Finewoodworking just released a blog page with a bunch of shop tours on it.
One aspect that i find seldom comes up is use of space above your head, yet a great experienced woodworker Chris Gochnour is the first pro i have come across that mentions this point.
During my shop design a good friend of mine that is an architect by trade came up with a great idea. Nothing new but it was huge value to me.
Originally i wanted a Gambrel roof. Heck i did not come to North America not to have a barn. Convinced LOML and so this is how it was to be.
Reason being in a Gambrel roof there is loads of space between the trusses that makes for good storage. I had in mind to store my future canoe there in winter like a farmer in the old days would store hay in the loft.
But municipal height restrictions would not permit.
I also wanted a radiant heater and wanted it in the center of the shop.
Yeah lots of wants but thats what a dream shop is about. Why build it if you dont get the things you want.
So my friend thought about this and one night when we were talking it over he came up with Scissors Truss. Here is a side view of the construction.
At first glance it dont look like much from this drawing but here are actual pictures of my ceiling before closure.
I wish i had realized then the value cause i would have taken a better pic, but you can see the space i get from the 9 ft heigh walls to the center.
Now look what i managed to hang there
This is a frame out of the storage platform for my "future" canoe.
I worried how i would get it up there and he said the same way you would if you had a barn.
So look what we came up with
This is an old pic but you can see the external hatch above the entry door.
While i am at it note i got double doors so if i need to open a large entrance i can but i usually only use a single. This saves valuable wall space. BTW think about the positioning of a door like this as well as your electrical panel. You want the two close together and you dont want them wasting space.
I still managed to do the right thing and have soffits and air movement over the ceiling top and its insulated to R22 with vapor barrier and two layers of drywall.
But most important i have not used any of my shops normal ceiling height for this storage. Its all area that would have been lost if i had used normal trusses. My trusses were designed for the snow load here and the extra at the time was i think a couple hundred dollars. I would say that was worth it given the cost per square foot on shop space wouldnt you?
Another feature i did not think of at the time was the way the light fittings end up projecting their light of the angled ceiling. Addes bonus not that its that visible.
At present i use it for additional storage and the heater hangs from underneath it too.
I tend to think we rush into these things at times and with small shops we need to think about how to maximize space utilization we all know there is never enough.
Boy do i ever regret having a porch but it was the political price i had to pay to have a shop in the backyard in our house.
I hope this helps someone in the planning stages of building a shop.