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Here's My Workshop!

by Dave Owen
Lakeland, FL

The name, "Sawdust Studio", came about when a friend was asked what kind of a shop I had. His response was, "He doesn't have a shop, it's a studio". Knowing how often it was littered with sawdust, I tagged it the Sawdust Studio - and it stuck.

Although interested in woodworking most of my life, I never had the opportunity to have my own shop until several years after I retired. In 2003, I designed a combination shop and double carport, and had it built adjacent to my house in Central Florida.

Floor Plan for the Sawdust Studio

My shop's 543 sf area is roughly the equivalent of a typical double garage. The unusual plan resulted from a number of considerations. One of the most important was to have a functional shop that had adequate clearances for tools, with as much open space as possible. External considerations were the approach drive and a small lake to the rear. From my perspective, this plan resolved all of those considerations. Numbers on the plan above correspond to the view numbers below.

With the exception of the table saw, all major floor and bench-mounted tools have mobile bases. The saw is near the center of the shop, with its dust connection rising from beneath the floor. Although the jointer also has below-the-floor dust piping and has a mobile base, it seldom moves; but can be relocated to other locations when necessary. The radial arm saw, band saw, planer, oscillating sander, drum sander, and drill press are all located along one wall as shown in View #1. There are several other places in the shop with dust connections to which any of the mobile tools can be moved. Normally, however, they are used near the location pictured, by simply pulling them a couple of feet from the wall.

View #1: Entry and Mobile Tool Wall

Rust has not proven to be a problem, so most of my hand tools and accessories are kept readily available on white pegboard as seen in the various views.

View #2: Taken from near the entry door showing one of two short rear walls
View # 3: Second short rear wall showing dust collector and wall storage

The lumber rack shown above and in View #4 is my adaptation of a fairly common shop-built design. Fluorescent lighting consists of fifteen, two-bulb, forty-eight inch fixtures with electronic ballasts and 5,000 Kelvin bulbs.

View # 4: Lumber Rack wall and the corner workbench (free-standing workbench under construction)

The base of the corner workbench is constructed of "Sandeply" panels and Pine framing. The top is triple-layer MDF with Oak edging. Twenty five reclaimed school 'tote trays' are used for storage drawers, and two open-front drawers provide convenient space for eight corded tools.

View # 5: Main work area with table saw in foreground

The twelve foot wide by eight foot high, three-panel sliding glass door (shown above and in the view below) has a beautiful view of a small lake, and provides natural light and ventilation.

View # 6: Sliding glass door wall with assembly/portable tools table

Portable tools such as a scroll saw, small downdraft table, sharpening station, etc. are stored on adjustable shelving system to the right of the sliding door.

This is a small router table I designed for a Bosch Colt trim router. I’ve used it a good bit and I believe it will be very useful for small routing jobs and for those times when I’d like to keep the Colt and my DeWalt table-mounted router set up for different cuts.

The most recent addition to my shop

The photo above shows the 17” x 25” table mounted on top supports of a knock-down shop table where it will most often be used. In the photo the table is pushed a little further back on the KD than normal so the top supports can be seen. When not in use, the table will be stored on an adjoining standard and bracket shelf system.

I build a wide variety of small items in my shop - including toys, puzzles, step stools, center-pieces, psaltery, bandsaw boxes, Thorsen table, etc - a couple of which are shown below. My current project is an electric guitar.

Thorsen Table of Honduras Mahogany
A selection of Bandsaw Boxes of Walnut, Yellowheart, Mahogany, and Cherry

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