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my scrapwood door
This shop was put together in a hurry one fall when I had great need of a shop in my home town, to which I had recently returned. With money tight, I had an upcoming comercial build out, apartment remodel, and an old home restoration to begin. There was far to much to tackle from a storage room and the back of my truck. Naturally, time progressed and the shop became “lived in.” I have yet to get around to upgrading the shelves, benches or windows, but I can work and persue my hobbies so the shop is good enough for now. Yes, I built the door. I don’t know that I would call it a prime example of fine woodworking, but it did occupy a free afternoon and use up a bit of scrap lumber. I think its cool.
Judging by my shop, it may apear that I am a big fan of using up the scraps when building benches and things for my shop. This is true and with good reason. I lose money when I start to build things out of sellable material. On the other hand no one but me wants to pay me to remove nails and paint from crooked old boards and find a way to use them. In most cases the labor would be higher than new material. I can do that for myself, however, and save money while conserving material. Doing my own projects with scraps and recycled lumber has added a great deal of character to my shop, and to my home.
My tool bench
10 e4, my drill press
the otherside of my scrapwood door
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I like the door. I have been needing to replace an old door in my shop. Gives me some ideas.
Great shop. Pretty much like mine. I retired in 2005 and decided that I needed something to do to occupy my time. So I built a 12'X18' woodshop in my back yard. Since I live in South Jersey, my shop is insulated and heated (no AC....just the ocean breeze). I outfitted my small shop with a 10" Jet table saw, router table, Ridgid Jointer/Planner, Craftsman drill press, Craftsman bandsaw and a HF Planner. Only problem is I have to keep moving equipment around to use it (except for table saw). I have made some beautiful furniture and surprised myself on how nice they came out. I get out in my shop everyday since there is always something I'm building. I see by your article you are from LaPorte, CO. Small world and small town. My son has lived in LaPorte for the past 10 years. We visit them often. Nice area with beautiful views of the mountain range, but I have "sand in my shoes". Keep up the good work.....Paul
Your trailer shop takes me back to my first "real" shop. The property that we bought in the 80's had a mother-in-law trailer turned slumlord rental unit. I cleaned it up and continued to rent it for several years to help cover costs. Later I started to strip it out and convert it to a wood shop. I heated most of the first winter with a small wood stove and the residue from the kitchen cabinets and interior walls. Wood smoke from material saturated with pet urine, cockroach eggs and various other questionable things makes for an interesting aroma. That shop rekindled a love of woodworking that had been on hold for 25 years due to career choices. That old trailer has gone to the recycler due to unfavorable zoning regulations. I am now working out of a nicely renovated equipment shed that is still a work in progress, as most shops are! Thanks for starting a walk down memory lane.
Thanks for the encouragement. Nice dovetail by the way, Ron. Setting up shop in such a small area was a challenge, but the Shop Smith and the table saw pretty much had to go where they went and I assembled the rest of it around them. I can open the window to the right of the chop saw for handling longer stock so it all works out. Fortunately I was able to find that old craftsman saw with a fence and wing system that let me do what I wanted to do. This shop does have the capacity to handle full sheets of plywood, but I have found it easier to precut outside with a circular saw. I have a bigger band saw (an old craftsman with a cast iron table) that will fit on the counter in place of the little one that is there now, but re-sawing large pieces of lumber is out of the question. The one true advantage my little shop does have over the roomier shops that I have enjoyed looking at on this site is that , should I decide to make surf boards for living, I can hook onto it with a large truck and haul it to California where I might enjoy warm sun filled days and pleasant evenings cooled by ocean breezes.
Your shop is great and an inspiration. I love your cabinet and countertop as well as the handbuilt door.
Let me explain why your shop is an inspiration. I'm retired (therefore a hobbyist) and building a shop of my own. It is a bit smaller than yours (the 9'3" x 19'5" third bay in my garage) and so many of the shops in the gallery are just too large to be an inspiration. It's also in a climate that requires some insulation and heating (i.e. not heated and cooled by California breezes).
The best inspiration I have found to date is an old article in Fine Woodworking by Matthew Teague. Your shop is great because you have done some things in a different way and I need another good example.
Sounds like it works. That's what is important. I too have built shelves and cabinets from left over materials. I call it making the most of what you have. Nice job.
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