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My "Microshop" Adventure #1: Reasoning and Motivation

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Blog entry by Scott posted 02-13-2017 02:06 PM 1425 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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So let me just start by telling you a little about myself. I live in North Mississippi. I’m not and never have been a woodworker or a “maker” in the sense that you guys are. I’m not much of a DIYer, even. But.. I would like to be! I’ve built some things, of course. I was a residential framer for a while so I’m familiar with the tools and probably already own enough to get started. But… I digress

So here’s the skinny. The wife has asked me for a new coffee table. She’s found one online she wants me to build. She thought I would just run to Lowes or HD, pick up some lumber, some hardware and build her a new coffee table. but… NAY! I saw an opportunity. What man wouldn’t have?! That’s right, I said something along the lines of, “Why stop at a coffee table? Why not new end tables? Headboard and footboard? Dining table? TV Console table/media center? Muahahaha! The wheels began turning. I’ve laid the foundation. That was a few weeks ago. Since then… I’ve dove head first into the deep end of the woodworking pool and have talked her into a “Microshop”. Ya know, as an investment in the future. HA! It’s cheaper to build than it is to buy, after all, right? Of course it is! And what man doesn’t want a good reason to buy new tools? Not just new tools, but, power tools! (Insert toolman grunt here)

So here’s what I’m working with. I live in a small house my best friend happens to own. He wants me to buy it and I plan to in the not so far off future or I wouldn’t even be considering this endeavor. So the house has no garage. It’s got a carport with a small storage room with an exterior entrance. That’s currently where I keep all my tools. It’s also where the breaker box is, which is convenient because the shop is going right up against the carport. Like, right up against it. I actually spoke to my buddy about this shop and that’s where he suggested I put it. My landlord rocks, right? I think so.

So what’s next? What size shop am I looking at? Will I build it myself or have someone else do it? Well I’m limited on footprint because the next door neighbor, my landlord’ Aunt, isn’t all that far away. Maybe 100 feet between our houses. I only have somewhere around 15-20 feet from the carport to the property line to put a shop. I framed houses for a while a few years back so I COULD build this myself but I’m limited on time. I work for a large automaker and do quite a bit of traveling for work. I still may but right now I’m thinking of taking the quick and more expensive route and purchasing a shed. I’m thinking somewhere around 10 or 12×16 with a loft for extra storage. I’m literally going to butt it right up against the house/edge of the carport with side facing doors so I can “Dry it in” and have use of the carport to work on too.

So stay tuned. I’m still planning and researching but it’s going to start happening very soon. We’ll get starting pushing some dirt around and laying things out in the next week or 2. Then it’s on baby!

(Advice is VERY welcome)



11 comments so far

View Kelster58's profile

Kelster58

298 posts in 353 days


#1 posted 02-13-2017 04:17 PM

Check out Darbin Orvar on YouTube. She lives in Washington State. Part of her shop is outside. She does a lot of good work outside and inside. I don’t know how she deals with the rain and humidity in Washington but she does and she turns out some nice work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6VmXwU4UhA

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4459 posts in 951 days


#2 posted 02-13-2017 05:39 PM

Exciting times! I don’t wanna throw a wrench in the works but better look into it now than later… You should check the setback requirements for structures in your locale. For instance, I can have a storage building right next to the property line but, if it has electricity, it has to be at least 10 ft from the line. Just thought I’d mention it.

Good luck on setting up your shop! And for the record,


It s cheaper to build than it is to buy, after all, right?

- Scott

No, no it’s not. You would think so and you can build BETTER than you can buy but the cost of wood for hobbyists will bring most furniture to about the same price as you could buy it for by the time you figure in that your time is worth something. Now, if you figure your time is free, it’s probably true.

Don’t worry, I won’t tell your wife though ;-P Welcome to Lumberjocks!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Scott's profile

Scott

5 posts in 281 days


#3 posted 02-13-2017 07:57 PM



Check out Darbin Orvar on YouTube. She lives in Washington State. Part of her shop is outside. She does a lot of good work outside and inside. I don t know how she deals with the rain and humidity in Washington but she does and she turns out some nice work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6VmXwU4UhA

- Kelster58

Wow it must seriously never rain where she lives. She has no protection from the elements at all when she’s working outside. Looks like she makes it work tho. I subscribed. Thanks for the suggestion.

View Scott's profile

Scott

5 posts in 281 days


#4 posted 02-13-2017 08:04 PM


Exciting times! I don t wanna throw a wrench in the works but better look into it now than later… You should check the setback requirements for structures in your locale. For instance, I can have a storage building right next to the property line but, if it has electricity, it has to be at least 10 ft from the line. Just thought I d mention it.

I live in Mississippi. There’s no zoning at all down here. When my house was built, they built it 15 feet over the neighbors property line so the original owner had to buy that 15 feet. So my house, on the opposite side of the carport, is literally on the property line. You can put a single wide trailer next door to a multi-million dollar mansion too. That does wonders for property values down here! Gotta love Mississippi!


It s cheaper to build than it is to buy, after all, right?

- Scott

No, no it s not. You would think so and you can build BETTER than you can buy but the cost of wood for hobbyists will bring most furniture to about the same price as you could buy it for by the time you figure in that your time is worth something. Now, if you figure your time is free, it s probably true.

Don t worry, I won t tell your wife though ;-P Welcome to Lumberjocks!

- HokieKen

I appreciate that! haha

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

5562 posts in 2480 days


#5 posted 02-13-2017 10:43 PM

Look around Lumber Jocks in the work shop section and you will get lots of ideas for your shop and for project ideas there is so much to see here and get ideas and help and good advise you won’t have to look anywhere else and it’s all free .

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4412 posts in 3056 days


#6 posted 02-13-2017 11:09 PM

I live in South Mississippi (Vancleave) and live on an 8 acre piece of land. I have lots of room for my shop, house, trailers boats, etc. I built my 1200 sq ft shop 15 years ago. I have most every tool made as I started collecting them about 70 years ago. Even though you don’t have a lot of free time, I would not buy those HD or Lowes sheds. They are poorly made with substandard materials and won’t stand up for long. Either I would enclose the carport, or tear it down and put in a metal building. Ain’t Mississippi a great place to live?

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3181 days


#7 posted 02-14-2017 12:51 AM

Scott, as mentioned, check the building codes and….......Make sure about the noise you will be making. You will be close to Aunty and if she has to listen to your tablesaw every day, AuntyEm will transform into the SeaHag real quick. Tear down that carport and build a 1 1/2 car garage with that side being foam filled concrete block.

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1249 posts in 1487 days


#8 posted 02-14-2017 02:03 AM

View Frustrator's profile

Frustrator

80 posts in 862 days


#9 posted 02-14-2017 05:10 PM

Micro? Mine is 8*8.. My problem is that i put so much tools and Wood in there that it’s hård to work..

View Scott's profile

Scott

5 posts in 281 days


#10 posted 02-14-2017 09:41 PM



Scott, as mentioned, check the building codes and….......Make sure about the noise you will be making. You will be close to Aunty and if she has to listen to your tablesaw every day, AuntyEm will transform into the SeaHag real quick. Tear down that carport and build a 1 1/2 car garage with that side being foam filled concrete block.

- papadan

I considered the noise. I have a buddy with a spray foam insulation company and considered having whatever building I put there insulated with foam. I imagine that will have a good effect on keeping noise down. I’ll be more of a weekend warrior regardless. I just don’t/won’t have much time during the week.

View Scott's profile

Scott

5 posts in 281 days


#11 posted 02-14-2017 09:45 PM



I live in South Mississippi (Vancleave) and live on an 8 acre piece of land. I have lots of room for my shop, house, trailers boats, etc. I built my 1200 sq ft shop 15 years ago. I have most every tool made as I started collecting them about 70 years ago. Even though you don t have a lot of free time, I would not buy those HD or Lowes sheds. They are poorly made with substandard materials and won t stand up for long. Either I would enclose the carport, or tear it down and put in a metal building. Ain t Mississippi a great place to live?

- MrRon

Howdy neighbor! I wouldn’t ever consider a HD or Lowes shed. IF i don’t build it myself and man that’s a massive if. The more I think about it, the more I want to build it myself. But, IF I decide on a prebuilt building, it will likely be a Derksen or Graceland building from a local dealer. Probably Derksen simply because the bad reviews on Graceland’s customer support far outweighs the good, but they make nice buildings so who knows.

I may just go look at each, take pics and measurements, steal ideas and build it myself. Leaning heavily toward that.

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