through the attic to the roof. Or place some fans and at least keep the door open. You can also install dust collectors.

How Do You Layout the Workshop?

Think About Your Workflow

Consider the path your product takes the moment it enters your shop. That will guide you through nearly all of your shop layout decisions.

Group Your Tools Sensibly

Tools used to perform similar functions or are typically used succession should be located near each other. Think about the tools you need repeatedly.

Place Tools Near the Main Workbench/Area

Keep your tools close to your workbench where they are needed most, including hand and power tools.

Put Tools to the Wall

Pegboards are great for organizing your tools.

Place Your Workbench/Area Near a Windows

Natural light brightens up your day and makes it easy to see what you are working on. You’ll have a nice view, and you can relax your eyes by looking into the distance sometimes.

Store the Big Stuff Near the Entrance

If you are working with plywood sheets or metal sheets/pipes. Storing long objects/stock near the door is most effortless, and loading/unloading vehicles are faster.

Assembly Table

If you have an assembly table, try locating it centrally. Usually, the assembly table holds all the various bits and pieces needed for your projects. When the table is somewhere center or next to your workbench. Your project parts are never too far.

Finishing Area

If you need to paint or coat your product. You’ll want a dedicated spot for preparing, mixing, and applying finishes. Make sure there is good ventilation near the windows or ventilation pipes.

Many times you are dealing with toxic chemicals. Windows have added bonus of natural light to help color matching.

Workshop Floor

Choose durable, easy to clean flooring material. Consider also rubber floor mats.

Safety Equipment and Kits for a Workshop

Safety gear is important in any workshop.

Make sure you have proper.

  • Safety glasses
  • Masks for filtering particles
  • Clothes and gloves
  • A clear path out of the room

You should have ways of addressing.

  • First aid
  • A first-aid eyewash station
  • Fire (There are different classes of fire extinguishers (A, B, C) to choose from wood and paper fires to chemical fires.)
  • Emergency assistance

There are many online tools like this to figure out your available space and where you are going to put everything. Plan everything carefully and if something does not work in real life. Change the order.

A good layout plan indicates the placement of equipment, storage, and optimum workflow. And doesn’t result in too much unnecessary transportation of the products.

How Do You Declutter a Workshop?

  • Take inventory first of everything.
  • Count your tools, machines, parts, and accessories. Sell the ones you never use.
  • Categorize everything—for example, hand tools, power tools, bigger machinery, seasonal usage equipment.
  • Organize and label everything with cabinets, pegboards, racks, bins, overhead storage, hooks,
  • Keep your workshop clean, nice, and tidy.

Woodwork Workshop

Typical woodworking requires

  • Lumber storage area
  • Workbench
  • Tool storage
  • Stationary machines
  • Finishing area

Enough space and clearance for wide boards and panels.

Ventilation and dust collecting for power tools.

A modern dust collection system is composed of central ducts or pipes and flexible tubing leading to a central dust collector.

Put the miter saw neat the lumber rack. You’ll have an easier time cutting down the rough stock. Also, keep the Multi-Function table near.

Keep the Clamps Near the Assembly Table or Workbench

You can place clamps on the wall or rolling cart.

Place the Table Saw Centrally

Like assembly table, your table saw has a lot of usages. And extra space is good for those bigger workpieces.

How Much Space Do You Need for a Table Saw?

Table saws require at least 4 to 10 feet of clear space on all sides, so there’s room to work.

Right Tools Against the Wall

Some tools can be placed against the wall. Router tables, bandsaws, mortises, drill presses, and stationary sanders can be placed against the wall.

Mobile Bases for Your Tools or Machinery

You have to, at some point, move tools around, even if only temporarily. Incorporate mobile bases for your convenience.

Storage

  • How much stock are you gonna keep in hand?
  • Boards and lumber, stackable on racks
  • Bits and pieces. Storable in small racks or bins
  • Other elements and hardware, Racks, Shelves, cabinets.

Area for Finishing

You’ll want a dedicated spot for preparing, mixing, and applying finishes. Make sure there is good ventilation near the windows or ventilation pipes. Many times you are dealing with toxic chemicals. Windows have added the bonus of natural light to help color matching.

Metalwork Workshop

Metalwork requires a different set of tools and machines than woodwork, or maybe you are thinking blacksmithing tools.

Must-Have Tools for a Workshop

You need tools to

  • Cut
  • Finish
  • Assemble
  • Measure
  • Hold

Basic tools

Hammers, Wrenches, screwdrivers, hex keys, pliers, measurements tools

Woodworking Tools

  • A table saw band saw or radial arm saw.
  • Thickness planer, jointer, lathe, and drill press
  • Hand tools include a set of chisels, planes, saws, files, hammers, mallets, squares,
  • Air compressor for pneumatic tools like nailers, drills, sanders, impact wrenches, grinders, spray guns, screw guns, and washers.
  • Sawhorse
  • Miter saw, jigsaw
  • Workbench
  • Tape measure

Metal Tools

  • Lathes and boring mills
  • Shapers and Planers
  • Welding machines
  • Angle finders
  • Drilling machines
  • Milling machines
  • Grinding machines
  • Presses
  • Hammers, Anvils

Do I Need Additional Electrical Circuits for Garage Workshop?

For standard tools, Household 120v should be just fine. If you install heavy machinery, you need additional dedicated 220v panels installed in your garage.

  • 15 amp circuit is allowed for 10 outlets
  • 20 amp circuit, 13 outlets are permitted.
  • A garage should have 60 amps.

As the 2017 NEC (National Electric Code) states, newly constructed garages need at least one dedicated 120-volt 20-amp circuit that only serves the garage.

Consult an electrician professional if you are unsure about your garage circuits and they are enough for the usage planned.

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