Machine Arrangement in a Small Space
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  1. #1
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    Default Machine Arrangement in a Small Space

    When I first unloaded my machines they just got stuffed into shop area, mostly against the walls with a center walk space, have added to collection last few years, they went where ever there was space. The main shop area is 12' wide x 90' long, midway there is an area that bumps out about 12', but with a column in middle it does not really give me an open area.

    I have started trying to re-arrange things, I'm thinking lathes/mills at north end, grinding/polishing/sanding in center area, welders/bandsaws/press at south end by the door. I'm starting at north end with the lathes, neither is really big, 26x30 and 13x36, both approx 6' long overall.

    I'm struggling with placement of lathes, back to back would save floor space, but they share tooling, and running both at same time (rare) would not work. Front to front, just me operating so space between could be narrower, and tooling would all be centrally located.

    If lathes go perpendicular that leaves me 3' at either end of lathes as a walkway, one side will probably get some cabinets/shelves to hold tools, not sure that is going to work. I could place lathes where one has headstock to wall, other has tailstock to wall, but that limits how much stickout a workpiece can have thru headstock or over end of tailstock (it happens sometimes with a short bed).

    I don't think diagonal is going to work either. Which would you rather lose, stickout from headstock or tailstock? Thoughts and musings appreciated.

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    Paper dolls

    works amazingly well

    you can computerize it, but same thing

    draw the shop with doors etc

    cut out[literally of digitally] paper dolls of the machines and move them around







    If you are by your self or limited staff, making aisles do double duty as low value work spaces is a good trick.
    A vertical bandsaw or kick shear might be a low use item. Do not give its own work envelope. let it use the aisle.

    Long and skinny is tricky

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    The classic "graph paper and cutouts" may be your best bet. Or the newfangled computer version of same.

    I'll send sympathy over the available space, you've essentially got a corridor rather than a warehouse.

    Keep safety in mind when placing equipment, if you're working alone you've got to make sure you can't get caught out by something that's too sketchy when walking by (like those bars sticking out from headstocks).

    Want to post some pics of the space and the machines? Would help a lot with suggestions...

    [Ninja'd by Gus]

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    Apparently you have never been in a US Navy shipboard machine shop. Talk about maximum utilization of space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 14tony View Post
    Apparently you have never been in a US Navy shipboard machine shop. Talk about maximum utilization of space.
    I've toured a naval ship, but tell me, was that optimal from a usage standpoint, or a "this is what you get, mate" viewpoint?

    I'm also hoping the OP isn't worried about Exocets or 18" shells...

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    We did the paper cut-out approach at our old shop. When we had our new shop made, I made a 3D solid model of the floor plan and every machine, bench, and cabinet we had. We played with that for almost a year while the shop was being built, inspected, etc. It was really fun to see the shop in 3D and see how the machine protrusions, controls, floor mats, and walkways would all fit together. When we moved in the electricians and riggers were convinced that we didn't have enough room, but it all fit fine and I was naive enough to think we had settled on the best layout....

    After being in the building for five years, things are still moving around. As much as I want to drop a machine on the floor and have it stay there for the next century, it will likely get shuffled when the next machine comes in the shop and we discover better ways for everything to fit. I've just learned to keep the jacks and skates handy and keep service disconnects easy to switch around. To be honest though I haven't gone back to the 3D model or the paper layout. A few minutes at the end of the day and a tape measure tend to give enough information.

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    With the others in paper cutouts, I did the CNC version when we moved here. I sure like to have grinder/polishing/ sanding area as far away from the machines as possible. Any chance on putting them in a close by outbuilding? Would make arranging the other stuff easier.
    Yeah, I know not everyone has acres of room and no zoning restrictions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FredC View Post
    With the others in paper cutouts, I did the CNC version when we moved here. I sure like to have grinder/polishing/ sanding area as far away from the machines as possible. Any chance on putting them in a close by outbuilding? Would make arranging the other stuff easier.
    Yeah, I know not everyone has acres of room and no zoning restrictions.
    We wanted to keep grinding and machining separate, but it logistically didn't work too well. We found however that down-draft tables and other dust collection systems have a big impact on keeping air-born abrasives in check. We try to surface grind with coolant as much as possible as well, and we do 90% of our welding/fabrication in a big steel booth (old paint booth conversion). That and cleaning everything at least annually really helps.

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    Another for paper cut outs - and put the headstock end close to the wall, .......and cut a hole in the wall

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    Pics of the current disaster below, since I brought the Gorton in I've been struggling for space, even after removing 2 other pieces already. A couple of machines will be drug out soon and loaded into box trailer, the old VN brake lathe, Logan lathe (although thinking of replacing it with something newer ), and maybe the red brake lathe seen in pic 6, if I could find speed chucks for the Caorle brake lathe (metric arbors)it would do everything. There are also 2 pieces of lapidary equipment and a washing machine that need to go to another room. Vertical screamer compressor can go as soon as I get Quincy wired and plumbed, I can put Quincy outside, it will require drilling some holes thru 2' exterior wall.

    The big stainless box parked in middle of aisle is packed full of lathe and mill tooling, best idea at the moment is clear off the 3 work benches, unload tooling there, stand the SS box upright and add shelves to it, have 3 more just like it (although empty)outside still.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shop-1.jpg   shop-2.jpg   shop-3.jpg   shop-4.jpg   shop-5.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Another for paper cut outs - and put the headstock end close to the wall, .......and cut a hole in the wall
    I had the same thought. I have seen quite a few box trucks with small doors at the front to allow for long items. The opening could be pretty small.

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    Mine are 3'' plastic drain pipe set in the shop walls - screw on caps (aka rodding eyes / access points) are available.

    IIRC one PMer has gone through 2 walls at the headstock end, ................................. and lined it all up with a laser pen held in the tailstock chuck ??????????????????????was it Ray Behner??

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    The Grizzly web site has a free workshop planning program that works well. You can move the machines and change the sizes to match what you have.

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    Not much helpful to add but, nice Landis ! 1R ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MilGunsmith View Post
    The Grizzly web site has a free workshop planning program that works well. You can move the machines and change the sizes to match what you have.
    Looked and couldn't find it ???

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    The main shop area is 12' wide x 90' long, midway there is an area that bumps out about 12', but with a column in middle it does not really give me an open area.
    I'm thinking "Traffic Circle".....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Another for paper cut outs - and put the headstock end close to the wall, .......and cut a hole in the wall
    I've seen the thru the wall trick, its going to be a lot of work, exterior wall is 2' concrete, interior walls are 1'.

    EG, yes, its a 1R.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    I'm thinking "Traffic Circle".....
    Not quite following that, I was thinking put the pedestal grinders and buffers around it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    I've seen the thru the wall trick, its going to be a lot of work, exterior wall is 2' concrete, interior walls are 1'.
    Aaaw bugger !

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    The graph paper cutouts are simple and cheap, two things I like. I did not have a separate room for grinders so my idea was to consolidate them into a back corner under a mezzanine type deck. To improve the containment I have cabinets closing off most of the area. The backs of the casework are facing the grinders. Some grinding equipment has been tweaked with chutes and dust collection but not all can be set up that way.

    Where are you? The basement of castle Greyskull?


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