About My Workshop and Studio

OK, whether you call it a workshop or studio, it's still the same thing-- a work area where you can bring your creative idea's into fruition.

At my old house, I built a new 24' x 24' garage with a full second floor to use as my shop space. While I was building it, I thought it would be heaven. And it was the first few years, but eventually as I filled it with tools and materials, it soon started to feel cramped. And because it was ABOVE my garage, I found it got very hot in summer, and cold in winter, so I had to add heating and cooling. It was also a challenge whenever I bought a new piece of equipment-- it had to be brought upstairs, so it couldn't be too heavy--both for being able to physically carry it up the stairs, but also so it wouldn't be too much weight on the plywood floor. But it suited for about 15 years until I decided to get into woodturning.

To get into woodturning from scratch, you can't just buy a lathe. You could try it, but you'll quickly find you need the additional supporting tools (wood cutting equipment, sharpening station, round wood storage, etc). But I didn't realize that at the time. So to save space, at first I purchased a small midi lathe. But I soon decided I wanted a larger one-- but a larger (and much heavier) lathe wasn't going to work on a second floor that consisted of a single layer of 3/4" plywood.

It so happened that during that same period, my wife and I had been discussing moving out of the city (to some place quieter), so this gave me one more push to find a new home. We eventually moved into another (prebuilt) house. It had a smaller garage, with a much smaller 2nd floor-- more suited for storage than a workshop. BUT, what it did have was a full open basement that ran the length and width of the house. The only obstruction was a square foundation in the center of the space for the large double sided fireplacethat was in the main living area. So after marking out space for home appliances (washer and dryer area) and some storage, the rest of the space was mine! Floor space wise it was larger than the old space, but it was longer and narrower, so it was better for setting up a row of power tools and working space in one corner.

I created a second work area in the opposite corner and walled it up as my lathe "studio". I move in my lathes (the old midi and a new larger one), and built storage racks for storing wood, and a lot of counter space for setting up a sharpening station and laying out projects. All the power tools were setup on rolling platforms to make it easier to move them around as they were needed for specific projects, or at least until each found their permanent home. But since the space was smaller being able to move them around as needed was a necessity and in the end was a good investment.

The new area seems smaller with all the tools, racks, and benches, but I was able to use much of the ceiling area for storage. I created open racks for storing flat wood-- only about 8" to 12', but I was surprised at how much material could be stored in such as narrow space. I ended up storing all my long flat stock on the ceiling racks. I also had an extensive collection of clamps, and found the ceiling the best place for those. I made brackets for hanging the clamps individually, and mounted them in the ceiling right above my workbench--a perfect place where they could be accessed quickly.

The biggest advantage to the new workspace is that I can now work year-round. The temperature stays in the mid to low 70's in the heat of the summer, and mid to high 50's in the cold winter months. Humidity is controlled with a humidifier (on the furance) in the winter, and a dehumidifier in the summer.

Here are a few photo's of some of the work area's:








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