Garage Layout (an introduction to an idea)
Everyone uses their garage a little bit differently, but yet everyone uses them the same. If your serious about your hobby and your significant other would let you, the hobby work would be done in the living room or in the kitchen. A nice cozy area that is inviting, comfortable year round, reflects your personality, is esthetically pleasing to your eye, and you might even want to entertain a handful of guests in it as well.
More than likely if your a lower middle class American, like myself The above garage is out of reach and out of the question, but it also depends on your devotion to your hobby, sometimes your marital status, and sometimes your significant other. I am not saying its impossible to have a garage like this if your making a modest wage. I am just saying other things in life would need to take a back seat (more than likely you would live in your garage/workshop). This is not about keeping up, or competing with the “Joneses”. You and your hobby should be about doing the best you can with what you have and what you can get within your budget. Your hobby isn’t about how nice the shop is, it’s about how nice the piece of work is that came out of the shop. Although a comfortable and pleasant working environment does help to inspire.
Every shop is different. Just like every owner is different. But a poorly laid out shop can be hell to work in. I would put it right up there with a shop that is poorly lit and has tools scattered all about, with only a few of the sockets left in the tool box (the one your looking for is always missing). So ask yourself, would you rather work on the task at hand, or look for the tool or material needed to do the task you wanted to do 10 minutes ago?
Strategic placement of tools and materials can save time, increase productivity, and increase floor space (valuable real estate).
Shop layout can be drawn on an engineers notebook like below or on Microsoft Visio. Some machine stencils are not available for Visio. Although stencils can be made if you have the measurements for the equipment you are going to be using. Free woodworking stencils can be found here.