3 Paths to a Stand-Alone Shop
Smart designs for a detached, dedicated shop that fits your work and your budget
Synopsis: Anatole Burkin bought a house with a detached garage so he could dedicate the space to woodworking. Greg Paolini built a new two-car garage to house his shop, knowing that it could easily convert back to a garage if he ever sold his property. And Sunny Waters designed a no-compromises timber-frame shop that’s ideally suited to his use of hand tools and human-powered machines. Point is, there’s more than one way to get a stand-alone workshop.
From Fine Woodworking #209
It’s possible to build furniture just about anywhere—I’ve done it in an attic and on a narrow balcony—but it’s more enjoyable and easier in a shop dedicated to woodworking. You don’t have to pack up your tools and projects at the end of the day or work around a lawn mower, bicycles, or cars. The good news is that it’s not as difficult as you might think to have a dedicated shop. The three shops featured here are great examples of how it can be done on a variety of budgets. And all of them are detached from the house, which minimizes the amount of dust and noise that make it into the living space.
1 Convert a garage When looking for a new house, Anatole Burkin found one for sale that had two garages: one attached to the house for the cars, and a detached garage, which he knew would make a great shop. He jokes that he was sold on the house before he even took a look inside. By using an existing structure for his shop, Burkin avoided the cost of constructing a new building. The only structural changes he made were to remove one of the overhead doors and replace it with an entry door and…