Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 190, July 2021Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Here's My Workshop!
By Jeff Streba
Salt Lake City, UT

Six years ago we moved down the street into a larger house. Our house has a three car garage, however my wife had the wisdom to realize it was really only a one car garage and a two "car" shop. This was the endorsement I needed to commence building a divider wall, wiring, insulating, dry walling and finishing the shop. The space is 20' x 24' or 480 square feet. A window A/C unit keeps the space cool in the summer and an electric 18,000 btu heater provides plenty of heat through the colder months. There are 10-four bulb florescent light fixtures that supply plenty of light.

Living off a teacher's salary, most of what is in the shop has been recycled. The entry door was found in the street during a neighborhood clean-up. The redwood cabinet doors were previously a porch deck. It took a lot of work planing them down, gluing them up, and making doors. I made the pulls on those cabinets myself by using my blacksmithing skills. I must admit I'm a better woodworker than a blacksmith. The carcass of the wall cabinet was found on Craigslist in the free section. The second floor of our house was an apartment so when we remodeled it back to a single family living space I moved the apartment kitchen cabinets into my shop. The base cabinet is an old 1950's sheet metal type cabinet. My workbench top is made from a bunch of 2 x 4's I scavenged when I was in college.

Some of my machinery is also on its second or third life. I paid $125 for both the 1950's vintage drill press and table saw 25 years ago. The table saw has been upgraded with a 1 hp motor, a better fence and maple butcher block extension tables. Those butcher blocks used to be a kitchen table I got at a garage sale for $5. The radial arm saw, dust collector and lathe were also garage sale specials. However, I have purchased some tools new, like a 15 inch spiral cutter head planer. Wow, what a great machine to run. It sure beats my old bench top model. All the machinery that is against the walls are on rolling bases.

I build everything from chairs to desks, picture frames to kitchen cabinets, and tables to lawn furniture. I hate doing the same thing twice. Friends and visitors get a kick out of the variety of chairs around our dining room table. I enjoy making furniture from the Arts and Crafts time period, not only for its simplistic beauty but also because the movement promoted self-reliance and working with your hands. The Stickley brothers published furniture designs and encouraged people to make their own furniture. I get immense satisfaction from the whole process; designing to finishing. Woodworking offers a lifetime of learning, problem solving, and internal happiness.

You can email Jeff at Jeffstreba@gmail.com. You can also visit his website at http://www.qualitycraftsmanship.us/.

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