Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 197, February 2022Welcome 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 Mark Corso
Plant City, FL

I recently purchased a home which had a detached 24' x 42' building, that I could dedicate to a workshop. I am retired and have been woodworking and carving since I was about 13 years old. I have had previous workshops but have only dreamed about a space like this to enjoy. It also has a covered area that can be used during nice weather which doubles its footprint.

The above photograph shows the building as purchased. It had 2x6 exterior walls and a metal roof over trusses. Being in Florida, I wanted an air conditioned space so I insulated the walls with 1" ridged insulation followed by R-19 batts. I also had the attic spray foamed and I installed a 2 ton central air unit. There was a disconnect box that could handle a few lights but it wasn't suitable for a full shop. Consequently, I had to add a 100 amp electric service and wire the shop.

I wanted a bench room for hand tool woodworking and carving. Something that I could keep reasonably clean and tidy so that it would be a comfortable environment to work. I framed an area 10' by the width of the building which is 24'. The remainder is for machine tools and not incorporated into this article for brevity. Looking at the photograph you will see the entrance door. Along one wall I built a workbench and a cabinet to hold sharpening supplies which is adjacent to a sink. Building the workbench into the wall has proven to be a fantastic idea as it is rock solid and has zero movement.

The walls are rough sawn Cypress obtained from a mill and provide a solid backdrop for the tools. It's amazing how fluid things are when you can take a tool right off the wall and when done, put it right back where it belongs. Prior to this I was always digging and searching.

The ceilings in the building are 10' and I built some Cypress beams to continue the rustic look. I added LED shop lights which are daisy chained to each other. I used desk style grommets to run the wires through the ceiling, where necessary, to get a clean and finished look.

The above views show the tool cabinet when opened. It holds a variety of hand planes, chisels, and other tools. At the end of the wall is a sink which is used all the time.

This is the opposing wall and is used to hold bench jigs, planes, and some other chisels. In the 80's and 90's I did a substantial amount of wildlife carving. There is a small shelf with a decorative decoy that I carved and it is a reminder of past years. In the background is a carving station.

This little alcove used to house a carving bench. It has dog holes for work holding and can be adjusted from 0-90 degrees as necessary. It is on locking casters and can be moved as needed. It also holds all my carving tools on the lower shelf. I also use it as a drafting table by placing a piece of masonite over the top to get a smooth surface. It's not used a whole bunch for drafting since SketchUp is so versatile and free.

This is my power carving station with a small down draft area. Wood dust is removed to a unit on the opposite side of the wall where I don't have to hear it.

A small bookshelf provides an area to hold some books and a few clamps.

In conclusion, I am extremely happy with what I have done. I am particularly pleased with separating the hand tool area from the machine area. The wall I put in also gave me more space to hang tools and cabinets on each side. Most importantly, I am no longer sweating over my projects and I have a place that's not only wonderful to spend my time, but a great place to entertain friends, family, and fellow woodworkers.

You can email Mark at mcorso45@yahoo.com.

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