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Here's My Workshop!

Mike Lawrence
Louisville, KY

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

My wife and I moved to Louisville, KY from Colorado in January 2012. We purchased a house with a 30'X40' out-building down in the trees behind the house. It was empty to begin with so I had a pretty clean canvas with which to get started.

The path down to the shop is 275 feet long

My last shop was just under 200 sq. ft. so this one was going to be a bit larger at just over 600 sq. ft. I double framed the inside so the exterior walls were seven inches thick which allowed for R-19 insulation. I insulated the ceiling with 16" of blown fiberglass. The concrete floor was covered with an inexpensive wood grain plastic tile. I figured it would be easy on dropped chisels and not a shame to cover with real wood when the budget allows. Three new windows and a double 15 light door let in a decent amount of natural light. Heating is done with a ceramic space heater which works well. Cooling is done by a large window unit. No running water just yet. The remainder of the square footage is unfinished for mower, trailer, and other assorted storage.

So far I've managed to collect a table saw, 6" jointer, 14" band saw, 13"planer, floor drill press, scroll saw, shop built router table, combo disc/belt sander, not quite enough clamps, and assorted smaller power and hand tools. Two 3' x 6' work benches come in very handy when shifting between projects.

My most recent addition to the shop: a lathe

I boxed in the dust collector. It's quiet enough now
that I forget to turn it off sometimes.

I spend available time in the shop with my almost three year old son. He likes tools and will be allowed to use them as soon as he can pass the safety tests. He doesn't yet understand the benefit of hearing protection so he can't be there for all of my project phases.

I have an old laptop computer to feed MP3s to the stereo for a bit of entertainment. Using two high gain antennas I can get Internet connectivity at about 300 feet away from the house. A TV might be in the plan somewhere but I still can't justify the space for it yet.

There's a local saw mill, , which supplies quality local hardwood at excellent prices. He'll even saw custom orders to whatever size I need. The sawmill had a bit of cocobolo a while back. I bought a 5 board ft. chunk for future projects. The hardness made me buy a carbide band saw blade to help make resawing easier.

We have an abundance of wildlife around the shop. My son and the dog both find it fun to watch as deer go by.

As for projects, I build whatever seems to be the thing to do at the time. Furniture, jewelry boxes, jigs, kitchen improvements… I built the rocking horse for my boy for Christmas last year. The cherry bookshelf holds a bunch of toys for now. The walnut/padauk end table is in the extra bedroom. The Pegasus jewelry cabinet is still a work in progress. The round front cherry corner cabinet was a request of my Sister and will get finished shortly.

A more recent project. A cedar lined cherry and Padauk
chest with a semi hidden drawer.

If you have any questions you can email Mike at . You can also visit his website at: .

Want to see more shops? Check out our Shops Gallery , featuring many of the shops that we have featured in previous editions of Wood News.

Would you like for your shop to appear in this column? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking. (Email photos at 800x600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.

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