Turning Your Garage Into a Functional Workshop
There may be ways to dual-purpose your garage for both a garage and a woodworking shop. The trick is how to set it up so it functions seamlessly. The type of woodwork you do will require its own needs for tools, storage, and floor plan.
Start with getting a measurement of the garage and measure (or estimate) the larger needed equipment. Make a blueprint of how each piece will fit into the space, making sure you have enough room to function. (You don't want to put a saw - 2-foot from the wall if you need room to cut an 8-foot board.)
Things to Consider
• Put machinery that you don’t have to work behind, up against the wall.
• Can you safely work over something else? Think of a U-shape design. Can you have a saw in front of you, with enough room to cut a 2x4. To the left is the lathe, where the 2x4 clears the workbench, and turn left again and that is a sander. You want to make sure there is enough clearance to do each job, safely.
• Put a quick-coupler on the air hose for quicker changes. (a tire inflator or a blower). Run air hose from overhead.
What items do you need at each machine? Utilise the underneath of a bench to store items you need close. Add nails under the bench to hang dust brooms, tools, safety glasses, and use small handled bags to store steel wool, that can hang under the bench. On the inside of a corner leg, if it is wood, make a corner box. This will keep pencils, rulers, and other items, neatly together and out of the way. Cleanup is quicker this way.
• Expand storage space to the wall. Lesser-used items can go up on the wall.
• Hang extension cords, mechanic lights, and hoses.
• Hang items on a heavy wire grid. Block garages have a board that runs atop of the block; use that to add 2x4 to hang wire, pegboard, or baskets.
• Large tall cabinets with shelves are perfect for storing big cans of paint stripper, stains, oil, washer fluid, and more.
• Designate each shelf for a purpose. Add a lock to keep chemicals out of reach.
What can you do with the smaller items? When you talk about different types of woodworking, there is a different small part, for each individual job. Cabinetry, for example, will have knobs and hinges, but you might need space for various sizes, various types, or other hardware.
Where do you put the small hardware?
• Multi-drawer cabinets are great to use. Clear drawers work best. Mark them with the item name and the size. (Bronze Hinge, 2-inch) (Wood Knob, Unstained)
• Use a 2x4 and attach a jar lid to it. A glass jar is easy to see thru and the board can go in between studs, or make a shelf unit like this for on a wall. Make sure to use two screws to hold the lid to keep it attached.
• An old dresser will work for holding hardware and organised small items (boxes of nails, screws). Speciality items can go in the house, or in the basement, keeping more room in the garage.
You may still need room in the garage for the garage items, but if anything in the garage can be put on wheels and made mobile, you might have enough room for an emergency garage use. Save money and buy used storage items. Even though you plan it, be prepared for some adjustments. As you work within the space, things will change.