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Possible new Sub Forum - The Machine Shop???

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  • Possible new Sub Forum - The Machine Shop???

    I will admit, I started this topic with some reservation about whether it is legitimate, or just me having to move from a tiny, over packed garage with just a workbench and a lathe bench for my hobby machines, to a place with a potentially heated, stick built barn the size of a two car garage, with an upstairs, insulation, and potential for a real, but modest, machine shop. The kind where my elbow isn't banging into the lathe gear box while I'm sharpening a drill on the bench grinder.

    OK, the farther I go on this, it does seem pretty selfish I guess. But I've got this far so I'll pose the question.
    Would there be any interest in, or continued need for a sub forum for just shop set ups and suggestions or is it best just left for the General Forum? It could encompass subjects like benches, cabinets, flooring, lighting, power supplies, shop doors, heating/cooling, wall finishes, tool racks, tool boxes, ,machine placement, hoists, lifts, storage, seating, ....stuff like that.

    Well, just a thought, while I try to figure out how a 68 year old is gonna get his tiny hobby machines to their -new to me- home, 48 miles out in the country. (Along with the rest of 37 years of accumulated stuff)!!

    S E Michigan

  • #2
    It seems like even the specialty sub forums that are here now don't get the traffic of this one. And if we took away all the off topic stuff it's not like a thread on setting up your shop would be lost in the other traffic.

    So my thoughts are that there's no need for a specialty sub forum for something this close to the hearts of a proper HSM'er.

    And a very hearty CONGRATS on the upcoming new digs with real room! Plan ahead. If you CAD then do up a lot of possible floor plans. If you don't CAD then do a paper drawing and make file card cutouts of your machines and do layouts with those and take pictures as you go of each option regardless of how bad they seem. Even the worst setup has a few good nuggets. Try to allow for all the options that make a good shop even if you don't have room for them now. And while it will be more roomy than what you have try to double up on areas. For example I put my grinding area over by the welding area where a lot of angle grinding is done. I wanted to keep all the gritty stuff in one spot and make only one mess. And I put the rack for the metal there too since the stock is easily swept off before use. And then all my solvents and paints were put over in the far corner away from all the sparks which are possible sources of combustion. And everything else went in between.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada


    • #3
      BCRider, I guess I also considered the shop subject might be just as workable in the General Forum..

      Hey, good thoughts here about using CAD (my CAD is Crayola Assisted Design), so I will use the drawing and cut outs method, it works for me.

      Also, in my existing garage shop, me and my shop apron just block the grinder dust from flying onto the drill press and lathe....well, at least that is what I tell myself is happening... Now, I will be moving the dusty stuff into a corner away from the machinery. That is some good advice...Thanks!!
      S E Michigan


      • #4
        I also drew a scale outline of my shop and made footprint rectangles for my machines and then (in the drawing tool) moved the boxes around to my satisfaction. Take your time. Think things through. If you have to bring a 20 foot length of stock into your shop and saw it up, will there be room? Stuff like that. Also, plan on tons of lighting and power drops which are easiest to install before a room is populated.

        As for a subforum, to me if you bury something down there it just won't get much traction as most people then won't see it. I don't agree with the splinter forums.

        Some of the topics you indicate interest in have already been done to death. For example, go over to and search for their topic on "show me your workbench". In the 200 pages or so of postings you will find that every conceivable idea has been presented ad nauseam. Same for bench vises, old air compressors, anvils, you name it.



        • #5
          George has made the point that the Village Press IT folks consider this forum to be just an annoying nuisance, and do NOT want to do any work on it. Any insistence on "improvements" could get it shut down as a "time wasting problem".

          I know I'll happily tolerate the shortcomings to avoid getting the site just "flushed".
          CNC machines only go through the motions.

          Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
          Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
          Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
          I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
          Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.


          • #6
            Originally posted by OaklandGB View Post
            Would there be any interest in, or continued need for a sub forum for just shop set ups and suggestions or is it best just left for the General Forum? It could encompass subjects like benches, cabinets, flooring, lighting, power supplies, shop doors, heating/cooling, wall finishes, tool racks, tool boxes, ,machine placement, hoists, lifts, storage, seating, ....stuff like that.

            That's an interesting thought, but I think encompassing all those subjects under one sub-forum might make it a chore to search for information later on. With my limited skill set, when I run into trouble with a power supply it could get frustrating having to sift through all the entries about floors and cabinets. And then I wind up spending all day discovering new ways to add storage cabinets and never getting around to finding out why I keep popping that circuit breaker.


            • #7
              Just me, but I long ago stopped even looking at the sub forums, since whatever was in there could also be asked/ answered/shown in the general forum, and because it could be found in the general forum, few people posted in the sub forums.... death spiral.
              "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979


              • #8
                I agree about the sub forums and not visiting them, it's been years since I really went to those. Now, a sticky of shop designs and ideas might be of interest and helpful, but I think J Tiers said it best, George hits a wall when it comes to change with the forum. Sticky's have been asked for before and have not materialized for various reasons. The best I think you could do is start a new post that is very specifically titled like the "What did you do today" which is very popular, then see how it goes. I'd look and add comments should one pop up.

                Good Question.

                Mr fixit for the family


                • #9
                  I just go to 'new topics' never select a specific forum section. Note I used the word 'section' as I think the title sub-forum already makes it seem somewhere far off.


                  • #10
                    Ahhh, I didn't realize that the forum's support for George isn't much help to him. Nixes that Idea right off the bat, plus all have made good points about existing sub forums. Much better to use the General Forum with a specific subject line.

                    So, onward we go!!

                    S E Michigan


                    • #11
                      Far as I’m concerned, everything you’ve mentioned is fair game for discussion in General, and Congratulations on your new horizons! No mechanical subject is too mundane OR too esoteric to escape a thorough and resounding thrashing here.


                      • #12
                        The garage journal forum is exactly what you are looking for. They aren't as machinist oriented, but most of the guys with real (aka not just garages for fancy cars) shops have some machine tools. You'll get the advice you're seeking better there where you have a much wider audience and bank of opinions. That's my $0.02 anyway.

                        Congrats on the move.
                        21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                        1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration


                        • #13
                          Congrats on the new shop. The garage journal as mention by the butcher is a great resource for idea on outfitting a shop. Just be warned, that site WILL make you want to spend a bunch of money, don't fall for it it's a trap. Post your progress here though, as we all like a good shop build thread. I don't think it's off topic at all.

                          I never understood the hate towards more subforums. A few more here wouldn't hurt, but it can go way too far like CNC zone..... I browse by clicking new posts, and never really notice which subforum a thread is made in anyway.


                          • #14
                            Crayola Assited Design... I liked that!

                            Here is what I did in "proper" CAD for my own garage. While working on this floor plan I had probably a dozen others around it with various layouts in the conceptual working file. You won't have that but as I suggested as you make up a Crayola Aided Design that looks promising take a picture of it and keep it close. I never deleted any of the working during "development" and only at the end when satisfied with what I'd wrought did I copy and paste the final version to a new file and delete the conceptual file. The final version called for building a lot of my own fixtures. Namely all the benches and the metal storage rack with grinder shelf above and all the grey wall cabinets you see in my floor plan. But that was fine since I went into it knowing I'd be doing this. The green storage shelves shown are items I had from the old shop which were adapted to fit into the new layout.

                            The rectangle in the lower left in front of the roll up door is my motorcycle lift which doubles as a welding table. The box with grey wall cabinets over it is the metal rack with grinders on a shelf over the rack. Paints, solvents and oils are all stored in the green shelf unit by the sink as far from sparks as I can manage.

                            The island shows my drill press and previous mill drill. The mill/drill went away and I got an Asian baby size knee mill which sits facing the door along the side of the island with the drill press on it. As shown this is a 550 square feet garage.

                            I hope this gives you some ideas on setting up your own. Or perhaps at least some ideas for the thought process of how to approach it.

                            Click image for larger version

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                            Chilliwack BC, Canada


                            • #15
                              About ten years ago I had a shop move from Iowa to Texas when I retired. I posted about it with many photos, in three threads. It did generate some interest but perhaps not enough to suggest a separate board for shop topics. Here are the links if anyone is interested:

                              The Great Shop Move

                              The Great Shop Move II

                              Some of you may remember that I had to move my shop from Iowa to Texas. I packed up and left almost two years ago and my shop has been in storage ever since. Here is the thread on the first part of that move. And the third part https://bbs.homeshopmachi

                              and The Great Shop Move III

                              I have to confess to my guilt in the amount of time this shop move has been taking. It is getting close to five years and I just must complete it. The delays are not totally my fault; the most recent one was due to my son's stroke which took at least three months of my time between hospital visits in Houston and rehab and

                              I also placed those links in the first post of all three parts so you can move from one to the next one or jump around as you wish. The original links were no longer working, probably due to the upgrade of the forum software a few years ago but I have updated them so they are good now.
                              Paul A.
                              SE Texas

                              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                              You will find that it has discrete steps.