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Shop Feng Shui

How and why to put what tools where

Many folks call me throughout the week who are either new to the business, or have been in business, but don’t know where or how to set up their equipment in the shop. Here are some pointers I’ve picked up over the years when it comes to shop set up:

One of the main things to look for when setting up a shop is “walk space”. You want to make sure to have walk space and that people are not bumping into each other. A constant flow between the equipment and what it’s used for is a top priority.

When designing your space, use some graph paper, and mark the dimensions of the room and location of the doorways, windows, water, electricity and gas lines. Setting up a shop is similar to putting a puzzle together. Keep in mind all of the elements will dictate where things have to be. For example, your bench will be close to your gas line, and wherever you ventilation duct is, your polishing unit will be as well.

Continuous flow is the ideal way to set up a shop. If you do your own wax carving, you’d start there, and then a piece would move to sprueing, then investment, then the oven – that’s your casting area flow because that’s where the magic starts to happen.

polishingAfter casting a piece, you would have your polishing area close by (because that’s what comes next) where you’d be prepping the piece, and tumbling it. Placing these areas in close proximity to one another ensures that the process can flow efficiently.

Finishing and plating is last. It’s important to note that when the piece is finished, put it in anti-tarnish paper. The customer should be the first person to touch the piece after it’s done. It’s sort of an unspoken rule that we have in the industry.

Like I said, it’s really important that your shop flows sort of like a circle. A good example of this is Stuller. We don’t have people bumping into one another. We strategically put the departments in a flowing way that is consistent. If you don’t set up your shop this way you are losing money for each step that you take that breaks this flow.
Remember when setting up your bench work area, ventilation should be a top priority. Your health is the most important thing. Make sure that when dealing with fumes, and vapors you have the proper equipment to counteract this potential hazard. Whether your store is in a mall or a stand-alone, make sure to have the proper collectors, filters, and vents.

All this have you worried? There is no need to panic! We offer a FREE Shop Set Up Service that helps you figure out which tools and equipment matches your needs best. Our Tools Tech team will walk you through and help you find the right fit. Give us a call at 800-877-7777, ext. 4300 or click here.

Have any thoughts on shop set up? Share them or any pictures with us below!


Andy Kroungold

Former Tool Sales & Stuller Bench Director

I've been with Stuller since 1999 • Love to get on Steve Miller's nerves • I'm a big advocate for the Stuller customer • I'm a workaholic • I love my customers • I like playing golf, although I'm not very good at it • I love my dogs.