What is a Good Size for a Woodworking Shop?

Woodworking is a hobby that many new enthusiasts tend to shy away from because they think they do not have enough room to get a job done without complications.

Regardless of your space, there is certainly potential wherever you plan to work. 

What is a good size for a woodworking shop? This completely depends on the type of work you plan to do. If you are looking to complete smaller projects you only need a workbench with some space for the most necessary tools. If you plan to have larger projects that require larger tools, you’ll need a space that is at least 16 x 24 sq ft.  

Since woodworking ranges so much for each individual taking on the task, the size really depends on what you plan to do with your woodworking hobby or business.

Do not be intimidated by small spaces, and do not fall into the belief that you need a huge space to get the job done.

Continue reading to know how much space you need for smaller projects, larger projects, and the tools you have got to have to get the job done. 

What is a Good Size for a Woodworking Shop for Small Projects? 

Many think of woodworking and instantly see a huge space filled with every tool imaginable.

The saws are endless, space is more than ample, and there are so many hand tools you can hardly pick which one to start with.

Even though this might be a reality for some, for others who are tackling only small woodworking projects, this space is unnecessary and unneeded.

If you want to tackle smaller woodworking projects, a small space is all you need. 

So, what is a good size for a woodworking shop for small projects? This can be as small as an outdoor garage with free-air space that is good for clearing sawdust and other left-behind wood scraps. You can even use a space in your unfinished basement that you can successfully store tools and complete your woodworking projects- as little as 12×12 sq feet.

For a small woodworking shop that is only handling small projects that don’t require large pieces of wood or big amounts of space to get the projects together, really you only need a workbench with a good amount of space to get together those small projects, room to store the tools you plan to use often, and maybe a bit of space dedicated to a small table saw if you think you need more than a handsaw. 

This may seem sparse, but that is what is so great about woodworking.

Woodworking does not have to only entail those who build the most beautiful four-poster beds or create the best wooden chests.

It also includes those who are masters at carving tiny chunks of oak into something spectacular or creating a beautiful doorknob from scratch.

The smaller projects are just as relevant as the bigger ones and what is even better, they do not require a ton of space. 

Because of the small nature of your projects and thus, your tool spread, the size here is really difficult to nail down concretely.

If you can fit your woodworking bench in it and have a bit of room for storage, then the space can be as small or as big as you want.

I have seen a whole (very simple and very basic) small project woodworking shop that used only hand tools in a space no bigger than a closet!

It worked perfectly for his needs and he never looked back! 

What is a Good Size for a Woodworking Shop for Large Projects? 

Now, most of you likely are not planning to keep to only small projects.

If you plan to deal with larger pieces and sheets of wood, then you are going to have to have a bit more space for the wood itself, but also for the tools you need in order to handle it.

You still do not have to go out and start planning a separate extension to your home, but you do need a designated space that is going to allow enough room for your tools, your wood, and room to move around in. 

So, what is a good size for a woodworking shop for larger projects? A woodworking shop around 16 x 24 should do just the trick. It might not be the most roomie of spots, but you should have no trouble getting the essential tools in this size of a space while also having plenty of room to work without bumping into something every time you turn around. 

With this size, using even one side of your garage could work perfectly, it is simply a matter of planning your space well for all the materials you need.

Of course, you will probably want to clear it with whomever you live with before you start sanding away at your latest project and end up getting sawdust on your loved one’s belongings.

(Trust me, I have been there and done that, and it did not pan out well on either end.)

When it comes to a larger, more involved woodworking shop, you need the right tools that are going to get the job done properly, but also do not take up any unnecessary space.

With this particular size shop, it is best to invest in tools that can serve multiple purposes rather than having three tools when you could have had one that did all three jobs.

Space-saving is important, but the efficiency of your tools is just as big. 

After all, if you are attempting to optimize a space for your woodworking projects to be housed, you will need a space large enough to fit the tools, wood, scraps, and the finished (and in-progress) projects.

In a bit, I will go into more detail about the basic tools you need to fill your woodworking shop, but a shop that is 16 x 24 sq ft should allow plenty of room for items such as your woodworking bench, a planer or router sled, a few saws, and all of those electric hand tools that you will be using.

You will also have space for some type of storage system to hold all of your miscellaneous hand tools to keep them free of dust. 

What are the Necessary Tools for Bigger Woodworking Projects in a Limited Space?

Ok, so you are wanting to start a woodworking business (or at least find a place to open a woodworking shop), and you are sorting through the absolute necessities that you will bring into your new space.

Of course, you want to bring everything that you own, but if you have a tighter space, you will want to focus on the essentials.

So, what are the necessary tools for bigger woodworking projects in a limited space? The five most important tools that can be included for their versatility and practicality include a dust collecting system, workbench, planer, router, jigsaw, and circular saws. You can add more unique pieces that fit your particular niche when appropriate.

Let’s take a closer look.

Dust Collecting System 

Just as you have to protect your body from the dust that comes from your projects, you’ve also got to protect your shop and your tools within it.

Dust is a huge contributor to electric tools jamming up, tools rusting, and creating an environment that is overall difficult to work in.

Invest in a dust collecting system so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up every single day. 


To plan out and fiddle with your different projects, you need a workbench.

This doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend $1,000 on the best of the best, but even if you can build something that is flat and sturdy, it will work just fine.

Having a place to be able to plan out, measure, and piece things together is an essential component of the woodworking equation. 


You are also going to need some type of planer.

A planer is able to take a thick board and get it to the exact thinness that you are wanting.

The smooth side of the wood that already exists goes down onto the bed and the planer cuts slices off the top of the piece to help get it thin and smooth. 


A router is made to shape the edges of your projects, but it can also do quite a bit more.

Routers are capable of a nice fancy edge, but they can also create perfect dadoes and rabbets as well as nail a good precision cut.

From getting the smoothest corner to creating a flawless cabinet, a router can get your edge jobs done with ease while also taking up 

Jigsaw and Circular Saw 

There are many different types of saws that you can use for a wide variety of different cuts, but for the sake of saving space, purchasing a jigsaw first might be your best bet.

With the right place, these saws are capable of all kinds of different cuts with different types of materials.

If you have a lot of long straight cuts, then a circular saw is what you are going to need as a jigsaw doesn’t handle this type of cut as well.

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