Whether it’s for work or just a hobby, a woodworking shop is essential to get the job done! The thrill of creating something with your hands and power tools is exhilarating, especially when you have everything you need to complete your project. Unfortunately, people without all of the necessary tools may end up frustrated and disappointed. No two shops are going to be 100% identical, but there are common elements to make your shop stand above the rest.
Space & Layout
Visualize your workspace. How big is it? Is your garage big enough in square feet to have a workbench, several tables, saws, etc.? The first step to setting up a woodworking shop is to visualize your woodworking shop layout. If your shed or garage is too small, you may have to forego some parts of an excellent, small woodworking shop. Once you figure out how much space you can allocate to the shop itself, you now have to get started on the layout.
Do you wish to have a workbench in by the wall near the middle? Is putting it closer to a corner more comfortable? Some of it is a personal preference, so you have to decide how to place everything. Consider storage space as well, since objects you’re not using have to go somewhere. After all, you won’t use every tool in every woodworking task.
A good wood workshop layout should consider your workflow. If you tend to use tools stored on the wall, you shouldn’t place it in a spot hard to reach. Likewise, if you barely use your hand tools, you shouldn’t have it scattered around. A woodworkers’ shop layout says a lot about a person, so setting up a small shop that’s efficient to use and easy to navigate through is of the utmost importance!
Some useful tips to make sure you use include:
- Store tools nearby your workbench
- Have your workbench near a source of light (to see what you’re working on)
- If working with chemicals, have proper ventilation like an open window
- Keep in mind some projects may force you to move tools and other objects around, and that’s okay!
- Store your wood in a secure location
One last thing to consider regarding wood shop layouts is that you should always try to maintain it on a regular basis. This can include cleaning up after every task, opening all windows to let out dust & chemicals, and reorganizing your workshop space to be efficient for the next DIY project you work on to maximum effect.
Consider the Equipment You Need
Perhaps you already have several tools from your parents and just need something minor. Even in the scenario you need to buy everything, there are some guidelines to follow regarding efficiency. Amazon is the most accessible place to get most equipment since it ships to practically everywhere, and you can get everything you need on the website if you browse for it.
You’re going to need the bare necessities (drills, saws, etc.) and safety equipment. You can technically forego safety equipment, but that’s ill-advised and should be avoided at all costs. Yes, the safety equipment costs a little extra, but that small fortune is a lot lower than health bills you could obtain through accidents.
Years ago, your only option to get significant woodworking equipment was by going to a store or major retailer. Nowadays, you find everything online! Both hand tools and power tools are useful in woodworking, but generally, power tools are more comfortable to slot into more work schedules.
A workshop without a drill is no workshop at all! A drill is a power tool designed to make the best round holes for your project. If you need something that can do fasteners in a jiffy, the DEWALT 20V Drill is the best on the market. As the number one best seller for its category, its high performance can get all of your drilling needs completed efficiently and quickly. Of course, the GOXAWEE Electric Drill is an affordable option that does more or less the same thing, just not as efficiently.
You could also shop around for different sizes from the same manufacturer as they have a plethora of drills and similar products for your convenience. Drills can make space for nails and screws, so you should expect to use it often for most DIY projects. A good woodworker should have different drill bit sizes for various tasks.
Table saws can be used in some heavy-duty scenarios, which is a requirement for any serious, small woodworking shop. A workshop without a table saw is an inefficient garage woodshop. The DEWALT Table Saw is a standard recommendation on most lists for a good reason: 4.8/5 rating on Amazon, an Amazon’s Choice product, and an excellent price for a 15-amp motor that can run up to 5800 RPM! Whatever you want in a table saw, the DEWALT Table Saw has it in spades. If the DEWALT Table Saw is a tad too expensive, then the Rockwell BladeRunner X2 is a top-notch alternative.
Either table saw should be placed somewhere within your small woodworking shed. As both options are terrific in cutting materials ranging from wood to some metals, so you can’t go wrong with either choice. Make sure to get at least one to make your woodworking significantly more convenient.
This type of saw can help you cut your wood at various angles, making it great for your assignment’s framework! It’s different from the previous saws in that miter saws cut shorter pieces of wood. As not all projects you work on are going to have large frames (think of picture frames, window casings, etc.), this type of saw is crucial for other tasks. The best of its class is the DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw; it’s powerful, durable, and it’s on a 33% discount right now!
If the discount is no longer available and you need to save money, try the Delta Power Saw with Laser. It works with almost every miter stand, and its bevel cuts are exceptional! When combined with other saw types, you should be able to find woodworking to be smoother.
Sometimes it’s good to trim wood to your desired level of thickness. The WEN 6552T Thickness Planer is capable of informing you how much you cut each pass, and it even comes with its own dust collection system to make getting rid of sawdust a lot easier! It’s capable of 25,500 cuts per minute, so your boards can be used in the next step of your woodworking experience sooner, rather than later.
If you like using a hand tool, the cheaper TACKLIFE Electric Hand Planer should feel right at home. As a hand planer, a lot of its effectiveness is based on your personal strength, albeit it does help make it easier for you. Whether you go for a full-on power tool or a hand tool, a planer makes woodworking a more enjoyable process.
This is where most of the action tends to take place. The most important attribute a top-tier workbench can offer is durability, and the UltraHD Workcenter excels in that category! With over four feet in length and two feet in width, you can get a lot of mileage out of this bench. When you’re using hand tools like the old trust hammer & nail, a bench is where you might do a lot of work. Another useful aspect of this workbench is that it comes with a wall where you can store plenty of tools, saving you the burden of installing one separately. The drawers are also handy to have.
If you want a portable and affordable workbench to take with you wherever you go, the Black & Decker Workmate is an excellent option to consider. Being able to support over 350 lbs, it is smaller than the UltraHD Workcenter, yet still effective in basic woodworks. One underrated aspect of this workbench is how easy it is to fold and store for later use. Buying both workbenches is another great idea; you can use the UltraHD Workcenter for work at home and bring the Black & Decker Workmate for work outside!
Hand Tool Kit
There are some instances when you just need some good ole hand tools to finish up your marvel of a creation. The Cartman 148-Piece Tool Set has a wide array of hand tools you might need to get your workshop up and running. Hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, a magnetic holder, a cutter, and more handy tools are included. One of the best reasons to have one for your small workshop is how easily it organizes so many tools in a tight space. As it comes with the kit, you don’t have to scatter the tools around drawers and cabinets.
If you still want convenience and well-organized household tools, the 15-Piece Set by Stalwart may come in handy for you. Predictably for its lower cost, there are fewer tools involved. Nonetheless, hand tools offer simplicity over power tools, and every serious woodworker should have a collection!
Sometimes, you don’t have enough space to store everything on a desk or in a toolkit. That’s where the Pegboard Organizer for walls comes into play. As an Amazon’s Choice product, you can expect high-quality service to come alongside it. It can store drills, drill bits, hand tools, and everything else pretty effortlessly if you install it properly. (NOTE: It’s just the wall organizer, it doesn’t come with tools.)
Pegboard Organizer also comes in a smaller, more affordable option if you have a notably smaller workshop. Both wall tool organizers are highly durable and can store everything you use in a shop. Whenever you’re doing cleaning and maintenance, you’re going to see one of these two organizers often.
Hand saws are among the bread and butter for cutting wood, so you need a hand saw that can do that reliably. Compared to other saws, you might wonder why you need a hand saw. For most professional woodcutters, a hand saw is easier to work with compared to the electronic saws, while saving some money on electric bills. If the work you’re doing is light enough to warrant it, the CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw is an excellent, affordable investment.
Should you be more interested in a more expensive, yet more effective saw, then the SUIZAN Japanese Pull Saw cuts wood via pulling, as opposed to pushing. You can woodwork with this saw sharply without hesitation, as the high-class steel makes it slice and dice wood effortlessly. A hand saw is a must-have if you love hand tools and need a tool for your shop.
Different saws have different functions; some saws excel in one form of cutting over another. A jigsaw excels in dealing with curves and shapes. Perhaps you want some personality in the project you’re working on (and not just more straight boards), so a jigsaw can ease your troubles. An example that works wonders is the Bosch Jigsaw, as it comes with a toolkit designed to make your cutting experience more consistent. Consistency is paramount in dealing with large volumes of wood, so a jigsaw that cuts with sheer precision is much appreciated.
The CRAFTSMAN Jigsaw may only use five amps, but it’s among the cheapest options for a woodworker looking to get a cheap, yet effective jigsaw. Both T and U-blades are usable with this jigsaw, which can come in handy when exchanging blades. No matter which jigsaw you choose, your workshop is going to be far more efficient than it was beforehand.
A plunge router can hollow out holes better than most other tools, making it highly useful for edge forming, laminate trimming, and other applications you might need when working with wood. The Bosch Wood Router is convenient, quick to adjust, and can last you a long time. Tools that last a long time mean that you don’t need to buy replacements often, so remember that! Speed and height adjustment also makes it easier to personalize your projects.
Naturally, there are more affordable options for those tight on a budget. Lotos ER001 is a nifty electric plunge router, capable of multi-use functionality compact for those concerned about space. It’s a small, yet powerful tool capable of handling edges and holes quite fancily. A plunge router works excellently with a stationary router, so consider getting both if you want the best shop around the block!
No matter what other equipment you may use, you have to make sure to get proper measurements before handling wood. A top-notch measure tape can measure space, dimensions, and other sizes you need for your hobby and projects. Feeke’s Measure Ruler is primarily used for angles and marking to get more accurate, high-precision cuts. For plain measurements, the affordable, yet general ruler can help you in all of your wood cutting tasks. Combining the two can streamline your projects to be more smooth and efficient.
Accidents can happen at any time, so you need a pair of goggles designed to protect your sensitive eyes. Good goggles should prevent fogging while being strongly scratch-resistant, and the DEWALT Dual Mold Safety Goggles handles both fantastically. These goggles are durable, comfortable, and can make sure that your eyes won’t be harmed during any DIY project!
Cutting wood at fast speeds can be surprisingly loud, and prolonged exposure to sharp sounds isn’t desirable, let alone healthy. If you plan to use your workshop often, you need to have ear protection of some kind. The Mpow 035 offers excellent noise reduction with two layers of noise-dampening foam while being adjustable to most people.
While not a prominent part of any workshop, a good shop should have a pair of gloves or two on standby. Gloves protect your hands from minor debris when cutting, so you need a decently sturdy pair to get the job done. The DEX FIT gloves are cut-proof and comfortable, so you can feel safe and happy while cutting wood.
How Much Does it Cost to Set Up a Woodworking Shop?
Ignoring the gradual cost of the wood you’re buying, your workshop’s cost may vary from person to person. You have to consider what kind of space you have and how much space you can allocate to the objects necessary to complete your DIY projects. Assuming you bought the best items on this list, then the total price would be roughly $1,582.15 plus shipping. Naturally, you can cut the costs on some things based on if you have Amazon Prime, already own some items on the list, or whatever bargaining means you have at your disposal. Considering you should have a shed or garage available for your woodwork fantasy, you should have money to throw around to make it a reality!
Assuming you’re more interested in the cheap alternatives, you could expect to spend roughly $704.38 plus shipping. Naturally, if you mix and match the best and the budget options, you should expect to pay somewhere in-between. No matter how you obtain the items necessary for your workshop, it’s time to utilize your space within the shop!
Now there are some tools and gadgets missing from this list still worth mentioning for their benefit to your shop’s effectiveness:
- Orbital Sanders
- Sanding Discs
- Circular Saws
- Wood Finish (Linseed Oil, Tung Oil, etc.)
Considering the above, you should also add some personal touches to your shop. The best workshop should reflect positively on the identity of its owner. You don’t want to copy and paste other successful workshops without adding a touch of your own personal taste into it. There’s a lot of space in your shop; whether it’s in a tool shed or it’s a full-blown workshop in garage-scenario, you need to have only the best equipment for your budget.
Make sure that you only get what you need for your workshop! There’s no need to buy tools you won’t use. A small setting like your shop can have a ton of work done if you put effort into it. No matter what you choose, you should aspire to create wooden objects sure to showcase your dedication to the craft! Completing a workshop is a wonderful experience, so once you get everything you need, it’s time to put it all into action.
After everything arrives, you need to remember the layout you chose earlier on. If the gadgets and gizmos are bigger than you anticipated, then you need to adapt and change the plan a little. Once everything is up and running, it’s time for your first major project!