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shop layout

Started by lc, February 28, 2012, 03:06:41 am

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I find my shop too disorganized !
zipper spool on the floor beside my machine fighting to uncoil it... my rolls of burlap felt teralyne ( fortrell to some ) strewed every where and I am getting extremely frustrated . My shop is small ...approx 30 x 45  L shaped  and I have seeped into my husbands workshop with my clutter. Does anyone have any good tricks for putting this stuff up .,tricks to where to store etc. yet have it at easy hand?
the walls are brick so its hard to put anything up on it .


That's not a bad size shop. My shop is 24 X 36. This includes a bathroom and office for my wife. What really helps are two sheds. one to store furniture and one to store foam and Dacron.

My walls are covered up. Not a free space anywhere. If you don't want to put holes in the brick try cabinets or toolboxes. Use free standing racks for things like burlap, cambric, or decking fabric.

The other thing you can do is keep pushing your husband further and further into his corner of the shop. He doesn't really need all that room anyways. Does he?
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.


He used to have the full area for a wood shop and I have literally inched my way over.heh heh ..,he has to move my stuff out of the way to cut any plywood.

I like the idea of a shed though ...we get the snow season here ,do you think the dampness in a shed would ruin the foam ? ..  it would be a nice idea so I could stock up to save on shipping .
I have support posts in the odd area of the room that are a pain when I have large items its a bit tight at times but it works.


My building is a little over 2000 sq. ft., but I only heat and air condition 550 sq. ft. for my work area. The rest is storage (and it's FULL).
30 x 45 ain't bad considering some of the tiny cracker-boxes that I've seen some stitchers working out of.

If nothing else, you can run a piece of pipe from rear leg to rear leg of your sewing machine to put spools of welt and zipper on. Or you could thread stiff wire through the center of the spool, and form a hook on each end to hang over the horizontal brace of the sewing machine stand.

I posted some pics a few months ago of retail store display fixtures that I've "rescued" from behind stores. I use them to store various small parts.
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban


What a great idea ! Thanks ...
this way it'll roll off the roll easier and I won't have to fight with it . awsome !!
Any ideas for burlap and rolls ?..I have them under a  table .thats no so bad .,,

and my foam area? ooooh its bad !..its piled on a shelf that sticks out from the wall about 4 ft .,takes up too much room. I wish there was a way to store it horizontly and I like the shed idea but I'm not too sure with the weather we get...


Here is a rack that I built on the end of my cutting table on the opposite end from my sewing machine. I use it to keep rolls of denim, accord, zipper, skirt paper off the floor. The area behind it is a 6ft. X 8ft. alcove that I use to toss scraps of foam, batting, small pillow jobs, and various other "odds-n-ends". Basically, it's my "junk corner".
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban


February 28, 2012, 05:04:10 pm #6 Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 08:13:48 am by Grebo
If you have a search on here, somewhere is a thread full of workshop photo's & ideas.

Shelves under the table is a great storage space & keeps it off the floor, I have clear plastic 'curtains' stapled under the edge to keep the dust & crap off the table from mucking up the fabrics.
I also rescued two steel display units ( put out for the dust man) put shelves & rods in for coils of stuff.
Our walls are a nightmare to screw into so I have loads of cheap steel units, the white frame work is the expensive stuff dexion I think it's called because I have some heavy rolls hung up, clear vinyl, pattern plastic, my 'special' 2" fluted vinyl plus I use the bottom roll for what ever colour I am using at the time ( if it's a big job). ;D
I have whole sheets of foam stood up on their sides & squashed against the wall.

  ( please ignore the hideous red cushion  ::) )
Great zipper storage, just needed 3 large screws into the wall.  :D



Thats great ! I will have a lot more room with having a rack for the rolls . So many good ideas !
I am going to take the big gaudy foam rack down.., it takes up too much room.
I have a few rolls of fabric I am constantly moving them around  a wall rack may work for them too or I could get a larger shelf put under my table ....it'll be nice to be able to move around a bit more freely


Casters.  They're the greatest invention since the wheel.  Casters are wheels that will rotate 360 degrees; but I never knew that until I wanted to build moveable cutting tables on "wheels", lol.  Scope out the information offered at Castercity.com , you won't believe how much you will learn. 

I work "for the man" in a shop that has remained unchanged in 15 yrs..  Only the machine heads have changed.  The configuration of the "work stations" (suppressed laughter) is sacrosanct... they emerged perfectly conceived and designed from the "the man's" mind.  Trouble is, it doesn't work very well.  ;)  So, whatever you do, always remain open to change.  Change shouldn't frighten people, it's a good thing, but only if you are willing to put some "think time" into making a meaningful change. 

I have a wall rack for goods on cardboard tubes.  It's OK, but not really very effective for the way I work, although I didn't know that at the time!  So that's what I mean when I say that you have to be flexible.  I am going to buy a rolling fabric unwinding cart and a decent binding reel that will sit atop the work bench as soon as I know what sort of money I have at my discretion. 

I will try to remember to post some shots of my rolling tables (they're on the other computer).  Hardest of all for me is the computer stuff!


Bobbin, if you get a chance, please repost pics of your cutting table. It is so cool.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.


My shop is 28x36.  I come from a garment background, do drapery/cushions/slipcovers, and have fiddled with some easy upholstery stuff.  I needed tabling badly but also needed to be able to rearrange them for cleaning and maximum efficiency for very different sorts of work.  I designed the tables,  my husband constructed them and I finished them.  There are 4 of them (4x8), two of them have 24" extension leaves that are supported by collapsible legs. 

Casters!  http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9177286/401336466.jpg  These came from Caster City and are sized to bear weight and roll easily.  Worth every penny. 

The frames:  http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9177286/401336472.jpg 

Here are the 2 with extension leaves raised, you can see the collapsible legs in the background.  I have 6x16 feet of flat surface in this configuration.  A lower storage shelf was added after this shot was taken:  http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9177286/401336485.jpg

Because I press on those 2 tables I added 1/2" homosote pad to protect the melamine from the heat and moisture of the iron.  It's cut in 24"widths and I can store it under the table when I don't want a padded table surface:  http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9177286/401336492.jpg  You can see the rolled up 1/4" polyester pad on top of the homosote in this shot. 

Over the homosote pad I also have a bonded polyester pad (1/4") and then a snap on muslin cover that can be laundered periodically:  http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9177286/401336499.jpg.  I took my time fitting these two elements, so they fit snugly and don't bunch up when I'm working with fabric or the iron:  http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/9177286/401336460.jpg  http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL889/1214523/11016919/394934249.jpg

I have more shots of the shop, but I'll get this up and if you want more, just ask. 


You know how when you get a present that's wrapped so beautifully, you say "It's TOO pretty to unwrap".
That's what I think when I see those pics of your shop. It's too pretty to work in. :D
I don't want to WORK there..... I wanna LIVE there!

I'm glad you suggested that Castercity website. I need replacement wheels for my work table. Their prices seem more reasonable than most places. And with all the wheels and casters they list, I'm sure they have what I'm looking for.
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban


Thanks for the pics, Bobbin.

I have one cutting table that is 60" x 9'. I made it extremely solid which is great when I lean on it but it is too heavy to move around.

I love the windows you have!!! I would like to have that much natural light in my shop.



Nothing is ever, "too pretty", lol.  I had such a good time pickling and clear coating the frames for my tables (I even pickled the plugs to cover the bolts).  I was able to plan the project, execute it, and never once had someone tell me, "No, I don't think that's a good idea, I want you to do it this way "... .  They are exactly what I wanted and they work exactly the way I knew they would because I spent a lot of time planning them and doing my "homework" on what would be needed.  They're easy to move, the perfect height, and they're attractive.  MY idea and MY vision.  Based on years of observation and practical experience.   I applied the same research to the lighting, the overhead rail and electricity for my iron, and most recently the piped in air from the compressor downstairs. 

I have always loved interior design, architecture, and landscaping.  If you're going to be in a place for extended periods of time you ought be in surroundings that please your senses.  White walls are simply waiting for the right color to be applied.  Natural light and being able to see the outside world is important, at least to me.  I like color and I like to paint.  It was a fun exercise to plan and execute the pattern on the floor (which is only Advantec subflooring).  I have had the good fortune to be able to design a work space just for me and while it's taken 4 solid years I've turned it into a pretty nice work space.  The way I see it, how can I expect myself to be happy and turn out top notch work in a place that is a dump? 

I presently work in a place that's a total pit.  It sucks the life and creativity right out of me.  I hate having to stoop to cut something out using shears that would have trouble cutting soft butter.  I hate having to cut and glue foam while crawling around on my hands and knees.  I hate working at a machine while seated on a chair that is 3" too low... my bum shoulder aches after a long day in front of that machine.  It's stupid and not productive.  But "the man" is deaf to simple suggestions.  Too cheap? too vain? dunno, don't care anymore.  I do what I'm assigned, the best way I'm able, and keep my eyes on the long term goal.  Baby steps. 

So, I make mental notes on what makes my work for "the man" hard and make sure my own shop isn't that way.  Heck, my rulers all have numbers that aren't worn off.


Sometimes upholstery shop conditions seem so cramped and I also hate all those awkward positions .
I'm not as limber and energetic as I used to be.
I now have a small computer chair at my Juki I can adjust it to the height I need depending on the job I'm doing.
We had a cool thing going at one time until it died ,we had a old barber chair base under the table where you put  whatever your working on it swivels your project around and locked when you needed to ..A bit heavy to move the table ...  I loved it  !
My shop is far from pretty . I'm in my basement with ugly brick walls and cement floor  I made some curtain valances  and had bright lighting put in and painted the brick walls white. I hate working in a dark area it makes for crappy work ., your taking it out the door to deliver and once the natural light hit it your bringing it right back in for adjustments ..I worked in a place like that many years ago ..dark work area not good ! cheap boss too

I want to put some sort of flooring down that isn't too costly , I'm sure the cement isn't helping my feet and knees . The problem is in the spring we have a bit of water comming in ..if we put a sub floor in would it rot from the dampness ? I could sure use some ideas on this .,and what is good for over the plywood that would be comfy to walk on  ?..I have a cheap fatigue mat at my cutting table but it's a pain to clean off.