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Thread: Tour a larger shop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Deming, NM

    Tour a larger shop

    Like most other woodworkers, I dreamed of having shop large enough so everything would not have to be crammed together. Having more space than you need would be a welcome change. After retiring 10 years ago, we moved to the country where everyone has a five acre minimum lot size, and then it finally became possible to build the shop that I had been daydreaming about.

    The building size is 40x60, not counting a large car port for parking our motorhome under. The shop is 40x45’ with the rest used for storage. The next time you take a drive out to the suburbs, notice how many steel buildings you see in backyards. They not only look nice, but are very inexpensive compared to other types of construction. I was also interested in living as maintenance-free lifestyle as possible and this type of building certainly helps. There is a short movie on the dome and scope construction at if any one is interested

    I became interested in woodworking after I started building astronomical telescopes – mostly out of wood, and wanted to learn how to make them look nicer. The 24' observatory beside the shop was my first construction project ever. The building inspector said that he couldn’t believe that I tackled a round building to learn construction on, but hey – that is what was needed!

    I taught myself a very simple way of building shop cabinets, and now the shop has over two dozen of my cabinet projects to support multiple hobbies. Building good shop cabinets makes the most efficient use of your shop, no matter how large or small it is.

    I wish that everyone may be able to obtain their dream shop one of these days!

    1. The shop and observatory
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    2. Overview looking west. The shop has air-conditioning and electric heat.
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    3. The main woodworking area has a carpeted area for building projects. The carpet is a cheap left-over, but after 10 years is holding up nicely and is very comfortable to stand on.
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    4. Model building area
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    5. Main workbench , air filter, and router table.
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    6. Eight drawer workbench and 15 drawer small parts cabinet.
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    7. The larger machines sit clustered around the dust collector. The planer is the only machine on wheels from the last shop, but has not been moved since moving here.
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    8. Looking north, all small machines sit on storage cabinets that double as machine stands.
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    9. Looking east you can see my wood rack and metal machining area.
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    10. The south wall holds parts cabinets. The first three on the left were built before I ever had a table saw.
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    Last edited by Tom Clark; 06-09-2008 at 01:29 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    DSM, IA
    Tom beautiful shop with tons of space and great storage. You mentioned you taught yourself an easy way to make to elaborate?

    I would be lost with that much space, but would love to have it at the same time. Thanks for sharing.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bower View Post
    I would be lost with that much space, but would love to have it at the same time. Thanks for sharing.
    Same here. I have space envy for sure!
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Welcome to the Family Tom!

    Sure is one nice shop!

    I think I'd need a map in there to find my way around

    Love the "Flymow" on the ceiling, I see you are into RC models, very cool, my Dad has been into them for about 40 years or so.

    Thanks for the tour!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Welcome Tom! Very nice shop!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Deming, NM

    simple shop cabinets

    Hi Jeff,

    I will be happy to post a tutorial on cabinet making under the right place one of these days. But a short answer to your question is that like everyone else, I bought a book on cabinet making, and after reading it a few times just sat back and thought, "You have got to be kidding!"

    The author had extra wood everywhere, probably because he was using MDF for everything, and it is more subject to warping and not as strong as plywood. The biggest thing was that he expected you to build your face frames off the cabinet and then mount it into place, expecting it to fit. Not in my world…

    For shop cabinets, I build the face frames out of plywood, and build them right in place - yes - leaving the plywood edges exposed. Before you throw too many rocks, look at the photos. The cabinets just don't look that bad! Sometimes we just have to remember that they are 'shop cabinets' and not fine furniture.

    Of course when I'm building desks and office furniture for inside the house, solid hardwood is used for face frames, but they are still built right in place.

    Most of my shop cabinets and workbenches were easy weekend projects, not prolonged affairs that took weeks. Simplyfing things just makes them much faster to build, so then you can get back to real woodworking projects that you like to work on.

    Here is photo that shows a simple cabinet, ready for the drawers and top to be added.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails unfinished cabinet.jpg  

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Central (upstate) NY
    Very nice! Hope you have as much fun as the shop is big. I only see one problem - now it is time to get a Great Dane to have a shop mascot to match the size of the shop!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Decatur, Illinois
    tom, we're all envious of all that room. good for you....and good on your wife for going along. the air cond bill must be interesting???

    i like your comment on not equating shop cabinets with furniture.
    99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name...Steven Wright.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
    Tom, beautifu shop!! I guess we will have to believe you if you ever say "I'm just sitting here staring at the stars." I'm gussing that is another hobby? Looks like you got into it in a big way, too. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Deming, NM
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kosmowski View Post
    Very nice! Hope you have as much fun as the shop is big. I only see one problem - now it is time to get a Great Dane to have a shop mascot to match the size of the shop!
    What? You missed my Great Dog? He is shown clearly in photo 2.

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