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Thread: Those proud of their workshops, please post pics!

  1. #76
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    40
    Hi folks,

    I got the woodworking bug around 10 years ago. I snuck in a lot of time at my local woodcraft store (which has a 'membership' shop) but always wanted a place of my own. Over the last couple of years I've been making that dream come true. The exterior of my new shop is done, and the bones and major tools are all in place inside. I'm still working on a lot of shop fixtures, and I'm sure that will continue for a long time. I have to give a big thank you to my architect - Eric Gronning - who is a furniture maker too. BTW, this shop is downtown in Washington D.C., just two blocks from a subway station.

    One of the pictures below shows the 'before' - a couple of 100-year-old stone garages that were incredibly dilapidated. It took me two years to convince the owners to sell them. Another year to get permission from the city to build. Another year to get around to building it. And then...the magic day when the table saw arrived and I could get to the real work. (To be clear, on that day I had no insulation, little light, and plywood for doors, but I knew my priorities.)


    GM Front shot.jpgGM Angle.jpgGM Door.jpgGM Back view.jpggm interior.jpggm before.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Sam Shankar; 03-24-2020 at 3:59 PM.

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
    Posts
    15,353
    That’s a really nice shop. I love the architecture.
    Please help support the Creek.

    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
    - Steven Wright

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    52,446
    Sam, that was a masterful transformation! Congrats on getting to this point...it's beautiful!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #79
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    9,088
    That is really nice!

    I'm wondering about the surrounding context. In the pic labeled GM Angle, it looks like there are more of these dilapidated ex-garage structures on the right. In most urban areas, parking spaces are quite valuable. But it seems here that they are abandoned. What's up with that?

  5. #80
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    40
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    In most urban areas, parking spaces are quite valuable. But it seems here that they are abandoned. What's up with that?
    Long story. The garages were built in the 1930s and are very small. It's hard to get a modern car in there, and even harder to open the doors once you are in. (Let alone close a garage door behind you.) Plus they were super dilapidated (see picture below), and would be very expensive to update purely as parking spaces. When we moved into our house (our backyard is immediately adjacent to the back wall of the garage), the older woman who owned the garages tried to sell one to us for $30k, which seemed insane at the time, even in such a prime location close to apartments and the subway. Long story short, ten years later we were begging her children to sell three of them, for only a slightly smaller amount of money.

    I had to buy three in order to get a 450 square foot space. So every time I dither about whether to buy a tool, I consider the cost of the square foot of space I'm standing on! One way I justified it is that it would only take relatively minor work for a future owner to turn this into an auxiliary dwelling. It's built to residential code, insulated, and framed so that it's easy to remove the garage door and add more windows.

    My wife was spectacular throughout this, encouraging me to 'do it right' all along. She was right that there ended up being not much difference in work and cost between 'a shop' and what our tightly-knit neighborhood calls 'the Garage Mahal' Shortly after we built it, other neighbors bought up every other garage in the row, and there are building plans for most already. After we spent years getting the sellers to the table and wearing down the city's permitting office and the larger neighborhood's historic preservation cops, it's been smoother sailing for our neighbors.

    Oh, and one more thing. I can't tell you how awesome it was to have an architect and a builder who both 'got it.' The architect designs metal-and-glass furniture, and was one of the first to play with the sawstop when it showed up. It's great to hear things like 'you're gonna need 220 outlets in the middle of the floor' and 'trust me on the cedar.'

    broken roof.jpg
    Last edited by Sam Shankar; 03-25-2020 at 9:35 AM.

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Evanston, IL
    Posts
    1,370
    That looks great, Sam. I have a shop in Chicago, which I rent, and am impressed with your diligence in overcoming obstacles to build your own where space is hard to come by. Enjoy your dream shop!

  7. #82
    Wow, Sam, that is an absolutely fantastic shop and the design is terrific! For us woodworkers who live in urban neighborhoods in big cities-- I live in the core of Boston-- having any kind of home shop is a huge challenge, if not impossible, and you must be thrilled to finally have one. The only personal shop I know of in my neighborhood belongs to a hobbyist woodworker/turner who rents a basement space in a non-profit artists' complex. My solution is to have my shop in a weekend house property in a rural area, for which I'm grateful. But I'm still jealous. Congrats!

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    40
    Iíve actually been wondering if I can find a way to share the space with others in a way that doesnít too badly cramp my own style or cewate a safety risk. If anyone has done that successfully Iíd love to know. Kind of a moot point these days though.

  9. #84
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Evanston, IL
    Posts
    1,370
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Shankar View Post
    Iíve actually been wondering if I can find a way to share the space with others in a way that doesnít too badly cramp my own style or cewate a safety risk. If anyone has done that successfully Iíd love to know. Kind of a moot point these days though.
    I used to share my space with another woodworker; in fact, he had the space when I came to it. I think the key element is trust in the person you share with. You need to trust that he or she won't steal from you, but also that the person knows how to use the tools safely. If you find a person you can trust, it is great to have someone to talk to about woodworking and help you figure out solutions to challenging projects. It is also nice to have an extra hand for complex glue-ups. The guy I shared with moved out of state and my landlord now insists I can't share the space with other woodworkers, or I would be looking for someone to share the shop (and the rent).

    Prior to that shop, I worked in a communal shop run by the Chicago Park District. I was glad to have a space to work and enjoyed the camaraderie, but the hours were limited and you had to bring your hand tools and such to and from the shop each time. That got old.

  10. #85
    37798ED4-72A5-4B8A-9A8A-2C2A95F7D377.jpg7FE90B26-C2AF-4972-AC96-9F4112E600D4.jpgF3E19C8B-A8D7-45BB-9572-51632F2822A7.jpg
    Our house came with a (very) detached 2 car garage. I replaced the garage doors with the French doors and front windows, put more windows in on all sides, and finished the interior. Itís just inside our tree line so I get great shade from the hot MD summer but still lots of natural light. My very own fortress of solitude.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #86
    Thatís a great shop, Pete, and ďfortress of solitudeĒ nicely captures a sentiment a great many of us have.

  12. #87
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Clemson, SC
    Posts
    176
    Here are pics and a video from my last shop. I sold it and the house in October and am finally ready to start build on my new (and definitely last) shop. I will not be able to duplicate everything I had in the last, but hope to make it just as functional. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxYozuwJt14
    IMG_0887.jpgIMG_0889.jpgIMG_0890.jpgIMG_0891.jpgIMG_0892.jpgIMG_0893.jpg

  13. #88
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
    Posts
    15,353
    Beautiful shop Bob!
    Please help support the Creek.

    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
    - Steven Wright

  14. #89

  15. #90
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Woodstock, VA
    Posts
    829
    Kevin,
    That's a slick add-on to your slider, I'm guessing it lets you rip a full sheet?
    Nice shops everyone! Jeff

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