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Here's My Workshop!

Ira Penn
Bellingham, WA

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

In 2005 I started woodworking. I bought one piece of equipment and then another, always cognizant of the fact that my shop had limited room. This is not a building that was designed to be a shop. It's simply an over-sized two-car garage. In addition to holding my woodworking equipment, it also has to serve as a storage space for my garden tools and all the miscellaneous junque that one collects over time.

I was an avid gardener long before I became a woodworker, so my shop is surrounded by gardens.

My first purchase was a Miter Saw complete with laser guides. It's been great and I use it regularly. Then I bought an Oscillating Drill Press figuring that I'd get two tools in one that way. Bad move, because the old adage: "A multifunction tool can perform no function adequately," proved to be somewhat true in this case. Actually, the drill part works fine. The oscillating mechanism bit the dust after just a few years. I have since gotten a standalone Oscillating Sander.

In time I added a Room Air Filter, 14" Band Saw, Dust Collector, 12" Planer, 6" Jointer, and Contractor Table Saw. After a while the 6" Jointer was replaced with an 8" Jointer, the Contractor Saw was replaced by a Cabinet Saw, and the 12" Planer was replaced by a 15" Planer (there's a big difference with all three!) I also have a Mortising Machine. It doesn't get used that much but it's great when I need it.

Most of the equipment is wired to run on 220v including the heater which is invaluable. The entire building is insulated.

As you undoubtedly observed, things are rather close together. The shop as shown is currently set up to use the Lathe. Please notice the mobile bases. Everything in my shop can be moved without getting a hernia.

One of the best things I ever built for the shop is the swinging rack that covers about a third of the garage door. I got the idea from an article in the January/February 2008 issue of Fine Woodworking Magazine . It holds a ton of stuff and because it swings away from the door, it allows for a car to be pulled into the garage should that ever be necessary (I have no idea why that would be necessary because my cars have never been in the garage. Still... one never knows).

Not shown are the two rows of steel shelving and the aforementioned junque! (i.e., lawnmower, cart, etc.) I didn't think you'd miss them.

So that's it! Not huge or fancy, but quite functional. As for future tool purchases, at the moment I'm lusting after a Drum Sander. If anyone has an idea for where it can go, please let me know.

If you have any questions you can email Ira 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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