For many, the garage is more than just a station in which to park their car and store the household cacophony; it’s a place to work and create, a personally crafted space for all one’s DIY projects.
The garage workshop is made for all those noisy, dirty, cumbersome tasks you can’t perform elsewhere, and thanks to today’s designs and implements you can amp up the comfort and productivity factors tenfold.
The ideal garage workshop provides spacious and accessible storage, expert lighting, and durable surfaces that can stand up to any performance, and are just as easy to clean. Well-crafted workbenches and designated zones for machinery are just the beginning; wall hooks and magnet bars keep your tools secure and within reach, while additional open-air components (skylights, windows, and adequate ventilation) ensure a safe and fluid work environment.
Lest you worry any of these considerations come at the cost of eye-appeal, rest assured, the modern garage workshop is as attractive and on-point as the rest of your home.
Every man deserves a space to get back to the basics of working with his hands, of forging new projects and mastering new materials. These unique and cool garage workshop ideas are your personalized zones, designed to suit your interests, needs, and sky-is-the-limit aspirations.
1. Garage Workshop Table Saw Ideas
If you’re lucky enough to have a table saw in your shop, you know that no matter what, it’s never quite big enough but it’s also somehow always in the way. These handy tools can be a hassle to deal with unless they’re given a dedicated and functional home. The following images are great examples of what’s possible when you plan out the perfect out-feed and work table for your table saw.
As you can see, partnering your table saw with an out-feed table can be a great way to increase its capability and the quality of your work. This also gives you the opportunity to mount some accessory tracks or clamping locations, giving the table multiple other uses for when it’s not ripping boards to width.
It’s important to make sure that your table saw’s deck and the top of your out-feed table are perfectly inline. If you don’t, you’ll find that your material either stops feeding once it hits the edge of the table or it will begin to droop towards the end of the cut. Neither one of these scenarios are ideal and both can be dangerous. Most saw stands have adjustable feet that can get you as much as an inch of adjustability, so you just need to get the out-feed table height close enough, then adjust the saw to perfection.
2. Garage Workshop Workbench Ideas
All garage workshops should have one thing in common: A good workbench. This is the most important surface in your shop. It’s where you’ll fix things, build things, and just think things over. Without a good work surface, a garage workshop is no workshop at all. Check out the following images to get an idea of what you can do to create the perfect workbench for you and your shop.
A good workbench doesn’t have to be purchased off of the store shelf, although that is an option. You can build your own bench using some cabinets, some DIY-made legs, or by repurposing an old table. The end result is the goal: A clean, flat surface that you can use to get things done.
Customizing your bench for your own needs is the fun part. Installing a metal vise gives you the ability to hold a workpiece in place and wrench on it, while a wooden vice will clamp down materials without damaging them, allowing you to plane them smooth. Also, bench-mounted tools like drill presses and bench grinders are great to have within arm’s length for hobbies like gunsmithing or metalwork.
3. Garage Workshop Ideas for Tool Storage
We know that it’s difficult to keep all of your tools organized and put away precisely where they’re supposed to be. Sometimes you get so wrapped up in the project that you put something down, only to go back to it a few minutes later and it’s not where you thought you left it. Tool storage ideas like pegboards and cabinets can be a big help in keeping your shop tidy and your workflow moving.
Pegboards make awesome use of space above a workbench or between two cabinets. By being so highly customizable, you can fit a lot of tools into a small space. Also, having those tools in eyesight will help you to remember exactly what tools you have when a job gets difficult and you need to think outside of the box.
Not all tools should be left out, however. If you have any precision tools that should stay clean and protected, you should think about installing some cabinets. There are plenty of options at the local home center, so check them out for ideas. You want to look for drawers with ball-bearing slides, as heavily-laden drawers can be difficult to open. Also, being able to lock that tool chest will give you some peace of mind that your tools won’t grow legs and walk away.
4. Woodworker’s Garage Workshop Ideas
Having all the tools necessary to get a large project done should be the goal of any woodworker. The reality is, though, that woodworking power tools often take up a lot of floor space. To keep productivity and workflow up, planning your garage shop’s layout is imperative. Look at how the shops in these next images are arranged.
Clearly, each tool requires a certain amount of clearance around it to be used to its fullest potential. It’s important to consider how you’ll use a large tool like a table saw, router station, or miter saw before you give it a permanent home. Tucking almost any stationary tool away into a corner is a bad idea when you can relegate that space for rolling tools and storage. Additionally, if you can attach your router table to your table saw, you’ll get the benefit of a larger work surface and outfeed table.
One of the other issues that woodworkers often run into is power supply. While stationary tools should have their own dedicated outlets, tools on roll-out carts don’t have the same luxury as they’re often moved about the garage. By using power cords on retractable reels, you’ll always know where you’ll be getting your power from, and you don’t have to steal an extension cord from somewhere else around your house.
5. Timber-Framed and Pole Barn Garage Workshop Ideas
When it comes to having space, your garage will never feel like it has enough. What’s worse is when you have the space but it’s being taken up by walls, poles, and other structural support members that get in the way of getting the job done. What you’d really like is a wide-open area to work, move materials around, and maybe to park a car in every now and then.
Timber-framed and pole barns are great for providing a lot of space with minimal intrusion on your work area. You can feel free to swing 12-foot long lumber around all day, wheel tool boxes across the floor, and use the space for what it was originally intended for: Storage. These wide-open structures are perfect for your garage workshop ideas.
While you’re looking for a wide-open space to work in, the odd beam doesn’t have to be a complete hindrance. If you have a large beam, pole, or structural member in the middle of your workspace, try to minimize its effect by building around it. These are great for supporting workbenches, building shelves around, or using to hang power cords and hoses off of. If it’s there, you might as well use it.
6. Small Garage Workshop Ideas
If you’re not sensing a theme here, you’re missing the point. Workshop space is everything. The larger, the better. But not everyone has the ability to create a large workshop for themselves. You may be working within the confines of a very small garage, or maybe you have to share your large garage with your vintage cars or your kids’ bikes and sports equipment. Making the most of the space that you have is the prize that you need to keep your eye on.
Maximize the space you have by using well-thought-out and planned storage options. Instead of letting things pile up in the corner, attempt to store them away in bins. You can then tuck those bins away under a workbench or onto a shelving unit to get them out of the way. By identifying something that is eating up your available space, you can make an intelligent decision on how you’re going to work around it.
If your children’s sports equipment is starting to become an issue, you can try building lockers specifically for them and their gear. Sure, they won’t be able to fit their bikes in a locker, but by giving them a vertically-oriented storage space, they can collect and store a lot of their gear without taking up a lot of your precious floor space.
7. Dust Collection Ideas for a Garage Workshop
In the event that you’ll be doing a lot of woodworking, you’re also going to be creating a lot of dust. While piles of sawdust have been building up on the workshop floors of woodworkers for thousands of years, it can actually be quite unsafe, and depending on your sensitivities, it could be triggering a nasty allergic reaction.
Installing a dust collection system in your shop can do wonders to save your sanity and even prolong the prime condition of your shop and the longevity of your tools. By sucking the sawdust away, it never has the chance to settle near the intricate parts of an electric motor or on the floor where it becomes a handy surface to take a fall on.
There are a ton of different options out there for dust collection systems, but you can also create your own if you have a fairly powerful shop vacuum. Check out the following video to get an idea of how to create your own system without shelling out a lot of money on a fancy industrial model. It’s a great demonstration of how to build a complete dust collection system using your shop vac and some affordable parts.
8. Garage Workshop Flooring Ideas
For long days in the shop, whether you’re fixing something or tinkering away, a cold, concrete floor will fatigue you. It may wear out your back, it could just hurt your feet, or it could be really difficult to sweep, leaving small scraps and dust to be tripped over. Ideally, you want a smooth and comfortable floor that you can clean easily and will hold up to the abuses a workshop floor will see.
The floors in the images above are perfect for a workshop. Not only are they easy on the eyes, but they’re also easy to clean and easy on your feet. By choosing the right flooring material, you’re improving the safety of your shop while also increasing your pride in your space. This means you’re more likely to keep it neat and organized while also being more likely to enjoy the time you spend in it.
Wood and vinyl both make excellent surfaces to work on but epoxy is by far the best. Several companies now make epoxies that coat your floor in one seamless application and these floors offer some great benefits. An epoxy floor will cut down on the amount of dust that concrete floor actually generates. By coating the floor, it seals that concrete dust below. Also, spills and sawdust are extremely easy to clean up. Epoxy is also far more durable than floor paint, making it an ideal workshop surface.
Garage Workshop FAQs
Do I need additional electrical power run to my garage workshop for my power tools?
For standard tools, your household 120v current should suit you just fine. However, if you find yourself running back to the house to reset breakers quite often, you can consider having an electrician installing an additional panel in your garage. Also, if you plan to purchase heavy-duty tools that require 220v power, you’ll probably need to have an electrician come in and run that for you as well.
What are my options when it comes to tool storage chests and cabinets?
There are a lot of options on the market that will solve your storage issues, but most are very expensive. Even if you purchase low-grade chests, you’ll be spending quite a bit of money by the time you get all of your tools stowed away the way you’d like them. You can consider
configuring store-bought unfinished kitchen cabinets. They’re relatively inexpensive and you can customize your shop exactly how you’d like it. If you’re up for a project, you can build your own cabinets with some research and some basic carpentry tools.
My garage is attached to my house. What can I do to improve sound-proofing?
There are many different types of sound-proofing insulation available on the market today that may help capture that noise before it makes its way into the house. Companies like Roxul make batts insulation specifically meant to reduce the amount of sound that travels from one room to another. Sound-deadening acoustical panels can also be installed on the adjoining wall, but they’re generally pretty offending to look at.