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This article is about an older version of DF.
Production chain for all workshops.
Simplified or out of date - many arrows missing!
(Click to enlarge)

Workshops are where materials are processed by dwarves into more valuable or useful items. Anything that is created, refined, cooked, altered, or decorated, or generally "produced" is processed at a workshop. There are many different types of workshops, for different purposes and different finished products. Just as they have specific products associated with them, they have specific labors that are required by dwarves who build them or work there, and dwarves with more of the appropriate skill tend to produce higher quality objects*, and/or produce them faster.

(* If the finished product has any quality modifiers - not all do. Processed milk is just cheese, a stone block is just a stone block, and a tanned hide is just leather, etc.)

Almost all workshops measure 3 tiles square, 3x3, but a few are 5x5, or even a single tile.

Be Aware! - Most workshops have one or more inaccessible tiles - locations within them that block movement over that one tile. These are different with different workshops, are visible as dark green tiles when placing the workshop, and are also shown in the sidebar of every wiki article on any particular workshop. You cannot "spin" a workshop - its orientation is fixed, every time the same. Don't build a workshop to then realize that it blocks the only door in and out! (If you do, you can use q, x and give the order to tear it down, recover the building material, and try a different plan.)

A workshop's inaccessible tiles do not block fluids.


Most workshops are quick and easy to build, requiring only a single piece of stone, wood, or other common materials (although there are a few exceptions).

Workshops must be built on clear ground, by a dwarf with an appropriate* labor designated, and use (usually one) building material, which can be stone or ore, wood, or blocks of any kind. Some workshops also require additional items, such as barrels or buckets.

(* The labor is listed once the workshop has been placed, and varies from workshop to workshop, but is usually related to what the workshop processes or produces. Use q to query the unbuilt shop and make sure at least one of your dwarves has that labor.)

To build a workshop, open the build menu and select workshop, then choose which workshop you would like to build and the materials you would like to use in its construction. Your cursor will now change into a floor plan of the workshop.

The menu will ask you to select them when you are placing the workshop, and you can choose specific items by hitting x. Some workshops (ones that deal with fire) require fire-safe building materials.

Attention: dark green locations in the plan will be impassable in the completed workshop, while passable locations will be a bright green. Plans cannot be rotated, so it is important to ensure that the impassable squares do not block a door or otherwise cut off access to the workshop. The jeweler's workshop and bowyer's workshop block off a whole side of the workshop, and many block off one or more corner doors. Look at diagram in the main article on a specific workshop before walling your dwarves into a dead-end!

Once the plan has been placed in a satisfactory location, you must have a dwarf with the appropriate labor enabled to build the workshop (view dwarf-preferences-labors). For instance, to build a carpenter's workshop, you must have a dwarf with the "Carpentry" labor enabled. Some workshops (such as the furnaces) must first be designed by a dwarf with the architecture labor enabled. To see what labor is needed to build a particular workshop, press q and move the cursor over its floor plan.

When performing the actual construction, a dwarf must first clean the area of loose rock and other items lying on the ground by moving them to neighboring, non-diagonal squares. Items already claimed by other tasks (such as "Bring Item to Stockpile" cannot be moved and will cause the dwarf to suspend construction of the workshop. If this happens, you will need to wait until the interfering tasks are finished (for instance, rock has been cleared away to a stockpile), and then manually un-suspend construction with the q menu. The dwarf will also suspend the construction when he can't find a proper neighboring square to move the items to. This is usually caused by active construction sites on neighboring tiles.

Workshops can be quickly and easily be torn down (q, x) and all building material and items recovered.


Once a workshop has been constructed, you will need to assign a queue of tasks at which the dwarves with that workshop's skill will henceforth toil. To edit the queue, hit q and move the cursor over the workshop. Jobs are completed in order from top to bottom; a job set to 'repeat' will be labeled R in the list, and will be sent back to the bottom after it is done. This allows you to set a workshop to do a series of tasks repeatedly. The job labeled A, if any, is the currently active project. Any jobs which have been manually suspended will be labeled S.

Alternatively, the manager can assign jobs to workshops. This is a more efficient way of allocating jobs when the fortress becomes larger.

Most jobs require materials. Any dwarf that starts a job in a workshop will automatically retrieve the necessary materials from the appropriate source (even if they don't have the appropriate hauling job set). Dwarves work more efficiently if the materials for their workshop are stockpiled nearby.

Beware of workshop clutter! Dwarves will not automatically haul things away from workshops once the job is completed. Note that there is no way to notice a cluttered workshop without looking specifically inside the workshop (t or q) until a cloud of miasma erupts from your kitchen.


Once you have assigned a manager, each workshop will have a profile menu (q-P) which allows you to specify which dwarves are allowed to use the workshop (either by name or by a range of skills). Levers have identical profiles, allowing you to choose a specific dwarf to respond to an order to "Pull this Lever", which can be handy for a variety of purposes.


The workshops used in the game include the following:

Related articles

Furnaces & Forges[edit]

Furnaces and forges are essentially workshops, except that they need some form of fuel (charcoal or coke) or magma) to operate. Furnaces transform raw material (wood, ore or sand) to either a bar or block (of glass, metal, fuel, ash or potash). Forges turn metal bars into metal products, such as weapons, armor, furniture or crafts. To build a furnace, open the build menu and select e. Forges are under the normal workshop menu.

Furnaces must be built from fire-safe material, usually stone or stone blocks.

(* Conventional fuels cannot be used at a magma version of a furnace or forge if it loses its magma source.)

Workshop Design[edit]

Since workshops are where much of your fortress's day-to-day work happens, it is important to plan them as carefully as you do your bedrooms. Workshop designs have a couple key considerations:

  • Workshops should be as close as possible to the raw materials needed to do their job. The only dwarf who hauls the needed materials into the workshop is the one who works in it. Placing a stockpile with the corresponding materials right next to the workshop will save the precious time of your craftsdwarf by leaving the tedious material transportation to less qualified laborers.
  • There should be room to put in duplicate workshops, to accommodate spikes in demand for things like beds and barrels (carpentry) or stone furniture (masons). Workshop construction and deconstruction is cheap and quick in most cases, so do not hesitate do create and remove temporary workshops when the need arises.
  • Certain (but not all) workshops should be lockable by forbidding the doors that lead into them. This is important for making sure that specific material can be forced to be used for specific production orders (bauxite mechanisms for example, or native aluminum furniture for your nobles), or that the desired items get decorated with exactly what you want (you don't want rubies on a -mudstone table- while you have a ☼platinum statue☼ around). Also for locking away a dangerous dwarf in a failing strange mood so they won't hurt a useful worker. Not all workshops are subject to being claimed by moody dwarves, and not all workshops need be concerned with specific items - a farmer's workshop, for instance, in both cases.
  • The design should be expandable. There will ALWAYS be another specialty workshop you'd find useful, whether it be a single-task, lockable Jeweler, a Legendary-only Carpenter's Workshop for beds, a floor of Dabbling to Proficient-only Masonry workshops for a reserves program, the list goes on. Never assume you'll never need another workshop. You'll always find SOMETHING.
  • The design should have good traffic throughput. Workshop complexes are pretty high-traffic areas, so you'll need to keep this in mind.

A couple things that may seem like big deals, but really aren't:

  • Being close to where the finished good will go. You will definitely need to think of where your chairs, tables, prepared meals, and the like will go after they're done being made, but an average fortress has a lot of spare labor and untrained peasants that are qualified for little more than hauling finished goods. Don't be afraid of putting the prepared food and booze larder 100 steps away from the kitchen and still; just turn off food hauling on your cooks and let the peasants handle it.
  • Setting up resource stockpiles somewhat near where the resource is produced. Again, the peasants will handle this.

Specific design ideas are at Design Strategies.

Isolating workshops & furnaces[edit]

As touched on above, some workshops should be lockable, with doors (or hatches) that can be sealed to keep dwarves in or out, as the need arises. This "need" could be a mood, the desire to work specific items, or simply forcing a specific dwarf to have no other option but to do the work you desire from them. Some other workshops are prone to causing miasma, and steps should be taken to prevent that from spreading to your fortress in general. Still others never attract miasma-causing items, are never be claimed by a moody dwarf, and rarely invite specialized materials (or at least materials that can be easily stockpiled inside a lockable room.

The two ways to stop miasma are to build the workshop above-ground, or have all access via diagonal entries, with or without doors. Orthogonally designed entrances with doors can still let miasma waft out as a dwarf enters or leaves.

When designing a room to be locked, it's important that the doors do not isolate other, active workshops or parts of the fortress. Some players build mood-able workshops out in the open, but leave enough room to construct a wall around them should the need arise - there's certainly enough time.

Only your own playstyle will determine where and how you want to build your workshops, and which to build with existing walls and which to stand free, but these are some rough guidelines:

Moodable Miasma-prone "Open" 3
Bowyer's workshop
Carpenter's workshop
Clothier's shop
Craftsdwarf's workshop
Glass furnace1
Jeweler's workshop
Leather works
Mason's workshop
Mechanic's workshop
Metalsmith's forge1
Tanner's shop
Alchemist's laboratory2
Butcher's shop
Farmer's workshop2
Tanner's shop
Alchemist's laboratory2
Dyer's shop
Farmer's workshop2
Jeweler's workshop
Siege workshop
Trade depot
Wood furnace
1) Or the magma versions.
2) These are low risk for miasma, but not zero. Waste from butchering is the worst culprit, raw skins and unhauled prepared meals are also common causes. Raw plants can certainly rot, but are slower to do so, so it would require that a project be started, abandoned (with the plant item left in the workshop), and then not cleaned up for the weeks it takes for plants or tallow to eventually rot. So it is uncommon but not impossible for these to produce miasma unless occasionally serviced by haulers.
3) There is no need for walls except to force the use of specific materials, or for personal preference.

See Also[edit]