Workshop Ideas

What You Need to Build Your Own DIY Space.

If you’re anything like us, when life gets to be too much, you know just what to do. You slow down. Breathe. Appreciate the little things. Then go over to pinterest.com and type in “workshop ideas.”

Ah… you can immediately feel stress slip away as you gaze upon thousands of the brilliantly creative DIY workshop solutions. Ideas for small spaces. Ideas for large spaces. Ideas for garages and sheds and basements and… you get the idea. Pure bliss.

At some point, it dawns on most of us DIYers that to really do all the DIY projects we envision, we need our very own workshop. And after some research, it becomes apparent that it’s a dream most of us can make happen. Here’s how:

The space.

When considering starting your own DIY workshop, space (or lack of it) is usually the main obstacle. But it’s not an unsurmountable one. Obviously, if you live in a house with a big garage or basement, you are all set. If not, you need to get creative. Do you have a bedroom or den you don’t use much? What about a big back patio? Maybe you can build a shed in the backyard? If those options aren’t viable, it’s time to start thinking about renting a space. You might even consider joining a community workshop. Finewoodworking.com has this great article about the trend.

The layout and equipment.

Your particular DIY passions will dictate your equipment needs. Are you into woodworking and carpentry? Or maybe you love working with metal. Are you a car or motorcycle pro? Or maybe you dig crafting. Whatever your passion, here’s a great list, thanks to Houselogic.com, of general workshop must-haves. Here are a few of our faves:

  • Make sure you have enough open floor space.
  • Store lumber, metal, pipe, and all raw materials as close to the entry point as possible.
  • Use 3-mil contractor-grade trash bags for storing sharp and bulky debris. Build a box from ¾-in. plywood mounted on caster wheels for storing and moving large and heavy amounts of scrap.
  • The more benches the better. They should be the right height. For traditional hand-tool woodworking, 32 to 34 inches. For light metalworking and some light woodworking, 36 to 40 inches. For model building and other work while sitting, 29 inches (desktop).
  • For lighting, use T8 fluorescent fixtures spaced depending on bulb length, reflector, and lens type.
  • Use bin storage for fasteners, wire connectors, small plumbing parts, miscellaneous hardware.
  • Use a magnetic bar above workbench to hold tools of all different shapes, sizes.

To clean up, use a Shop-Vac® wet / dry vacuum. Our blog from last year, The Best Shop-Vac® Wet Dry Vac for Woodworking, details the best vacs, upgrades, and accessories.

That’s it. Once you have the basics covered, you can get into the specifics of what you need to make your DIY workshop dream come true. The most important thing for us DIYers is the word “do.” So go do!