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Here's My Workshop!
Bruce Macdonald
Dunrobin, ON, Canada
(Click on any picture to see a larger version)

We have recently moved to a new home in Dunrobin, ON, and along with that came a new shop (don't tell my wife but that was really my hidden agenda for moving). The new shop is almost 3 times the floor area of my previous one but I'm sure I will have no trouble filling it up.

I have been involved in woodworking since high school (which was an awful long time ago) followed up by a university degree at Carleton University in Industrial Design, majoring in furniture design. This is the first time, however, that I'll actually have a real shop with some real space to build sizeable furniture.

The main work area is 15' x 35', the lathe room is 6' x 10' and the finishing room is 6' x 8' for a total of just under 650 sq ft. I took the time to apply an industrial strength epoxy paint on the floor which makes sweeping up so much easier and helps with the light reflection. The walls are for the most part drywall painted a light tan.

I ran a dedicated 60 amp sub-panel to feed the shop. From there I have one 240V circuit for the table saw plus several 20A and 15A 115V circuits for the walls. A dedicated 30A circuit feeds the cyclone dust collector and finally all shop lighting is spread over two circuits. The shop lighting is almost entirely 4' long 2 bulb T8 fluorescent fixtures. I added more than needed to help these old eyes see what's going on!

Centrally located is a Grizzly G0443 cyclone dust collector. This unit does an excellent job of collecting both coarse chips and fine dust at the source. I ran 6" and 4" diameter steel ductwork with blast gates to all the machines leaving only a minimal amount of flexible hose to connect to the machine and allow it to be moved around if required. A Grizzly ceiling mounted air filtration unit takes care of the residual bits that can wreak havoc with your lungs.

The 3HP Craftex table saw on a mobile base takes center stage in the shop. I am building out the 42" x 60" assembly table to house the air compressor and additional storage underneath. It will also serve as an outfeed table for the saw.

Mill work is handled by a 6" King jointer and a Dewalt 13" planer. I love both of these machines. The Dewalt leaves a glass smooth surface most of the time.

Below is a view looking towards my just completed workbench. This is a modified version of Ed Pirnik's "Not So Big Workbench" from Fine Woodworking . After building it I'm inclined to change the name to "Pretty Damn Big Workbench" as it ended up weighing over 400 lbs. This one is 24" x 72" with a Jorgensen vise at each end.

The King Industrial 17" drill press takes care of all the drilling operations and the Porter Cable scroll saw is called into action once in a while.

A King combo 48" belt and 9" disk sander helps with sanding operations.

The crown jewel in the shop now is my brand new Laguna 14BX 14" bandsaw. This saw is nothing short of amazing in its capabilities, especially resawing thin veneers. I bought the 115 volt version which has more than enough power for my needs. The foot operated disc brake stops the blade instantly – very handy if you need to stop cutting right away and both hands are engaged. Highly recommend it.

Finally the 12" Dewalt sliding mitre saw will have its own workstation built in the near future. Right now I use it mostly for breaking down rough lumber.

Clamps finally have a dedicated place to be stored when not in use.

I really like the dedicated lathe room where my Delta Midi lathe on a rock solid cabinet is housed along with a 6" King grinder and a Worksharp sharpening system.

The Woodpeckers router table with a 3HP Porter Cable unit permanently mounted underneath handles all the routing tasks and it consumes a steady diet of router bits and accessories that are housed in my shop built cabinet.

The Rigid oscillating sander works great on those curved pieces and my Delta hollow chisel mortiser certainly makes mortise and tenon joints a lot easier.

All my lumber can now acclimate within the shop instead of the garage and it is all stored right next to the sliding mitre saw and planer/jointer so wood processing happens in a logical flow.

But what about the hand tools? Here they are stored in a shop made cabinet, which is now bursting at the seams. Looks like additional storage will be required for more tools.

Another bonus to this new shop was a dedicated finishing room where I can apply stains and topcoats without fear of dust particles setting on it. I have plans to add a ventilation fan in there too but for now I'm just happy to have an isolated room away from the machining area.

Well that's it. I am super happy with my new digs and can't wait to resume production of Christmas presents, family heirlooms and other treasures! One of my favourite times in the shop is mentoring my two special needs sons, Aaron and Taylor, as they build projects along with me.


If you have any questions you can email Bruce at bruce.macdonald@rogers.com .

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