Setting up a woodworking shop at home can be a fun process, but it must be done correctly to ensure home woodworking can be done safely and effectively. A garage, basement, or attic space can make a great workshop, but the woodworker must take into account available light, ventilation possibilities, and access points for safety and convenience. Unlike woodworking done in a professional wood shop, home woodworking is usually done in a much smaller space, which means machines must be chosen carefully not only for functionality, but also for space savings.
The home woodworking shop should only contain tools that will be necessary to complete the projects the woodworker is likely to do on a regular basis. A crowded shop will not be exceptionally functional, and it will be necessary to ensure each machine has plenty of space for proper operation and safety. Combination machines are great for home woodworking applications; these compact machines combine the functions of several larger machines while requiring far less space. The downside to such machines is the time it takes to convert the machine from one function to another. Most home woodworking applications will not be significantly affected by this time requirement, but if the home woodworker is using his shop for commercial purposes, a combination machine may adversely affect the timeliness of a project's completion.
Safety should be the primary concern of all home woodworking projects. The woodworker should take all necessary safety precautions, including wearing safety goggles, ear protection, and in some cases, gloves and aprons. Fire extinguishers should be available and placed in an obvious place, as should first aid kits. The shop should be well lit to prevent accidents, and ventilation will be exceptionally important. A build-up of sawdust in the air can be hazardous to the woodworker's health, so dust collection systems and/or air exchangers should be used to prevent excess dust build up.
The type of wood used during the woodworking process should also be a primary concern of the woodworker, and the storage of that wood may require some alteration of the wood shop. The wood should generally be stored in a cool, dry location to prevent warping or other types of damage, and it should be readily available to accommodate woodworking projects. Storage will also be a vital concern for tools and other materials commonly used in the woodworking process. A workbench with drawers or shelves will be a good first step, but more storage will usually be necessary.