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Forum topic by , posted 01-26-2010 04:17 AM 1266 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2387 posts in 3544 days

01-26-2010 04:17 AM

Well, not sure if I am in the right category for this one. As most of you know, I have been running fairly decent cabinet business out of our garage. While we do not have customers lined up out the door, I have not seen a vacancy in our schedule since last July which I feel is fairly steady. My friend, who has about 20 years experience doing this stuff, stops by last Saturday to borrow our small shop. My wife was having some difficult time lacquering the Maple wall unit and was getting a “orange peel” effect. Not real noticeable but in the right natural lighting it was. We figured it out, the ventilation in the cap was plugged preventing proper air flow to happen.

In any case, my friend just looks at us like we are fighting a loosing battle. “You have to get a real shop to do this, your wife is great but the deck of cards seems to be stacked against her, I have never had to deal with pink feathers getting into my finish in all the years I have done this work” (just a paraphrase of what he told me). Well, we look to adventually own our shop, that is the goal anyhow. I did however find an affordable shop that would not break the bank last week and signed the lease on Friday night and secured it with the move in cost. It is about 30 minutes from our house, it is an old mechanic’s shop that has 2600 sf inside shop and another 500 sf on slab and under roof outside (kind of like a carport). I plan to enclose that area as well myself, probably with some inexpensive ‘do it yourself’ framing. I hope to make that the spray booth and I intend on errecting a few interior walls with large windows for good visibility so that I can have a converted ‘play room’ for my small children to play inside. I will set up our Direct TV out there and make things very homy, sort of like a small efficiency. I want to do this because sometimes we will work late or early or strange hours and might be too tired to come home and plus I want a safe place for my little ones.

Also, there is one acre behind the shop that goes with the shop to do with as I please. The owner advised he would entertain the option to sell the property to us. It is zoned for mixed use commercial/residential and happens to be right across the street from Medina Lake (which happens to be where I go bass fishing a lot for relaxation). So the community it sits in is a small lake front community.

All this for 600.00 per month. I signed a 1 year lease. Wow, I cannot wait to get to spread out. I am going to plan the layout on That webpage has a great program for layout. I do not intend on getting to spread out though, I hope to incorporate an island style shop since there will typically only be 2 people working at any given time. We will run 2 TS, we currently own the TS 3650 and TS 4511 which I believe to be more then adequate for our needs. I hope to make a very large island in which I hope to surround with 2 TS, a 15” Jet planer, 26” Drum sander, (I hope to add a 8” jointer down the road). I basicly want most of my work stations to be not more then maybe 10 steps from each other in order to minimize wasted time walking. I will still try to use the “put everything on wheels/portable” method.

Oh, and the landlord is providing me a 200 amp box and advised me to wire it however I want. The previous tenant was a mechanic and he has it plumbed with air lines for a large air compressor that he had sitting out back.
Any suggestions, please feel free to speak up. Thanks, Jerry

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15 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18269 posts in 3673 days

#1 posted 01-26-2010 04:45 AM

Good luck with your new adventure!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#2 posted 01-26-2010 04:47 AM

Sounds great Jerry looking forward to photos

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4096 days

#3 posted 01-26-2010 04:59 AM

That is a great size shop for exactly what you are doing.

Remember that space creates a vacuum and will tend to suck a lot of stuff into it. Maintain discipline in controlling the space.

I have been going through a lot of organization in my shop and have noticed that maintaining is one of the harder parts.

Good Luck!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3165 days

#4 posted 01-26-2010 05:21 AM

Congratz and good luck with your new endeavor, I look forward to seeing some pics of the new shop and be sure to keep us all up to date with how everything is going.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View bgilb's profile


20 posts in 3056 days

#5 posted 01-26-2010 05:33 AM

Show pictures along the way because this is awesome to read about.

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3544 days

#6 posted 01-26-2010 05:45 AM

Thanks for all the responses. What I find is awesome is that we are sort of “birthed” from a simple woodworking hobby that we have somehow worked into a cabinet shop. Not really by master plan but it has took that route and so far we have no regrets. I will post pics as I go. Thanks guys! Jerry

-- .

View PCM's profile


135 posts in 3042 days

#7 posted 01-26-2010 05:53 AM

Looks like a nice amount of space. You might consider dividing and subletting to defray costs, though it sounds mighty reasonable. Best of luck.

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3587 days

#8 posted 01-26-2010 05:56 AM

Good luck!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 3265 days

#9 posted 01-26-2010 06:02 AM

Sounds like a solid plan. Best of luck to you.
When time permits, some pics would be greatly appreciated.

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 3911 days

#10 posted 01-26-2010 02:22 PM

Congrats on the new shop, I wish you all the best in your adventure.

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3338 days

#11 posted 01-26-2010 02:47 PM

new shop ,

um good !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3664 days

#12 posted 01-26-2010 03:10 PM

Congrats on the upgrade. As Todd stated, maintain discipline in controlling the space. The central island sounds like an excellent idea. If you run the perimeter with tools, you will spend half your day walking from one machine to the next.
Sounds like you’re well on your way. Ofcourse, we need pictures to be adequately jealous.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View EricJ's profile


9 posts in 3043 days

#13 posted 01-26-2010 08:03 PM

Congratulations on the new shop. 2300 sq ft of shop space is a lot!

What did the mechanic use to plumb the air?

When I wired my shop that only has a 100 amp service, I have 2 20 amp circuits that run most of my wall outlets. I have them running next to each other, so every other outlet is on the same circuit. I did that so I can have a tool running and have whatever that might be on next to it on another circuit. Like my Ridgid OSS and the shop vac. I also put in quite a few outlets, and have them 4’ from the ground. So that if I put cabinet there I’ll have access to the outlet or I can lean a 4’ piece of plywood against the wall and still have access.

I’m planning on running some air lines around my shop, thought about pvc but I’ve read enough horror stories that I’ll go with copper. Not that big of an expense depending on the amount of drops you do.

Also, I’d suggest planning a Dust Collection system. If you’re going to be doing production work and with kids around I think that is an important thing.

Just some ideas, basically the same type of things I’m thinking about myself. :)

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3283 days

#14 posted 01-26-2010 08:16 PM

Congratulations Jerry. You will love having the room. You’ll be spoiled in no time.
Keep us posted—Can’t wait to see pictures when you get moved in and set up.


View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3544 days

#15 posted 01-26-2010 09:52 PM

Well, I am excited but it will be a slow process to transition over. I have some small loose ends on a wall unit to tie up and we are in the middle of a kitchen job I will want to finish before the move. Sooner the better though but I don’t want to put my current customer on hold at this time. The previous guy just plumbed with PVC pipe which I am sure will work just fine. I am only going to use two separate feeds and hook a hose reel to them. I will probably do something similar to Eric in wiring, nothing special on that part, especially since I don’t know much about wiring. I will probably run dedicated 220 for each of our large induction motors. I am torn if I should go ahead and rewired our TS 3650 and ts 4511 to run on 220. I was thinking if I did and had 220 run to the table saws, if in the future I picked up a great deal on CL on a powermatic or Unisaw 3 hp then the 220 wire will already be in place. I am really not sure I need the power of the 3 hp machine though. I have done a butcher block and cut 8/4 hard maple just fine with my 3650.

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