How To Setup A Garage Or Small Workshop

The problem with most that want to start woodworking is they are typically limited in where they can actually work. Most don’t have a building or workshop that came with their house. Or maybe they rent their home, have only a small building, garage, or carport to work with. Some just work outside.

That doesn’t have to stop you from setting up a small spot to tackle this awesome hobby. You can still build beautiful woodworking pieces in a limited area. Even a basement in a home can be used as a workshop. It’s all about organization in a smaller space. Here are a few tips:

Air Compressors – Air compressors are great but even a small one takes up room on the floor. And you need every square inch possible, so why not put that machine up in the air? What I mean is, build an upper shelf to give the compressor a home above your head.

A corner shelf built from 2×4’s and 3/4 scrap sheet goods like plywood should suffice (make it sturdy compressors are heavy). Be sure to drill a large enough hole to have access to the drain on the tank to let the water out.

Work Surfaces

Top suggestion on your workbenches/tables – make them fold/knock down. Many will purchase those folding sawhorses and screw a door to the top of it. If you don’t have a door, then make a frame with 2×4’s or even as small as 2×2’s and add a sheet of plywood to the frame. Then screw it to the folding sawhorses.

Or if you create a knock down table you can create the legs to hide underneath the table top. Both styles can be stood against the wall or even hung on the wall out of the way. If they are exposed, you can also create something to hang the work tables from the ceiling joists, or even create a space for them to go up into the joists themselves. Just be creative with it.

Ceiling Drawers

This was a new one for me but when I saw them I thought to definitely discuss them. If you have an exposed celing, where you can see between the joists, then you can actually build drawers that move up into the ceiling. There are various step by step instructions online about this so use some ingenuity when crafting them.

Peg Board With Shelving

Instead of sheetrock or plywood on the walls of your shop, you could go with pegboard. This would make the entire wall a place to hang just about anything from hand tools to screws.

The pegboard also makes for easy holes to create shelving of almost any size. Walls then become part of the storage space.

Overhead Storage Racks

Storage above the head is great, especially when it comes to leftover wood and scrap lumber. Be sure to go large as you can with storage for materials like this. It won’t take long for scrap to pile up and get in the way if you have no place for it. Use it to house molding as well.

Below is a great video from This Old House on turning your garage into a workshop. It’s a small, one car garage but the carpenter does a great job in getting it ready for the woodworker on the video. Enjoy!

Updated: April 24, 2017 — 8:35 pm
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