Take a peek inside my shop
Hello to all out there making sawdust! I’ll be posting here on Fine Woodworking.com from time to time, sharing some of the projects I’m working on, and sharing tips and techniques to help you accomplish your projects with success. More importantly, I’m hoping to inspire a few people to undertake a project or technique they otherwise would not have.
I figured in an effort to get me used to blogging, and to get you all to know me, we could start off with a quick tour of my shop. It’s an extra deep two car garage, 24 feet wide by 32 feet long. It’s not finished, but I’ve been making sawdust in it since last May. There’s still a lot of little things I need to finish up, and organize, but I’ll touch on those along the way.
This is my hand tool area. I keep my carving gouges, chisels, planes, and other hand tools here, as well as the tools I use to sharpen them. I really like the Tormek sharpener because of how fast it can turn a blunt edge into a razor–before I bought the Tormek, everything was sharpened with stones and/or sand paper.
Jointing and planing. This is the North East corner of the shop. The two small windows allow the Carolina Morning sun to light up the shop, and raise the temp a few degrees as well. The planer and jointer are just small units, but they handle 90% of everything I need to accomplish. If I need to plane or joint something wider, I often grab hand planes or visit a friend’s shop. There are a number of professional woodworkers who live close by, and we help each other out. Behind the clamps, you can just make out the top of a door — that’s my finishing room. It’s fully insulated, and has its own heat source, so applying poly in mid January isn’t a problem. Against the back wall is my compressor, a small drill press, and a miter saw station. I’m in the process of building drawers for the cabinets under the miter saw, which will help to eliminate a lot of the clutter in the shop.
Power tool and other storage. This is the south east corner of the shop. There are cabinets for everything, but drawers are still incomplete. This picture was taken as I was finishing a small run of occasional tables, and I stashed the jigs on top of my router cabinet and slot mortiser. The same day, I had a delivery of a few hundred board feet of pine for an entertainment center. The radial arm saw isn’t used for furniture making — I’m finishing up the vinyl soffits on my shop, and the radial arm is great for cutting that material. In a few days, I hope to have that saw back in to my basement.
In the wall cabinets, I have about half of my routers, some of my sand paper, cordless battery chargers, and the speakers for my iPod, until I make a shelf for them to sit on – Jeessh, talk about the shoemaker’s kids!!! And the cabinet to the far left is for nothing but safety equipment – Dust masks, glasses, gloves, etc…
“Mobile” machines: Bandsaw, drill press, sander. Here’s the southwest corner of the shop. Two roll up doors allow easy receiving of materials, and note that everything in the shop in on a mobile base, or has wheels. My shop is less than 800sq/ft, and sometimes things get a little tight, so it’s nice to be able to move things around if I have to.
The sander is a 6″x89″ model. The band saw is by grizzly – It’s a 14″ model with a riser block installed. I don’t do much precision resawing, but when I have to, this saw is up to the task – Note the shop made table which doubles the usable surface. The drill press is one of 3 that I have floating around the shop. It looks like I have it set up for mortising. As you can tell, this portion of the shop also servers as my “Waste Staging” area – It tends to get messy here.
My shop workhorse! A modest outfeed table behind it is supported by a few more drawer-less cabinets. The Incra fence is great! The accuracy rivals some machine shop equipment! The cabinet on the right serves as a place to rest my push sticks and miter gages, as well as a place to store blades, zero clearance inserts, and some of my tablesaw jigs. “The Blade Guard has been removed for photographic purposes.”
The north wall of the shop: Lumber storage. Here’s where I store lumber for projects I’m working on right now. The wall rack can handle about 200 bd/ft of stock, up to 14′ long. Sheet goods are laid against the wall for now, but a nice plywood cart is making it’s way from my drawing board, into the shop – I plan to build it as soon as I make some cabinet drawers… It may be a while. The small cart at the right holds components for pieces I’m working on.
Wide shot. Here’s a view facing the east wall. Notice the “Scissor” Trusses which make up the roof structure for the back 2/3rds of the shop — This allows me to work on pieces that are up to 11′ high if needed. Insulation in the ceiling is still to come. I also plan to paint the shop walls this summer. I decided to use OSB on the walls, rather than drywall, because it can withstand inadvertent hits from lumber a whole lot better. A little extra storage space is found on top of my finishing room. (Left upper of photo)
The attic. Here’s a view of the west wall of the shop. I utilized “Attic” trusses in the front third of the shop to allow me more storage space for light items, such as tool cases, jigs, and veneers. They also serve as a place to support the tracks for the roll up doors. If it were not for the attic trusses, this overhead space would otherwise be useless.
I hope you enjoyed the tour! Next time I’ll be presenting an overview of the construction process of a contemporary style interior door.