How to Design a Small Woodworking Shop

planing a table top image by leemarusa from

Things You'll Need

  • Workbench
  • Cabinets

Designing a shop space for woodworking takes careful planning. Each tool requires a certain amount of space to be used properly and safely. Many woodworkers convert a garage or basement into a wood shop, so space is often at a premium. In these cases, mobile bases on large woodworking tools are a big help, as each tool can be rolled to the center of the shop and put away after use.

Clean out your shop. The shop must be dry, brightly lit and well insulated to keep the temperature as constant as possible. Keeping moisture to a minimum will help prevent your power tools from getting rusty, particularly those with cast-iron tables, such as table or band saws.

Fill any cracks and level the concrete floor. If you plan to use mobile bases, a flat concrete floor is absolutely necessary for moving the tools around the shop space.

Check whether you have enough electrical outlets to operate all of your tools. If you need more power, install a couple of dedicated circuits specifically for your power-hungry woodworking machines.

Install cabinets and counters on perimeter walls. Counters with drawers can serve as both table space and storage for small hand tools, while upper cabinets can be used to store items used less frequently.

Add spot lighting to parts of the shop where there may be shadows or over tool areas. Additional, focused lighting can make following cut lines easier and safer. Ceiling-mounted track lighting is perfect for these areas.


  • Paint your walls a light color with flat paint to disperse light around the room.