Simple tips for building the perfect workshop for those DIY or home improvement projects…
Do-It-Yourself and home improvement projects almost always leads to wanting a nice workshop. If you don’t have a workshop, it can be harder to do the high quality work you know you are capable of. A workshop means you can avoid the frustration of not having enough room to work or not being able to find your tools and supplies. Plus it will make doing those projects safer and more enjoyable!
Let’s look at some of the essentials for building the perfect workshop!
I’d like to remind you about some of the urban myths about people building boats or cars in their basements. With that being said, having adequate space for your workshop is important.
If you are planning on working with a 4X8 sheet of plywood, having a work shop that is 6X8 will be a little tight. Don’t forget about the ceiling height as well!
You need to think about how you will move supplies or completed projects into or out of the workshop. Get out a piece of paper and start brainstorming. Think about what size workbench you want. Think about how much room you need for using your tools safely.
If your workshop isn’t comfortable and convenient to use, you’ll avoid projects rather than enjoy them.
Since we are talking about size, I must mention having plenty of storage. Plenty of storage space will help to keep your workshop organized. Organizing your tools and supplies doesn’t mean a big pile on your work bench!
I have inherited some nifty little cabinets with small drawers for organizing nuts, bolts etc. You can even use coffee cans and baby-food jars for assorted leftover hardware. Check out all the options at online and at the hardware stores.
You are also going to want a way to store tools. For hand tools, I suggest using pegboard. By hanging up and organizing your tools, you will be able to work faster. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes will seeing all your tools hanging with in reach. Old kitchen cabinets from a salvage yard can be a great way to add storage to a workshop.
A Work Bench
You must have a rock-solid bench with a hard and heavy top. Buy or build the best you can manage. Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s sturdy. And I suggest getting a vise for holding whatever you are working on and attaching it to your workbench.
Let There Be Light
You need to see what you’re doing when working with power tools. Think lumens rather than watts when selecting lights for your workshop. A general rule of thumb is to use 130 to 150 lumens per square foot of work space.
I know saying “More Power” might make you think about the old TV show with Tim “The Toolman” Taylor. Don’t start grunting like a caveman but think about how important having adequate electrical service is!
Not having enough receptacles or constantly tripping the circuit breakers is both a nuisance and a hazard. And you don’t want to rely on extension cords and power strips. I suggest that you install at least two circuits along with plenty of receptacles. Also if you put the lights on a separate circuit from everything else it won’t leave you in the dark if you trip a breaker.
If you don’t have 30-amp circuits, talk with an electrical contractor about making this simple upgrade. Be sure to take into consideration if you are going to be using a compressor, welder or anything else that will pull plenty of amps or require something more than just 120 VAC.
The Take Away
Don’t let the thought of a home improvement project send you scurrying all over the house for tools. Take some time to research and plan so you can enjoy creating your perfect workshop. Everything will be in one place and it won’t matter how long a project takes or how much of a mess you make!