Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Shop design ideas

Good morning everyone. I have the good fortune of building a brand new studio (shop I call it). It will be 16’ by 24’ for the most part. I have a basic idea of where I would like all of my stuff but am hoping for suggestions on these things:
floor and ceiling material
window placement
wall material
Also I am considering splurging on premade benches that are adjustable and have wheels. I think the wheels can be locked so the bench stays put. I am thinking a premade bench would be very good for the polishing area. Do any of you use this type of bench?
I am also wondering about storage of metal. My method now is frustrating and difficult to find the gauge and shape of wire and sheet that I want to use.
I know these are multiple questions but I also know many of you have “been there done that” and could help me make some decisions.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Jean Menden

Look at the bench exchange and go through the archives to get ideas about how to set up your shop. I have moved my shop five times, twice in the same house house. My shop is now much larger than the first one 45 years ago. It doesn’t have to be, but I have the room and wanted to make myself move a bit more when I am working. It also gives me the opportunity to buy more tools and learn new things. I am not sure about wheels, it depends a bit on what you do. Forging definitely shouldn’t be done on wheels. My benches are over engineered 2X4 construction with formica and finished plywood tops. Each bench cost no more than $100. Think about how you will wire your benches and leave room for expansion. I just ran a dedicated 60 amp panel to my shop. Ventilation is very important, especially if you do a lot of polishing. I have no windows. I like to be able to darken my soldering area and have all the lights on a switch right next to my right leg. My lights are all LEDs. They have been a big improvement in the general lighting environment and also help me to see firescale. Go to my website to see pictures of my shop. Look luck and post pictures…Rob

1 Like

Dear Robert, thank you very much for the response to my shop design questions. I did look at your shop and examined each of the pictures from your website. You have organized your many benches really nicely and have given me some ideas. I see your hand constructed benches and realize they are about 1/3 the price of the ones I am considering from home depot. the only benefit of the premade benches is that they are adjustable and they can change locations easier. Seems like you are in a basement so your walls are concrete as is the floor. My floor will be concrete but my walls will be whatever I chose them to be since it will be new construction. I will make sure it is wired properly and loaded with outlets and light fixtures. My current shop is 8x11 and the new one will be double that size. Yeah for me! If I can figure out how to add my shop pictures to this post I will do so. You can then see how much equipment I have. (not much) I do hope to add some new stuff though. I did see your rolling mill is on it’s own stand which appears to be hand made. Are you happy with it? I am thinking I’d like that plan also.
thank You again and if anyone else would like to put their opinion on my question I would appreciate it.
Jean Menden

hi jane
I keep my silver wire in an accordion file, with labels on both the wire and the slots and this was a game changer for me. I can easily see what I have and what i need to order, its portable for when I teach and take workshops. It is my random act of organization!

Also when I started out, I made my benches by getting 2 small, unfinished cheap kitchen cabinet( bottoms) from menards,( or ReStore) the ones that are a drawer and door are cheapest, but the ones with drawers all the way down are really useful if you can splurge. then look for a countertop, they come in various lengths. It’s easy to assemble. you could put an L bracket in to keep it sturdy to your cabinets, (they fit them nicely even without brackets), and add casters. If I could find a chipped or damaged countertop, they would give me a discount. the back plate is great for storing pliers and keeping things from rolling off the back. enjoy your new studio!

Greetings Jean,

I am slowly getting my new shop ready to show off. It is certainly taking forever but I will post some pictures soon. One thing I found room to add was a sink. If you have the space… . My old shop space was 5’ x 7’ with a polisher in a different area. My new shop is 10’ by 12’.

I have worked with a rolling mill bolted on the end of a fabrication bench, set on the floor until I needed it and then clamped to a bench, and on it’s own bench/stand. I will tell you that for my application on a separate bench is the best of possible worlds. The mill sits along side my shear on a 20"w by 38"l by 34"h bench. This puts the center of the mill at a point just below my elbow which works for me ergonomically. (I consulted an O.T. about heights) The bench is on some pretty strong locking casters. Having that bench movable has proven to be a good thing so far. The locking casters provide good stability and the storage underneath the bench is very nice as well.

Don Meixner