Well, I heard it here first, “every new project requires a new tool” so I figured taken to its logical conclusion, a major remodel must equal a new shop.
I set out originally to have the kitchen remodeled. But, the more I read and studied and planned, the more parts of the project I wanted to do myself. Then I found these wood working blogs and found I was not alone in having this DIY fever. Six months ago I was just looking for appliances and pricing granite and flooring and cabinets. I started making CAD drawings of the existing kitchen with the thought of making sure everything fit in. Then I started moving walls around and looking at what we would really like to do with this space. Some where along this path I was looking at the basement below the kitchen, looking at where the main support post was located, then it hit me. I have about a 22ft by 30ft kinda “L” shapped space here that is not used for anything but collecting junk.
A couple of days later I had a new shop drawn up under the kitchen. I know a basement can be a challenge for a wood shop, but I’ve been an engineer for 40 years and I see most problems as opportunities for designing solutions. I built this house in 1976 and put an extra course of blocks on the foundation walls, so my basement has 8’-8” ceiling. Then the plumbers and HVAC guys saw how much of this space they could waste. I was only 27 at the time and not as seasoned as I am today. Today I would have made them tear it out and do it over, but I didn’t. Now I see where I can make a couple of mods and get most of that headroom back.
At any rate , the journey has begun. I am slowly upgrading my tools. I plan to test my cabinet building skills in the shop first. Ultimately, I have a big granite topped island cabinet planned for the kitchen. That will be my main goal; that and figuring out how to turn a professional gas range into a cabinet saw and a regular range.