Small workshop layout ideas
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Slovenia
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    Small workshop layout ideas

    Hey all!

    I am in the process of equipping my small basement workshop over the upcoming winter for some welding, metalworking, general house repair work and DIY. Space available is 16m2 (172 square feet) as per the bottom layout.


    Some actual pictures of the current state:

    Door and chimney area:


    Cupboard area:
    I know, its a mess I paln to keep this setup here, since I do work on motorcycles too, especially fork rebuilds in this area.


    Raised platform area:
    I had to raise the floor for 50mm in this corner to make it flat over some old pipes. Plan for this platform is to hold some shelves for tools and equipment along with a industrial grade filtration unit / fume extractor. You can also see my tiny welding table and sheet metal shears I was rebuilding on it.


    Far corner:
    In this area I plan a welding table (1500mmx800mm; 60"x30"). Welding table will be on wheels, so I can move it to centre of the room when working and store it in the area between the raised platform and the wall. I was thinking of mounting the bench grinder on the wall below the window or would it be better to have it on a hitch connection on the welding table?


    I need to figure out a layout soon, so that I can put electrical outlets on proper places and have power for all my equipment.

    All the ideas and criticism is welcome.

  2. #2
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    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    Ventilation would be my biggest concern, but I see you have a fume extractor....

    Hopefully that will be enough...

    I'd also plan on a few conveniently located Fire Extinguishers.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    That small of an area i wouldn’t clutter up walls with too many plug ins. I would have a long cord on the welder and a cord reel for power tools. I would put wheels on everything and roll it around as needed so you can make as much open space as possible. What are your walls covered in now?
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  4. #4
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    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    Yes wheels on everything will help. My shop is not too small at 1,200 square feet but I keep trucks in it so everything is on wheels to put away when finished and make room for the trucks. I also use Rubbermaid carts to roll parts from one area to another like from the saw to the drill press to the welding table etc. All the parts from one project can be kept on the cart till finished so they don't get lost, just have to be careful not to make the cart a catch all.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    My insurance man would have a fit if he saw a welder in the basement !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Southern California
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    623

    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    Wheels on everything, stack/combine everything you can, and make things collapsable (tables, supports, etc).

    Cover or enclose everything you don't want a TON of dust on, though everything will get dirty as all heck anyway. On that note make sure you're not venting into the main house, and the door to the main house has a decent seal unless you like a workshop type environment at home. You can buy air conditioning filters and cut/affix them to all vents if you still want AC.

    Just about every surface you see (doors, walls, etc) can be used to hang/hold something. Use hooks, brackets, peg board, drill holes and use pegboard hooks, etc.

    2 or more long/thin tables instead of one that is wider. If you want them beefy and non collapsable Make them so they fit against the wall with all space under them taken up (cabinets, shelves, or tool chests).

    You can make a material that rack across the corners near the ceiling to store as long of pieces as possible without impeding work space.

    Use lights that diffuse well, low ceilings and bright spotty lights can be just as frustrating as not enough light.

    I'm a fan of external wiring and outlets (pvc or metal conduit), and as many outlets as you dare, cords get MESSY in a small space and are a PAIN.

    Another place where space is often wasted is headroom between shelves and in deep drawers. For shelves/cabinets Make small cubby hole type setups in various sizes instead just long big shelves and you'll be amazed how much space you find in addition to being organized/clean. No more stacking the circular saw on top of a bag of pvc elbows and a two rolls of ducts tape.

    I found some helpful organizing things at the dollar tree, yes the dollar tree.

    I also use husky branded organizers that are 10 dollars apiece from home depot: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-10...5587/302939645 They are smaller and lack a waterproofing gasket on the lid (use rtv or even a bead of silicone cault) than the big names. They are made by the same Israeli company that makes milwaukee, dewalt, and ridgid "packout" style systems, which are ALL good so take your pick depending on budget and needs).

    Good luck from a fellow small spacer!
    Last edited by SlowBlues; 09-12-2019 at 05:59 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Southern California
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    623

    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    Also, I would use welding blankets or screens to make a "collapsable" cutting and grinding room, think shower curtain setup. I'd use a backing from the ceiling to behind the rod and make sure the screen was hung to the ground to maximize the "seal".

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by farmshop View Post
    That small of an area i wouldn’t clutter up walls with too many plug ins. I would have a long cord on the welder and a cord reel for power tools. I would put wheels on everything and roll it around as needed so you can make as much open space as possible. What are your walls covered in now?
    I would keep a shorter cord on the welder and leave it in one designated spot and have leads for it long enough to reach any where else in the shop. Then you don't need to move the machine around to reach different areas. Also have plug ins about every 6-8' apart, around waist high from the floor. You can use shorter extension cords and just plug'em in where needed.
    If you mount the welding machine up on a shelf off the floor it will leave valuable floor space underneath for roll around tables or cabinets to be placed there. It also will make it easier to access the controls for adjusting it as needed. You won't need to bend or squat to turn the dials.
    Last edited by Bistineau; 09-14-2019 at 09:49 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Slovenia
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    7

    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    Hey!

    Thanks for all the suggestions. All have been noted, I will try to answer a few.

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Ventilation would be my biggest concern, but I see you have a fume extractor....

    Hopefully that will be enough...

    I'd also plan on a few conveniently located Fire Extinguishers.
    Good point on the fire extinguishers, need to get one of those, preferably CO2 not powder.

    As for filtration, I have a Teka Filtoo unit on order. It is ISO certified to filter out 99% of the particles and gasses and return clean air back into the room. Also with the special attachment, I can suck-in grinding sparks.



    Quote Originally Posted by farmshop View Post
    That small of an area i wouldn’t clutter up walls with too many plug ins. I would have a long cord on the welder and a cord reel for power tools. I would put wheels on everything and roll it around as needed so you can make as much open space as possible. What are your walls covered in now?
    Everything is planed to be on wheels, except the drill. I plan on 6 outlets in 3 locations (2 per location) to distribute the load on electrical network in the house as much as I can.

    Walls are coverd in regural interior paint ant the moment. It is quite dark in places from angle grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by bigb View Post
    Yes wheels on everything will help. My shop is not too small at 1,200 square feet but I keep trucks in it so everything is on wheels to put away when finished and make room for the trucks. I also use Rubbermaid carts to roll parts from one area to another like from the saw to the drill press to the welding table etc. All the parts from one project can be kept on the cart till finished so they don't get lost, just have to be careful not to make the cart a catch all.
    That is something I still need to get disciplined it

    Quote Originally Posted by Leogl View Post
    My insurance man would have a fit if he saw a welder in the basement !
    Not a problem here in our neck of the woods. Whole houses are concrete and small areas, like mine were usually build to keep oil and furnace in, so quite fire-proof space.

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowBlues View Post
    Wheels on everything, stack/combine everything you can, and make things collapsable (tables, supports, etc).

    Cover or enclose everything you don't want a TON of dust on, though everything will get dirty as all heck anyway. On that note make sure you're not venting into the main house, and the door to the main house has a decent seal unless you like a workshop type environment at home. You can buy air conditioning filters and cut/affix them to all vents if you still want AC.

    Just about every surface you see (doors, walls, etc) can be used to hang/hold something. Use hooks, brackets, peg board, drill holes and use pegboard hooks, etc.

    2 or more long/thin tables instead of one that is wider. If you want them beefy and non collapsable Make them so they fit against the wall with all space under them taken up (cabinets, shelves, or tool chests).

    You can make a material that rack across the corners near the ceiling to store as long of pieces as possible without impeding work space.

    Use lights that diffuse well, low ceilings and bright spotty lights can be just as frustrating as not enough light.

    I'm a fan of external wiring and outlets (pvc or metal conduit), and as many outlets as you dare, cords get MESSY in a small space and are a PAIN.

    Another place where space is often wasted is headroom between shelves and in deep drawers. For shelves/cabinets Make small cubby hole type setups in various sizes instead just long big shelves and you'll be amazed how much space you find in addition to being organized/clean. No more stacking the circular saw on top of a bag of pvc elbows and a two rolls of ducts tape.

    I found some helpful organizing things at the dollar tree, yes the dollar tree.

    I also use husky branded organizers that are 10 dollars apiece from home depot: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-10...5587/302939645 They are smaller and lack a waterproofing gasket on the lid (use rtv or even a bead of silicone cault) than the big names. They are made by the same Israeli company that makes milwaukee, dewalt, and ridgid "packout" style systems, which are ALL good so take your pick depending on budget and needs).

    Good luck from a fellow small spacer!
    Uff, a lot of great info and ideas in this post. Thanks for taking the time and sharing it all with us.

    Some of the bigger stuff:
    - 1 smaller table with extensions side and width ways is my plan, anything over 9ft long and I can't get it out of the basement anyway.
    - on shelves, that I still have to build, will house dust/waterproof boxes for electrical tools and sensitive equipment
    - Already mounted a set of hooks for storing material shorter than 5ft high on the wall. anything longer than that, goes in a different room in the basement.
    - no AC in the house, hopefully Teka filtration unit takes care of smells and fumes


    Quote Originally Posted by SlowBlues View Post
    Also, I would use welding blankets or screens to make a "collapsable" cutting and grinding room, think shower curtain setup. I'd use a backing from the ceiling to behind the rod and make sure the screen was hung to the ground to maximize the "seal".
    Hopefully that won't be needed with the filtration unit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bistineau View Post
    I would keep a shorter cord on the welder and leave it in one designated spot and have leads for it long enough to reach any where else in the shop. Then you don't need to move the machine around to reach different areas. Also have plug ins about every 6-8' apart, around waist high from the floor. You can use shorter extension cords and just plug'em in where needed.
    If you mount the welding machine up on a shelf off the floor it will leave valuable floor space underneath for roll around tables or cabinets to be placed there. It also will make it easier to access the controls for adjusting it as needed. You won't need to bend or squat to turn the dials.
    That is a good point, will see if I can find any longer ones for my model of the welder. I will definetly keep it off my main table, to keep it safe from any unnecessary vibrations.

    1 shelf for the welder, one shelf under it for welding supplies and under that a circular saw. A lot of stuss in a small space.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This week welding project was helping my friend with building his workshop table. He arranged for us to have a bit bigger space available to work, than his backyard. The only thing he forgot to mention was, we were gonna work at a welding shop with some sweet equipment available to us.


    A professional welding table I have fallen in love with it. It was so nice to work on it. Though I was quite nervous to start working on it, I mean I am a self thought hobby stick welder, working on a pro table with the owner there with us. I gave my best, but still need some training


    Finished frame. Legs are pushed in so there is space for 2 tool carts under the sides and supports for 2 shelves.


    Now I need to start designing my own table in 3D before I start building it

  10. #10
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    Aug 2004
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    5,239

    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    How many times a minute does your fume and smoke filtration equipment process the air in your planned shop?
    I've been everywhere but the electric chair, seen everything but the wind...the only two things I can't weld is the crack of dawn and a broken heart!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Slovenia
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    7

    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by tackit View Post
    How many times a minute does your fume and smoke filtration equipment process the air in your planned shop?
    Here is all the info on the unit: https://en.teka.eu/products/mobile-s...ternal-joints/

    It sucks air in constantly through a spark catcher (optional that I orderd) and than through 4 filters, before going back into the room.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    My shop is about 25x25, I put an outlet every 6 feet on 3 walls, each wall is on a separate circuit with separate 240 circuits for my compressor and one for the welders. All the outlets are at about 4 foot elevation from the floor, steel boxes with steel covers. This is carried on a 100 amp sub panel in the shop.
    Last edited by CAVEMANN; 09-22-2019 at 04:08 PM.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    741

    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    The biggest thing, for me, would be French Cleats all over every blessed wall. Not only are they really easy to make yourself, but they are infinitely adjustable, super cheap, and give you a ton of organizing options.

    Benches get cluttered fast in my shop, so I'd not want any more of them than absolutely necessary. If it can't hang on the wall, do you really need it? The french cleats keep things organized and easy to see so you know where everything is.

  14. #14
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    Aug 2019
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    Slovenia
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    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    The biggest thing, for me, would be French Cleats all over every blessed wall. Not only are they really easy to make yourself, but they are infinitely adjustable, super cheap, and give you a ton of organizing options.

    Benches get cluttered fast in my shop, so I'd not want any more of them than absolutely necessary. If it can't hang on the wall, do you really need it? The french cleats keep things organized and easy to see so you know where everything is.
    Those French Cleats system looks good. The only concern I have is welding + grinding sparks + wood. I will use them in my garage though. Thanks for the idea.

    I made some progress in the basement. Fitted up three pairs of 1 phase 240V outlets and one 3 phase 400V outlet. That should cover all my current and future needs. Got the electrician to connect it all up so I have light and power in the shop.



    Fuse box with outlets and a light switch.


    Also, it was Christmas today for me Finnaly took delivery of my filtration unit. Still need to assemble it, though.



    After many hours of research, looking at different builds, options and features of welding tables on the forum, google, YouTube, pinterest,... I have finally decided on a welding table I would like to build for myself. Top size will be 1400mmx800mm (~ 55"x31"). The only thing that I have not yet decided is style of the top of the table (flat plate or cleats).
    Last edited by Miklavc; 10-02-2019 at 03:07 PM. Reason: typo

  15. #15
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    Re: Small workshop layout ideas

    I'm thinking of issues related to ventilation and cleaning. Cutting stuff, throwing sparks, metal dust, etc. down in a small closed area like that could get really messy and unhealthy very quickly. I'm also thinking of using an angle grinder; it'd be throwing sparks all over the place, bouncing off the opposite wall. You could probably make it work, but just don't rush, and give very careful thought to everything.
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