Setting up a home woodworking workshop

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Hi all,

I want to set up a woodworking workshop in my new house. My plan is to learn some skills, make some small items and sell them at car boots etc. Not expecting significant profits, but to improve my skills and have some fun along the way. Will be a joint venture with my girlfriend. Coasters, chopping blocks, picture frames, wall art - that sort of thing.

I need to build a new storage shed in my garden anyway because I don't have a garage and need some storage for tools and bikes. Im planning to self build a wooden building for this, with insulated floor walls and roof, proper doors and windows etc, power supply.

There's lots of info online about how to build a building like this and how to kit it out with some tools. But, its difficult to find out any recommendations on size. All those lucky YouTubers in the US seem to have huge double garages to work in.

Is a 5x3m building going to be big enough for what I want? Im planning to put workbenches, table saws etc on castors so they can be wheeled around. But is that fundamentally big enough?


Thanks
 
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Family member has traded as a 'crafts' person for around 10 years out of his garage making stuff ranging from table top items (bread boards, money boxes) to casement windows and doors. Has a workbench, storage, router table, chop saw and bandsaw in there. His biggest want now is a pillar drill rather than a hand drill in a stand.
Only real essential is a good sized bench, my preference is one with lots of mass - i.e. heavy. You may find a 'MFT' type of bench is more useful to you. Plenty of light above or over far side of bench.

Have a look at Peter Millard and Rag'n'BoneBrown on the web - both English. Both recently done Utoob sessions on work benches.

In a small workshop a Bandsaw is probably better than a table saw.

Get a collection of good quality hand tools rather than spending lots on machinery.
 
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i was going to write similar to Diver Fred , when hes reply popped up

Have a look at Peter Millard, & Rag & Bone Brown youtube videos - you will see the size of their workshop.

my son-in-law has almost finished converting a garage into a workshop - left room to get the car in , when working on it - so all the benches and storage are at the end

Mitre saw / table saw (saw folds away) on stands - and can be moved to the area where the car would go.

he purchased BIGDUG units , made hes oown ply worktops - with a waste cover , so any damage does not mean the thing needs replacing - made hes own pegboard and french cleats

He has not got a MFT type bench - BUT peter millard is doing a series on cheap MTF bench - and tracksaw hinge for a DIYer , worth a watch

He too is waiting for cash to get a pillar drill, He does have a CNC - which will only cut small thicknesses pieces of material - But then he simply doublesup and glues

He doesnt have a bandsaw - but may get one later on
Quite a few Cordless dewalt , Sander, planer , drill , multitool, impact driver , grinder , circular saw , tracksaw, jigsaw.

Made a lot of wardrobes, cupboards chest of draw units , pull out shoe store under stairs

My daughter got the cnc, engraver thing for making crafts for ebay , fairs etc

Coasters, chopping blocks, picture frames, wall art - that sort of thing.
One of Peter Millards videos is making a chopping board

I dont think hes garage is much more than 5x3m and it has space for the car - Not a lot of space for material storage - sheets of 8x4 etc though, as he hasnt got the height
 
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Hi all,

I want to set up a woodworking workshop in my new house. My plan is to learn some skills, make some small items and sell them at car boots etc. Not expecting significant profits, but to improve my skills and have some fun along the way. Will be a joint venture with my girlfriend. Coasters, chopping blocks, picture frames, wall art - that sort of thing.

I need to build a new storage shed in my garden anyway because I don't have a garage and need some storage for tools and bikes. Im planning to self build a wooden building for this, with insulated floor walls and roof, proper doors and windows etc, power supply.

There's lots of info online about how to build a building like this and how to kit it out with some tools. But, its difficult to find out any recommendations on size. All those lucky YouTubers in the US seem to have huge double garages to work in.

Is a 5x3m building going to be big enough for what I want? Im planning to put workbenches, table saws etc on castors so they can be wheeled around. But is that fundamentally big enough?


Thanks
5m x 3m is big enough for small woodworking

I recommend you look at UKworkshop forum, there is a thread on there about making sheds / workshops it’s by an architect, Mike so its good. It’s a woodworking forum so covers all you would want to know.

also try Woodhaven2
 
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Thanks for the replies.

In a small workshop a Bandsaw is probably better than a table saw.
My (limited) understanding so far is Id need a table saw to be able to joint planks with a straight edge for making wider boards for table tops, cutting boards etc.


Im planning on making my own workbench and other cabinets out of lumber and plywood.
 
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Im planning on making my own workbench and other cabinets out of lumber and plywood.
quite a few videos on youtube making all sorts of types of workbench & cabinets

I have to admit, i did ask my son-in-law with all the kit he has , why not just make the garage stuff - save a fortune

anyway, he does intend to make all the kitchen cabinets
 
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Thanks for the replies.


My (limited) understanding so far is Id need a table saw to be able to joint planks with a straight edge for making wider boards for table tops, cutting boards etc.


Im planning on making my own workbench and other cabinets out of lumber and plywood.
Really to join boards to make a wider board you need to work the edge to a smooth, flat and straight edge, best created on a planing machine (a.k.a. Jointer). You may find a Track saw is more practical than a table saw.

I'd also suggest that the floor needs to be a good thickness of concrete - I say one 'pour' - at least 3inches and reinforced.
 
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My (limited) understanding so far is Id need a table saw to be able to joint planks with a straight edge for making wider boards for table tops, cutting boards etc.
What size of material do you intend to joint? Remember, to rip a 6ft length of timber on a table saw takes a minimum of 14ft of space =- 6ft in front of the saw, 6ft behind it and 2ft for you to stand in, The traditional way to joint timber was to use a 22 or 24in long plane, called a jointer, but that really isn't a viable proposition for anyone other than a DIYer these days. As @Diver Fred says though, edge jointing is done on an overhand planer not a saw. Table saws are really tools for ripping down materials to approximate size which are then given accurately dimensioned, planed faces by passing them across a planer and through a thicknesser.

In all honesty, I think you/we are putting the cart before the horse, here. Before you can decide what tools and equipment you need, shouldn't you define your target product range? Then you'll be able to gauge the materials, etc that you'll require, maybe do some costings to see how realistic your ideas are, as well as how to handle them. Don't forget to factor in your skill levels. Woodworking is not a completely mechanical task - some personal skills are required which from the sound of it you don't have. Knowing this and limiting your initial production to stuff within your range of skills (it takes time to become proficient at any craft - machines don't replace skill), given all the other stuff you'll need to get to grips with, isn't always a bad idea

As an aside, I used to know a chap (and his better half) who was a very talented and capable fretsaw worker. He was good enough to be offered commissions, but they didn't really pay enough for him to live on. He got involved in the craftwork show scene and went to a lot of shows, always selling stuff, but not really earning a lot out of it until he hit on TWO ideas: he would work on the background on a treadle-powered fretsaw cutting shaped blanks (although in truth he also took along several hundred pre-cut blanks, too) and drilling them whilst his missus, who was a dab hand at poker work, would be at the front of the stall decorating his shaped, drilled bits of plywood and making them into key fobs with little curly-tailed pigs, little cats, etc - which could be further customised by having the recipients name burned into the back side. They were always priced at something like 3 to 5 guilders (B TW this was in the Netherlands), but those key fobs earned them more money than all the fancy stuff and made their business viable because kids could afford to buy them with their pocket money.
 
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I'd also suggest that the floor needs to be a good thickness of concrete - I say one 'pour' - at least 3inches and reinforced.
I was planning on building my own suspended insulated timber floor out of 6x2 and OSB sheeting.


What size of material do you intend to joint? Remember, to rip a 6ft length of timber on a table saw takes a minimum of 14ft of space =- 6ft in front of the saw, 6ft behind it and 2ft for you to stand in, The traditional way to joint timber was to use a 22 or 24in long plane, called a jointer, but that really isn't a viable proposition for anyone other than a DIYer these days
Chopping block size. Ah it makes sense that a long manual plane would do the job - I knew there must have been a way before machinery but didn't know what it was. Maybe I could just start with a decent sized plane then and a mitre saw.
 
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In all honesty, I think you/we are putting the cart before the horse, here. Before you can decide what tools and equipment you need, shouldn't you define your target product range?
Yeah Im right at the start of it. Need to build my workshop first (which as I said earlier, I need anyway for storage, but rather than putting up just a cheap shed I may as well go the extra mile and build a building I can make better use of).

Im really interested in doing things like coasters, chopping boards, small stools and side tables, decorative boxes etc. I wasn't planning on fine detail work instead I want to use really nice hardwoods in striped and checkerboard patterns by gluing together thinner strips.

As @Diver Fred says though, edge jointing is done on an overhand planer not a saw. Table saws are really tools for ripping down materials to approximate size which are then given accurately dimensioned, planed faces by passing them across a planer and through a thicknesser.
Im aware that there are variety of pro-level tools which I won't be able to afford or have space for, but Ive seen alot of youtube videos where they make simple jigs which enable jointing work to be carried out on a table saw so that was my plan.
 
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Im really interested in doing things like coasters, chopping boards, small stools and side tables, decorative boxes etc.
you seem to have defined you product list, or at least what you like to make.
then brings up a couple of things
1) what kit you need, have a look at youtube etc , as you say you have done, to make that range of products
sell them at car boots etc.
2) Then what tools actually save you time, and will then enable you to sell and actually make any profit , by saving you time, a lot of people think they make a profit but exclude time.

3) the actual market, What is the fashion and what type of thing currently are selling at the shows / boot fairs, and how people are doing it.....

Also what will be the USP (unique selling proposition)

How will you sell , what channels etc - maybe need an Etsy store, Ebay , facebook market, local social media , like nextdoor , etc

I used to go to boot fairs, mainly where they had a lot of house clearance vans , and then spend the time putting on ebay etc, but i spend time look on ebay listing to see the SOLD items and sort of prices.
Same when attending boot fairs , I would , after setting up, have a look at see what other stalls were selling and the sort of price....

dont forget Income TAX
 
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Chopping block size. Ah it makes sense that a long manual plane would do the job - I knew there must have been a way before machinery but didn't know what it was. Maybe I could just start with a decent sized plane then and a mitre saw.
It will be very hard work. Have you ever dimension-planed anything by hand? I think not, because if you had you really wouldn't be saying that

Im really interested in doing things like coasters, chopping boards, small stools and side tables, decorative boxes etc. I wasn't planning on fine detail work instead I want to use really nice hardwoods in striped and checkerboard patterns by gluing together thinner strips.
So, let's get something straight, here - you want to glue together strips of hardwood. They will require good, flat surfaces accurately cut. You can't allow any gaps at all (so no trying to use expanding glue to fill the gaps or glue and sawdust to fill them after the fact)

Im aware that there are variety of pro-level tools which I won't be able to afford or have space for, but Ive seen alot of youtube videos where they make simple jigs which enable jointing work to be carried out on a table saw so that was my plan.
Effing Americans.... If it's like a lot of other American idea I've seen it will probably be a lot of effort for very little reward.

You need to be able to surface plane your timber (to get a reference surface) then thickness it, so you have a flat top and a flat bottom which are coplanar (I.e. the thickness is consistent). A basic planer/thicknesser like this Titan planer/thicknesser (at under £180) will do that (just remember a dust extractor will be useful in the future). You then need to be able to rip the material into strips - that's what a table saw does, but a bandsaw is another option - and cheaper. The ripped material needs to be edge planed then edge thicknessed (on the planer/thicknesser) to get consistently dimensioned pieces. The surface finish you get off a planer/thicknesser is streets ahead of what a table saw can ever produce - and you need a good quality surface finish. You then need to saw the strips into shorter pieces - for which a mitre saw is really needed.Finally you can assemble everything, glue it and clamp it - for which you'll need some sash cramps. When the glue has set the surfaces and edges will probably require minor adjustments because I guarantee that the surface won't be dead flat - in a craft environment that probably involves either hand planing. or belt sanding (surfaces) and hand planing the edge grain edges. At that point you can break the arrisses, rout-out any details like finger recesses. etc and lastly you need to sand everything and then finish it (probably with an oil finish). That's the process in a nutshell

To give you an idea, these two cutting boards were planed-up and assembled in my workshop from scrap offcuts of beech, about 25 or 30 years ago. The project was a trial to see if I could recycle some of the scrap offcuts I had from a regular contract job I did. They are a bit scruffy with the odd cup stain because they are straight out of my kitchen and they have had some use (the photos are of the "best" sides). Nothing fancy, just machine planed, glued, cramped then surface sanded (belt sander), edges radiused and finger recesses cut (a wee bit wobbly because they were freehanded). What you are talking about is similar, but with different timbers. Note how even after 25+ years at least my joints are still really tight

Cutting Board 001.jpg

Cutting Board 003.jpg

Cutting Board 002.jpg
 
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Im really interested in doing things like coasters, chopping boards, small stools and side tables, decorative boxes etc. I wasn't planning on fine detail work instead I want to use really nice hardwoods in striped and checkerboard patterns by gluing together thinner strips.
I'm not sure of the rules , but you may need to use food safe glues etc - for anything in contact with food

Ah it makes sense that a long manual plane would do the job
I remember we had to join 3 bits of board together at School carpentry , using hot animal glue ... and used ALL hand tools, planes etc
 

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