I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas for a new shop, besides the obvious like good lighting, good ventalation, and so on, the common sense stuff I know. Just looking for any neat little time or money or space saving ideas. Thanks in advance. Kevin
Return to Lifesize Mammal Taxidermy Category Menu
Oh and I just wanted to add, please dont tell me to get the Breakthrough back issues with the shop layout and such, cuz I have them, just looking for any additional neat ideas anybody did to their shop. I will be mounting mammals, birds and fish.
If I were building a new shop, I would put in skylights to add natural light to my mounting area and painting area. also lots of windows and a log-cabin themed showroom. But for now im still stuck in the basement and machine shed. Peace~Sam
What do YOU think would be good ideas to put in a shop?
is to have a separate electrical line with just the freezers on it with nothing else. An exhaust fan for Bondo and paint fumes. Maybe have windows up high along the ceiling, to let light in, and keep crooks out. A drain that does not dump into you're septic field. A large worktable in the center of the room so you can work all the way around it. A cold room for salting and fleshing. A compressor in a separate room if it runs to loud. A customer area with a counter or desk and a few chairs, make this the show room also.
Hey, thanks for all of the good ideas. I will be using some, like more windows and the exhaust fan. But as far as some of the others, I will not be having enough room for all of that. I am going to be building a 14x24 shop (i know its too small, but hey its a start) I will be putting a bathtub in for my sink. I and goingto put a salt table in that folds up against the wall so its out of my way for when Im not using it. I am going to be outting in four windows and a double door with windows. Im not sure how much the windows will help though as I will be doing quit a bit of my mounting at night time after work, taxidermy is not my full time job yet (notice I say YET) I am making it a cathedral ceiling, with 9 foot walls. Im putting 2 works benches in, one on a side wall and one on the back wall. I will be making the workbenches 3' x 6' or so. I will probably put some shevles under the work benches to keep stuff out of the way. I will be putting a 3 foot wide loft I guess you would call it on the one side wall for storage. I am trying to use the little room I will have a wisely as possible. I hope everything works out for me, thanks again for the ideas.
When I was building my new shop (40X56) and supplying it, I went to lots of salvage equipment places for sinks and such. I got two 3-basin stainless sinks for less than $100 each with faucets. While at one of the places I had the owner ask if I might have any use for an old stainless gurney like what would be used in a morgue or ER. He ended up giving it to me! I have since bought another one for $20. They are where I do 90% of my fleshing, oiling and assembly. I work off a rolling bar-type stool and my legs will fit under the ends so I can pull myself right up to the edge. They also have wheels with brake locks so they can be moved anywhere. They can be rolled out of the way when not in use (which is never). I have a chain hoist over a wash area and I roll the gurney out to my roll-up door and can drag deer, hogs, etc right from a pick-up, onto the gurney, roll it into the hoist area, and hang it for skinning. Works great and ends up being a big conversation piece.
The size of your work area being compatible with the work produced is in direct relation to how you use your imagination to give/make it a very efficent area to work in.
We(3 of us) started in a 12X14 room as our main "mounting area"(finish taxidermy area also), then added on another 12X14 room for freezers, a drill press, and the ever-needed bandsaw. Outside, a long bench table covered with reeves cloth(easier clean-up with a hosepipe)is used for capeing and measuring. Oh yeah, we used a small kerosene heater intermittently when needed for heat in the mounting room.
Since my father-in-law is semi-retired(mounts fish only), my husband & I built a wood frame building-20X40 sitting on a 20X60 concrete slab to carry on the family tradition of practicing Taxidermy. We've added a 2-car steel carport on the remaining 20X20 concrete slab for working outside when needed. My husband does the prep and mounting, I do the finish taxidermy(go-fer,doo-fer, and as an extra set of hands when needed too) and all habitat displays for our shop ,as well as displays for another taxidermist.
We each have one 6-8 ft. workbench to work from in a standing position, in addition to a small school desk/typing table on locking wheels for working in a sitting position comfortably(for close-up work like sewing, fitting earliners, or doing small projects like deer feet mounts)-that will slide out of the way under the main workbench when not in use.
"Fold away" fleshing beams, hangers, and spare work tables are a must as space-saving ideas.
A double(or even a triple basin)stainless-steel sink is a great idea-that gets even better if you can get one with a drain board on the side(take in to account the position of the drain board-right handed or left handed). Hooks installed in the ceiling with "L" shaped hang-downs for draining hides directly into the sink cut down on the mess to mop up.
Drains in different areas of the shop floor make for easier clean-up too. Just as water spigots & hose pipes on each wall, and your compressed air piped around the wall with several different hang-downs for air hoses really will save you a lot of steps.
My work area (for habitat)has now re-located to a room added onto the back of the main building-35X20. I now room with 6 of the largest chest freezers we could order. Shelving on the far short wall houses supplies and plaques over the freezers. The opposing short wall has wall-to wall upper cabinets for my supplies. A window and door on the exterior long wall leaves a short cornered wall area that I installed peg board on-to help keep often used tools within reach.
With all the added space, I have established "work stations" for specific jobs. It cuts down on searching for tools and supplies that walk off to who knows where. A really great find I happened up on, is a 3/4 size wooden card table that has a top that swivels completely around in either direction. I put a piece of salvaged plexiglas(3/4 in.thick) on top to enlarge the work surface-this table replaced my school desk-for working around bases.
Everyone has different ways of organizing their work space. You'll probably change things around every season, as long as you practice the art. "Space saving" doesn't automatically equal efficiency. Get the standard tools and stuff together, go to work with it, and you'll find what style best suits you!-
---Good Luck, Susan