When designing your woodworking space, the most important factor is efficiency. Having a space where you can move around freely and easily to locate and retrieve your items is crucial. Whether you’re working in a large open basement or a tiny one-car garage, having efficient space can make the biggest difference. If you’re thinking about creating a practical area for all your wood projects, follow these tips for designing an efficient woodworking space.
Map Out Your Area
It may not seem important, but mapping out your desired space will help you create efficiency. You’ll have a plan set in place, and chances are, you’ll stick to it. Think of the area you currently have. Is it empty or are you sharing your space? If you’re sharing, map out the areas that aren’t free as well. This will help you stick to your designated spot.
Once you have a drawing of your space, including free and occupied, begin to visualize what you want to see in your wood shop. Think about the items that you currently utilize and those you plan to add. Then, begin drafting where these items will go. Below are a few things you should consider adding to the draft of your map.
- Tool Storage – Tools can be hung on the wall. Decide which wall will be utilized.
- Lumber Storage – Either on the wall or a specific area, be sure to add this storage space to your draft.
- Work Bench – Decide on a placement for this in your draft.
- Supplies – Things like wood stain and paint also need proper placement. Draft out any organizational items you’ll use to store these supplies.
Make Your Tools Mobile
Efficiency and mobility go hand in hand, especially if you’re working with a small space. With that being said, consider adding some wheels to your stationary tools. Things like your table saw, band saw, miter saw, and air compressor can all go onto stands or tables that can easily have wheels added onto the bottoms.
Making your tools mobile will help you get the most out of your space. It’s also helpful if your shop is located in your garage. Having mobile tools will help you move your work out onto the driveway, allowing you to decrease the amount of sawdust that gets into your space.
Even if you’re not in a garage, mobile tools will make clean up easier. They will also allow you to move things around whenever necessary.
Organize Your Tools
As it was previously mentioned, the storage space for your tools should be included in your draft. With that said, it’s important to discuss the organization of your tools. You’re going to want to be extra particular about the way in which you organize them and stick to it. By doing this, you’re going to minimize the amount of potential cluttering and wasted space. Organizing your tools will also help you maximize your safety and wellbeing.
By creating designated areas for all your tools, you’ll spend less time looking for a specific item and more time creating your wood projects. Below are a few items that will help your organizing efforts:
- Peg boards – This is where you’ll want to designate a specific wall for tool storage. You can use hangers and other things to help you properly place your tools against the wall.
- Tool Chests – These are big and spacious. They come in many designs, so you’ll be sure to find one that fits your exact needs.
- Ceiling Mounted Hangers – These are great to hang things such as cords and extra light fixtures.
Every wood shop needs proper lighting. It’s important to be able to see properly in your shop for your safety. A simple lamp won’t do the trick. You want to be sure to have as many lighting fixtures as possible. In this case, it’s helpful and beneficial to have more than what you need.
This is because different woodworking projects may call for different amounts of light needed. Too much light can make it hard to see how much sanding you’ve done on certain finishes. Too little lighting can be a serious threat to your project and safety. It’s better to be safe than sorry when illuminating your workshop.
Other Work Surfaces
Having a work bench is not only ideal but also mandatory. However, when working on various wood projects, you may quickly realize how overwhelming it can be to not have enough workspace. With that said, consider adding other work surfaces to your shop. This will help you create an efficient workspace because you’ll be able to add more space if you need it. Foldable tables can do the trick and they’re easy to store.
Keep Things Clean
Another helpful tip for designing an efficient woodworking space would be to keep things clean. This may sound silly and may even seem like it’s not necessary to share, but the truth of the matter is, not everyone sees ‘clean’ the same way. And in the case of woodworking, ‘clean’ should mean the exact same thing for everyone.
What we mean by it, however, is that your efficiency is dependent on it. Things like cleaning up at the end of the day, putting tools back where they belong, managing sawdust, and setting mobile tools back to their spots will help you create efficiency in your space because your shop will be ready to go at the start of all your mornings.
Save Your Scraps
When you have leftover lumber or lumber scraps, it’s important to save these pieces. This tip is often overlooked because that’s the type of society we live in. It’s normal to use things once and throw them away forever, yet this isn’t a smart move for the environment’s sake. Instead of throwing out unused wood or wood that simply didn’t make it to the final project, keep it. You never know when you may occupy it. By saving your scraps, you’re doing the right environmentally-conscious thing, while also making the most of your money. And that together creates efficiency, because you’ll definitely save yourself a few trips to the lumber yard.
Now that you have the tips you need to create an efficient woodworking shop, take the time to look at our handcrafted wood creations like our solid wood office desk and our solid wood kitchen island. Although we work in a space much larger than a basement or a one-car garage, we share the same passions as you do. For your next handcrafted wood needs, be sure to give us a call. We can provide you with the furniture that will make your home complete.