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Here's My Workshop!

Rob Austin
Lawrenceville, GA

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

The Rob Austin woodworking shop is a freestanding 30 foot x 60 foot building in the back right corner of the yard in a residential development. Because it looks like the house, the neighborhood home owners didn't have a problem with me building it 3+ years ago. It has a 10 foot rollup door on the street end with a pedestrian door on the near side.

Upon entry, the 10 foot by 10 foot office sits across the floor with a half bath next to that.

As you absorb the expanse of the shop's 10 foot ceilings, your eyes meet a 55 inch LCD TV hanging from the ceiling near the center of the shop, beyond a huge assembly table that has a torsion box top perched on piers above a rolling structure with 24 large drawers.

As you near the assembly table (just past the half bath) you realize you are next to a convenience store style drink cooler that is at one end of the shop's kitchenette. It is complete with shop built cabinets and a shop built dining table. The large cabinet on the far side of the kitchenette contains the rest of the electronics typical of a home theater (except this is a wood shop/man cave.)

From this perspective, you get a good panoramic view of all of the woodworking shop tools you could expect in a well-equipped shop.

Across the room, you notice that the windows are up high allowing a lot of light and leaving an abundance of wall space on the painted plywood walls. On brackets above the windows you notice duct work for a dust collector system sharing space with compressed air piping. Drops for both extend down the walls to gates/valves for the machinery. The piping for the dust control disappears behind the back wall that is arrayed with 4 doors.

The first pair of doors exposes an acoustically insulated double closet containing the 5 horsepower cyclone dust collector and a 3 horsepower 60 gallon air compressor. On closer examination, some of the piping for each disappears into a covered trench in the floor. You then notice as your eye follows the path of the trench that dust collection, compressed air, and electric is piped by way of the trench to all of the machinery and accessories located in the middle of the room. This makes all of the space between the walls free from any utility piping.

The second pair of doors expose large closets for an array of small power tools, fasteners, and supplies typically needed for a wood shop. On the way back toward the entrance of the shop, you notice the ceiling is dotted with ventilation ducts for the reverse cycle heat pump/air conditioner in the attic. Subtly hidden at the front of the property is a transformer that supplies 200 amps of electricity to a dedicated power feed to the shop.

The best summary of the experience is WOW. It's a woodworkers man cave.

We recently built a cabinet for holding pen kits and small lathe tool parts.

If you have any questions you can email Rob at robausa@bellsouth.net .

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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