Before I go much farther into this article I should tell you that even though
I am pleased with my shop it would be a lot different if I had the funds to
invest in it. My shop is host to a variety of types of shelving and
storage that are odd sizes, intended for different purposes than used and
overall aren't as efficient as they could be.
If you can afford to spend several thousand dollars, then you should continue
reading to have an idea of the types of things you will need to store, but then
get an industrial supply catalogue to find heavy-duty, enclosed metal storage units specifically
made for tools, paints and other shop items.
current workshop is a 10' x 30' garage. It is a true workshop having no
yard tools, general household storage or other impurities.
At the far end just to the left of the water heater (ok, one
impurity) there is a laundry tub. This is the first time I've had running
water in a shop and it has been a true blessing. No more wet-sanding in
The long, narrow shape of the workshop has been a challenge.
I've rearranged it several times, but I simply have more stuff than I can set up
The main problem is that when anyone else is in my shop we are
always tripping over each other because there is barely room for two people to
pass. I would also like the ceiling to be about 10' higher than it is.
Nevertheless it is a good shop and the best that I've had.
Originally there was only one electrical outlet in the entire
shop. It was located just to the right of the laundry tub. I had
high-amperage extension cords strung all over the shop until I dropped two
boxes. You can see the one in the lower right corner of the photo.
The other is on the opposite wall and is mainly for my utility bench. I
still need to use extension cords to get power to my bench. Both of these
boxes share a breaker, but they are separate from the breaker that powers the
Most tools I use have a low current draw, but there are times
when my compressor and shop vac are running at the same time. When I only
had one outlet, the lights would dim and the motors would slow down. Not a
good situation. Get your power arrangement taken care of early on to avoid
melting cords, blowing fuses, starting your home on fire and other aggravating
Note the lighting arrangement above the bench. I actually
have five 4' dual fluorescent fixtures in the shop and one more that I plan to
hang. The extension cords all over the ceiling aren't great, but they work
and they're on the light switch. Eventually I plan to install real
lighting - probably 12' fixtures.
One thing I have considered
adding is conduit along the walls that is connected to my air compressor.
I would add quick connects about every 6' or so. I use my compressor often
for blowing dust from structures and the bench and general cleaning tasks.
The conduit would make the setup more convenient.