I built a dedicated shop for my GF and CNC, advice needed

Hello, I’ve had my Glowforge Pro for a year and I ordered my Shapeoko XXL during the black friday special and starting building my shop. I went as big as I could to still be a “shed” under the definition of the city building code. I have zero professional carpentry experience and I just know enough to be dangerous! So, I’ll gladly accept any advice or comments about the construction.

The entire shop will be encapsulated in Rockwool Safe 'N Sound insulation for acoustic dampening, and fireproofing. I built an entire second “floating floor” over the subfloor so that I could put insulation under the floor to try and dampen the noise. I plan on also building the CNC into it’s own air-tight enclosure when this is all said and done. The GF and CNC could possibly reside in their own acoustically-sealed box inside of the shop. Anything’s possible!

I have used the pass-through slot on the Glowforge a few times and I’m building the shop in a way that I can use a portable (Bora) in-feed/out-feed roller assembly to move large pieces into the front of the Glowforge and out the back. I was going to build something, but this Bora product seems perfect.

I just wondered if anybody had any advice/comments about building a dedicated space. I’m at the point now that I can still make construction changes. Floor space is approx 12’x16’, with a 12’ ceiling on one side.


Here’s the thread where I started floating the idea a few months ago. I wish I could unlock the thread!

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This will be a little stream-of-consciousness rambling, no time to edit.

If you can wrangle wired ethernet to the shed from your main network and setup a separate wifi in the space you’ll probably be happy you did. Stay away from wifi extenders, they kill your throughput.

Also, storage. Lots of shelves and cabinets.

I work in a shed fulltime, it has 2 trooms, a front and a back, footprint of about 12x20. the front room has a workbench and standing desk setup so I can do my day job (software developer), and the back rom is storage and glowforge space. It’s about 12x8 front room, , 12x 12 backroom, with a door.

The back room has a window-style AC unit, which is key in the summer (Georgia, man.). In the winter, I heat with a 1500 watt oil-filled radiator style heater. (delonghi brand)

Add power outlets. More than you think you’ll need.

Add lighting. way more than you think you need. Seriously, like the brighter and more diffuse the better. I envy those high windows, but nighttime ops… you’re going to want massive daylight lights.

Don’t forget to cut a dryer vent for the glowforge. Something louvered to keep critters and weather out.

Did I mention storage? I recommend a full size flat file. I have a 5-drawer 3’ x 4’ model. If my shed caught on fire, I’d save the GF, then the flat file. Everything else can burn. That’s how much I love it.

Watching the laser is boring. Maybe wallmount a smallish tv?

Things I don’t have that I wish I did:
Plumbing. A sink would be awesome.
Windows in my doors. Sometimes I want the doors closed but it is dark when I do.
A proper screen door solution. I currently hang a screen curtain in the summer, which works fairly well, but one or two rogue mosquitoes always figure it out.
Something more egonomic/comfortable than my bartstool. I should get a proper drafting stool with a back.

I’m sure I have other thoughts, but outa time.


Absolutely outlets and network. If you can’t do wired, look into some kind of directional antenna (pringles can or other).

Storage. More storage than you ever dreamed you would need, on every surface and hanging from the ceiling.

Also, if it’s not too late, make sure that floating floor is rigid. It’s amazing and dispiriting how much OSB and plywood can sag under load.


Thanks for the comments! I forgot to mention:

It’s wired up with 4 outlets per wall, on a dedicated 50 amp sub-panel. Only two outlets per 20amp breaker. There is a window-style AC unit that will be in the back corner (Hawaii). I also ran direct-burial cat6 all the way out there for ethernet/access point.

I just bought these new color-changing LED strips that can be daylight, natural, or cool white. I didn’t want to have to choose, or for the light to affect how I see painted surfaces.


I plan on both the GF and CNC to both be on casters so that I can move them anywhere.

I already have my TV ready to go! Just waiting on the sheetrock…

I didn’t go with a door with a window because crime has really gone up lately in my neighborhood, and I wanted to eliminate most points of access. That’s why the windows are so high in the air.

Your full size flat file, I’m having a hard time picturing it. Do you have a picture, or can you tell me what you store in it? I’m mostly in need of a place to put my plywood so that it doesn’t get warped.

I wish I could have plumbing, but then it’s no longer a “shed”. Can have water or electricity, but not both.

Inside, last week.


Thanks! It’s all wired up with electrical and ethernet (I’m actually IT).

I plan on using every walled surface for storage. Was going to do some kind of massive french-cleat system so that I could move anything, anywhere. Also planning on a loft in that upper corner under the windows. Just for storage, though.

My floating floor is 16" OC, with blocking every 2ft. Then, in the entry way, there is blocking every 12". My subfloor is 2x6 with 3/4" treated T&G plywood. My floating floor is 2x4 with 3/4" Birch plywood with multiple layers of polyurethane.


Ooooh I love that floor!
I love your french cleat plans.
I love the whole thing… I want one like it.
I could probably have one, too, if I go talk to my local building office.


Not much feedback to give here. Living alone, I am fortunate to have a 12x18 room in my main living space which is currently where my GF and XCarve reside, and I need to do a lot of work to make it more organized vs. dumped. I dream of having an organized maker space so I love discussions like this.


You can see the wire for my in-floor power/ethernet junction box.

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Something like this:


That one is amazing.

Previously (I talk about flat files all the time):


Thanks for the information. What do you store in those flat files? My company has some aircraft, and our mechanics all have their tools in something very similar. I’m just not sure what parts/pieces/supplies I would store in them. Maybe you have a picture of yours in use? I don’t know what I don’t know haha.

I wanted to add that just ordered a dust deputy cyclone attachment, and I’m looking at getting the Festool CT26 dust collector. And then woodcraft has the Rikon air purifier on sale this week, so was going to install that in the ceiling. It’s not hepa, but I plan on painting/soldering/tinkering quite a bit out there so I need as much air flow as possible.

I put a 6" PVC underneath coming from my garage/carport so that I can keep the compressor and/or vacuum out in the garage and then just ran air hose/vacuum hose through that pipe and into the shop. Trying to mitigate the noise coming into my ears. Into the neighborhood is a concern, which is why I’m looking at the Festool; it’s a bit quieter at 66db. Makita makes a dust collector that goes all the way down to 59db, but it’s a little less-reviewed.

Thanks for any input/advice.

Materials. It absolutely gobbles up materials. I use a lot of different hardwoods, I like that I can open a drawer and immediately see what I have on hand.


Not my dollars, but Makita makes good stuff in my experience and 7dB is quite a bit! I’d be tempted to take the gamble :slight_smile: is the cost about the same?


Looks like you got a great plan working. I think you will be very happy with your work place.

One point. There are always trade offs with any method of making things.

With the glowforge it is exhaust with the noise and odors.
With the CNC it will be exhaust and tiny bits of metal, plastic, wood, etc, everywhere. Even with dedicated suction at the spindle there will be ‘stuff’ scattered around.

Be sure to develop a plan or method for keeping all those fiddly bits away from the glowforge.
A simple cover and cleanup after works for me when I am making dust, but a CNC is a tad worse than dust.


One thing I haven’t seen is a way to isolate the GF from the dust generated by the router. I would not run them in the same room without making sure the GF isn’t going to pull in all the router dust.


Heck I might run the cnc outside whenever possible. I almost always sand outdoors when it’s warm and not raining. Otherwise I use the downdraft table I whipped up with my gf.

When I get back to using the CNC, it will be on a 4x4 rolling cart I built which has big casters, specifically to allow me to roll it out onto my deck.

I have the components for a dust extraction system but need to build a permanent cabinet for them in the garage - which backs up to the work space I referenced.

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I wish I could roll it outside, but my floor is about 3ft off of the ground. So I would need a substantial deck or similar.

Sorry, the Festool goes all the way down to 62db, Makita is 59db.
The Festool max CFM is 137, Makita 135.
Festool has a 23mm ID anti-static, Makita is 37mm ID.
F is 27lbs, M is 28lbs.
F 6.9 Gallon, M 12 Gallon
F 10Amp, M 12Amp
Both are HEPA

Makita is $530
Festool is $730

Maybe there’s a Fein in this category as well?

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