Our Shop

Page Directory






Two Table Saws

Site Directory


Tool Reviews

Projects & Plans


Our Shop


Sites I Like to Visit

Build a Kayak

E-Mail Us!


A number of years ago I decided to build a standalone shop behind the house. Our city has a limit on the size of out buildings, thus I built it to the largest possible size: 25' x 25'. After moving my tools from the basement and garage I immediately wished I had more room, especially for finishing. Since we build lots of large projects, we need lots of space for assembly and storage of components.

I also planned the location of my primary table saw (the PM66) so I could rip boards up to 12' in length. Of course, this requires that I open the front door for the out feed of pieces longer than 10'. I purposely put the Grizzly on wheels (ShopFox Base) so that I can move it outside when ripping longer pieces (for kayaks, etc.).

Lighting and Electrical

I also planned for lots of lighting, both natural and florescent. I have three large windows on the west, north, and south walls. On sunny days, they provide lots of light. I installed and wired 18, two tube, florescent fixtures on three separate switchable circuits.

In regards to electricity, my Father and I wired a 60 AMP breaker with service drawn from the house. We installed two 240 VAC circuits and 6-8 120 VAC circuits. We wired three GFI protected circuits for general usage. We mounted the outlets for the circuits in the ceiling. I can reach them fine, but no one else can. I have since made a few pigtails that hang from the ceiling to make the outlets more accessible to humans of average height.


I insulated the walls and ceilings for the heating/cooling aspect and also to drown out some of the machine noise. My father and I completely drywalled the shop, walls and ceiling. It was a hassle, because the builder did not pay attention to the standard 16" on center between wall studs and 24" on center between ceiling joists. Thus, we literally had to cut and trim virtually every piece of wall board.


I installed a natural gas direct vent furnace from Williams Furnace Corporation. It is a built-in wall furnace. Being a direct vent and sealed furnace, the combustion air is brought in from the outside. Consequently, the furnace is safe from the dust and vapors that occur in our shop. The unit is rated as follows:

Input: 31,000 BTUs
Output: 21,000 BTUs

The furnace warms up shop in the winter in an hour or so. I generally turn its thermostat (0 to 5) to 0 in the evening when leaving and turn it to 4 or 5 in the morning to warm up the shop. Once the shop is warm, I turn it down to 2 or 3 depending on the outside temp. The unit does not require a fan/blower, although you can purchase one as an option. You can also purchase a thermostat for the unit. I have not purchased either option.

Williams Garage Direct Vent Catalog

You can contact Williams Furnace at:

Williams Furnace
225 Acacia Street
Colton, CA 92324
TEL: (909) 825-0993
FAX: (909) 824-8009

Shop Layout

Old Layout

Current Layout

Shop Layout Tips

I don't have many tips regarding shop layout--frankly my layout is only so-so. But here they are...

  1. Keep some wall space open. As much as possible actually.
  2. Figure in ducting for dust collection, piping for air compressor pressurized air. Sooner or later you will want both.
  3. Make sure the Table Saw has plenty of clearance front, back, sides. I have almost 10' of space in front, 8' of space behind, 6' to the left, and something like 12'-15' to the right.
  4. Place the jointer near the table saw, place the planer near the jointer.
  5. Build a table for cutting sheet goods and keep it near your sheet goods storage.
  6. Don't combine sheet good storage with board storage--keep both near the entry door.
  7. Use wall cabinets where appropriate, leave floor space open (unless you have tons of it).
  8. White walls, white ceilings, lots of windows, lots of light fixtures.
  9. Lots of 20 amp 110v sockets, some 220v sockets.
  10. Group the bandsaw, scrollsaw, drill press in the same area.
  11. Full wide, two-car garage-type doors take up valuable wall space.
  12. Consider placing your miter saw on top of a set of base cabinets along one wall.

Two Table Saws

I have received a number of emails regarding the need for two table saws. Obviously, two table saws is a luxury, here is my justification (not that any tool purchase be justified):

  1. I have a weird defect, I like two of everything if possible. For instance I have two scroll saws--why? They perform differently and the weakness of one is the strength of the other and visa-versa.
  2. In the case of two table saws, often while running a mini production run on one saw I need to perform another table saw operation. With two saws, I don't have to break-down the setup if I need the saw for another operation.
  3. I frequently setup both saws for operations and switch back and forth until the run is complete. In these cases, I use the Shopsmith table saw for operations that would otherwise cause me to break-down the setup on the other two. for a quick cutoff, rip operation.
  4. I plan on attaching a sliding table on the Grizzly sometime in the future, something I would never do to the Powermatic (for a number of reasons.)
  5. I wanted a portable saw that I could wheel outside for ripping extra long stock and/or moving the dust outside for repetive, dust-cloud generating production operations.

I can go on and on, but suffice it to say that I have had the luxury of two table saws for about 10+ years and have gotten used to having them. After selling my Craftsman (the second saw) a number of years ago I relied on the Powermatic and the Shopsmith and continually cursed the day I got rid of the Craftsman. Before buying the Grizzly I had not intended on buying a cabinet saw. But didn't find an acceptable used saw, and after getting spoiled by the Powermatic, I decided I probably would not be satisfied with a lesser saw.

I got the idea for my layout of the two saws from a local mill shop. They had a PM66 and Delta Unisaw, back to back, separated by a large outfeed table. I spent some time observing their operations and quickly saw the advantage of dedicating one saw for ripping and fine crosscuts, and another saw for crosscutting, dado operations, and so forth. However, I decided placing the saws back to back was not the most convenient setup for my shop, so I put them at right angles. Generally I like the setup, but it will have to change if I purchase the sliding table arrangement. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Comments / Questions

Was this article helpful? Do you have any questions, E-Mail Us! We would love to hear from you!