Workshop Design

By Todd Fratzel on Design

Now that I’ve almost completed the new staircase to my workshop I need to start designing the layout. I must say I’m a bit overwhelmed at the idea of coming up with a great layout that will make me happy for years to come. The actual workshop will be approximately 28′ long by 12′ wide. This long narrow space will prove to be quite the challenge if I’m going to come up with a design that’s functional enough to keep me happy for a few years.

Some of the design issues that I’m starting to consider are:

1. A bench that will support my sliding compound saw. This bench will most likely also have cabinet space below it to store tools.

2. A wall of cabinets to store tools, fasteners and supplies.

3. Some type of outfeed table for my table saw that will serve as extra storage, router table and outfeed for the table saw.

4. Lighting and electrical outlet locations.

5. Some sort of dust control system (this shop is upstairs over the garage so it would be nice to keep my garage clean by collecting the dust as I make it).

6. Insulation and wall sheathing options.

The other challenge is the head height. The ceiling is 8′ high, however, as you can see in the sketch the sides are sloped to match the roof. This shouldn’t be a big issue if I align the benches under these area.

So if anyone has some good resources, ideas, links or advice I’d love to hear about it.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Shawn says:

    There is a great workbench at that uses a solid-core door and prefabricated kitchen cabinets. I plan on building this for my garage work area this year.

    Titled “1 day workbench” in the December 2008 edition.

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