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Thread: Workshop size and design

  1. #1

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    Workshop size and design

    Hello everyone.
    I recently bought a piece of land in which I plan to build a house. I would like to build a workshop in the house in order to build an experimental aircraft, like a pa-18 or something close. Of course budget is an issue, as well as the size of my terrain. I would like to know if there has been some thread discussing an ideal size for an experimental aircraft bodyshop, the correct location where the tools should be, etc...
    Any help will be greatly helpful

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    I can tell you right now whatever you do a few years later it won't be big enough. I have a 60x80 pole barn, with roughly a 20x60 office & apartment, 20x60 shop, (both heated & air conditioned) and a 40x60 storage area. This all has 12' ceilings. I also have a 30x100 3 sided building with 14' tall side walls. Everything is packed full. If I was to do it again, the main building would be bigger & I would go with at least 14' ceilings because most 2 post auto lifts won't fit under a 12' ceiling. Assuming whatever you are working on will not have the wings attached, in my opinion 20' wide is the minimum to comfortably be able to move around & work on anything.

  3. #3
    When I was a kid, a guy built a Christen Eagle in 1 car garage bay a couple of doors over. Plenty of people do projects like this in 2 car garages. It's possible to do it in just about any space, I'd guess.

    Everyone's going to have their own ideals for setting up a workshop. If I were you, I'd start with a basic floor planning tool, and draw out where you want workbenches to be, where the band saw is going to be, where the drill press is going, where you're storing your parts, etc. You want about 6-8' of empty space around most of the work areasto move comfortably without being crowded.

    Look through the build logs of people with projects like what you want to do and see how they have things set up in their photos. That will give you a ton of ideas.

  4. #4
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Putting several bench mounted power tools on a table on casters can help a lot with freeing up space, it can be moved against a wall when not being used. I mounted this on an old table saw base.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Switzer View Post
    Putting several bench mounted power tools on a table on casters can help a lot with freeing up space, it can be moved against a wall when not being used. I mounted this on an old table saw base.
    Mike, spectacular. Wonderful idea.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Gleason View Post
    When I was a kid, a guy built a Christen Eagle in 1 car garage bay a couple of doors over. Plenty of people do projects like this in 2 car garages. It's possible to do it in just about any space, I'd guess.

    Everyone's going to have their own ideals for setting up a workshop. If I were you, I'd start with a basic floor planning tool, and draw out where you want workbenches to be, where the band saw is going to be, where the drill press is going, where you're storing your parts, etc. You want about 6-8' of empty space around most of the work areasto move comfortably without being crowded.

    Look through the build logs of people with projects like what you want to do and see how they have things set up in their photos. That will give you a ton of ideas.
    Eric, great idea. I'll definitely look into those build logs. Is there any place in this forum specifically for posting projects pictures?

  7. #7
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcio View Post
    Mike, spectacular. Wonderful idea.
    I originally saw that idea in either one of the old EAA magazines or something similar when I got my Mom to buy me a box of old magazines at a garage sale when I was a kid. All of the EAA magazines are available online, lots of good ideas.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by marcio View Post
    Eric, great idea. I'll definitely look into those build logs. Is there any place in this forum specifically for posting projects pictures?
    Marcio, most of the ones I’ve seen are on independent web sites. I’m sure google will help you find these in a few minutes. I think the EAA forum traffic is too slow to have a lot of good info about things like this.

    Have you also looked up your local EAA chapter? They may be a good resource.

  9. #9

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    My friend was a retired Air Force Major and combat vet. He flew to Oshkosh many times with me, great navigator, didn't get lost and didn't get scared.
    One year he saw a new little homebuilt and came to me with the idea of us building it. He had double wide in the local trailer park, and a little shed smaller than a garage port. We, mostly he, built it there and it really was an airplane really flew. Starlite, about 250 lbs and both glass and balsa wood with a 2 stroke Rotax 337 engine the sound of which almost gave me a stroke, but it actually ran ok.

  10. #10
    BusyLittleShop's Avatar
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    Busy Little Shop is my garage built around my Lathe and Mill... I used wood and nails to organize my tools...

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    Taps and Dies...
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    Homeland Security California style...
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    2hp Air Bike...
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