Instructables
How I designed my new workshop.
 
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Step 1: Make a model

I have been a fan of this site for a while and never contributed before but today browsing one of the projects here I was struck by the crudeness of one craftperson's workshop, so I am posting this to maybe inspire some others to get their stuff together.

When I had to move all of my stuff out of my old place to my new place I became somewhat concerned as to where I should put everything. I really did not want to have to move things around too many times. Most of my stuff is heavy, some weighs upwards of a half a ton. So I knew what I had, and I knew where it all had to fit, so I made a model of it all.

The first time I was exposed to this idea in a book I laughed at the fellow doing it. When it came my turn to setup a new shop it didn't seem so funny after all. It is way easier to move little cardboard models around than full sized objects! Oh, and for all you graph paper cutout types out there it is far too easy to lie in 2D. I have gone the graph paper/cutout route before. That has never struck me as being very silly, just not as effective.

I used the architectural scale 1/4 inch to the foot as my scale. Heck, after a while it was sort of fun to make scale models of all of my junk. In the process I even remade a few of the models nicer than I had initially. The models are made out of scrap cardboard, and toothpicks, hotglued together, then painted with craft paint. Nothing too fancy there. But everything is to scale.

See the little scale me in the model? It was a handy visual aid for me to see height relationships, or how I'd fit in the environment. OK maybe the minime was going a bit too far? All I wanted was sharks with laser beams, whoah wait a minute. That is another story.
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This is a great effort you put in  here, my hat off.
It looks like it worked for you very well, but I find it much easier to work on a 3D CAD software to design a project like this.
Accurate in dimension down to the mm, detailed a much as you like to do it, and allot faster if you want changes like e dust collector network system.
Personally I prefer it this way.
Great job 
I made my model in some spare time I had over the course of two days. Though I messed around with it for about two weeks. It worked for me a lot better than not doing it. Everything fit where planned on the model so accuracy wasn't an issue. I can imagine too much detail leading to losing clarity. I don't see gluing on that dust collector taking me more than a moment. I don't find 3D CAD particularly easy to work with, and even professionals use physical 3D models for their well substance I suppose. 3D computer models are still sadly represented in 2D even today.
as a miniatures enthusiast myself, I would not find the table power tool you have there nearly as appealing in a 3D computer model - you can't really hold the computer model unless you "print" it (see 3D printing)
pfred2 suzannejb2 months ago

I'm with you there. There is just something much more tangible about a solid physical model, as opposed to computer modeling. I'm not saying that computer modeling is completely worthless. But for something like this I think physical models have some kind of a perceptual edge to them.

Being able to pick them up, move my head around, etc. just allowed me a greater insight during the process. It's just more natural I guess? Beats me, but I'm convinced there is an advantage in this instance with using actual physical models. Something in my head tells me that is true, and that is good enough for me. In fact that alone might just be justification in, and of, itself right there. The mere fact that I think it is better makes it better.

Because this is all just a thought process aid anyways. So whatever allows me to think better is better. For me this is it too.

nickjohnson7 years ago
I can't believe the detail you put into this! wow!
pfred1 (author)  nickjohnson7 years ago
The reality has become more complicated than this model represents. But I attribute the overall success of my setup to the solid foundation I was able to assemble by following the plan I designed with this model WHen I take some new pictures I will have to post them here.
pfred1 vs pfred2 - alter-egos?
pfred2 suzannejb2 months ago

More like when I moved my email address changed, and I was unable to recover my original account. Not the worst thing that happened moving, I can assure you! I broke my digital camera in all of the excitement. So dumb how it happened too. But then again, isn't it always that way?

It's not "detail" when you can organize principles; and reuse them. Think about that. pfred recognizes model failures, and discovers principles.
rhoddity2 years ago
I took one look at the main photo of the model and was hooked. It didn't matter what you were using it for after that. =)

I just got into making miniatures not too long ago, and although I used to build stuff out of cardboard a lot when I was a kid, I've been making my models (starting with a two-story house from a dream I had earlier this year) out of plywood and balsa wood.

I build in 1:72 scale, which kind of worked out great, since a kit of my favorite helicopter (AH-6 Little Bird) is found in this scale, and many of our old Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars are supposedly in this scale as well, which allows me to use them as vehicles in the model itself. =D

Also, this line had me dying of laughter. -> "You can paint your workshop any color that you like as long as it is white." xD
pfred24 years ago
I just put up a kooky video about this model on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHuO08rYiAE

Go check it out!
seems to have been removed?
Some of the music I used was banned in some countries so I had to remake it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkgFQa5lzzM

A few folks have cracked on my sound track, but I like it. I used a really primitive method to make the whole video, which made it sort of tricky to put all together. For what I worked with well it is what it is.
Knuxz3 years ago
You, my good sir have done a great job. When I EVENTUALLY move and have a bigger bedroom, I shall design it this way. You see, I am a high schooler, and my bedroom is my mancave, and my workshop. It's approximately eight feet by nine feet. My desk, and bed taking up most the room. Well, enough about me, I am about to read your instructable, and due to pure boredom will critique (in the most respectful way possible) your work here.
Page One: Good first page. And congrats on this being your first contribution. It's contributy. :D
I'll just shut up here. Great instructable. :D It was perfect. Like the perfect skirt, long enough to cover everything, but short enough to make things interesting. Keep on making!
-Al, a bored student over summer
pfred2 Knuxz3 years ago
Plan the work then work the plan.
Knuxz pfred23 years ago
Well, ironically the day after I made my post, I found out that we are going to be converting a ten foot, by ten foot section of the garage at my Dad's house into my bedroom, building a complete wall and all. Once I have the time to make a model, I shall post pictures of my finished plan.
pfred2 Knuxz3 years ago
Well just don't put too narrow a door in that wall you're building. You never know what you might want to get through it. Make a case for an exterior entry door, (they seal better, they're better insulated etc.) they're wider than interior doors.

Good luck and remember sometimes it is more important what you don't do than what you do.
Knuxz pfred23 years ago
Well we actually are using an exterior door. We're replacing the door in the kitchen, not a sliding glass door, just a regular door. (Cause when I'm not there the cats tend to take my bed, and it has a cat door) >.>
vincent75203 years ago
I love the model !!!…
Maybe I'll stick to that !…

Wish I was 10 again !!

:D
 I have tried to upload some images to show you what I mean, but they won't upload, neither with IE8 or Firefox or Chrome (win XP) they all give problems.
Sorry
 
workshop 1.jpg
That is very nice. I can never do stuff like that on a computer. What did you make that in?
with Google SketchUp, try it out and have fun.
Last I looked they do not support my Operating System.
workshop 2.jpg
This idea works really well for other structures too. In my case, not just the workshop, but a greenhouse and a model railroad room. The latter was critical in determining areas used up by switches and curves while allowing access to everything. Building a model of a model in 3-D is fun, and you can cart it around to get other people's ideas; which is REALLY hard to do with the "real thing"
did you just say you build models of models? do they models in them, like some bizarre infinite model loop?
And that is why I posted this Instructable to begin with. It may sound bizarre but it is the right thing to do. As apparently so few are aware.
pfred1 (author)  Doc Holliday7 years ago
Good point Doc Holliday. I must agree that modeling any design idea is helpful. Lots of people know the value of modeling, but some have stated here that alhough they recognize the value of modeling, they never quite came around to the thought of meta modeling a larger situation, like in this case, a workshop, prior to exposure to this instructable. My intent here was threefold, one to expose people to the idea, two, to show just how accessable it really is, and three, hopefully to explain how well it works. And thanks for leaving the tip that this idea can be expanded successfully to other situations. I hope everyone agrees that good model is an accepted planning method in lots of projects.
You're great for recognizing and sharing the value of physical models.

It should be noted that knowledge models are good for capturing complex ideas.

If I can't get something on to one piece of paper, I've not done due diligence.
I make little rooms for easter chickens and I have mini lights
woodknot7 years ago
Great instructable. Nice job of preplanning space. I wish we had. Our access door in in the lea because of high winds, but that means a 90 degree turn. Never thought about how to get the big stock in and had to add a large swing window. Our second shop arrangement follows the work flow. We made a house full of cabinets carcases (for the in-laws) in a 20'x20' area.
pfred1 (author)  woodknot7 years ago
Hey thanks for the compliment! You wishing in retrospect you had done some planning seems to be more the rule than the exception to me. Your unique access door layout problem should have presented the impetus for one to do a bit of planning. Every situation is unique, and can benefit from innovative, thoughtful solutions. For me my prime motivator was simply my concern to get all of my tools and equipment into the new space allocated for them. The improved efficiency I enjoyed as a consequence was simply an unforseen byproduct of my planning process. Now while I grouped tools of like function together I do feel as if I did not dedicate quite as much attention to work flow myself as I should have. I also neglected to add work flow to my instructable here. From the glimpses I have caught of others setups here in various instructables I figured that the community could benefit from any suggestions I could provide. The method I present in this instructable can achieve impressive results from a simple procedure. Honestly I shudder to think where I would be today without having expended the effort I did in planning. Your 20'x 20' area, if it is dedicated exclusively to your shop sounds to me to be just about the ideal for a shop. But to realize its full potential a well formed plan is still essential. My present space is in a 19.5' x 19.5' attached garage, that I still wish to be able to get a vehicle into from time to time. So really I could only take up less than half of the entire space my shop is in. That was my dilemma that I needed to overcome. I believe that my method performed well.
OK, last post for a while.

WHY would you create any facility other than to be USED?

"Used" implies process or workflow or whatever people are DOing there.

So, before you build a 3D model, build a 2D process model. Then attach all the attributes to each step and flow to validate your model.

Hint: work backwards from your goal to where you are to make sure your model is complete..

kinda cool, but there are some free softwares out there that let u design floorplans virtually... maybe they're better
pfred1 (author)  CreativeChick87 years ago
Hey how about a link to some of this free virtual floorplan designing software? Although I can tell you right off the bat that computer output can still not compete with actual physical models which are true 3D. Not simply perspective 3D like is all that computers can do today. Something tells me that I could be done with my junky model before I ever learned the interface to a software package I was unfamiliar with too. This is only kinda cool until you actually have to setup a workshop. Then this is sorta necessary. I have seen what people have ended up with without doing this. That is what prompted me to contribute this instructable to begin with!
There is software out there to carve or cast 3D objects.

I don't think most of these products are ready for prime time, but I'm betting we'll have good quality at a good price in less than five years.
xZCodmaNZx5 years ago
good idia
shooby6 years ago
I'm studying architecture, and definitely didn't laugh when I saw your models, actually I was impressed. As you discovered, making models is a very time efficient way to design something (anything), whether the model is life-size or 1/4" scale.
dentsinger7 years ago
Awesome job on the mock-up!
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