Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Workshop Design Ideas

As a thinking exercise, I came up with a few ideas for designing a new, out of the ground wood shop.

  1. Size: I think about 30'x20' is probably fine. Any larger and costs escalate, and any smaller and you get into crampy conditions with dual purpose spaces which need reconfiguring based on tasks.

    I think the best of both worlds is to have it connected to a full garage, if possible. In my mind I keep thinking of having a separate or semi-attached 30' wide x 24' deep garage building with a 30'x 16' extension on the rear for the shop (30'x40' total).

  2. Basement. This is a weird one, but I think the best woodshop design incorporates a full or partial basement which houses the air compressor and dust collection subsystem, as well as an instant hot water heater and possibly a small bathroom.

    All of the DC ducting can then drop directly from the machine down to a main run below the joists. That should allow the DC to run more efficiently, as it uses gravity to pull down dust and chips instead of having to suck it up to the ceiling or something. It would also make the DC and air compressor systems completely silent.

  3. 2 layers of 3/4" subfloor on 11-7/8" LPI joists on 16" centers. It would be nice to have finished wood floors, but I could easily get by with exposed OSB or plywood subflooring. A quick stain would make it look fine. I'd have to check the span tables, but I think you can get away with 16" OC spacing; maybe drop to 12" or double up under where the big heavy machinery is going.

  4. 6" metal snap ducting for all DC piping, directly down from the machine to a main 8" run to the DC.

  5. Scissors trusses for the ceiling, 9' high at the sides with 12' or so at the peak.

  6. 8' fluorescent strip lighting using "daylight" bulbs, along with undercabinet lights where required.

  7. Environmental design includes proper orientation to maximize early morning and late afternoon light, and deep eaves to keep 10-2PM solar gain low.

  8. Transom windows at 5'-0" to allow for wall-mounted things. Full size windows over the workbench.

  9. A shop-long 24" work counter with base cabinets, face vises, drawers and pull-out bins along the long dimension, under the transom windows.

  10. Large French doors connected to the garage. Insulated door to the house

  11. Partial small upstairs office, open to the shop below

  12. 2 large filtered box fans to catch airborn dust.

  13. White painted ceiling with a stucco "rough" texture to minimze glare.

  14. Wall finishes: horizontal tongue and groove cedar, painted wallboard, and other materials

  15. Separate room for finishing, about 8'x10', with wall cabinets for finishing materials, and a central large assembly/finishing table. Air filtration to exterior.

  16. Large concrete utility sink near sharpening station.


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