Here's My Workshop!
By Dave Spencer
Oxford, OH

Click on any image to see a larger version.

Seems like I've always loved woodworking and have had "shops" in spare bedrooms, one car garages, and just before this shop my shop was my own 2 car garage. Most of my woodworking has been furniture, cabinetry, and extensive remodeling of our home. Upon retirement from a wonderful career in Software Development I started building my dream shop just off to the side of our house. The 24' by 32' shop is built on (24) concrete piers instead of the usual foundation to avoid damage to the beautiful trees. I did all the work myself except digging the holes for the piers.

The shop was designed in SketchUp over several years. I had a number of specific goals in mind in the design of this shop:

Safety - Sawstop, very good lighting, minimize clutter by minimizing exposed wiring or dust collection, comfortable temperature year around, room to move around.

Noise levels - The dust collection and air compressor are in a sound proofed mechanicals closet with a noise dampened baffled exhaust. Sounds level is about 55 db measured at the table saw with the dust collection and the mini-split running. Helix heads on the planer and jointer.

Cleanliness - a place to put everything, good machine dust collection, an overhead dust filter (added recently), and convenient remote controlled access to the shop vac hose for cleaning up as I go. Many of the small tools are Festool which has excellent dust collection. Always using the guards on the table saw when possible.

Efficient use of space - the island concept allowed me to tuck the table saw, jointer, router table, and lots of work surface into a nice tidy square. Dust collection under the floor. Lots of storage (a place for everything)

I also did not want to have to move machines around in the normal course of working. Almost all the machines in here are stationary, hooked up to dust collection, and can handle 10-12' material.

Most of these photos are just after I completed it about a year ago. Since then I've been building all new custom cabinetry for our new kitchen.

Here's a shot of the exterior:

The quartersawn white oak doors were built in my garage shop and are super insulated with double weatherstripping. I also milled the tongue and groove cedar for the soffits.

Here's a look inside. For reference, the double doors are to my left. That's a 3hp Industrial SawStop, and an older Delta DJ-20 jointer that's been upgraded with a Shelix head. The floor is floor joist construction on 12" centers to better handle the weight of these machines. All of the dust collection is in the floor. I plan to build a spray booth in that little room in the back. The floor is 1/2" sanded plywood that's been ripped into 6" wide strips, beveled on the edges, sanded, and then painted with porch paint and clear floor varnish. It's proven to be very durable so far. The dust collection port that you see there also has a port on the back and left side of this island so I can reach most anywhere in the shop without ever dealing with the vac itself (which is a Fein Turbo 2 with a Dust Deputy cyclone).

The shot below is from the back corner. I made all the "furniture" that you see in the shop. I had a guy with a CNC drill all the holes in the side outfeed table. You can see the vacuum and another one of the ports here. The area where the vacuum sits is lined with a sound absorbing material to reduce the noise. All the lighting is LED with a very high CRI (Color rendition index) of 96. All the "beams", "posts", and top and bottom trim have raceways in them with removeable covers so that I can access much the wiring if I need to add a new circuit someday. The light from the clerestory is beautiful in the morning because it faces East. That's a router table at the bottom right that is on casters to roll out when I need it.

Here's some of the wood storage. This rack is simply 2 x 4's and a lot of 30" pieces of galvanized pipe. It's directly in line with the door at the end of the shop so that it's easy to load material into the rack. I store most of the wood on edge so I can pull out any board without disturbing the rest. The planer is a rather rare 5hp Parks 130 that's been upgraded with a custom Shelix head. Only the 2nd one they had ever made for this planer.

That's my assembly table there under the clamp rack. The top is a replaceable sheet of HDPE. I built the parts cabinet years ago to store small hardware. The clamp rack is new for this shop. The scrap wood rack there is on rollers and rolls in to an area behind the clamps. There are more shelves back there for short wood storage.

That's a PM1500 bandsaw (used mostly for resawing) and my miter station. The Fein vac at the end is dedicated to the mitersaw and comes on automatically when I use the saw. You can also see the orange dust collection ports behind the mitersaw that are connected to the big vacuum system. Not a lot of sawdust from this saw. I installed a mini-split to keep this place comfortable year around. There are two general purpose 20 amp outlet circuits in the shop so evey other outlet is a different circuit.

Mechanicals Closet. That's a 3 hp Oneida V3000 dust collector and a 3.7 HP, 60 gal air compressor (not plumbed up yet in this photo). The red light above the door flashes when the dust collection barrel is almost full. I did a LOT of research about how to minimize the noise from these machines. There's drywall on the inside, mineral wool insulation between the studs, and two layers of drywall separated by green noise proofing compound. The doors are gasketed all around. The exhaust exits through a baffled box that lined with sound absorbing material. Sound levels measured at the table saw are under 55 db at the tablesaw.

Here's the dust collection at the tablesaw.

Here's my Frank Klaus workbench I made about 30 years ago from reclaimed maple pallets. It's holding up well but I would love to have a shot of making a new one some day. There is sheet storage behind that wall at the back of the bench.

I also love to play guitar and there's nothing better than being able to grab the guitar when a good song comes on or I'm just waiting for glue to dry. I've since built a climate controlled cabinet to keep the guitar in. I got those huge drawer units from Craigslist. I mostly store tools and supplies for remodeling like paint, plumbing, drywall, electrical, tile work, etc in these cabinets.

I also recently added a Fire TV to my shop. I mostly listen to music or news but it's nice to be able to see the names of the songs or watch a woodworking video in the shop. And everything (including the lights in the shop) are on Alexa. Notice the TV is behind me when I work at most of the machines. That's one of the kitchen cabinets for our new kitchen.

Here's a another view of the cabinet :-)


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