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Designing a new shop. Looking for suggestions!

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Amy, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    We are hoping to build a home later this year which will mean a new, and bigger, shop for me. Looking to hear and see some of your best, efficient ideas for a shop. Anything having to do with designing and setting up a shop would be great. I am probably not going to be able to build any bigger than 20x30 (probably dividing that into a 20x22 work space and a 20x8 showroom). So I am looking to maximize floor space and efficiency. From work surfaces to sinks and salting setups, if anyone would like to share any ideas (pics would be great!!) I would love that. Thanks!!
  2. alan webfoot

    alan webfoot New Member

    bench center of the room stick out your arms and grab hold of a hair dryer in one hand and a hot glue gun in the other ,turn in a circle if you didn't knock anything over ,,you got enough room .You shouldn't be worried about bumping into something while working on a piece.. That's a shop!! room and lighting. Not to be a wise guy ,,Amy Iv'e admired your work for years . Hope you get the shop you need .

  3. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    My recommendations are to make sure your work bench is high enough, to save your neck and back and add more electrical outlets than standard practices. I don't know your work load but I find I run out of space for mounts drying, so plan that accordingly. I've found that you cannot have too big of a shop, except for the heating and cooling part. Good luck.
  4. Riverland

    Riverland New Member

    Figure a space to put an elevated bathtub with an attached shower surround. hook a six foot hose with a yard sprayer head attached the the shower head. Mine is high enough to put a five gallon pail under for storage.I have a pulley on a 2x4 that spans the middle for hoisting and draining heavy stuff. also eye hooks that I attach custom made hangers of different lengths for hanging and drying stuff.
  5. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    floor drain
  6. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    Hi Amy, there's a whole thread on ideas called Taxidermy Shop of the Week: http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,267761.msg2068034.html#msg2068034
    It's got a lot of ideas including some floor plans. Good luck with your new shop and home. Joe
  7. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    To maximize efficiency jot down your work areas and where you can use a work area for more than one task. Then, look at how things flow. The worst thing one can do is build a rectangle and then plop everything up against the walls. You designate the flow via the layout. Make sure you're not having to walk anywhere for tools or sinks. Now, I only do fish, but my shop has several interior walls that make my shop more of an "L" shape. The benefit of not having a rectangle is I have more wall space to hang stuff. Lots of things to think of and you will have to do your homework on what works for you. Easiest way (if you don't have CAD software) is to use some graph paper - 1/4" scale or whatever and start cutting out your known equipment space needs onto the sticky part of post-its. This way you can peel up a table or a freezer and move it around. Again, everything to scale. Don't forget to allow for wall thicknesses and drywall. Bathroom? Flow of your display room/customer area and location. The main thing to remember is to decrease your movement as much as possible. Do this via locating major objects in your space. Lastly, double the size of storage you THINK you'll need. I like to store my panels and restore mounts in a separate location to keep the dust off of things. You can never have too much storage space (and table space for that matter!)
  8. Galen

    Galen 218-263-7177 www.EdgewaterTaxidermy.com

    One other thing is if you put your tables and bench’s freezers on wheels . You can keep things cleaner if you can move them. You might even want to move things around from time to time to make things flow better depending on what you are working on . I have 3 utility sinks all lined up on my wall and two skinning trays on the ends of the three sinks I have water in the center sink and drains hooked up to all 3 and then I use a hose to fill the other two sinks and wash off skinning trays. It is nice to have more than one sink I think if you are letting something thaw out or what have you and still have a sink to wash something up in . or a lot of time since I do a lot of freeze-drying and do lots of pan fish at one time it helps keep them all in water to thaw and keeps them from getting mixed up . Everyone has different needs. . as My shop is not set up the greatest to do full size deer or bear or big things like that . but it could be if I wanted it to . I only have a 21 by 25 work room as well inside the walls.

    Another thing will this be a shop attached to the house. Keep in mind your water lines and so forth. Might save you little if you have water lines on the other side of the wall in the house to run into the shop. Perhaps a bathroom / laundry room with two doors on it to get to it from the shop or the house.

    Perhaps some outlets in the ceiling, when we bought our new place it had a 4 stall garage that I turned into my shop. The walls were finished but they did not have as many outlets as I wanted so when we put the sheet rock on the ceiling I ended up with a number of outlets in the ceiling. That still works out ok. Also keep in mind if you want any outlets hooked up to a light switch for whatever reason . perhaps for a different kind of lighting that you might want to be able to turn off and on and so forth. And all you have to do to change the lighting is unplug it and hang a different sort of light. Or fan or what have you. Are you planning on a painting booth and fan and all that?

    I also agree on a L shape wall to have more wall space. I do Most of my work in a area about 21 by 13 . I have a 10 foot wall coming out from the one wall into the room to keep some stuff behind that wall for storage and more wall space. Peg board is also nice I think. You can change things around very easy. Like what was said above. have a spot a customer can bring in something and you can set it on the skinning tray in the work room and then walk back into your display room .

    I have track lighting in my display room . Right or wrong I like it. you can put your little flood lights any place to shine on whatever you want . I have a rectangular line of track lighting on my ceiling about 3 feet away from the wall going around the room . Nice high ceilings are nice. Mine are 8 foot 8 inches, I wish I had 10 foot walls. Nice for over head storage. Also do you want the customer to walk into your display room or your work shop. Because of the way this building was. I have a door that customers walk into my display room and then into my work room . I have rough cut cedar on two of my 4 walls so I can put a screw in the wall any place I want . The other two walls are sheet rock. One wall is where the door and window are and the other is behind my desk. I am going to put up some shelves on the rest of the sheet rock wall next to my desk to set things on . I just have not gotten that done yet.

    I have one work bench I can sit at on a rolling desk chair and then my work table is nice and high to work at standing. I only have my 4 foot 6 work table on wheels . I wish I would have put more on wheels. That table was a 4 x 4 table at my other shop and then I had a 2 X 4 edge that I would lift up to have a 4 x 6 table . That worked out nice at the other shop. but this shop I have the room to just leave it set up as a 4 x 6 table now .

    If I could do it all again. I would have my shop and house and garage all connected. I would put the my 3 stall garage in the middle .I have 10 foot walls on that but I built it after we bought the place.

    I would then have my 3 freeze dry machines and my 5 freezers in the garage to kind of have a heated garage in the winter that would be the perfect thing for me . but that will never happen unless I move and start all over. Those babies put out some pretty good heat. But if you look at my website all three buildings are separate. I do have my 3 freeze dry machines in my shop and three freezers the other two freezers are in my garage. My over all shop size is 26X52 on the outside ½ shop ¼ display room ¼ freeze-dry room .

    Build as large as you can. You will fill it up. If you have a attached garage it would give you some more storage space that would all be under one roof. That is a nice thing.

    I started out with graph paper as well and then found a home design CD at Lows I think it was like 15 bucks . I was able to use that to play around with how I wanted my shop to be set up . it even had a 3d thing you could walk around in whatever you designed . It was pretty cool.

    Well that is my 2 cents worth.

    Galen Getting
    218-263-7177 Central Time
  9. grumpa

    grumpa Active Member

    Amy. 20x8 showroom isn't going to cut it if your going to hang a few deer heads and any lifesize. Might make do if it's only fish. If your going to build, don't short yourself and regret it later.
  10. Riverland

    Riverland New Member

    Most plumbing supply/plumbers have scratch and dent or outdated stuff for next to nothing. it will have dead dirty stuff in it and doesn't have to be perfect. just make sure you set it properly so the bottom doesn't crack if. drop stuff in it wrong.
  11. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    Two things I wish I would have put in mine - an elevated bathtub instead of a sink and a toilet. The bathtub would make washing large things MUCH easier and the toilet would keep me from having to come back in the house, passing the computer and getting sidetracked, LOL.
  12. Wingnut

    Wingnut Member

    I would add, to all these other good ideas, and your ideas, an explosion proof, venting fan, directly in the wall where you will be available to do finish work, i.e. airbrushing and coating,,,hood it, and USE it! After an odoriferous day of skinning or fleshing, the fan can be turned on to empty the room of foul orders, paint chemicals or aromas. Good luck, a new studio is about as exciting as winning the lottery!
  13. Jena

    Jena Member

    Here is a rough draft version of our house and my shop that is being built right now.....There has been several changes, mostly with the house side and we removed the single door on the front and just have the doubles on the front now but this was the starting point. My shop is a 22x20 and the showroom/foyer is 14x20. Don't know if you can really tell whats what from this pic but I figured I'd share it. and I got rid of the garage door on the side of the shop. The back wall has my sink and is the tanning/fleshing area, the side walls will be working/mounting areas and as you can see the other wall has the fridge and freezers against it. The ceilings are cathedral in both the shop and showroom so I can hang things up high if needed.

  14. Hasn't really been mentioned much but lighting is very important. My showroom side has directional wall washers on a dimmer that work with anything I put up there. The shop is as bright as a sunny day and I have task lighting around my finishing areas to really light up what I'm doing. Between LED lighting and color corrected T5 fluorescents my energy consumption has dropped dramatically. I also have a few ceiling mounted fans for the warmer days and to circulate air when drying mounts. My shop is 40x60 with 12' ceilings, and a pull down stairway to a large storage loft above, and all the walls and ceilings are covered in 1x12 tongue and groove pine boards. Think log cabin look with smooth walls, which shows off the mounts well and I can basically put a screw or nail anywhere I damn please! From the outside it's modeled after a new England barn with clapboard siding, big barn doors that swing out, and a hay loft (storage) that I have a pulley on the outside so when I open the hay loft doors I can haul big crap up there for storage, or skin an elephant :eek:.
  15. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    You can never have too much storage that's for sure!

    Nice shop Jena - lol! (Did you forget something?) ;)
  16. Jena

    Jena Member

    Ah Ha....Yes I did forget something, I think I fixed it now lol.....You should be able to see it on the original post now.
  17. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Jena - nice open concept for your house. You mentioned getting rid of the garage door. Assuming you're going to be doing big game too, how are you getting carcasses/etc. in and out of your shop? Right through your show room?
  18. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Good point Marty, I hate having to shampoo the carpet in my showroom. I end up hauling a few life size big game animals through my showroom every year, PIA. Jena, I would not have a door from shop to dining room, and definitely a door that you can shut between the great room and showroom. Do you really want customers to see into your house? Other than that it looks good, Jena.
  19. Jena

    Jena Member

    @ FishArt.....I forgot to mention that I got rid of the Garage door and replaced it with a double shop door.

    @3bears.....The door from the shop to dining room was also removed awhile back and as far as the opening goes between the greatroom and showroom/foyer thats kinda how we wanted it. We may do one of those saloon type swing doors there....Haven't decided yet, or we are kinda wanting to cut and shave a cedar log to run from the floor to the ceiling on the end of that wall.
  20. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    As long as you are comfortable with customers being able to look into your private areas. Do you enjoy the smells associated with our business, such as paint and thinners and assorted epoxies? Not to mention the smell when someone brings in a rotten critter expecting miracles out of you? You can't put that smell back in the bag, and no matter how hard you try that smell is going to find its way into your house, without a good solid way to isolate it such as at least a door. My shop is connected to my house by a enclosed breezeway, about 20 feet door to door, and when I use Bondo for setting antlers, that smell finds it's way in the house.
    I will say this as well, sometimes it just feels good to lock the door to the shop and forget about it for few hours.