New Shop: Design, Construction, Outfit #1: Initial attempt at blogging and a test of interest level

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Blog entry by SteveM posted 02-22-2010 05:03 AM 1861 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of New Shop: Design, Construction, Outfit series Part 2: Building footprint and land clearing »

Well, here goes; my first attempt at a blog, and because of that I’ll keep this entry short to see how my editing and pix uploading skills turn out.

The purpose of the blog is to chronicle the design, construction and outfitting of my new shop. Assuming there is interest, I’ll add entries as progress is made. My hope is others can benefit from seeing the mistakes I’ll surely make along the way.

I guess the first question is why build a shop. The answer seems a bit obvious since who doesn’t want a new shop? My current shop is much bigger/nicer than any shop I’ve had before in the various houses we’ve had covering 13 relocations across many states and a few countries.

My interest in things wood expanded greatly after I retired a couple of years ago and with newly acquired toys the current shop now seems cramped. As stated previously, my skill set easily bounces around in the shop but my ego just barely squeezes in. The real impetus was my bride’s insistence that I lock and seal with tape the door to the shop (its on the lower level of our house). Seems the shavings and misc. bits that trailed my departures from the shop didn’t add to her decorating style. That forced me to enter/exit the shop from an exterior door which made me crankier than normal.

Here are a couple of pix of the existing shop which is about 400sf. Notice the two 90 degree corners and angled wall making layout a bit difficult. The fact that I have lots of junk doesn’t help either – but we jocks don’t admit that to loving spouses.



Next entry will show the new site (we broke ground last week) and talk a bit about how I sought and received help in sizing and laying out the shop.

By the way, I’m wide open to any suggestions and will be pleased to give credit for those that work well and take blame for any that don’t do so well.

4 comments so far

View hinklephil's profile


46 posts in 3033 days

#1 posted 02-22-2010 05:15 AM

I look forward to seeing the pix of the new shop. How many Sq feet will it be? I currently have what you have now, 400 sq ft. I did find a link from a fellow LJ by the name of Tom Clark. He has some great information on how to build and organize a shop for the best use of space. Check it out.

-- Lucky to get paid for what I love to do. Make sawdust.

View woodtick35's profile


15 posts in 3023 days

#2 posted 02-22-2010 05:32 AM

From the equipment you have, it looks like you have the beginnings to an incredible shop. I look forward to seeing how you design and layout your new space. I have to work within my existing spaces a while longer, but hope to move into something larger with heat and better access. Personally, I find laying out and refining the shop is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of woodworking.

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 3990 days

#3 posted 02-22-2010 05:40 AM

I predict interest will follow in relation to the amount of detail and number of pictures. I can see from your shop that you have varied interests like turning and maybe box making. I hope you will leave yourself room for power tools and hand tools as well. A nice dead flat assembly table would be good also. Don’t forget to make the tables fit the saw height too. I don’t think you can have enough lighting either. Plugs in the floor is another handy feature that will keep the cords out of the way and allow for use of the center of the shop and not just around the walls. A mixture of 220 and 110 power of course. At least one window on the side with the best view, for thinking. An alarm system for theft prevention and fire also. Put the heating elements in the slab for nice even heat in the winter and plenty of air conditioning for those hot summer days. Is there some way to control the relative humidity too because that could help stabilize your wood? A nice sink for washing up between glue ups and before dinner would be nice as well as a small fridge for refreshments. I can see you’ll have cable TV and a player for those instructional dvds. Plan the dust collection carefully because I’m told it makes a huge difference in how you work. Set aside a small area for the shop cat/dog too because you don’t want to work alone and with no encouragement. Don’t allow any changes in elevation in the slab and make sure the entrance has a nice smooth ramp not a step. You never know when you’ll need to get in the shop with that wheel chair as you grow older. Anyway, I’m stoked let’s get started living vicariously through your posts. lol


-- Jim

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3577 days

#4 posted 02-22-2010 05:52 AM

Sounds like a great adventure. Look forward to progress on your new shop. One thing I would suggest is to have dust collection in the floor at least for your table saw.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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