Garage Shop Layout

by Dan Phalen
me
My Oregon garage shop worked just fine

When we moved to Oregon in 2006, I wanted to start woodworking in earnest, but the house lot was too small for a separate building. The only option was the garage.

The garage ceiling started at about 8 1/2 feet in height at the door and decreased toward the back to less than 7 feet, reduced drastically by the HVAC duct. Behind the furnace was a small storage room, (paints and BLO mainly), so that cut into the shop depth. Of the garage floor area I had about 13' by 18' available for actual work, once the car was removed.

Still, I had a very usable shop with plenty of storage and all the tools I needed to apply my woodcraft.

We've since moved to California for the weather. My new shop is still sharing the garage with a car, but it's a vast improvement.

A Roll-away Solution

Looking from the house entry door toward garage door. The whole left side of the garage held all the tools. I usually moved the car outside and rolled the tools into the center of the floor to do any work. It added a few steps any time I needed to use a saw or planer, but what the hey, no job to go to anymore so I had the time. Details of stands and tables.

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Below, view of the street end, with the Grizzly dust collector, Ridgid bench planer, clamp rack, and melamine outfeed table/work table, plus the workbench.

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Moving further back from streetside, the miter saw station, cabinet system, and drill press station. These did not move.

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And farther back in the corner, from right to left, you can see the router table, Jet band saw, and clunky Riobi sander mounted on a kitchen cabinet. That's the Ridgid jobsite table saw folded up in front. The household central vacuum system is located in that corner, so there's some wall space gone. (More on the router table here if you're interested.)

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About four feet above the band saw was the bottom of the HVAC duct, which spanned practically the whole back of the garage. Isn't that a clever design?

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Left side of the garage, showing furnace & water heater, trash bins, and my lumber cart with Gorilla racks behind. Didn't leave room for much else unless I put the bins outside in the rain.

Left front of garage showing knockdown worktable legs, a paint/glue/assembly foldup table I'd had for 15 years, and some very old hardware boxes. On the floor behind the foldup are two HD buckets with cutoffs.

My Philosophy

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I had more than a lot of woodworkers have, not as much as some. You make do with what you have. I don't feel any need to apologize for the pieces I've turned out with this roll-out, portable workshop setup. The pleasure is in what these tools can put out.

Thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoyed your visit.

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