Setting up a Woodworking Shop

You may think the hardest part about setting up a woodworking shop is the layout. Yes, it can be time-consuming (depending on the level of detail you put into it), but in my experience creating the layout isn’t nearly as bad as the move itself, especially if it’s down into a basement.

Regardless of location, moving into a woodshop means formulating a plan for how the whole thing is going to happen. The plan should take into consideration concerns like, “Are there enough outlets to accommodate your tools?” and, “Do you have enough light fixtures to ensure you can see what you’re doing safely?” There are many questions you might not think about until you’re moved in and are faced with a situation you thought you’d made plans for.

Does this sound like a lot of work? It can be. But in reality it doesn’t take very long to do a quick survey of the area you’re thinking of calling a shop.

For me, it was a matter of minutes and a few quick calculations to determine that my current shop space was a good a fit for the type of woodworking I enjoy.

The other topic I address in the above video is the order in which I moved my tools into the shop. It may sound backwards, but I have found it’s best to start with your small tools on wall storage and work your way down to the floor. If you place your table saw and other large floor tools first, you may find yourself with limited options for everything else.

Please share your setup tips with the rest of the Popular Woodworking community in the comments section!

Matt Vanderlist


See Matt’s first post in this series, on woodshop layout! We’ll have one more for you later this week on shop storage ideas.

Also, check out our big selection of $1.99 downloads on setting up a woodworking shop!

Dan Farnbach

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About Matt

Matt is the host and creator of the first and longest-running podcast dedicated to the home woodworker – Matt's Basement Workshop. While woodworking isn't his full time occupation, it is his passion. So to help feed that passion Matt started his podcast in an effort to learn as much about woodworking as he can and share it with whomever will listen.

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