Building a Dream - my 1st real workshop #1: Building the shell

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Blog entry by Yettiman posted 03-26-2008 12:41 AM 1353 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Building a Dream - my 1st real workshop series Part 2: The Walls & Roof »

The time had come after five years of night classes (2 hours once a week) to get my first workshop..

A few dinners out with the wife, plus the promise of unlimited furnture, to her exacting (well I can at least promise) requirements, and I had the budget $6,000 (£3,000) to include everything Building, Tools & Setup costs.

I negociated with a local farmer for permission to have my Workroom next to some stables, my own land being too small.

The land was a little damp

The lands was a little damp !!!

After waiting for the land to dry out, I got my son and a couple of his friends to start the fun task of clearing the site, at least I told them it would be fun.

I needed about 40’ by 20’ cleared as I had planned on a 20’ by 12’ Workshop, plus some parking

Claering the site

Clearing the land

Then came the less fun task of building the base.

The land was so soft that that in places we could push 6’ garden fence posts into the ground with our bare hands, so deeeeeep foundations were needed.

Time for the younger (and cheaper) generation to take to the fore again.

Building the foundations

It was hard work and and a LOT more expensive that I had originally expected, but working on the principal that the hardest part of any build is getting it above ground, I kept positive (most of the time).

Next time I’ll get to the maiin build, Thanks for letting me share this with you

-- Keep your tools sharp, your mind sharper and the coffee hot

10 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3953 days

#1 posted 03-26-2008 01:09 AM

Looks like you might want to build it on stilts?

Good luck.

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

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3732 days

#2 posted 03-26-2008 01:27 AM

This is going to be a very interesting project for us here at Lumberjocks to watch. I would like to hear more about the type of foundation and access to your shop once the rains begin. Keep us posted with photo’s and ask for help.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3733 days

#3 posted 03-26-2008 01:48 AM

i agree with HallTree. this project is going to be a fun one to follow!

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 3763 days

#4 posted 03-26-2008 01:55 AM

Very intriguing site- it will be extremely interesting to see how you make out with a foundation. Is the watertable always that high?

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3763 days

#5 posted 03-26-2008 02:21 AM

good luck.. Buy a few of us a pizza and a plane ticket and I am sure we can help.

-- making sawdust....

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3786 days

#6 posted 03-26-2008 04:29 AM

Wow. This is going to be an interesting post. I am looking forward to seeing the next installment. Out of curiosity how deep did you end up having to put the footers?

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Yettiman's profile


163 posts in 3702 days

#7 posted 03-26-2008 10:25 PM

Hi all,

Thanks for the kind comments, as you know this is my first Blog, and as such I was a little nervous that it might be of no interest to anyone but me. I love reading about other people’s workshops, and as it is the result of 5 years of hoping & planning (not to mention saving) it is very close to my heart.

I have to REALLY praise Martin and the other Webmasters, for making it Soooo easy – THANK YOU

OK now back to my shop.

I have build the shop on stilts :) – good call GaryK, the Watertable is just too high

HallTree, Some of the foundations are 6’ thick through to a more megre 4’ – a LOT of poured concrete. but I needed it to be stable. As you can see I went for a Foundation Raft rather than a wall style foundation, I needed to, for the extra stability.

Bill, yes the WT is that high, but the stream can go from a small 6” trickle to a 3’ torrent overnight if it rains hard. Scarey, but I hope I have planned for it and the Farmer is very supportive.

Motthhunter, Pizza on the way, thanks I hope Pepperoni ok :)

I’ll wait till I can get the next part sorted before posting episode two.

Thanks again

-- Keep your tools sharp, your mind sharper and the coffee hot

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3738 days

#8 posted 03-26-2008 11:23 PM

My God man, you are a better man than I to tackle a project like this. My first thought when I saw this blog was, did he say he building a shop or a house boat. Only Kidding! I wish you the best luck on your shop and am looking foreward to seeing your progress on your new shop. There is no doubt in my mind that your dream will come true. Thank you so much for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4125 days

#9 posted 03-30-2008 06:36 PM

where there’s a will there’s a way … besides, we ARE LumberJocks, you know!! :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View bhuddah's profile


26 posts in 3676 days

#10 posted 03-30-2008 06:59 PM

Wow not only are you a lumberjock you’re a thrill seeker as well. I hope that you have some sort of a drainage system planned for around the outside of your shop to try and help with all the water that appears to build up where your building is going to be. Is that an actual stream area or just a very low zone that floods?
changing the direction of the flow is probably out of the question right because of the DEC if it’s an stream?
I can’t wait for your next post so we can watch your progress, this is going to be a very interesting build to watch.
Don’t forget to ask for ideas before you try something instead of after when it might be to late.
Good Luck Man!!

-- some days are like driving in oncoming traffic

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