Budget Woodworking Shop
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Dear Mr. Electrician: Can I put together a cheap woodworking shop in my home? Answer: Yes you can build a woodworking shop on a tight budget. Give some thoughtful consideration to many of the factors mentioned below. Careful planning is the key. Do a lot of research before spending money. Read about what others have done. Avoid the three most common mistakes when setting up a wood shop. Through my own personal experiences I have realized that it is possible to save money on tools and materials. The first thing I suggest is that you read a book on the subject, such as "How To Set Up A Complete Wood Shop On a Budget" written by Ralph Chapman. It will answer your questions and give you great advice on setting up an inexpensive, but functional wood shop. . Finding Bargains For Your Wood Shop I recommend that you not buy tools for your budget shop before you have a use for them, unless they are a fantastic bargain. In my youth I would buy new tools in case I ever needed them. Many years later some of those tools are still waiting for a purpose. I have found good working tools at fantastic discounts, sometimes new, but mostly used at garage sales, rummage sales, and contractor going out of business sales. Once I just happened to see a tool rental yard have a going out of business sale. I bought a good conduit bender there for about a third of its original price. Keep an eye on online advertising sites such as Craigslist.org and Facebook Marketplace. Join local Facebook yard sale groups for your area. I have found good tool deals on Ebay. A good place to find free things is Freecycle.org. Utilities For Your Home Wood Shop As an electrician I would first research your electrical power requirements. Your power needs can be substantial for a woodworking business or can just be one 20 amp circuit for someone working at home. Is your main electrical panel located in the basement, garage, or somewhere else? If it is conveniently located, are there extra spaces in the electrical panel for additional electrical circuits? If it is not conveniently located will it be easy to install a heavy duty electrical circuit from the main electrical panel to your home workshop location? If you are planning for a lot of power tools it may be in your best interest to install a wood shop electrical sub-panel. You may need some dedicated electrical circuits in your budget wood shop for not only power tools, but possibly for workshop lighting, heating, air conditioning, and ventilation. A basement workshop may not need air conditioning and heating because the temperature is fairly consistent underground. However you will still need ventilation which can be as simple as an exhaust fan with a filter to keep the dust off the motor and fan blade. Fresh air can be brought in through a window. A garage usually will not have a problem with ventilation due to the large garage...