Setting Up Shop: The Practical Guide to Designing and Building Your Dream Shop

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by: Sandor Nagyszalanczy

Topics include: your finishing area, central dust collector, portable collector, shop wiring, shop humidity, sanding table, fine wood dust, condenser pipe, flammable finishes, central collector, rafter bays, shop circuits, lumber rack, portable power tools, sharpening equipment, spindle sander, cfm requirements, sliding compound miter, outfeed table, spray finishing, lumber storage, stage collector, torsion box, thickness planer, basic complement

CLICK HERE for more information and price Setting Up Shop is designed both for professional craftspeople who often have the poorest and most sparsely equipped shops because they are too busy to make improvements, and for hobbyists and weekend warriors who need a shop for entertainment as much getting work done. Author Sandor Nagyszalanczy does a good job of pointing out the relative benefits and drawbacks to various shop configurations and locations. In fact, one entire page is devoted to a chart comparing shops located in attics, basements, garages, or a spare room in the house, and how each rates for various factors, including noise, dust, headroom, access, structural limitations, heating, cooling, and moisture. This is a great how-to book with very useful topics in each chapter, including upgrading your electrical system; making sure you have the proper lighting, heating, and ventilation for your shop; picking the right tools and brands; deciding where to place machines and tools, benches and work areas; ensuring shop safety; methods for collecting dust; and more. Each chapter is personalized with a visit to the shop of one craftsperson or another. The journey is made better by more than 240 color photos, as well as a healthy dose of black-and-white photos and line drawings. In the end, of course, the definition of a good or a smart shop is fluid, depending on its primary use and the need to change things from time to time. And both professional and hobbyist woodmakers can have as much pride in their shop as they do in a handmade chair. Nagyszalanczy has worked out of the same shop for nearly 20 years and admits that he takes offense when someone refers to it as a "garage." "You have to follow your heart as well as use your mind," Nagyszalanczy writes, "when transforming a simple building that others might call a shed or a garage into what you proudly call your woodshop." --John Russell

Book Description Every woodworker dreams of setting up an ideal workshop, a dream that calls for hundreds of considerations and practical decisions. Professional woodworker Sandor Nagyszalanczy offers expert advice in this book and walks the reader through the steps necessary to outfit a functional shop that suits every need and budget.

First Sentence: "Having worked out of the same shop for nearly 20 years, it annoys me when a new visitor comes to my house and refers to the building at the back of my yard as my 'garage'."


What a great resource! As a library administrator, and avid woodworker, I get to see and read a lot of woodworking and shop building books. This is among the best I have ever read. I even purchased a copy of this one for myself. I was really impressed with all of the common-sense advice for day-to-day problems encountered in any workshop. Many of the other workshop books on the market are either too simplistic, or serve only to showcase famous woodworking shops without detail. This book gives all the nitty-gritty that you will need to set up or rework your dream shop. It definitely helped me.

Many practical ideas for the rich and the not-so-rich: I have to disagree with the other reviewers that this book only has info for folks with cash to burn. There are a lot of great ideas that can be implemented at all sorts of investment levels. And a number of the shops they feature are not crazy "dream" shops -- there are several one-car garage and basement shops that are quite reasonable for any person who is serious enough about having a shop that they'd actually go to the trouble of buying a book about setting that shop up. And I also have to say that this book is much more practical than "The Workshop Book" in the Taunton Press Workshop Classics series. While I love the latter, this book has more information about electrical wiring, shop lay out, bench ideas, and storage. If you are serious about setting up your first real shop, this is the book you should have, period.

weak advice: The best thing I found in this book is the picture on the cover. Well, actually the uncropped version in chapter 5. Beyond that, I found everything else to be non-practical from a design perspective. A photo of a filthy dust collector area when discussing the advantages of central collection or electrical wiring that would never pass inspection is typical. I'd rather see plan views of real shops that work with reasons for the decisions made.

Practical advice, well-presented: I bought this book while I was gutting a small garage and converting it into a shop. This book was a tremendous help -- it had practical suggestions for wiring, walling, layout, equipment, everything. Electrical advice, in terms of how much power to bring in and where to situate plugs and lighting, was really critical to me, and the book helped me avoid a costly and annoying re-do after other pieces had been laid in. It has photos of working shop layouts that are encouraging to the home builder, some of the shops are amazingly compact! Sandor doesn't advocate a fancy shop in any sense -- just one that is reasonably well laid out for the space you've got, and that accomodates the production process you have in mind. If you're about to set up a shop, I would highly recommend this book.

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