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Here's My Workshop!

Lyn Baker
Yellville, AR

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I am a Highland Woodworker! I've not yet been to the store in Atlanta, but I've sent several dollars that direction. I've been fortunate enough to get to build my dream shop and fill it with some awesome tools. I've been woodworking for about 30 years and have spent that time, buying, trading and collecting tools to get to the point of having this wonderful shop. I built the shop back in the summer of 2011. I read and studied several books on shop design for inspiration when designing this shop. I tried to think of everything.

Believe it or not, the folks that built my shop spent a total of 5 working days building it. They waited two weeks for the concrete to cure before erecting the building, but it got built in 5 working days. The finish out took me about 8 weeks working by myself as time permitted.

The shop was laid out specifically around the cabinet saw since it is the primary tool in the shop. The shop includes a dust collection system in the floor and overhead for use dependent on the type of machine it's connected to. There is compressed air throughout the shop at key work stations and along the outside walls. It is heated with radiant natural gas heat. I have a big window A/C unit to knock out the heat and humidity that builds up in the shop during the summer. One of my biggest concerns was lighting. I wanted a lot of it and cheap. After a lot of reading, I went with the latest fluorescent technology with electronic ballasts. The real payoff on lighting was in the bulbs. I chose 6500K colored light bulbs; that color imitates daylight. Everyone brags on the quality of the lighting. I ran electricity for 220 and 110 service in the walls but also in the floor to take advantage of making it as unobtrusive as possible. I have a small bathroom with a toilet so I don't have to go to the house, as well as a work sink. The sink was salvaged from the old train station here in town. There is a total of 2,300 SF under roof with half of that shop and the other half carport. The shop also has a second story that is used for lumber and general storage. I've also started enclosing a spot for my wife so she can do her stained glass in the shop as well. She's very good at it and is good at wood carving too.

The best part of the shop is actually out back. I built a deck out over the bluff along Crooked Creek (a great fishing hole) complete with a fire pit where I might drink a little adult beverage (from my shop fridge), burn a little scrap from the shop while I roast a hot dog, and think of the next woodworking project I am going to do.

I have been involved in the construction trades most of my life, but not necessarily as a carpenter. My family has been in the real estate business here in north central Arkansas for well over 75 years. My grand dad owned and operated a sawmill, and bought and sold land as a part of it. My dad was a broker for over 40 years and in the course of it all, built several homes for resale as a part of that business. And that's where I came in. Dad put me to work as a 'hand' on the construction sites, and, I paid attention. Dad always had a workshop too, but must say he was more in love with the idea of woodworking than actually doing it! But it was enough to feed me and my creativity to learn and build. I've spent the bulk of my working life as a banker but gave that up to pick up the mantle of running the family business when dad past away about six years ago.

I absolutely love working with wood. Heck, I like to build just about anything! Furniture for myself and others is the big push in the shop. I've built a couple of nice dining room tables and a coffee table for my office. Book shelves were ordered by my mom, so they have been built and delivered. Several other pieces have made their way out the door as well. The big project currently is a large gun cabinet for myself. It is, by far, the most ambitious project to date. And, there's always those honey-do projects that come along every once in a while.

The Ozark Mountains are blessed with a high quality forest full of white and red oaks, ash, cherry, walnut, pine and cedar. And there's lots of the unusual like sassafras, persimmon, and hackberry to name a few. So, very little of my wood is store bought. I've got a great connection with a local bandsaw mill operator and a tree removal guy who keep me in all the wood I can handle. I sticker it (and nurse it) until it's ready for use.

Below are some of my projects:

This is a gun cabinet currently under construction.
Another view of the gun cabinet currently being built.
Jackie's (my wife) Favorite Spoons made for family
Christmas gifts. Ended up making over 100 of these
for sale from shop scrap.
Baker's Better Berry Baskets!
Quartersawn white oak coffee table for the office.
A rocking horse under construction for my grandaughter, Willow.
Another view of the rocking horse.
The rocking horse took awhile. An older Willow
on her new rocking horse.
Quarter sawn white oak table.
Another view of the table and yours truly.
Mom's ash book case made for Christmas.
Unfinished in this photo.
Walnut Hayrake table I built for a friend.
Another pic of the walnut table.
Detail of the joinery work on a guitar under construction.
More joinery work on the guitar.

If you have any questions you can email Lyn 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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