My Ultimate Workshop

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Blog entry by fred posted 05-01-2007 11:08 PM 9550 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I spent quite some time recently looking at most everyone’s workshop and thinking of how I could improve mine or if I was able to design a shop what would it look like.

My shop is 1/2 of a 2 car garage. Of, course I would like a larger one. So, if money were no object (I still play Lotto) I have come up with my ultimate workshop.

First, it would be behind the house. I, like many others, don’t like to have the garage or shop door open and have people seeing inside. I love having the door open to give me cross ventilation and more light.

I would like the shop to be at least 30’ x 40’ with some skylights for natural light. I want wooden walls so there is no problem mounting cabinets or racks.

I would like 12’ ceilings and a raised wooden floor. The wooden floor is for two main reasons. 1 – It sure is more comfortable than a concrete floor. 2 – I could run most duct work and the electrical under the floor. I would have chases built in the floor so I could open them up if I needed to. Plus, you can insulate the floor. Built in vacuum outlets in the floor too.

Cabinets, cabinets, cabinets galore. I like things put away since it appears to be a cleaner and safer shop.

Cyclone dust collection in a separate room. A metal cabinet for finishing products. A 10’ long miter station with cabinets underneath. Plenty of lumber storage. A separate finishing room with spray equipment vented to the outside through a filter. Note to self – what are the OSHA requirements? Mobile stands for most of the equipment, except the table saw. The jointer located next to the tablesaw. A dust filter. Alarm system and TV monitoring for security. Might as well put in a large plasma TV monitor hooked up to satellite TV with a DVR. I could automatically record Norm, David and play them back at anytime. I could also watch Marc (The Wood Whisperer) anytime I wanted to from the comfort of the shop and follow along his podcast while tuning up my own bandsaw. Bathroom. Refrigerator. A shop sink with hot and cold running water.

A separate building for lumber storage with a covered porch for a huge lumber saw to cut logs and a huge bandsaw for resawing purposes. An automatic hydraulic lift and moving system to handle the logs and lumber.

And, What? What’s that? Time to wake up, was I dreaming?

Oh well, I still play Lotto.

What would you have for your Ultimate workshop?

-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

19 comments so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3737 days

#1 posted 05-01-2007 11:14 PM

Throw in some dancing girls to sweep up after you and you would have the perfect shop.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3583 days

#2 posted 05-01-2007 11:19 PM

((shaking my head)) boys, boys boys hehehe

perhaps I missed it but a big picture window overlooking the back 40 which is of course a wooded area with a small stream running through it (perfect for flyfishing during those required creative breaks from woodworking).

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View fred's profile


256 posts in 3521 days

#3 posted 05-01-2007 11:24 PM

Dennis – no comment.

Ms Debbie – yup.

-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3737 days

#4 posted 05-01-2007 11:37 PM

I ment dancing bears. What was I thinking!

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3722 days

#5 posted 05-01-2007 11:54 PM

Hey Fred!
Your talking about my shop, I wish.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View RickInTexas's profile


45 posts in 3476 days

#6 posted 05-02-2007 12:49 AM

Sounds like the best place to spend all my time, but then I don’t think my wife will be very understanding.

I noticed that you had 30’ x 40’ x 12’ for the shop dimensions. Is that just a number or do you have a reason? That’s about the same size I’ve always dreamed of with the other rooms coming off of it.

-- Rick - Spring, TX

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3823 days

#7 posted 05-02-2007 03:49 AM

Fred my shop is 25’ X 55X 16’ tall with an office and a bathroom, but I’m still out of room. I think you need to dream bigger. My lumber storage rack is in the shop and it’s has 18 compartments each 2’ X 4’ by 10’ long. Outside dimension 12 X 12 X 10 with a floor on top so I can store all of my veneer on top of the rack. You can chew up the space very quickly.

With the lumber rack, office and bathroom about half of the shop is taken up, with the other half full of tools.

I’ve got about 10,000 bdf of lumber in the rack.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 3509 days

#8 posted 05-02-2007 04:59 AM

OK…now I’m really depressed….my “shop” is a 10’ x 12’ shed…I have to open the windows to cut long boards. I do have an canvas awning I can unroll out front and move my table saw….only a contractors portable…outside…my vent system is working outdoors…which is somewhat limiting in New England.

I do have a bathroom…otherwise know as the treefarm…which is also somewhat limiting if you know what I mean. My wood storage is a single shelf and a large scrap bin….supplemented by trips to the local lumber yard.

Wow…reading this I’m surprised I can build anything….I’m gonna go complain to the management…a.k.a. wife…..we’ll see if she has any sympathy.

NO….she doesn’t…:(

Sigh….I do have a nice view though.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View Jeffrey's profile


15 posts in 3467 days

#9 posted 05-02-2007 05:28 AM

As a “confined space ” woodworker myself my motto is something is better than nothing!

Hey Treefarmer, I loved the pics of the trees on your site! Garden was nice also.

-- Jeff - Bellevue,Ne.

View David's profile


1970 posts in 3562 days

#10 posted 05-02-2007 11:08 AM

I agree with Jeff! Same for me . . . something is better than nothing. I always want more but am happy with what I have.


View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3583 days

#11 posted 05-02-2007 12:15 PM

hey Dennis—you can always get some dogs with bushy tails. They’ll be sweeping the floors all the time!

Bob – gorgeous view and photos!!!
And oh yes.. you have my sympathies about no bathroom…. it must be rough to be so limited.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 3515 days

#12 posted 05-02-2007 05:14 PM

I’m just happy to have some place to go to get away from the rat race outside my shop doors. “Ultimate” is a relative term I think. With that said I would like a bigger…. and more…. ;-)

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View fred's profile


256 posts in 3521 days

#13 posted 05-02-2007 06:56 PM

Rick – The dimensions are 6 times the size I currently have. A good place to start.

Karson – Your lumber storage is larger than my shop.

Bob – Cool pics of the treefarm. I would have to put in a larger window.

Chip – I couldn’t agree more.

-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

View oscorner's profile


4564 posts in 3734 days

#14 posted 05-02-2007 09:27 PM

Treefarmer, don’t fret. I had a 6 X 18 storage room to work out of before I build my 20 X 30 X 10 shop. I was shared with lawnmowers, bicycles, yard tools, etc. It would take me 30 minutes to empty out what I need to just to get to my saw and an hour to put it back. Hang in there…ONE DAY…you’ll get there.

Fred- let’s build it even bigger!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View cajunpen's profile


14566 posts in 3489 days

#15 posted 05-03-2007 11:29 AM

I would be happy with just half of Karson’s lumber stock. I’m currently in a 10×22x8 shop – but it is ALL MINE. I don’t share it with anything. The lawnmowers, chipper/shredder, pressure washer, etc. live in my wife’s 10×12 greenhouse (no, I’m not a tough guy – she let’s me use it, since she gave up her Cactus collection). Can you Air Condition a greenhouse?

Let’s keep dreaming Fred – one of these days :-))

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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