These are the latest pictures of my shop as of October, 2010.

You can click on the picture to view a larger, more detailed picture.

Gratitude goes to my wonderful wife not just for the beautiful design but also just for allowing me to have my man cave!

Shop Exterior

Exterior was designed to blend in with the house and neighborhood. The shop can be converted to a guest house, play room or pool house at a later date.
The diminsions of the shop are 25' x 32' heated with 10' ceilings and attic storage with a pull down ladder.
The exterior is vinyl siding with aluminum flashing. The columns are fiberglass. The shingles are architectural shingles.

Carriage Doors

The 4' X 8' doors are hand built. They are insulated and sturdy. They provide an opening for loading equipment and lumber.

Shop Floor 1

Shot of the main room of the shop from the foyer. The inside shop is 25' x 32' and has 800 square feet.
There is a washroom and a storage closet housing the compressor, dust collection cyclone and a lot of tools, hardware and miscellaneous junk.

Shop Floor 2

Shot of the main room of the shop from the foyer looking to the left. Again,the shop has 10 foot ceilings.
The walls are a board and batten design. The battens are nailed right to the studs so finding a stud is never a problem. Even though the latest fad is to use wallboard for shop interior walls, I feel like wallboard isn't durable enough for a shop. One bang with a board and you have a big divet!
The walls are 3/8 SYP plywood and 1x2 spruce furring strips. The baseboards, chair rail, crown moulding and case moulding is all 1x4 spruce.

Shop Floor 3

Another shot of the main room of the shop from in front of the lathe.

Shop Floor 4

Shot of the main room of the shop from in front of the drill press.

Shop Floor 5

Shot of the main room of the shop and the new lumber rack.

Finishing Workbench

This is a workbench I built in my garage when I first moved into this house. I threw it together in about a day to give me a place to work on the renovations to my house. It ain't pretty, but it's as solid as a rock. Today, I use it for most of my finishing work.
Next to the Bench is a tap for high pressure air. Nail guns, small volume spray guns, impact driver and air ratchet are among the most used tools in my shop. It's also very useful for blowing the sawdust off my clothes at the end of the day.
The hose reel makes it even faster and easier. The 25 foot long hose can reach anywhere in my shop.
My next shop project will be to do something with this, but I haven't decided yet what I'm going to do. Top cabinets are a given. But I haven't decided if I'm going to keep this bench as is, enclose the bottom or replace it entirely. Since this is primarily a finishing bench, I'm considering an enclosed bench with pull-out shelves to place project while they are drying. The idea would be to keep them out of the way, warm and dust-free while they dry.

Storage Room Entrance

Between the lathe and the finishing bench is a large 7ft x 16ft storage room
This helps keep the shop floor and workbenches uncluttered. It also serves as a sound reducing location for the noisy compressor and cyclone dust collector.


Woodturning is fun. I've already done a bit of turning on a smaller lathe. I'm looking forward to further developing those skills.
Grizzly G0462
Standing ready are the tools of the trade for woodturning.
The light is a halogen lamp - very bright! I bought it at a garage sale for a couple of dollars.
My lathe workstation has improved since last year.

Lathe Workbench

One of the newest additions to my shop is this lathe workbench. The top was salvaged from my old workbench. The bottom section started out to be the new cabinets for my shop washroom. But I made a "design opportunity" and cut the carcass just an inch and a half too narrow. Once I realized my mistake, I told my wife, "The bad news is, I messed up the bathroom cabinets beyond recovery! The good news is, my new lathe workbench is progressing nicely!

Lathe Turning Stock Storage

The bottom drawer holds my supply of turning stock. The 100# slides make it pretty easy to open and close the drawer. But the bench has to be screwed to the wall to prevent it from tipping over when the drawer is fully opened.

Drum Sander

The drum sander allows me to sand boards relatively quickly and dead flat. It's invaluable for veneer and inlay work as it allows me to get thin, consistently flat slices of wood. The machine can sand up to an 18 inch wide board.
It took a while to master this machine. It stalls easily if you try and take too big a bite out of the wood and will get burnt wood embedded in the sand paper and leave black streaks on the wood being sanded. Little bites is the key.
Grizzly G0458


This window unit heats and cools. It's more than ample to keep the shop comfortable in the heat of the summer or dead of winter.
The shop itself is very well insulated and maintains temperature better than my house. LG 24,000BTU Heat/Cool

Sharpening Station and Scroll Saw

These are the two most recent additions to the shop.
The sharpening station is used to sharpen lathe chisels, plane irons, chisels, and whatever other tools need sharpening. The bench grinder is a Delta 8" variable speed grinder. The attachments are for precision sharpening of lathe chisels. The granite tile is a dead flat surface for sharpening and polishing blades.

The Hitachi scroll saw is used for inlay work. It's also my daughter's favorite tool. I plan to build a stand for it that has drawers, an illuminated magnifying glass and a slightly larger table as my primary use for this is double-bevel marquetry.

Band Saw

This 17" band saw cuts great. It sports a two horsepower motor and runs at 20A/220V. It has a 12" resaw capability. It is perhaps the most versatile machine in my shop except perhaps for the router table.
The only tuning I had to do to this saw, out of the box, was to adjust the guide bearings (you have to do that whenever you change a blade) and shim the resaw fence a little to get it plumb to the table.
Grizzly G0513X
I recently tried a Woodslicer blade for resawing and came away so impressed that I've sworn off any other blade for resawing. They are that good! I recommend them for resawing. But keep in mind, they have a slightly smaller kerf than a normal blade (good for resawing - less waste) so they don't cut curves as well as a normal blade.

Band Saw

Like all the machines in my shop, my bandsaw sports wheels to allow me to move it around the shop. In this case, it's a must to be able to move the bandsaw out to cut longer pieces of lumber.

Router Table and Vacuum System

A router table is one of the most indespensible tools in a woodshop. The router table top is the Rockler table with the Master-Lift insert. The router motor is the Porter Cable 7818 3 1/4 HP motor. The Master-Lift allows me to adjust the height and even change bits from above the table top.
The enclosure for the router motor is there because I have a dust collection hose connected to the back of the cabinet. Between that port and the port on the fence, I get near zero dust from my routing.
Behind the router table are the cabinets containing most of my router bits.
Rockler no longer sells this exact package, but this is the next closest thing.
Rockler Table Package #4, Plus JessEm Stand Porter Cable 7518
The black hose is a 2 1/2" x 36' vacuum hose. The hose is long enough to reach pretty much anyplace in the shop.
I tried several different hoses until I found something that didn't suffer a huge pressure loss. It's amazing how much difference even a half an inch of diameter makes on a vaccuum hose.

Downdraft Table

This shop made downdraft table is connected to the dust collection system. It is very effective at sucking up the dust from sanding.
This is Version 2.0. The previous version was thinner and only had a 2 1/4 inch air hose connection as it was originally built for connection to a shop vac. It also sat on top of a folding table. This version uses the bottom from my old workbench and has a 4 inch hose connection for greater airflow.

Tool Cabinet

This is a tool cabinet I built recently. It holds many of my frequently used tools and sundries too large to hang on the pegboard.
The carcass is poplar plywood. The frames are spruce and the panels are Luaun plywood. The Luaun is not stained (at least not by me). That is the natural color.

Tool Cabinet

Inside the tool cabinet is my cordless tools and chargers, handplanes, sharpening tools and saw blade storage in the bottom.

Tool Cabinet

To ease access to the very deep cabinet, the shelves pull out.

Main Workbench

This is my main workbench. It is 8 feet long and 30 inches wide. The table top is 36 inches from the floor.
The top is a torsion box. The top surface is 3/4" hardwood plywood. The internal framework is 3/4 MDF. The bottom surface is 1/2" construction grade plywood.
I have slightly different tastes in a workbench. I'm not crazy about holes for bench dogs. Everything I do is clamped to the table with Quick Clamps.
So it is important to me to have the tray shelf underneath the bench to hold all my various clamps in easy reach.

Main Workbench

I recently built this workbench to replace the smaller one I built when I was still using my garage as my shop. The old one was a little too small.
This is where I do most of my hand tool work, inlay work and some glue ups.

Main Workbench Storage

In addition to being such a heavy bench, I can't even budge it, I built into it a couple of large storage drawers to hold my power tools.

Auxillary Workbench

This workbench is used to hold tools and materials I'm not immediately using. The purpose is to help prevent my main workbench from cluttering up. The drawers store all kinds of frequently used tools, hardware and materials. The cabinet over the top is new from last year.

Auxillary Workbench

When I'm working, I stand between the main and auxillary workbenches. This puts 95% of what I need within easy access.

Drill Press

My 17 inch, 12 speed drill press. Nothing fancy but it has gobs of power and has so far done everything I needed and then some. I also have a mortising attachment for it.
Grizzly G7949
The cabinet underneath is temporary. It came from a kitchen remodel I did on my MIL condo. It's kind of a prototype to get an idea what I want.

Beside the drill press is the floor sweep for to my dust collection system. But with the long vacuum hose, I rarely use this.

Miter Saw

My Bosch 10" miter saw. It got great revies and it cuts very well.
Bosch 4410L 10-Inch Dual Bevel SCMS
I had originally intended to build a cabinet to mount the miter saw. But I decided that it works out much better in my shop to have the miter saw mobile. When I need to I can move it for better access to the wood rack or to cut longer boards.
Ridgid - AC 9941 Miter-Saw Stand
The Ridgid mitersaw stand has gotten a some bad press. I personally feel it is undeserved. I've never had a big problem raising or lowering the legs when needed but I've always done so with the saw still on it. It might be a tad wobbly but never enough to cause any problems cutting. But the fact that you can fold it up into a handtruck with the saw still attached in less than one minute and wheel it anywhere you need to use it is a huge bonus to me. The extension legs on the pull outs is flimsy and that is a legitimate beef.
Behind the miter saw is my lumber rack.

Lumber Storage

This is where I store my hardwood, softwood and sheet goods. I recently upgraded my old lumber rack with this rack. Although the footprint is only slightly larger than the old lumber rack, it more than doubles my lumber storage by going all the way to the ceiling and having a more efficient layout and shelf spacing. Note the sheet goods storage behind the rack.

15 Inch Planer

This is a very nice tool. It came from Grizzly completely assembed. But before you start thinking this was a wonderful thing, let me tell you that it weighed in at over 650lbs. I still can't believe I managed to get it to the shop without breaking something.
I've since upgraded this to the Shelix cutterhead. Big improvement!! If I had it to do over again, I would have gotten the spiral cut version of this tool to start with.
Grizzly G0453

8 Inch Jointer

Another very nice tool. I've since upgraded this to the Shelix cutterhead. Like the planer, this is a big improvement!! If I had it to do over again, I would have gotten the spiral cut version of this tool to start with.
Grizzly G0586

10 Inch Table Saw

Another very nice tool. I agonized over which Grizzly model to get. There was a 5HP model with the standard size table and an upgraded fence. Then there was this one with the 7 foot table and fence for crosscutting long boards but only a 3HP motor. In the end I opted for the longer table. No regrets. But I have to confess the extra-long table is more of a workbench than a extended saw table.
Grizzly G0586
I added the undercabinet to provide better and more efficient storage. This is how the tablesaw looked before I added the cabinet.

Air Cleaner

Mounted above the planer and jointer is the air cleaner. It filters dust particles down to 1 micron from the air and changes the air in my shop 10 times per hour.
Grizzly G9956

Shop Ceiling

Nine 80 watt florescent fixtures and four track light fixtures make this shop very well lit. The track lights are aimed at each workstation. Additional track lights can be added as needed.
Sometime in the future, I plan on upgrading the florescent fixtures to four-bulb fixtures rather than these two-bulb fixtures.

Dust Collection Ductwork

The ductwork for the dust collection system runs out of the storage room, through the wall above the lathe. It branches off a spur to handle the table saw, planer and jointer. The main line circles around the walls all the way around to the miter saw. Penn State Industries took the plans for the shop and did the take-off.
The ductwork is the PSI Economy ductwork. The main line is 6 inch pipe and the drops to the machines are 4 inch. The pipe is Snap-Lock pipe you can buy at a Home Center. You can also buy some of the more basic fittings but none of the long-radius stuff.
Each machine has a blast gate to it and each blast gate has a built in switch that starts the cyclone whenever the blast gate is opened. It is a very convenient system.
I was going to buy one of the IR remote control systems but the guy at Penn State talked me into this one. I'm glad he did.

Attic Storage Space

These fold-down attic access leads to an storage area for old junk and lumber. The attic access allows for additional storage and is used for extra wood storage and seldom used junk.

Storage Room and Compressor

The shop has a 16' x 7' store room to keep the floor from becoming cluttered with storage. Also in the store room is the compressor. The compressor is a single stage, oil lubed, Campbell-Hausfeld compressor with a 60 gallon tank and 11 SCFM@90PSI. Big enough for just about anything a woodworker would want. I got it for $100 at a yard sale including two PVC hoses and a filter/drier. The guy even threw in the recepticle to plug it into! This compressor is twice the compressor as my old Kobalt but makes only half as much noise!
Placing the compressor in the storage room cuts down the noise while it's running.
I have to say, the relative quietness of the oil-lubed compressor makes me doubt I'll ever by another oil-less. The difference is astonishing!

Storage Room Shelves

The store room has nearly wall to wall and ceiling to floor shelves. And STILL I manage to fill them up. My wife scribbled me a note one time where she called me a packrat. Hmm... I think that note is on the third shelf on the right.

Storage Room and the Cyclone

This is my 3.5HP Cylcone dust collection system. The machine is the 1535 Tempest from Penn State Industries. Boy does it SUCK!! I chose this duct collector due to it's power and because it was the only one I found that stated it has a static vane in it. My research into dust collectors indicated that this was a Must-Have feature if you're going to invest in a decent dust collection system. And, as a bonus, it was very competitively priced!
Putting this thing together was an adventure. You have NO IDEA how heavy a 3.5HP induction motor is! I have only one small complaint with this cyclone. It is LOUD!! My wife claims she can hear it running even inside the house. Considering how well my shop is built and insulated, that's pretty amazing. But it is, hands down, the loudest machine in the shop.
Tempest 1535S

Storage Room Refridgerator

This little refriderator keeps water bottles cold and ready. You can also usually find a few cold brews in there too. Alcohol and power tools don't mix!! But that having been said, it's nice to be able to grab a brew when I'm finishing up for the day.


This is the foyer. The building entrance is to the left. The power panel is straight ahead and the washroom is to the right.
The shop is wired with 200 amp service. All machines have a dedicated circuit including the HVAC and those machines that run on 110 volts like the router table, compressor, miter saw and drill press. In addition, there are four individual 15 amp recepticle circuits and three separate circuits for the lighting. The entrance to the restroom is on the right.

Panel Box

The shop is wired with 200 amp service. All machines have a dedicated circuit including the HVAC and those machines that run on 110 volts like the router table, compressor, miter saw and drill press. In addition, there are four individual 15 amp recepticle circuits and three separate circuits for the lighting.

Washroom Sink

Just inside the foyer is the half bath. This cabinet is my lastest addition.
The carcass is 3/4 poplar plywood. The frames are cheap, shelf grade whitewood (spruce). The panels are Luaun plywood. My local big box home center store sells this red grained Luaun for a mere $10 a sheet! I love the look of this Luaun and whitewood. And it's really cheap too!
Underneath of the sink is a 6 gallon, point-of-use hot water heater.

Washroom Toilet

This is where I'll dream up new projects to build.

The Woodsmith

I like the apron. I don't use it so much to protect my clothes, but to provide ample pocket space for frequently used tools. In my apron, I have a folding square, a folding 6' ruler, pencils, pens, 6" rules, sissors and a couple of card scrapers. I also have a small MP3 player and ear buds. My problem is, when I put something down, I tend to lose track of it. Without the apron, I'd probably spend more time looking for tools-I-just-had-a-minute-ago then I would spend woodworking.

Machine Layout

A Close approximation of the layout of the machines.

Front Elevation

My wife's front elevation plan.

Side Elevation

My wife's side elevation plan.
The sharp-eyed will notice that the windows in this drawing are together but are separated by about 6 feet on the finished shop. This was a last minute design change I made as we were framing the building.

Floor Plan

My wife's floor plan. Note that the plan calls for the internal area to be 24 x 32. The concrete guy poured the pad oversized by one foot.
Also note the absence of the washroom. The washroom was added at the last minute. It started out as a conversation at dinner one night. My brother asked if the shop would have a restroom. I said no. My wife said, "you really need one." It didn't take much arm-twisting to get me to agree to it!