John Downing's Workshop

  • Advertise with us
Workshop by John Downing posted 02-16-2014 01:15 PM 2045 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

View all workshops »

View John Downing's profile

John Downing

10 posts in 2693 days

click the pictures to enlarge them

John Downing's Workshop John Downing's Workshop John Downing's Workshop
John Downing's Workshop John Downing's Workshop  

112 Christian Hill Road
Amherst, NH 03031
United States

My workshop is a “work in progress”. I started with a 24’ by 20’ steel building with a 24’ by 30’ carport on the front. The shop originally had steel roll-up garage doors on the front and back and a single personnel door opening to the carport. I paneled the shop in tongue and groove knotty pine, with a natural finish over fiberglass insulation. I started building cabinets.

The first winter, I found out that the roll-up doors didn’t come close to sealing across the top and they radiated cold, big time. I had installed a propane wall heater and a log wood stove and while they took the chill out, propane flowed like water and the wood stove needed constant feeding. As a result, the shop temperature dropped below freezing nearly every night. To add insult to injury, the first two winters, the snow on the roof knocked down the wood stove chimney!

This past year, I added three walls to the carport, turning it into a proper garage. Then, I made a pair of carriage house doors to replace the roll-up door to the garage and installed the old French doors we had replaced with a patio door in our kitchen, to replace the other roll-up door. That let in a lot of light while insulating the shop. Finally, I pulled the old log stove and chimney and installed a pellet stove. Now, my shop is warm all the time, propane use has been eliminated, and a bag of pellets goes in daily to maintain the warmth.

I am building three custom kitchen base cabinets to hold my router table and flanking counters for my scroll saw, oscillating spindle sander and dovetail jig, with pull-out storage for them when not in use. They are also serving as my training aids for the kitchen remodeling project we have started.

I will add pictures as I go along.

-- Jacks Dad

6 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117095 posts in 3577 days

#1 posted 02-16-2014 02:05 PM

Looks like a good space ,it takes time to get it all together.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View changeoffocus's profile


467 posts in 1617 days

#2 posted 02-16-2014 10:06 PM

Nice renovation, looks cozy.

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2804 days

#3 posted 01-10-2015 09:56 PM

Oh yes. A reno is always work, but, so much fun.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View John Downing's profile

John Downing

10 posts in 2693 days

#4 posted 08-22-2016 11:27 AM

Well, it has been quite a while since I checked in. My shop is a mess, but now that I am retired (April 3, 2015!), I have the time to deal with it. Of course, the kitchen renovation takes priority…and life in general…and “Honey, we need to fence in the front yard for our new Border Collie Puppy!”, and such!

Last week, I had to fly out to New Mexico to see my Mother, who is in end stage congestive heart failure and oncoming dementia. She is nearly 93 and has had a good life, except for the past two years. Anyway, my Dad, who “stood last roll call” over 26-years ago, left me his shop, and I have taken the tools that I wanted from it. I don’t have the space for his trusty Craftsman radial arm saw, and shipping the jointer and Harbor Freight lathe are too expensive, but I looked at the Frank Klaus-style work bench he built back in the 70s, buried in my sisters stuff, and it just wasn’t to be. I called my wife, explained the situation, and she advised me to contact some freight companies, UPS and FedEx, and see how much it would cost to send home to New Hampshire.

Estes-Express quoted $334 and change and she said “Do-It!”. After uncovering it, I discovered that the bench was actually easily disassembled, so I did so, carefully wrapped and packaged it, filling in open spots with two nice back saws and a mallet, and wrapped the whole thing in stretch wrap. I also added three small, heavy duty boxes of parts, tools and stuff and took it to the terminal. Five days later, I picked it up in Billerica, MA, and brought it home. Unpacked and assembled it that evening and here it is!

After sniveling about the jointer I left behind, I looked on Craig’s List and found one, in my town, with motor and moveable bench! I picked it up for $75, much less than the cost of moving my Dad’s one.

I will get back you you folks and show you my dust collection system, later. I adapted a Harbor Freight unit to use as a central vac system.

-- Jacks Dad

View John Downing's profile

John Downing

10 posts in 2693 days

#5 posted 03-30-2017 08:41 PM

I hope this photo was imported correctly. This is the custom cabinet I built in my shop to organize my cordless power tools, their chargers, batteries and attachments. Most are DeWalt 20 Volt models.

-- Jacks Dad

View helluvawreck's profile (online now)


31104 posts in 2867 days

#6 posted 03-30-2017 08:50 PM

It’s a nice shop and you’ll be able to work out all of the problems as you go along. Congratulations on your shop and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics