Thinking of building a woodshop for my GF

Well I’ve had two years to get ready for it, and I’ve done next to nothing. I haven’t even read the manual! I expect it to arrive in the next 7-10 days and I have had a place in my office carved out for it for awhile. My office is upstairs of the house, far end away from garage/shed/tools. I really don’t want to be carrying materials through the house all of the time, and I’m looking at getting an x-carve soon, too.

So I measured outside and the largest thing I can build is 24’ X 6’. That isn’t very much room! It would be like a hallway/workshop. I was just thinking of putting doors on either end and a long counter going all the way down one side. Anybody think that’s too small? Just ridiculous?

Thanks for any opinions!


Not sure how big the X-Carve is … but … my “craft/office” room has everything set up in a “U” shape. So, I have about 6’ wide all around the “U” (although, I have the advantage of that 6’ work area being two sided.

It does seem small sometimes … but, I appreciate having everything very handy … and in the same room.

Our Pro will be going into the basement at one end. We will then utilize a large table on the opposite end for assemblies.

Since we don’t want to store wood in a basement, we will have shelves in our 4th bedroom which we use for storage. Felt it was better to run the steps while making sure to keep product in a possibly lower humidity area. (My “craft/office” has every nook filled). Of course, we had to order some of everything proofgrade to be prepared for whatever we wanted to do.


While my home office is upstairs, I decided to put the :glowforge: in the basement. I have a dehumidifier in the workshop side to maintain the proper humidity level. I was concerned about residual smells in my carpeted office. Also, It looks as though material prep, gluing and staining will be common, so the basement makes sense. The downside? I’ll be creating the items in my office and then going to the basement for the cuts. Since the cuts take a while, that means I will have to sit in the basement away from my desktop. Hmmm.

I’ve considered taking over my boathouse or building an outside workshop, but then I have to add heat to the boathouse or power and heat to a separate shed (as well as building the shed).

As for, is 6’ enough space… I tend to think that when you’re working with cutting tools, having plenty of space is a good idea. Also a good idea when there is a fire hazard. If that’s all the space you have though, I’m sure it can work.

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If you have a Pro coming, making use of the pass through for longer material (4 foot plus) could be difficult to navigate around, but doable.

Bigger concern to be addressed is climate control for the work space (operating temp range for the GF :glowforge: ). Your would need to insulate and keep the shed temp between the 55 to 80 degree (F) operating range (can’t find the actual temp at this moment, but those are close to min and max).

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Sounds like you have at least a 12’x12’ area. Sounds great! good thing you had an extra bedroom. I just hate the thought of carrying material through the house, up the stairs. And then carrying it all back outside to stain or clean it up. My office is “clean” so couldn’t do anything up there to make a big mess. It does have laminate floors, though.

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I think 6’ might just be too narrow. I have to just make it work I think. Land is ridiculously expensive in Hawaii and 6’ wide is as far as I can push out if I build something with a foundation. If I want to put up one of those Rubbermaid-type sheds, I can make it as big as 24’ X 12’ because the city code is different for “temporary” sheds… I just don’t know if I want to work in a plastic box. Also no climate control…

It’s always between 70-85 here; our windows stay open most of the time and we don’t even have AC in most of the house. If I built a shed though, I do have a little 5000BTU AC unit I could throw in there.


Yeah, I have been looking at carts with wheels so that I can wheel it around and get it in front of a door or window for longer pieces of wood. This proposed spot for the shed is on the opposite side of my house from the sun, so it only gets sun for a few hours a day only in the summer months. It’s an ideal location!

There are shed options that aren’t plastic. Ours is wood and sits on blocks, not a foundation. Because it’s wood I can add insulation and drywall, electricity, etc… with no problem.


The wood shed isn’t a bad idea. You could then run a 30 or 50 amp service similar to that used in campers. That would allow it to simply plug and unplug, keeping the buildings “temporary building” status in tact for code purposes.


Thanks… Unfortunately those aren’t an option for me in Hawaii. Lowes and Home Depot only have the Rubbermaid kind. That’s why I woiuld just build one, since I would need a foundation anyway.

Interesting note is that our house that was built in 1988 has zero insulation. Pretty typical for Hawaii.

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The 6’ limit is defined by the Honolulu City code that says permanent structures have to be 5 feet from the property line. I can, however, have “hatch’s” that could open all the way around right at my bench level to open it open up to potentially 11’ wide between beams. Also would air it out when burning. It doesn’t get cold here, so temperature would never be an issue.

Temperature IS an issue. The glow forge needs to be kept cool when operating. If yoy are getting a Pro model not as cool, but both models need cooling.

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I have no knowledge of Hawaii anything, never been there. I do know that in any place I’ve lived a wooden shed sitting on a slab, cinder block or wooden ‘skids’ would still be considered temporary. I see no reason you need to limit yourself to what plastic sheds are available at the home stores.

Oh! Build a shop on a flatbed trailer to be parked “temporarily” on a crushed rock drive. Same power supply scheme.
(Just spitballing now :sunglasses:)

You can definitely climate control one of those. I figure it’s hard to get (or ridiculously expensive) some stuff we take for granted on the mainland so not gonna tell you to build a wooden she’d :slightly_smiling_face:

You could put some temp controlled exhaust fans for when it’s warm. Probably be able to use a portable a/c for when it’s over temp for the GF. You can glue in (liquid nails) foam insulation panels pretty easily to keep the cool in.

Definitely worth extra width over the 6’ alternative.

Is it ideal for a workshop? No. But you can make almost any space work. You need space to effectively operate your equipment, space for material storage and space to assemble and finish what you make. I think it is better than the alternatives. I have a little less total space, and I certainly want more, but I make what I have work. If you bought a pro I’d just make sure you can pivot it 90 degrees to take advantage of the pass through.

Thanks. Lumber is actually reasonably priced. 8’ 2x4 pressure-treated are $3.42 each. I could definately build one way cheaper than I could buy one. I built my kids a “treehouse” on the property line two years ago. It’s “temporary” because it doesn’t have power and water, and it’s not connected to the house. It’s 120sq ft, two floors.

I think I need to build another “treehouse” that’s more like 24’x9’!


That’s kind of what I meant. We hired someone off of Craigslist to come build ours. It was their own design, though I assume they pre-kit’ed it prior to transporting to the property.

For the code aspect of it, does it have to be power AND water to classify it as permanent, or could you get away with temporary if you have only power?

This is in the back corner of a yard with no access, unfortunately. I can build it with a couple of other people helping me.
The rules are, that it can’t be more than 120sq feet.
Can’t have water AND electricity, only one or the other.
Any permanent structure has a 5’ setback… temporary structures do not
Anything attached to my house has to have a permit

I’m thinking something more like 8’x14’ that’s “temporary” and sits right next to the house. That gives me 3’ to walk around the shed. Doors on either end, and a wall full of either windows or hatches.

Here are some “shed kits” that you just add 2x4 and plywood. You can use multiple kits to make it longer.