(part 1 of 7)
note: Most of the pictures in this tour are new, but some are the same as shown in an earlier tour.
I last took my internet friends on a tour of my woodworking shed in December of 2006. A lot has changed since then, so I thought that it was time for a new tour. The old tour can be found in the thread: http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ead.php?t=1070.
My workshed/shop (called Shed 2) was the first major project after my retirement in early 2003 and I am relying upon it to serve as the home base for most my projects for at least the next twenty five years. I designed and built the shed almost entirely by myself, and it was very satisfying project. I hope that some of my future projects will be as rewording.
The shed fits well into my city suburban lot, leaving room for a good sized vegetable/herb garden, decks, patios, flowers, shrubs, and even some grass. The building blends into the neighborhood, and I liked the roof and colour scheme so much that, in the autumn of 2005, I re-shingled and re-painted the house to match the shingles and paint on the shed.
One constraint was that the wall close to our neighbour’s house had to be low and could have no windows. The restriction was turned into a feature by having a large roof overhand protecting storage racks on the 40 foot wall (33 foot workshop and 7 foot adjacent garden storage shed).
The interior space of the shed is 431 square feet which sounds like a lot to non-woodworking folks, but when you have to fit a lot of benches, machines, supplies, and tools into that space, it fills up quickly. The main way to combat this is to make almost everything in the place mobile. The building’s outline makes the best possible use of the limited space and, furthermore it fits our odd-shaped lot well. The shape of the shop is what I call a “squat T” having a squarish middle section with wings protruding to either side at the top.
The middle area is approximately 16 feet by 16 feet with a cathedral ceiling that peeks at 10 feet. This section, coupled with the double doors at the front, provides sufficient space for the manipulation and processing of sheet goods and lumber.
The “relaxation” alcove contains, a wood stove, some easy chairs, a chalk board, bookcase, and a fold-down table. It feels quite different than the rest of the shed and is a great place to relax. My grandchildren and I particularly like reading stories here in front of a roaring fire.
The remaining wing contains benches, parts storage bins/drawers, and hand tool storage.
The shed was designed so that two people can work together on projects. Mobility and distinct work areas are the keys to this. I want my shed to be a place where friends and relatives feel welcome and I very much enjoy working with others. As a child, I was always welcome in the worksheds/shops of my Dad, my Granddad, two of my Uncles, and one of my Aunts. Together, they instilled a love of woodworking in me that I, in turn, passed on to my two daughters, and now am starting to pass on to my grandchildren. From some of the photos of the interior, you can see that little children have already been contributing art to the walls. Several joint projects with friends, children, and grandchildren have been completed, others are underway, and more are in the planning stage.
I have had a workshed/shop or access to someone else’s forever. The first one I could call my own was a distributed shop occupying the closet, storage locker, and balcony in the apartment we rented after Margaret and I were married in 1966. Since then, we have moved many times and lived in three different countries. Each of our homes has always had some sort of woodworking facility. All these places had good aspects and bad, but the worst thing was always inadequate tools and lack of good organization. The later meant that, even when I had the right tool or part, I often could not find it. Finally, I have the woodworking shed of my dreams, with all the tools that I need (well there is always something new that I want but that is not the same as “need”) and, even better than that, everything has a home and I know where everything is!
So, with a good layout, good tools, good organization, and good friends and relatives to share it, my woodworking shed is perfect for me. May I continue to have the good health to enjoy it for many years to come!
Below is the site plan of our lot as it appears in the building permit for my new shed. I subsequently got permission to expand the shed with a wing to the north-west (the top left in the diagram), but the building remains in the spot that it occupies in the original diagram.
Here are some pictures of the exterior from different perspectives:
From the back yard gate: Attachment 26114
From the East: Attachment 26115
From the North-East: Attachment 26116
From the north-west looking over our neighbour's fences: Attachment 26119
And here are the ramps that fit over the steps to move large stuff in and out of the shed: Attachment 26120
The funky art on the inside of the double doors (and throughout the shed) is courtesy of my granddaughter Isla who was 4 when she decorated the place.
Shed Layout Plan: