Turning Your Garage Into a Functional Workshop – It Doesn’t Require a Fortune
Your garage is already a place you store your tools, so why not make it even more functional by turning it into a woodworking shop where you can create your masterpieces and have everything in easy reach in one place. I am going to take you step-by-step on how to accomplish this task in this article.
Clean Your Garage
The first step is to do a really thorough clean out of your garage. You are looking to get rid or re-home anything that doesn’t have to do with creating your masterpieces.
If you’re pinched for extra storage space, try dividing the garage into two sections. The smaller section for the household things and the larger area for your workshop. This is a safety thing, as you don’t want to trip over anything while working. Once your garage is clean, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Design or Buy your Workbench
This must be a sturdy bench to survive all the stress you’ll put it through. The bench’s base and the legs should be sturdy and hard to tip over or move. The top of your workbench should be sturdy and prepared to handle dings, dents, and cuts.
You will need high-quality tools for your wood shop. You should invest in a good toolbox to protect your tools. A toolbox will protect them from dirt and debris. You can also install pegboard behind your workbench and put the tools you use the most on to keep them organized and within easy reach.
A big issue in workshops is electrical outlets being out of reach. Make sure your workshop has enough outlets so you don’t have to run extension cords all over the floor.
A good rule of thumb is to have enough outlets to charge your tools that need it, and have enough to plug in your tools that require being plugged in to run. It is always better to have too many outlets than to not have enough when you need them.
Lighting is going to be a huge factor in your workshop. You need to be able to see very well to work on your various projects comfortably. Track lighting is a great option for your workshop. These are easy to install and gives excellent overhead lighting.
You will also need one or two adjustable work lamps for those times you need extra, focused lighting.
Heating and Cooling
As a general rule, garage doors and walls are not very well insulated. This means you’ll be extremely hot in the summer and freeze in the winter.
You should have your garage insulated and think about getting one or two portable space heaters and either a portable or window air conditioning unit.
You should choose easy-to-clean, durable flooring for your space. An epoxy finish is one alternative along with rubber floor mats like are used in restaurant kitchens for areas you will be standing for long periods of time. Epoxy the whole floor to seal it, and you can add garage tiles to your workspace if you desire.
You will need a variety of tools for your dream workshop but there are a few that are used in just about every project you can think of and they are:
- Drill Press
- Table Saw
- Band Saw
- Compound Miter Saw
- Belt Sander
Once you get these you can continue to build up your tool collection over time. You can also rent many of these from your local hardware stores in a pinch.
A huge piece to remember is ventilation. Most garages don’t have much in the way of ventilation and for some projects, opening a window for ventilation just won’t cut it.
You can start out with an exhaust fan but you should seriously consider installing a dust collection system, air ventilation system, and central vacuum as your projects will have sawdust and particles everywhere. These three things will keep your air quality decent, which will make for a safer work environment.
If you follow these steps and keep everything in mind, you should have a safe, gorgeous, functional workspace for all of your projects that will be the envy of your neighbors for years to come.
Are you thinking about converting your garage into a workshop? Leave us a comment below.