Finally, My Dream Shop #1: First Things First

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Blog entry by Calgirl posted 09-26-2007 03:56 PM 1644 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Finally, My Dream Shop series Part 2: More on Preliminary Thinking about the Shop »

All my adult life I have wanted a dedicated workshop, and finally it is about to come true! Tomorrow the owner of a tree service company will come by to plan for the four trees that have to be removed in order to place the foundation of my new shop. Don’t worry about those four trees…....soon they will become projects and turnings! I don’t know much about trees, but one is a pine about 8 stories high, one is a dead walnut, and the two others are some species unknown to me. In one week, the trees will be gone and the General Contractor will begin. My shop will be 22 feet long and about 36 wide. Under the concrete slab will be my 6” dust pipe which will come up here and there to service the machines which are currently in the garage and what will soon be my library. Thats right, I have a lathe, drill press, a brand new Bosch SCM saw, some new Bessey clamps, etc. in the house right now…there’s just not enough room in the garage. In the foyer by the front door, I have a brand new Clear Vue cyclone in three boxes, a new Osborne mitre guage for my Unisaw, a Kreg pocket hole kit, etc.

You would think that I just moved in here…...but everything depends on getting the workshop up and running. I want to place an engineered wood floor in what will become the library, but I can’t do that until I get the machines out of there, not to mention the rest of the existing carpet which I have been taking up piece by piece. I am missing end tables here and there, a bed headboard, some tables, etc. All depends on that workshop.

The contractor is going to put up the building and roof. His sub-contracted electrician will install some 240v and 110v circuits. The rest will be up to me and my dear friend Mike. I have made a floor plan and think I know where everything will be placed. I have hundreds of plans in my computer to choose from for all the tables, benches, cabinets, etc. which will be created and live in that shop.

I’ll take some pictures as all goes along so that I can remember how it was before I finally got my shop!

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

18 comments so far

View Fingersleft's profile


71 posts in 3892 days

#1 posted 09-26-2007 04:49 PM


A big congratulations on what sounds like a great start. I know it’s an exciting time and the bginning of a dream come true.

I know it was for me. After all the planning and construction, and expense, when we were finished, and all the equipment ws moved in, it took me several days to start making sawdust. (Didn’t want to get the place dirty.)

The shop has been a joy for me for many years – an absolute life-changer. And a number of wonderful projects have wandered out of its doors . . . for my home, for friends and, now for buyers.
I sincerely wish you the best of luck.

-- Bob

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3958 days

#2 posted 09-26-2007 04:53 PM

Welcome to Lumber Jocks. Good luck on the shop. If you need help there is someone here who has had the same problem.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4157 days

#3 posted 09-26-2007 04:56 PM

Wow, what a great way to begin. Did you do a sketch-up model to determine where to place your equipment? Bob has done several sketch-up tutorials, and has shown how he can create a shop. If you make one of those, then you can move things around until you see that they fit how you want.

We are looking forward to the pictures. If you can, take a series of pictures from what the lot looks like now, until the shop is up. You will enjoy seeing the progress and be amazed when you look back at them.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4032 days

#4 posted 09-26-2007 05:28 PM

I can’t wait to see the progress. Congratulations on the new shop! I love shop progress pics and setup pics so get on with it! LOL

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View gbvinc's profile


628 posts in 3942 days

#5 posted 09-26-2007 05:41 PM

Congratulations! Gonna give us a sneak preview of the floor plan? Can’t wait to see some pics. Welcome to LumberJocks!

View Partridge's profile


296 posts in 3952 days

#6 posted 09-26-2007 06:36 PM

That sound good, A man needs his space (do not forget the fridge….)

-- I get out in the shop when I can

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4156 days

#7 posted 09-27-2007 12:05 AM

Yippee. How exciting

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4082 days

#8 posted 09-27-2007 05:10 AM

AAhh…a dream of mine as well. You might want to look at Sketchup for help in laying out the shop. This thread has a workshop layout I’ve been thinking of. The tools are all available for download but you will want to adjust table heights to match what you have.

Sounds like an exciting time. Good luck.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View Fingersleft's profile


71 posts in 3892 days

#9 posted 09-27-2007 02:50 PM


Just wanted to send you a picture of my shop (see previous post). It was taken 10 minutes after the County Inspector signed off on the construction. The overall building is 24’ X 36’ It is heated and has all required plumbing and electric. Interior is has 10’ ceiling and is finished in drywall/ The shop is separated into 2 large areas, one for staining and finishing and one for shop equipment. Access is through two overhead doors. The best design feature. Makes it easy to deliver supplies and move things around.

The siding and trim is site-milled cedar. Added 12K to the construction cost. But matches the main house and the barn. Oh well, it’s only money.

Good luck on yours. How exciting!!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

-- Bob

View Calgirl's profile


188 posts in 3891 days

#10 posted 09-27-2007 04:07 PM

Looks great Bob. I like the cedar very much. Mine will be covered in Hardiboard to match the 2 car garage it will be next to. The front of the garage is stucco to match the house, but the new workshop will not be visible from the street as it will be directly behind the garage.

I opted for a sliding door instead of the garage doors because I didn’t want the rails on the inside. And I plan to build a pocket sliding screen door that will disappear into the wall and not take up wall space. zI can hardly wait to start working on the inside of the shop. I want to be innovative in my cabinetry so that it looks clean and efficient. I can keep all the yard tools in the garage and maybe even make a space for finishing in there. I’m going to have a computer in the shop since I have a vast number of plans. graphics and techniques in my main computer that I will want to access. I have to figure out how to keep the dust away from the computer as I will want to use it during projects. I can’t vent it outside because of the humidity…

I wish I had restroom facilities, but will have to “retire to the house”, but I will have running water…for the coffee pot.

Do you have any good ideas how to insulate the cyclone/compressor noise? My units will be walled off within the shop, but I don’t want to listen to the noise. I know I could do it if I wanted to spend megabucks on sound proofing materials, but I am looking for a more cost effective way out.

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

View Fingersleft's profile


71 posts in 3892 days

#11 posted 09-27-2007 04:27 PM


Unfortunately I could never come up with a good way to muffle compressor noise and the dust collection system. Compressor noise has not been a problem in as much as I use it only to drive pin/brad/finish nailers, which I don’t really use that often. And once it pumps up to pressure, it stays quiet for the rest of the day.

The dust collector is something else. I’ve wired it to go on only when a dust producing power tool is operating, so I don’t have to throw a separate switch. Does nothing for the noise, and I’ve kinda become use to it.

Your sliding doors will work fine. I work outside in the summer. No need for screening due to the fact that we live at 8,500 feet. Bugs don’t seem to like the thin air. Do have an occasional deer wander up to the shop. And last year a young bear took a nap behind the shop. Not as cute and harmless as it may sound. Where you have baby bears, you generally have the mamas not too far away.

But that’s life in the mountains. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

-- Bob

View MartyS's profile


19 posts in 3902 days

#12 posted 10-09-2007 03:02 AM

I only have a very small dedicated wookworking shop (16’x16’) so I was forced to build a small shed attached to the rear of it. I use the shed to house my compressor & dust collecter. Even through wood siding without insulation it is very quiet. Now that I’ve seen how well that works I question why anyone would take up shop space with those 2 items.

I live in a rural area of Florida, so I port the dust collector outward and at a slight angle toward the ground without a collection bag or bin. It spreads sawdust out over about 20 feet of reclained woods/Florida “lawn.” I run my mower over this area anyway and that levels it a bit. The grass seems to love it and I can always start collecting it if it builds up too much. So far no dust problems elsewhere on the property.

I removed the pressure regulator from the compressor and mounted it, along with inlet & outlet pressure gauges, on the wall inside my shop for easy access. Works great so far. No noise problems in the shop.

-- The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. Albert Einstein

View Calgirl's profile


188 posts in 3891 days

#13 posted 10-09-2007 04:15 AM

Marty, I toyed with exhausting the DC to the outside, but I decided against it because I’ll be running a dehumidifier and an AC. Even tho I have been in Fla two years, I still have not acclimated to the humidity and heat. In San Jose, Ca., it is much, much dryer and the nights always got below 65 due to the fog coming in from SF bay. There are lots of things different here, most of them good, and I am very happy that I made the move. It’s wonderful to be in a “efficient” state that has no state tax.

As for the shop, I may move the DC and compressor to a “lean to” on the outside in the future. I have one “close” neighbor who is close enough that I am concerned with noise and dust as well. I want to be able to work in the shop at whatever hour I please and so I have to be concerned with noise as the neighbor’s bedrooms are on the shop side of the house. As it is right now, I will not even have windows when the shop first goes up, as I have asked the contractor to build without them so that I can decide just where I want them once I move in. He said that he will come back and install them for me at no charge. I also won’t have a proper door (just the sliding door for unloading sheet goods, etc) at the rear of the building. I want to get into the shop before I decide where the door and windows should be, and I want to see how much light I will get from the 6- 2’x4’ skylights. I live in a nice area, but am still concerned with keeping the shop secure as well, because of all the expensive machinery, etc. One of the big advantages of being retired is that I have plenty of time to do what I want to, and to take my time doing it! It is pretty rural here now, but gated communities have sprung up all over, along with two new shopping centers. I bought here to be away from the bustling city, but it seems it is following me. My community is fixed and most houses have from .5 acre to 4 or 5 acres, so I won’t be crowded out at home at least!

Do you have any suggestions as to compressed air distribution throughout the shop? Should I go with copper or would schedule 40 pvc work? I was going to put it under the slab concrete, but have decided to put it in the walls and bring it out where needed. I have never heard of a quiet DC! What kind and size is yours? I admit that I am sensitive to noise tho. What kind of insulation did you use?

Thanks for your insights and help. Calgirl

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3984 days

#14 posted 10-09-2007 08:29 AM

Don’t put your air lines under the slab. You won’t be able to drain them. There is a lot of water that will collect in your system if you don’t have a coalescing filter. There are a lot of tricks to running air lines. Make sure that you check them out.

PVC, no. Too easy to break.
Copper, no. Too expensive

Steel pipe, Yes. Cheap, Sturdy, easy to change in the future and add on to. I wouldn’t run it in the walls either.

Here is a good example on how to plumb an air system:


-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Calgirl's profile


188 posts in 3891 days

#15 posted 10-09-2007 05:21 PM

Thanks very much for the info and url. Those two pages contain everything I need to know.

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

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