Hey everybody. Did you miss me?
I disappeared because my life got woefully busy and I had no way of doing any woodworking. As I mentioned earlier in the year, we decided to move our business from a relatively small city to a much bigger one (Grand Rapids, MI) and spent the summer and autumn looking for a new facility. It’s a difficult progress, because we have extremely unique needs.
But, we found a new home. A former YMCA, our new building (currently called the “Leonard Street Lab”, because it is on Leonard Street and so far nobody has a better name) is 43,000 square feet over three storeys. There will be room for a high voltage lab, a small vehicular lab, an electronics workshop, a computer lab, some general arts-crafts-science work spaces, and studios for video, audio, photography, and dance.
And of course, a wood shop. Which is what we’re going to talk about. If you happen to be interested in general progress, you can read the Geek Blog.
This is the main space. It was previously a locker room. I’m not sure of the dimensions offhand, but it is pretty spacious.
This also was lockers, and will be retooled into workbenches of various types.
On the other side of the right wall is this
Unsurprisingly, the locker room comes with showers. This will be used for painting/varnishing. The room has amazing ventilation and the stalls lend themselves to working on a few small projects simultaneously. No major spraying, but it should be absolutely beautiful for wipe-on and brush-on work.
Now as you may recall, I also have a fairly impressive collection of CNC equipment.
Those will go in here. (The far right corner, from the perspective of this photo) This is also where I will eventually be setting up stock storage (wood, as well as plastic and metals) and there will be some space reserved for future use. For example, I want a panel saw. I don’t want to put my hypothetical panel saw in the smaller room. :)
This is the floor. Under the carpet. (Who carpets that BEAUTIFUL FLOOR?)
We can’t keep the floor as it is, unfortunately. Because of the CNC gear, and other things happening in this room, we have to be able to drive a forklift on this floor. Under the wood is a poured concrete floor. So it will be torn up.
Now, before all of you start crying because I’m getting rid of that much beautiful wood (it’s all maple, installed by Brunswick in 1957. A fair amount of normal maple, a whole lot of curly and/or birdseye) you will be happy to know that the floor is going to be very, very carefully dismantled and then sold. It’s the perfect size to be made into pen blanks (4/4×2” x whatever-you-want) which I plan on doing for a lot, but I will be getting rid of a lot of it as just plain ol’ lumber. so if you’re interested in some small pieces of maple please do let me know… I literally have more than I know what to do with. And all proceeds go to support the Geek Group, because we have to pay off this beautiful building eventually. I will listen to all reasonable offers..
Also—if you happen to be a woodworker and are in the greater Grand Rapids area please let me know. I’d love to meet you. I’m looking for some turners, specifically, to help out with the pen project. (I’ve never tried turning but I’m sure I will be tackling this pretty soon)
I won’t have updates daily, I’m sure, but I will keep everybody in the loop on the progress. And of course, if any of you have any suggestions as to how to set up the shop or where to sell the wood or anything else, let me know!! I love the feedback from all of you here.
It is a little different than most shop setups you see around here, because it is not for my personal, private use. this is a facility for sharing. But man, I love sharing anything about woodworking and getting more people excited about it. It’s one of the best parts of my job.