Whether or not it’s for professional use or as a hobby, creating your own space for a metal workshop can be a fun, yet sometimes overwhelming task. Figuring out the layout of it and the logistics of moving and installing the sheet metal machinery can be a bit of a headache. But the good news is it doesn’t have to be. With a bit of planning, creating your workshop can be easy and simpler than you’d think. In today’s blog, we’re going to go through the initial steps as well as what some of the essential tools you’ll need are to get started.

Laying it out

First thing’s first, plan ahead. This is not something you’ll want to go into blindly and start improvising as you go along, you’ll need a solid plan. Presumably, you already have a space available, but if you don’t, here are some things to consider when selecting a space:

  • Bigger isn’t always better – The more room you have the larger utility costs are going to be. There’s no point having extra space if you aren’t going to use it. Try and get the best optimisation out of your workspace.
  • Factor in if you’ll need an office section or an on-site bathroom.
  • Look at heating and cooling capabilities. Do units or air ducts need to be installed?

If you’re looking at a smaller, personal workshop then a basement or garage are good locations to set-up shop. You should have – at the very least – a rough idea of the types of tools and sheet metal machinery you’re going to have in your workshop. With those in mind, you can start mapping out a layout on paper with accurately scaled dimensions to ensure everything will fit properly.

The machines/tools

As mentioned above, you should know what sort of tools you want – even it is just a rough idea – before you start to build your workshop. Which machines you purchase depend entirely on what you want to do with your workshop. If you’re looking at metal fabrication, then there are definitely some basic sheet metal machinery products that you’ll want to get:

  • Bandsaw– A bandsaw can be used to cut through metal and with both vertical and horizontal models available they’ll be sure to satisfy your basic sheet metal cutting needs.
  • Press brake– This machine is an absolute essential when manipulating sheet metal. A press brake has been used to easily bend sheet metal for over 100 years with precision and is very reliable. There are a variety of different types of models that you can purchase to suit your need best.
  • Turret punch– This particular machine fabricates and forms sheet metal by punching holes into it.
  • Cutter – You’ve got a few different options on not only models but types of cutters here. You can go with either plasma or laser cutters. The primary difference between the two is that laser cutters offer a much more precise cut as it is a concentrated light beam that is doing the cutting. A plasma cutter, on the other hand, uses ionised gas to produce an electric arc that superheats the metal resulting in the cutting. For a full list of the differences between the two types refer to one of our previous blogs.

Building from scratch and applying for a permit

If you’re actually going to build the workshop from scratch, meaning the structure itself, then you’re going to most likely need a permit. Check with your local council to establish the exact parameters and conditions you’ll need to adhere to in order to build your workshop. Be sure to consider the different materials and benefits they may offer you.

This is the same sort of thing you should do even if you’re looking at purchasing an already existing structure, but if you’re building your own from scratch then you have the advantage of a larger amount of options. Some things to consider are:

  • Insulation
  • Solar panel installation
  • Skylights and windows
  • Entrances and exits

These are all much easier to manage when you’re building your own workshop as it’ll be just like you planned and envisioned it, as opposed to searching around for something that fits what you need.

Do you need sheet metal machinery for your workshop?

Whether you’ve just started on a new workshop or need more sheet metal machinery for your existing one, ACRA Machinery has all your needs covered. With an extensive range of both new and used sheet metal machinery and tools, we’re your one-stop-shop destination when it comes to filling up your workshop.

If you would like to know more about setting up a workshop – or some of our other services – then please do not hesitate to give us a call on 03 9794 6675 or send us a message through our website.