A Look Around Chris Beckvoort’s Shop
Chris Becksvoort built his 24-ft. x 40-ft. shop in the early 1980s out of lumber from the local sawmill. He did most of the framing and installed the floor, which is 1-1⁄2-in.-thick hemlock. A few friends helped with the main support beam down the center of the shop, and the roof shingles. An electrician did the 120/240 wiring. This year Becksvoort updated the roof to standing-seam metal, and reports that “snow slides off in a hurry.”
The center of the shop is obstructed by a support post and a set of stairs, which lead up to his lumber loft and can be folded upward if necessary. But Becksvoort has never had to do that. Instead, he parked three machines around the stairs, and tucks scrap bins and other items below.
Becksvoort keeps his big Lie-Nielsen workbench out in the open, and most of his work happens on or around it. Nearby is a long counter with storage for routers and bits, sanders, clamps, fasteners, a Bose audio system, and the phone (“It’s a dial phone with a really loud bell I can hear when machinery is running”). Above the countertop and close at hand for benchwork is his big wall-mounted tool cabinet (see FWW #153).
The other dedicated workstation that juts into the shop is Becksvoort’s 7-ft. glue-up table with slotted rails for bar clamps. Most everything else in this shop is along the walls, leaving plenty of assembly and work space in the middle, critical for a working pro. Like many woodworkers, Becksvoort realized that his tablesaw doesn’t need any extra room on the extension end, so he parks that against a wall, leaving plenty of room for infeed and outfeed on both sides. His lathe sits in front of an east-facing window, which offers wonderful light for morning turning sessions.