Setting up shop - minimalist to advanced

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Fxguy1

Member
I'd like to open a thread on shop layout and design. The considerations that go into it and the storage solutions / organization. We all know that more space and more toys are better, but what about the apartment hobbyist that wants to do some cool stuff but doesn't have a lot of space?

If you were to setup a shop to make replica props and costumes, what would you say you would need at a minimum? How much space would you minimally need? Minimum tools?

Do you have a separate space for woodworking vs propmaking vs makeup or is it all in one space?

Please, as much as you can possibly think of in terms of setting things up.


For me, a tiny space would require me to be able to ideally place everything in a tote for storage, but be brought out to a workspace to work on projects. So I guess totes for storage and a tabletop / countertop space to work on at a minimum. Obviously there needs to be tools for cutting, gluing, drawing, measuring, etc...

What other categories can we think of?

So basic categories I think would be space, materials, and tools.

For space --
Required -- Storage, Workspace
Optional but nice to have -- Design Space, fabrication space, assembly space,
Luxury -- Separate spaces for each aspect (woodworking, 3d printing, makeup, costumes, etc..)

For tools -- (could be further divided into Hand Tools vs Power Tools)
Cutting -- Scissors, X-Acto Knife, Cutting Board, Rotary Cutter, etc..
Gluing -- Wood glue, Cyanoacrylate, Elmers Glue, Spray Glue, etc...
Drawing - Pencil and paper
Measuring - Metal Ruler, measuring Tape, Tailors tape (for costumes), etc...

What else can we add? Kind of like a shopping list / category list for all thinks Making..
 

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Nismo

Well-Known Member
My shop is a single car garage 12x20


few things I did

1) I use a lot of wall storage peg boards and wall mounted Bins
2) Built in table saw and (sanding area) wood working or foam all on casters to orientation can be changes based on project.
3) Built a Loft for storage
4) Rolling tool box doubles as another working surface

my tool list

Bench Top:
Table Saw
Scroll Saw
Orbital Sander
Belt Sander
Grinding Wheel
Drill Press
Bit Organizer
Foam Wire Table
Crock Pot (for Monster Clay)
Cutting Mats

in my rolling cart I have:
Glue gun and Sticks
Pain brushes
Scuplting tools
Air Brush equipment
Velcro Rolls
different types of tape
mixing cups
and in the bottom smooth-on casting/molding products

right side peg board (Layout)
Squares
Straight edges
tape measure
compass
scribes
files

Adhesives:
Barge
Super 77
Super 90

Painting:
Crtitter Gun
Air Brush
 

Nismo

Well-Known Member
work in progress Blue Print
thing on the left will be my air brush booth ( where Groot is currently standing in the first picture)

 

v137a

Active Member
What are folks doing for dust management? I find that's my biggest recurring issue.
 

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rfwheeler

New Member
Nismo - I wish mine was that organized! I have a basement with all the woodworking and metalworking tools. Upstairs I have all the "soft" stuff - foam, painting, paper, electrical etc.
 
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Nismo

Well-Known Member
@Nismo - I wish mine was that organized! I have a basement with all the woodworking and metalworking tools. Upstairs I have all the "soft" stuff - foam, painting, paper, electrical etc.
Thanks- I spent a good bit of time planning it out while following adam savage shop organization videos along with some others on youtube.
It's amazing how much faster everything goes when you know where it is.

we have a craft room in the house as well - for sewing and storage of paints/casting materials and a closet for costume storage.
 

userd1402

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
we have a craft room in the house as well - for sewing and storage of paints/casting materials and a closet for costume storage.
Most of us just have the kitchen table, a few old hand-me-down screwdrivers, some sand-paper, glue and a hacksaw... or is that just me?
 
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Fxguy1

Member
Thanks- I spent a good bit of time planning it out while following adam savage shop organization videos along with some others on youtube.
It's amazing how much faster everything goes when you know where it is.

we have a craft room in the house as well - for sewing and storage of paints/casting materials and a closet for costume storage.
This is exactly what I'm trying to do. I've accumulated so much "stuff" that isn't organized its brought all projects to a halt. Especially because its gotten to the point where everything is buried and I have to dig out from the pile just to work. We also have a craft room with scrapbooking / paints / craft stuff. Most of my wood working and tools are out in the garage. We have a full basement that we are slowly finishing off and so I'm starting to think of ways to organize it so that I can actually do something. (Hence the categories). Any chance you could post some links to those adam savage organization videos? I've seen a couple but not many and not in some time.

Also any other "tips and techniques" are most welcome. Even a list of any labels you have for storage bins. Just trying to get an idea of what I have and what stuff needs to go together.

Thanks!
Tim

Most of us just have the kitchen table, a few old hand-me-down screwdrivers, some sand-paper, glue and a hacksaw... or is that just me?
Its not just you! I started out the exact same way! My nickname used to be Hacksaw McGraw because I would do EVERYTHING with a hacksaw (including trying to build a steady-cam rig! ) You have to start somewhere.
 
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Fxguy1

Member
Another part of the organization topic:

What tasks can you complete using the same table / workspace and which ones really do require their own space?

For example - I can easily see drawing / design and final assembly being done on the same table / benchtop. I can see molds and gluing using some of the same space to sit and cure as well. Costumes / Sewing probably isn't a good idea in the same space as spray painting.

Also some of the challenge is that not all of the various disciplines have overlap in tools and materials. There is little overlap between mold making and animatronics in both tools and materials.
 

Nismo

Well-Known Member
Another part of the organization topic:

What tasks can you complete using the same table / workspace and which ones really do require their own space?

For example - I can easily see drawing / design and final assembly being done on the same table / benchtop. I can see molds and gluing using some of the same space to sit and cure as well. Costumes / Sewing probably isn't a good idea in the same space as spray painting.

Also some of the challenge is that not all of the various disciplines have overlap in tools and materials. There is little overlap between mold making and animatronics in both tools and materials.
Card Board table covers is key
Every time I get a box I break it down into flat pieces and store it in my shop and then I use it to cover all my work areas- so while I am working I can write on them, paint on them get glue on them ....spill stuff ...use razor blades - all with out causing any damage to the original work surface-
after the project is complete- un-tape it and throw it away- recover with fresh cardboard.

if you can find a local sheet metal shop - when they get metal it's typically protected on shipping pallets with cardboard..so you can get 4'x8' sheets and 5'x10' sheets or cardboard-

that's typically what I do...cause I work at a sheet metal shop :D but I know people who have come by and asked for it and we just give it away.
 

Fxguy1

Member
Card Board table covers is key
I work at a sheet metal shop :D but I know people who have come by and asked for it and we just give it away.
LOL. Good point! Also appliance stores will do the same thing. I've gotten tons of refrigerator boxes from our local appliance store for various things.
 

TazMan2000

Sr Member
Looks like you are all set. I would suggest getting/making a paint booth with fume/dust extraction and getting a Dremel Multi-Max oscillating tool or similar for sanding. Sometimes a belt/disk sander are a bit too aggressive and hand sanding not quick enough.

TazMan2000
 

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Fxguy1

Member
Looks like you are all set. I would suggest getting/making a paint booth with fume/dust extraction and getting a Dremel Multi-Max oscillating tool or similar for sanding. Sometimes a belt/disk sander are a bit too aggressive and hand sanding not quick enough.

TazMan2000
Happen to have two Dremels. Also have a Belt/Disc Sander combo as well as a Festool 5" Orbital sander. Sanding is the bane of my existence! At least until I got the Festool. I HATE sawdust and need to upgrade my dust extraction infrastructure. To add to your post, also need to get lots and lots of sanding discs / tubes for the Dremel in various grits.
 

Fxguy1

Member
Question about cabinets. What do you recommend in the way of cabinets / counter tops for materials / sizes? How much cabinet space do you think is adequate enough to store everything except materials?
 

Nismo

Well-Known Member
Question about cabinets. What do you recommend in the way of cabinets / counter tops for materials / sizes? How much cabinet space do you think is adequate enough to store everything except materials?
I though about cabinets but decided to just go for rolling tool boxes- and I just built all my counter tops at 38" high and no wider than 24" this leaves a good amount of space for storage underneath. for that I got stackable rubber maid containers. With this I can label each one and pull it out individually for the project I am working on.

as far as adequate space you probably need to think in reverse - how much space do you have? the main rule I gave myself was minimum 50% of flat surfaces had to remain empty- meaning/bench top tools/ tool boxes etc and I am probably right at 50/50 and it seems to work.

as earlier stated in the thread - if your work flow requires lots of sanding then having multiple sanding machines is good use of space....if you are more into metal working you probably want room for a planishing hammer and an english wheel handbrake, welding machine etc...

when I did mine I figure 75% of the time I am going to be working with Foam or Wood - so I mostly set up like a wood shop and I got a few specific tools for the metal work I do

only thing I wish I had was an english wheel but I may build a cart for one so I can roll it into the corner next to my dust collector when not in use. but for now hammer/beanbag and anvil will have to work.
 

Fxguy1

Member
I though about cabinets but decided to just go for rolling tool boxes- and I just built all my counter tops at 38" high and no wider than 24" this leaves a good amount of space for storage underneath. for that I got stackable rubber maid containers. With this I can label each one and pull it out individually for the project I am working on.
With cabinets I was thinking it would give me storage as well as counter top space to work on. Hadn't thought about building tables /rolling toolboxes.


as far as adequate space you probably need to think in reverse - how much space do you have? the main rule I gave myself was minimum 50% of flat surfaces had to remain empty- meaning/bench top tools/ tool boxes etc and I am probably right at 50/50 and it seems to work.
Currently my space will be a finished basement. I've studded out the outside walls and laid down Dri-Core flooring. The space is approximately 20 X 20 feet. I also have a woodshop in my garage so I do have the benefit of not having to have my power tools / sawdust in with everything else.

as earlier stated in the thread - if your work flow requires lots of sanding then having multiple sanding machines is good use of space....if you are more into metal working you probably want room for a planishing hammer and an english wheel handbrake, welding machine etc...

when I did mine I figure 75% of the time I am going to be working with Foam or Wood - so I mostly set up like a wood shop and I got a few specific tools for the metal work I do
This is where I have a bit of a problem. I have multiple hobbies that all share the same toolsets. I dabble in Electronics, R/C, 3D Printing, Model Trains, Make Up, but also have supplies for mold making and life casting. Trying to figure out how to store it all without having to dig too much is a challenge. For example, if I'm working on an electronic piece, it would be nice to have all my tools and materials within arms length on a bench top / counter top. But then when I'm working on a sculpt I want to be able to store that all in a tote while I work on the sculpt.

I haven't had time to watch the Adam Savage videos yet. I need to make some time to watch them this weekend.

- - - Updated - - -

I though about cabinets but decided to just go for rolling tool boxes- and I just built all my counter tops at 38" high and no wider than 24" this leaves a good amount of space for storage underneath. for that I got stackable rubber maid containers. With this I can label each one and pull it out individually for the project I am working on.
With cabinets I was thinking it would give me storage as well as counter top space to work on. Hadn't thought about building tables /rolling toolboxes.


as far as adequate space you probably need to think in reverse - how much space do you have? the main rule I gave myself was minimum 50% of flat surfaces had to remain empty- meaning/bench top tools/ tool boxes etc and I am probably right at 50/50 and it seems to work.
Currently my space will be a finished basement. I've studded out the outside walls and laid down Dri-Core flooring. The space is approximately 20 X 20 feet. I also have a woodshop in my garage so I do have the benefit of not having to have my power tools / sawdust in with everything else.

as earlier stated in the thread - if your work flow requires lots of sanding then having multiple sanding machines is good use of space....if you are more into metal working you probably want room for a planishing hammer and an english wheel handbrake, welding machine etc...

when I did mine I figure 75% of the time I am going to be working with Foam or Wood - so I mostly set up like a wood shop and I got a few specific tools for the metal work I do
This is where I have a bit of a problem. I have multiple hobbies that all share the same toolsets. I dabble in Electronics, R/C, 3D Printing, Model Trains, Make Up, but also have supplies for mold making and life casting. Trying to figure out how to store it all without having to dig too much is a challenge. For example, if I'm working on an electronic piece, it would be nice to have all my tools and materials within arms length on a bench top / counter top. But then when I'm working on a sculpt I want to be able to store that all in a tote while I work on the sculpt.

I haven't had time to watch the Adam Savage videos yet. I need to make some time to watch them this weekend.
 

Matsuo

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I started a new shop this year, what I did differently this time was put just about everything on wheels. I can morph and rearrange the layout as needed. I have a lot more space than I used to have. And having my mid to long term storage out of the shop/work area entirely is a massive help.

M
 

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