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Really Small Shops... Sizewise That Is


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Hello all,

This is for the members with very small areas to build in.

How do you deal with squeezing everything you need into your own area?

Thank you,

ken

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Rolling equipment, flip top stands, bench top tools, hand tools. Roll the big stuff into the driveway...

I can build a guitar with some hand tools (saw, files, chisels, scrapers), a router, and hand drill (with a guide). I choose to use all the big power tools but they are not necessary. Lots of guys here build guitars in apartments (not sure how their significant others feel about that) including a few GOTM winners.

Check out the build threads and look for guys working in small areas for ideas.

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As others have already suggested, shelving, hangers and wheels are your friends. I'd also add allowing yourself 30 minutes at the end of each session in the workshop to clean up. Even if you don't gain any physical extra space, a clean workshop feels bigger. Regularly clean out any crap that builds up too - wood offcuts that are too small for anything useful, damaged tools that you promised yourself you'd repair 10 years ago, packaging, bags of rubbish...

This post by user "ozwood" over on anzlf.com is probably over the top for most people, but I reckon some of the storage ideas for tools and equipment is pure genius. Maybe some of them could be adapted for your space?

Edited by curtisa
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As others have already suggested, shelving, hangers and wheels are your friends. I'd also add allowing yourself 30 minutes at the end of each session in the workshop to clean up. Even if you don't gain any physical extra space, a clean workshop feels bigger. Regularly clean out any crap that builds up too - wood offcuts that are too small for anything useful, damaged tools that you promised yourself you'd repair 10 years ago, packaging, bags of rubbish...

This post by user "ozwood" over on anzlf.com is probably over the top for most people, but I reckon some of the storage ideas for tools and equipment is pure genius. Maybe some of them could be adapted for your space?

Thank you for the link. You were right, there are a lot of good ideas in that thread.

You're telling me that some of you actually build guitars in apartments? Never mind what their SO's think... I'd be worried about the landlord myself. My last landlord used to get mad if I flushed the toilet too loud. :)

I wish I could work outside, but I live in WI and the 'work outside' season here is only from midMay to midSeptember. I'm looking at a new workshop right now, but it will still have to be insulated and powered before winter.

ken

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I'm sitting down with a pile of notepaper trying to figure out where to put everything. I really like the idea of a 'flip top' bench top, say with

a 3/4" thick top and a tabletop bandsaw bolted to the underside to reclaim space. The paint area is a sticking point here, as I can only paint outside for four months of the year. The big problem will be where to keep the bodies while the paint dries.

ken

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My first work area was only half of a single car space, 3x4m

I had to move things all the time. Move the bandsaw out so I could cut, move the jointer out so I could plane. If it was good weather outside I'd do a lot of work on a portable bench outside.

As already mentioned, making things easy to move is the trick.

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I talked my wife into letting me take over the entire garage :D

It takes time, I started with a small space then kept growing.

Exactly.

Plus I've got a bad habit of making piles.....and then making new piles when I need something at the bottom of the first pile....

SR

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If you make some money on a guitar, it will soften up the wife

This I can totally understand. I remember when I made my first pickups, and wife thought it was a waste of time. :)

Then, in that same small space I would move everything to the side and cover everything with plastic sheets and spray in the same room. I'd leave them hanging there to dry.

The area I'm looking at is basically a little less than a one car garage sized area, and I have a bandsaw, drillpress, drum and small disk sander, and three routers to put in it. It looks like I'll have to invest in some sheet plastic.

ken

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