A look at My Shop...
My shop is attached to our main building on the south side. It has a
small but complete guest quarters (where we originally lived when first
starting out here) on the west end that we use for our visitors and BnB. It is
all connected to our main building through a hallway.
A woodworking shop is a very personalized place,
as it should be. This is my third shop, and while still not perfect, it does
correct some of the omissions and faults in my first efforts. First and foremost, a place where
I'm going to be spending a lot of time concentrating on doing my best work
needs to be well-lit, a comfortable temperature, and easy
to move around in. With that in mind, I built this shop a little oversized
at 28’ x 36’ w/12’ ceilings, (I know, a bit of a luxury for some of us),
with lots of light fixtures and windows. I also put numerous electrical
outlets (both 110 and 220v) scattered at different levels throughout the
building (even on the ceiling!) and on a number of different circuits. Extra
insulation in the ceiling keeps the place a comfortable temperature on the dark
winter days (I heat with a small wood stove) and yet a cool sanctuary in
summer to escape to on hot days.
I’ve seen some very beautiful wood projects
created in some very Spartan shop environments. On the other hand, sometimes
the shop takes on a life of its own, with more time and effort put into
perfecting the place than in the pieces that come out of the place. And I
have no problem with that. Personally, I like to consider my shop as just
another woodworking project--but an ongoing project that I know will never
be completely finished. After putting the finishing touches on a long
project, sometimes I’ll stand back, look over my shop and think “now what did I learn from that
process that I can now make some changes to my shop and maybe complete the next
project more quickly, efficiently, and perhaps even a little more safely”.
And sometimes I even make a few of those adjustments, but mostly, I just rush
right into the next project.
The focus of my work area is the triangle formed by table saw with large
push out/assembly table on one corner, hand tool workbench on another and
joiner/planer on the third. The hand tool workbench receives natural
light from the adjacent window and also is convenient to the sharpening
station. I tend to move parts back and forth -- from the large
assembly table to the workbench for fine-tuning with hand tools and then
back. I've tried various configurations and this seems to serve my
purposes the best. It also gives me the convenience of having my most
commonly used tools readily available, without having to carry stock all
around the shop. All of the machines are connected to an Oneida Dust Collector.
More on my tools can be found on my Tools Page.