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Shop design/layout and ideas

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by jennifer, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. jennifer

    jennifer New Member

    After 11 years, I've finally outgrown my 20'x24' shop. It has 8' ceilings and mounting an elk is next to impossible in there. I've decided to enclose my barn. It has a pitched roof and the ceiling height will be from 12' to 14'. Right now the barn is basically a concrete slab with 3 open sides and a tin roof. It's about 25'x40'. Ive got a walk in cooler and freezer installed that takes up about 1/5 of the space. My plan is to have an office combined w a showroom in the front. Drop offs can be done on the side with the cooler. I've got the basic design down but I'm asking for advice on DO's and DON'ts on the set up. Is there something you did that REALLY worked out well when you designed or built your shop? Is there something you wish you had done, maybe an afterthought, to make working more efficient? I researched on here already and saw some pics of shops (shop of the week). I've also read the articles in Breakthrough about shop design and layout but they were from '99. They were helpful.. But I'm looking for advice on the construction side. Just kinda asking for your favorite helpful ideas to work efficiently and neatly for a presentable shop.
  2. SpiritOfTheWild

    SpiritOfTheWild New Member

    I am curious about other people's shop layouts as well. I work out of my two car garage and try to maximize space as much as possible.

  3. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    Make it three times as big as you think you will need. That should hold you for awhile! I am a hobbyist and my shop is 22' x 38' with 9' ceilings and it is still too small. It is easier to make it bigger today than to enlarge it later. Plan for future expansion! At very least have a plan figured where you will expand if you do need to later and it won't be as big a deal.
  4. jennifer

    jennifer New Member

    I thought of that. I've got plenty of room to expand if I need to in 3 directions.
  5. Wingnut

    Wingnut Member

    Just some ideas! As many 20 amp electrical outlets as you can afford, power EVERYWHERE! Covered exterior wash station, good drainage. Interior wash station, four inch drainpipes, no clogging with fur or feathers. Always back your dry wall with, at least 1/2 inch, 3/4 is better, plywood, so hanging anything, anywhere, is not a problem! Lots, and lots, of lighting! Shop lights are inexpensive to hang, and simply plug them up into those extra 20 amp wall plugs you have attached everywhere on your ceiling! No 14 gauge wire anywhere, all 12 gauge! Think about your freezer storage, and where you will be placing your freezers! Try to keep them out of the studio, so you don't clutter the top of them with drying mounts! When renovating, plan all your renovations, around renovating again in four years! Good Luck!
  6. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    What wingnut said x2. Also two things I love in my shop is radiant heat floors. (water piped thru the concrete slab). It makes for a very comfortable work area with no air moving in the winter time. Also an attic fan wether that is mounted in a side wall or ceiling but something to pull air thru the shop during the times when you don't need A/c.
    Also if you mount fish put in a drying closet. Mine is about 10'x6' with slat walls on three sides and a good quality bathroom fan mounted in the ceiling. Fish go in there to dry, no smell in the rest of the shop. If I did heads I'd also have a dedicated area for boiling. Get an old gas or electric kitchen stove and have a good quality exhaust fan above for the steam. .
  7. You should have an overhead door 9x9 for those big life size mounts,, like grizzly bear and elk and deer,, the other doors should be a large as you can get 36'' minimum, 48 is better, also build an enclosed spray room for finish work painting and fish painting,, don't try to roll a moose head through a 36'' door just to spray the nostrils and eyes, make a BIG door way..
  8. rbear

    rbear Well-Known Member

    Here is what we came up with a few years back, as I asked the same questions you did.
    Hope this helps.
    Good morning
    For those of you have been following this discussion on what things should be in a Perfect Shop you know there have been a lot of things suggested. I have kept track of them and listed them here. Hopefully this will make it easier for someone who wants to built a new shop or improve on the one they have. Or this can be used as a thought starter.
    1. A separate show room from the work area. This will keep the mess away from your costumers and formalize meetings with them.
    2. Show room should be inviting but leave out things like sitting areas. People will linger and you will spend more time talking then working.
    3. Make the show room big enough to show the quality of your work. 1/3 show room to 2/3 work area seems to work.
    4. Put ½” plywood behind the drywall in the show room so a mount can be hung anywhere without having to finding a stud. Texture the drywall so that the holes can easily be fixed. Or use wood for the walls like barn wood, knotty pine or siding.
    5. Don't skimp on show room lighting. This is how you sell your self. Track lights hung 3 to 4 feet from the wall should work. Any closer and the light shins down to much and it won't be very flattering to the mount.
    6. Make a separate spot in your show room to hang a mount that is being picked up. Have a set of lights, not tied into the rest of the show room and light only the customers mount when they pick it up. This will make it stand out from the other mounts and make it look more impressive.
    7. Lots of light in your shop. There is a debate on whether to use daylight bulbs or not. One amount that was suggested worked out to be 24 lineal feet (3 – 8’-0” lights) of florescent lighting for every 100 square feet of shop. This formula will work (Sqr. Ft / 4.16 / length of light = Number of lights)
    8. One area or station for finishing of mounts that should have studio lighting or lighting from all sides. Halogen lights on stands, or florescent's mounted on the walls should work.
    9. Light color walls and floors to reflect light and make the shop brighter.
    10. Everything on wheels including work benches so they can be cleaned under or reorganized.
    11. One bench that can be adjusted for height so that full mounts of any size can be worked on comfortably.
    12. One stand for all the battery chargers. Keeps them organized and easy to find.
    13. A mechanics tool box on wheels to keep your “must have” tools close to your work and organized.
    14. Cook top for boiling antlers / skulls etc. Must be well ventilated.
    15. Refrigerator for beverages and for defrosting hides.
    16. Air hose and electric reels on the ceiling by your work area for quick access.
    17. Extra air lines around the shop for staple guns, blow off, etc.
    18. Ceiling plugs in strategic places, so that if needed, something in the middle of the shop can be plugged in without the cord lying on the floor.
    19. Plugs at 36” from the floor (the same height as switches) to eliminate bending over every time you plug something in. This is also a good safety feature if you want to hose out the shop.
    20. Proper ventilation for paint. One good suggestion was a ventilation fan in the ceiling with a hose that can hang down close to your work. What ever is used make sure it is rated for the fumes that are being ventilated.
    21. Ceiling fans to move the air in the shop.
    22. Skinning table that is at a slight slope to the side so fluids can run off to a designated spot. It will also make it easier to clean.
    23. Bath tub mounted at counter height preferably at the end of your skinning table. This is so what ever you are skinning can be moved to the tub with out dripping all over the floor.
    24. Fleshing machine in same area as skinning. On the other side of bath tub if you can get it.
    25. A separate room for salting. This is to keep the salt away from tools, benches, or anything metal that the salt will rust or corrode. The humidity can also be controlled in this room with a dehumidifier or air conditioner.
    26. Hoist in the skinning area so that animals can be held at proper height. This will pay for itself on skinning time savings alone.
    27. Floor drain in the shop somewhere close to the skinning area.
    28. Washer and dryer for aprons, rags and to spin out hides,
    29. Shop towels should be white so you can tell when they need to be cleaned and white can be bleached easily.
    30. Shower for clean up after a long day. Do you want to get into your truck and go home after skinning all day without cleaning up?
    31. One set of double doors into the shop and one set into the show room to get larger mounts in and out.
    32. Bathroom attached to or as close to the show room as you can get it to keep people out of work area.
    33. Keep plumbing in one area or in a straight line with each other for ease of running the lines and servicing them.
    34. Electronics. Make sure you think of the future when installing them. Things like fiber optics are already available in some areas. Think of intercoms, video cameras, and security systems.
    35. Give thought to a sprinkler system.
    36. Exterior lighting for customers dropping off things after dark. I know of a taxidermist who rigged up a locking drop box into his walk in cooler so people could drop off things even when he wasn’t there.
    37. Tall ceiling 10’-0” or higher if possible.
    38. Storage area away from the shop. This will keep clutter out of your shop. If you store antlers in one spot they can be fumigated periodically to keep bugs out of your show room & shop.
    39. Use lever style door knobs. That way when your hands are full of blood or whatever gooey stuff you are working on you can open the door with your elbow.

    I would like to thank everyone who helped me set up my shop. I also hope this has helped others to work a little more efficiently.
    Thanks again.
  9. jennifer

    jennifer New Member

    Good list!!! Thank you! An adjustable bench is a great idea! Sometimes I end up working on the floor!