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Where to position your tools and furniture
Given that you have practically no space at all for a wood shop in a typical home garage, you need to make use of every inch.
Here are our suggestions:
Start with your miter station. Pick a long wall, preferably with a window and put it there.
Imaging yourself needing to cut a 10 feet plus length of wood. Could you open your garage door if you need extra space or is it going to be limited by the distance from the blade to a wall?
Whilst you need it anyway, the space to the left of your miter station will be used less than the right so think about that in design and placement. That's a mistake, I need to fix because I built mine with less space to the right than left.
Unless you buy/own a miter saw that doesnt need free space behind it for rail travel, you're going to need to pull your miter station away from the wall. That's a shame because that space is hard to make good use of under those circumstances. It's also a sawdust magnet where many a small object will disappear.
Table saw outfeed and assembly.
In an upcoming episode, I'll be building myself a new tablesaw outfeed and assembly table in one. Wherever you can multi task a piece of shop furniture, do it.
As for position, measure from the obstruction or wall to the table saw blade. You want to be able to rip at least an 8 foot plywood or MDF sheet or a length of 2x4 before it hits anything. That way, chances are, it'll be rare that you'll have to move your saw to cut anything.
Give yourself room to move around each piece of furniture. You'll need to stand there and get a feel for the amount of space you'd like to allow for yourself to walk around your shop. Just imagine the REALITY of the shop in practice. You could need to get from one end to the other with something heavy. Will you have space to do that?
I'd recommend around 3 feet for all walkways but that's just me.
There will be furniture pieces that you can position right against a wall with little chance of a problem. I did that with my drill press and so far, it hasn't been a problem.
Your band saw can also go next to the wall, as long as you're standing position is comfortable that is.
Your jointer, table saw and thickness planer all have similar issues regarding the stock you need to run through them. you should be able to run long workpieces through any of them without any obstruction.
Now let's think about dust collection...
If you're just starting out, this is what I have in my shop and I love it, not just because it was seriously affordable:
Take a look over head and plan how you can install dust collection for the machines you have.
You should try to position machines that produce the most dust, closer to the dust collector or in this case, shop vac.
I do recommend having tools permanently fixed in place if you can. Nothing good comes from having to find a dovetail jig or scroll saw and set it up when you need it. I find that I can use the same table for my thickness planer outfeed as I can for a selection of other tools, my scroll saw being one of them.
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