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  • Garage shop setup ideas...

    So I'm getting ready to setup shop in my garage, my goal is to be able to tackle home projects, woodworking projects, and speaker building projects with relative ease. But I also need to have room to park at least one car and store my trash and recycle cans as well. I have a standard sized 2 car garage, so it's roomy, but not huge. So I need some ideas, I'm debating on installing a permanent work bench, or building a mobile workstation on casters that includes a table saw, router table, and storage all in one. This would be handy but may end up taking up more real estate in the end. Then there's the great debate over what table saw to get, I'm looking at the Ridgid, Dewalt, and Bosch saws in the $450 - $550 range, they all seem to have the same basic capabilities, just not sure what the clear winner is out of the 3. I guess it depends on if I decide to do the workstation, or separate permanent bench. The Ridgid and Bosch have the folding bases with wheels, the Dewalt doesn't. But the Dewalt has about the same rip capacity in a smaller package, and the rack and pinion fence I kinda like. So the Dewalt may be a better choice if I do a combo saw/ bench/ storage/ router table, but might be a pain to setup/store if I don't. What do you guys think? Any advice on the saws, and the pros/cons of the different setups?
    My modest builds:
    Armadillo TM, A.K.A. Lil' Dillo
    Tarkus/Armadillo build #2
    Armadillo Center Channel
    Au-Rock-O Sub
    Tarkus
    Staining MDF tutorial

  • #2
    Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

    Bolland,

    Great topic for my bored b-u-t-t who is stuck at work, after everybody left, yet I have to stay until 6am for inspection....
    I have been trying to finish my "perfect" workshop. It is an over deep 4car, which I thought was OMG AMAZING when I bought the home in 09; it quickly filled up and has me yearning for more. Best pointers I can give you are to build 1 fixed workbench, at standing height and not too deep. The standing workbench to me was a must for sanding and clamping which is sometimes a PITA if your sitting. This also allows for taller storage space underneath, mine fits 55 gallon drums under which hold wood cutoffs, and 2 rollaround toolboxes. then build one that can be placed in the center of the room, possibly folding our being able to be stored outta the way. You will always love a workbench that you can access from 4 sides, especially for painting because you need to catch light from all sides to see the work.

    Shelving is a must, if you are semi-tall like me, I put it up high to make the most of 11ft ceilings. THe larger stuff that gets used less often goes up high. Smaller shelves and bins down low for hardware and common items. Keep dust in mind, and you may want to use corrougated shelving like expanded metal so the dust flows through--- otherwise you can never really keep it spotless.

    ALWAYS think of your next move before you build anything or like me, you will have to tear it down 15 times untill you get it right. I still have a ways to go. I think I have some pics on another thread I started here, I'll see if I can find em.

    Go for the $549 ridgid cast iron saw, my neighbor has one and I love it. I may be a ridgid fan anyways but for the price, the fence is nearly as good as a $299 replacement fence.

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    • #3
      Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

      I'd put in some permanent work spaces and also have a mobile one. You'll need some material and tool staging areas.

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      • #4
        Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

        I've been thinking about my setup in the garage for years. I've got a little more room that a 2 stall garage but here's what I would do.... Most of my stuff packs into one wall with all my larger tools on mobile bases. I've got electric that pulls down from the ceiling and commonly remove my wife's car from the other stall to create a large area for "work" days. Then I can set up whatever work triangles I'd need for that day. When done, everything packs back up against the wall with various tools tucking under others. Of course one negative is that I'm only allowed to work in the shop for a weekend at a time then my setup has to disappear, or the nagging becomes unbearable especially in the winter.


        Here's some good idea starters.

        http://www.diynetwork.com/videos/ult...shop/6001.html

        http://www.kevinsbrady.net/woodshop.html

        http://www.startwoodworking.com/post/roll-away-workshop


        This next link is a great base to setup for a table saw. I made something really similar to this but I still used my dads old table saw. I changed the design so I can lower the actual saw and put in a filler piece of wood over it to make more table space for other working. As to which table saw, I'd say they'll all work fine but you'll also wish you had something else on any of them. One thing for me is to buy the best fence system you can. That seems to be the most important no matter what the saw can actually do.


        http://www.shopnotes.com/issues/104/...w-workstation/

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        • #5
          Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

          Assuming you have stud 'n' mud walls, I invested in covering one wall of my garage with construction grade plywood, screwed directly into the studs. I also put up shallow box shelves (like 6" deep) at just about eye level for all the stains, hardware, screws and glue. Hooks & pegs for hanging larger tools. With the plywood, you can redesign on the fly without worrying about where to put screws and brackets.

          I've also seen a fold up work bench, hinged on the wall side. That guy used saw horse style legs.

          Costco sells steel shelving made out of heavy wire that hold a bunch of weight and even come with casters.

          This roll around tool cart has been a major time/space saver too.

          Lou's Speaker Site [speakers.lonesaguaro.com]
          "Different" is objective, "better" is subjective. Taste is not a provable fact.
          Where are you John Galt? I may not be worthy, but I'm ready.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

            Some great ideas guys! I've been considering some of the wall track systems that you can attach various cabinets and shelves to and move them as needed, but let's face it, they are pretty expensive. Covering a wall with plywood is a much cheaper solution, and a lot more flexible. I kinda have this idea in my head to run some unistrut horizontally down one wall, maybe four rows or so at different heights. Two down low for workbench and tool cabinets, and two rows up high for storage cabinets and shelving. All of which could be bolted to the unistrut, and moved around or re arranged. It wouldn't cost much more than the plywood idea, and should be plenty strong provided I lag bolt the strut to every single stud. It would also allow for everything to be up off the floor, making cleanup nice and easy.
            My modest builds:
            Armadillo TM, A.K.A. Lil' Dillo
            Tarkus/Armadillo build #2
            Armadillo Center Channel
            Au-Rock-O Sub
            Tarkus
            Staining MDF tutorial

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

              +100 on the plywood walls. My entire garage is 1/2 osb and it makes deconstruction and construction of everything much easier than sheetrock walls. Honestly, the osb or plywood looks much better IMO because it has the rustic garage feel, and it does not show dirt at all.

              The pics below show my "fixed" workbench at standing height like I mentioned a few posts ago. It also shows the versatility of OSB walls to which you can screw directly to and save the cash from buying pegboard. This tall bench also works great for clamping up cabinets!!!

              The other pic is of my 2nd of 3 fixed workbenches. That one may have been overkill but I reserve its prettyness for the clean jobs like XO soldering and what not.
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

                On a table, I make the following suggestions from hard experience. If at all possible, choose a "cabinet saw" such as a Jet, Grizzley, Tool King, Delta (not my fav today) etc., with a Vega/Besseymeyer fence. A high quality fence like the Vega, Besseymeyer, Unifence (Delta) is 99% of the accuracy of a table saw and 300-800% of the set-up time. Consider a 2HP a minimum, and a 3 HP is worth the money many times over. Next choice would be a "contractor's" saw. These have rigid legs, cast-iron tables, often webbed cast-iron "wings".Makita, Hitachi, Ridgid, Craftsman, Saw-Stop, Grizzly, Jet and don't overlook some of the Chinese made saws. The best of these will have 2 HP 240 volt motors. Next will have 120/240 volt 1.5HP motors. Any with "1 HP developed" motors" need a replacement 1.5 HP motor (PM and ask me how I know!). The least desirable (for a long list of reasons) are the direct-drive "job-site" table saws that almost always have aluminum tops. 5 years ago I would have said run from the Chinese made table saws, and that would have been good advice. Today, that isn't true. The build quaility has gone up enourmously (the prices have too!), but make a reasonable assessment of your useage, compare features, quality and prices, and choose on that basis. You need to run any table saw over 1HP on 240 volts and a 1HP on 240 volts if possible. I wouldn't buy less or more than a 10" blade saw for a home shop. A 12" blade needs 460/480 volt three phase 7.5-10HP to "gain" anything. In most residential areas, this isn't available. A 10" 5HP three phase 208/240 (if that's even available to you) will handle 4" hardwood stock, and if you're buying "bulk" hardwoods like that, your dealer will likely have an automated XYZ bandsaw on-site and make your cuts for almost nothing (Kelley Hardwoods and Diamond T Forest Products here both do) and the kerf waste is next to nothing compared to a tablesaw. BTW: Either a cabinet saw or a contactor saw can be put on an inexpensive ( less than $200) lift/roller base for near total portability, and I highly reccommend one, as in, don't bring a saw home without one!

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                • #9
                  Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

                  Dust collector
                  Dust collector
                  radiant in floor heating (which is why mine is still gravel)
                  Dust collector
                  Piped in compressed air
                  Dust Collector
                  Mini Fridge
                  Wet sink
                  Dust Collector

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                  • #10
                    Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

                    The first thing that I had to do in my garage was to block in the windows. Seems that my 'hood has street urchins that like to kick in the back window to a garage and take all your tools to the local pawn shops! Doing that, I left a half-block hole for a high powered dust collector to be set up OUTSIDE the garage/shop. The machine outside the work area does a few things. 1)It moves noise out of the shop,2) it gives you more room in your work area,3) and I haven't seen a dust system leak at least a little. Put the dust system outside. You can always put a cheap "shed" around it to hide it if need be.
                    As for table saws,... a friend who builds custom sound treatments for recording studios suggests a smaller saw for cutting the sheeting used for speakers. I wanted a big 3-5 hp Delta. His logic? Any table saw can "kickback", but a big saw can blow a chunk of stock THROUGH you. Accidents can happen. Be safe!
                    The Past is history. The Future is a mystery. Today is a gift; that's why its called the Present. (Grand Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

                      Originally posted by D, Rose View Post
                      ... As for table saws,... a friend who builds custom sound treatments for recording studios suggests a smaller saw for cutting the sheeting used for speakers. I wanted a big 3-5 hp Delta. His logic? Any table saw can "kickback", but a big saw can blow a chunk of stock THROUGH you...
                      I completely agree. I have an older Craftsman with a 1 HP motor, and as long as I use a sharp blade, I have yet to have problems with it being underpowered. If I'm sawing 3" thick hard maple, I have to slow down, but a sharp blade will still chew right through it without any problems. If that motor ever goes out, I will probably step up to 1.5 HP, but in a home shop, I can't see any reason to spend the extra money on more motor (my personal preference).


                      One recommendation I have for garage setup is to find someone who is upgrading their kitchen cabinets and buy their used ones. My first garage had open shelving, and EVERYTHING was covered in dust. Even with a proper dust collection system, you will have stray dust. When we moved into our new house, my cousin was getting rid of his old kitchen cabinets, so now I have lots of doors/drawers to file everything away, and it's protected from the dust. It also helps give a much cleaner look to the area since everything appears to be "put away", and I have a nice counter-top surface that is easily cleanable if I get any grease/oil on it.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

                        http://woodgears.ca/

                        Lots of good ideas and tools.
                        "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas A. Edison

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                        • #13
                          Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

                          My 2 car garage is setup with a wide variety of equipment. I can put a 18.5' G3 boat inside if I have to, though there is little room to move anything at that point. My neighbor keeps his Fiero in there when I am in China. My workbenches are both solid to the floor, I prefer them that way. Everything else except the lathe is on wheels. Much of my tooling is kept in cabinets that are higher than most and use a vertical drawer system.





                          It just gives you more room because tools, cars or whatever can fit underneath that space. I also have my dust collector mounted to the outside of the shop.



                          Dust collection is really an issue if you are going to do a lot of woodworking. The little mobile ones are ok if you are just fooling around, but a permanent unit allows for much better collection for one, and almost zero setup time moving from tool to tool. The table saw is really the main tool, so you want to make certain you can use it easily, you have a good outfeed table setup (mine bolts on and then hangs on the wall when not in use) good dust collection on it and a solid base. You have to tune it more because you are rolling it around, but it is really not that big of a deal. I do mine like once ever 1-2 years.. not like that is a big deal.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

                            Originally posted by D, Rose View Post
                            Any table saw can "kickback", but a big saw can blow a chunk of stock THROUGH you. Accidents can happen. Be safe!
                            They will all kick back with brutal force, there is no difference between a Rigid and a full size cabinet saw in that respect. Kickback is caused 100% of the time by operator error. Now that error might include having your fence setup improperly, or having a cheap fence that does not allow for proper outfeed. Or having a too little saw for too big of a job and forcing the issue. But always you can prevent it by really, really thinking through what you are about to attempt.

                            I am scared of everything in my shop. Terrified actually. I have guards on everything, I do my operations with all the anal little safety procedures. Anytime I get into trouble it is when I am not paying attention. If you don't have any experience the best thing is to rent/buy shop dvds and watch guys who know what they are doing. There are lots of them out there, and you can really pick up some good tricks even if you have been doing it for years.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Garage shop setup ideas...

                              Kickback.....yes be cautious....... but also get a table saw with a riving knife to keep your tablesaw material from binding behind the blade.

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