Sensible workshop size

hello all
i'm going to be building a workshop in the bottom of a garden when i move next month and was wondering what size to build. Obviously new
workshop time for new tools, (downsizing the house to help pay for tools and workshop, seems sensible to me).
Moving up to a larger lathe used Harrison M300 probably and milling machine maybe a bridgeport adding a band saw, have bench grinder and a table mount drill press.
So what sizes are other people working in. thanks Bryan
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bryanjak
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On 27/12/2010 7:57 AM, bryanjak wrote:

Just a suggestion, something I wish I had done, and that's to go for all the height possible or allowable, if (as is often the case), floor area is limited.
The extra height allows for more storage, perhaps a lifting beam if wanted, more feeling of "openness", etc. Even a few extra courses of bricks can be beneficial.
Jack
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3 metres to the highest point on a flat roof or 4 metres on a pitched roof, is the limit for an outbuilding without requiring planning permission far as I know. My workshop is 5mx4m, got 5 benches, loads of storage, mill, lathe etc and I have loads of floorspace. Organize the storage, under bench, high up etc and keep the floor as open as you can. There's nothing worse than fighting your way around a workshop.
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There's nothing worse than

You've been peeking in my workshop then!
Cheers
Peter
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1990 Defender 110 County (Reggie the Veggie)
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My building control officer admitted that a 1:6 roof slope wasn't flat. That was useful. Also, the limit of 30m^2 before planning permission is required applies to floor space, not external dimensions.
It does pay to prepare the neighbours for the shock if one is in an urban environment. My workshop dominates the local back gardens a bit and it took a couple of years for people to get used to it.
Mark Rand RTFM
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tools
a
Basic rule is that anything that you build will eventually not be big enough.
I moved here three years ago to give me space for the ideal workshop - initially 40 foot x 30 foot. Soon outgrew that and now have two lean to's flanking the workshop more than doubling that, one being welding etc and the other general storage, and another one is planned for a third side of the building for sand blasting.
AWEM
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On 27/12/2010 09:07, Andrew Mawson wrote:

With regards to construction, I support the idea of height (pitched roof), also make sure it is well insulated! That's my biggest problem at the moment - a fully fitted workshop with single block walls and a major exercise to insulate the walls!
Cheers
Peter (Andrew - your Disco's latest trick was to collapse a swivel bearing the day before I flew out to the US)
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when i

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Certainly insulate well. Mine started life as a barn. I re-layed the concrete floor with 50mm of expanded polystyrene insulation below 6" of reinforced RC35 concrete, and 100mm of sprayed foam on the walls and roof. Walls were then lined with 18mm OSB to give a fair surface for cupboards and shelves. I also layed 18mm OSB on the floor. When painted with floor paint it makes a very good dust free, dropped tool friendly surface. The real luxury is an oil fired boiler with fan radiators mounted at a high level blowing downwards. Another very useful feature is a loo cubicle - essential here as the barn is a few hundred yards from the house.
AWEM
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bryanjak wrote:

I've got a M300, J head Bridgeport, 2hp HPC compressor with approx 100l tank, Ikea Ivar? or similar small stock rack and a large cabinet for tools approx 1m wide x 400mm deep x 2m high in a space 2.05m x 3.65m. I took about 6" to 8 " out of the M300 splashback depth to gain space and the BP is positioned in the corner 45 degrees to the walls. The BP works well in that position as the door into this rear workshop space allows long items to pass into the doorway when that is occasionally required. This space is off the main 6m x 6m garage/workshop. The rear area is where most the the machine tool items are as it's dehumidified. There are a few other items such as a platform above the compressor for storage and a rack for press tooling on 1/3 of that, the space is well utilised. This is a single skinned block wall and not insulated but I don't have problems working out there for 4 to 6 hours even in the current conditions. The whole workshop came with the house, one of the reasons for purchasing it, if a new build I would insulate though. If possible I would have a dirty space for the grinder away from the machine tools. I have a grinder and polisher in the main space and they do make a mess, especially the lint from polishing which is also flammable so needs to be kept under control.
Given what I've fitted in I would love an extra metre length and width at a minimum for the rear shop but it's not going to happen. I would say build as big as you can afford and are allowed to, within reason, as things have a habit of following one home to live in a workshop especially if there is free space. The previous owner of my place, who built the workshop, was told by planning he could cover the whole back garden if he wanted to but his wife would have put a stop to that and even if I was doing it that would be too much.
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David Billington wrote:

And the M300 is the 40" between centres variant.
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As folks have said, whatever you build, it will be too small sometime in the future. I've recently built my workshop, 7m x 11m was all I could manage. This is my 3rd shop and it's benefitted from what I've learned with the rest. Here's some tips in no particular order. If you have to prioritise, do things now that cannot be easily changed later. Insulate the floor. I didn't do this once but laid a slab with foundations 1m deep at the edges. That's a lot of concrete and it ran with condensation in the spring months. Don't forget to insulate the slab edges. This does leave a strip of insulation exposed all around the shop. I screwed 2mm galvanised steel strips over this then painted it with the floor. Height is useful, especially the door if (when) you want to get vehicles in there. 4x4s and caravans are quite tall things. Insulate and panel the walls. I used 50mm glass fibre between battens then 18mm plywood over that. Paint everything inside white or light colours. It makes a big difference. I used cheap emulsion on the walls but over painted with gloss where oil splashes were expected like the lathe etc. Fit lots of lights but switch them in groups to save electricity. It also means you can run a bigger machine if only a few lights are on. Add extra lights where detail is important like bench, lathe, drill, etc. Don't scrimp on security. Everyone knows a nice new workshop will have nice new tools in it. Secure doors, good locks and an alarm should be the minimum. Fit BIG sounders inside the shop. If the thieves ears are hurting, they will leave sooner. You can make your own security doors by bolting a sheet of ply either side of a 3mm steel sheet. Don't forget to rebate for any locks when you make it though. Making a rebate after it's all glued up is a real ****. It helps if the outside of the shop looks a bit scruffy. Also, any windows should have obscured glass. I only fitted translucent roof panels, no windows. That means more wall space for shelves etc but still lets in the light. Get a good floated floor finish then paint it. I used a light colour that didnt match anything I'm likely to spill (oil, blood, etc). If you power float concrete, it's the best you can get but you will need to etch the surface before paint will stick. Run all the wiring on the surface of any wall covering. That way you won't hammer nails through it when you hang things up. It also makes it easy to add extra sockets etc. Think about the internal layout before you build. Putting things in corners can limit their use if there's not a convenient door or opening. Think of a long piece in a lathe with the headstock against a wall. The same goes for power saws, drills, mills, shears and hydraulic presses. Heat is a big bonus but a large shop with a thick concrete floor takes hours to warm up. Insulate the roof and paint it white if at all possible. There should be a ramp up into the shop to keep rain out. Any lights should have guards to protect against you wielding lengths of material and any debris from the lathe/mill/drill chuck Hope this helps.
John
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As folks have said, whatever you build, it will be too small sometime in the future. I've recently built my workshop, 7m x 11m was all I could manage. This is my 3rd shop and it's benefitted from what I've learned with the rest. Here's some tips in no particular order. If you have to prioritise, do things now that cannot be easily changed later. Insulate the floor. I didn't do this once but laid a slab with foundations 1m deep at the edges. That's a lot of concrete and it ran with condensation in the spring months. Don't forget to insulate the slab edges. This does leave a strip of insulation exposed all around the shop. I screwed 2mm galvanised steel strips over this then painted it with the floor. Height is useful, especially the door if (when) you want to get vehicles in there. 4x4s and caravans are quite tall things. Insulate and panel the walls. I used 50mm glass fibre between battens then 18mm plywood over that. Paint everything inside white or light colours. It makes a big difference. I used cheap emulsion on the walls but over painted with gloss where oil splashes were expected like the lathe etc. Fit lots of lights but switch them in groups to save electricity. It also means you can run a bigger machine if only a few lights are on. Add extra lights where detail is important like bench, lathe, drill, etc. Don't scrimp on security. Everyone knows a nice new workshop will have nice new tools in it. Secure doors, good locks and an alarm should be the minimum. Fit BIG sounders inside the shop. If the thieves ears are hurting, they will leave sooner. You can make your own security doors by bolting a sheet of ply either side of a 3mm steel sheet. Don't forget to rebate for any locks when you make it though. Making a rebate after it's all glued up is a real ****. It helps if the outside of the shop looks a bit scruffy. Also, any windows should have obscured glass. I only fitted translucent roof panels, no windows. That means more wall space for shelves etc but still lets in the light. Get a good floated floor finish then paint it. I used a light colour that didnt match anything I'm likely to spill (oil, blood, etc). If you power float concrete, it's the best you can get but you will need to etch the surface before paint will stick. Run all the wiring on the surface of any wall covering. That way you won't hammer nails through it when you hang things up. It also makes it easy to add extra sockets etc. Think about the internal layout before you build. Putting things in corners can limit their use if there's not a convenient door or opening. Think of a long piece in a lathe with the headstock against a wall. The same goes for power saws, drills, mills, shears and hydraulic presses. Heat is a big bonus but a large shop with a thick concrete floor takes hours to warm up. Insulate the roof and paint it white if at all possible. There should be a ramp up into the shop to keep rain out. Any lights should have guards to protect against you wielding lengths of material and any debris from the lathe/mill/drill chuck Hope this helps.
John
Yup no windows in my workshop either, and everything painted white. My alleyway-access is a steel clad 2-hour fire door weighing 3 hundredweight and my garden access is a 1-hour fire door. I have the door open in summer for a bit of sunlight or breeze but there's nothing to see in from the outside when the doors are locked.
Pete.
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Pete wrote:

I've just replaced the shed at the bottom of the garden with a concrete block walled unit. I'm not going to be using it as a workshop although one end will be used for storing the garden railway stock and steam bits.
One thing I did which was not too expensive was to put electric under floor heating in the slab which is sitting on 50mm of polystyrene insulation. Running on off-peak it keeps the floor a couple of degrees above freezing and is nice dry heat. But the best 'buy' was an insulated sip panel roof. Like the ones you see on industrial units. 80mm of insulation with steel cladding inside and out. The inside is finished white, and the outside a light brown which goes well with the rest of the garden. I had 10 panels which simply bolted down to wall plates either side and was installed and finished in a morning ... including a 150mm deep gutter down one side. 30sq mts cost 1500 but it's maintenance free inside and out for 20 years!
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