Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Workshop Anniversary

June 2 is the 5th anniversary of my workshop being built and I've been busy getting the place spiffied up for an open house.

This prompted me to retrieve some of the progress shots I took during construction—the longest 8 weeks of my life.

My contractor and one other guy worked as quickly as possible, which was in no way in response to my constant hovering and anticipatory—rather, pleading—looks I gave them.

The year prior to ground breaking I spent researching heating and building supplies, designing the workshop, and building a scale model in preparation for the 17.5' x 36' structure.

The heating unit is linked to the oil furnace in our house. That, combined with the R-30 insulation in the floor and ceiling, and R-13 in the walls, keeps the shop toasty in winter. We added a sink, a designated breaker box, a 220 outlet in the floor beneath my table saw, south and east-facing windows, double outlets (chest and shin high) every few feet along the walls, and a door leading to the bedroom in case I need to do some handplaning at 3:00 in the morning.

I photographed the studded walls before the drywall was hung so when I need to hang something, I know where to drive a nail or screw.

I only made two mistakes in planning. We should have put 120 outlets next to the 220 in the floor so when I use the outfeed table on the table saw for assembly work, I wouldn't have to run a cord to the wall (potential tripping hazard). And, I should have run a water line under the floorboards to the back of the house to make watering plants in the yard easier.

The last three photos were taken today: the shop front, back porch, and back yard. There is another window to the left of the shop front, but you can see our messy deck in the photo, so I cropped it out.

The only bummer with building the shop was having to cut down our beautiful 90' tall tulip poplar. But in the last photo, you can see two little guys—a red bud and a Japanese snowbell, both planted within the last four years—trying hard to make up for the loss.

Here are some photos of the inside of my shop taken a year and a half ago.


Ethan said...

Great looking shop, Kari! I've always wondered what your work space looks like when taken as a whole.

Thanks for the apropos blog post! I noticed my motivation was starting to wear down with the drywall almost-but-not-quite done, but seeing yours go from a trench to a shop is just enough of a push to get me back downstairs this evening (between loads of laundry). Just a few small pieces to hang and I can have the mudding and taping done.

Then it's just a matter of paint and flooring (oh, and a door...) and I'll be in business.

Did you also run speaker wire while you had the walls open? If not, is that something you regret?

At the last minute, I delayed hanging drywall for 15 minutes while I ran some; I think it will prove useful.

Dave Griessmann said...

Looks like the weather vane is falling over...

Kari Hultman said...

Ethan, keep plugging away! You'll be working IN your shop instead of ON your shop before you know it. I'm impressed with people who can build their own shops. I took the sissy (and crazy-expensive) way out.

I did not put speaker wire in the walls since I rarely listen to music.

Dave, you just HAD to point that out! Yeh, it doesn't work very well....

Kevin Kuehl said...

Your shop is beautiful! I really like how you painted the trim and left the walls white. It looks nice without being sterile.

The Villiage Idiot said...

So who is buried in that little cemetary in the back? It must be from the 18th century with old picket fence?

I've always liked your shop. And working in it too! Thankfully you have it or I wouldn't have doors on mine.

I started over 2 years later to build mine and I can't believe I'm still building it(putting insulation in now)! Good thing I'm not impatient.

will said...

I'm curious about the overhead fan ... any particular reason for it? I don't recall ever seeing one in a workshop before.

Shazza said...

Happy Anniversary to your shop! (I can't stop looking at the weather vane now)

Kari Hultman said...

Thanks, Kevin!

Scott, there are lots of dead plants in the "cemetery." Hurry up and finish your shop so I can post some pictures of it on my blog!

Bill, there are two ceiling fans for times when I don't want to use the AC unit. They also help spin the airborn dust into the air filtration unit, which also hangs from the ceiling.

Shazza, I know, I need to fix that thing somehow. It keeps tipping over.'ll be here on Saturday. You afraid of heights?

Bob Tinsley said...

Happy anniversary, Kari! Maybe when I get rich and famous like you, I'll have my own shop. Let's see, how much space would I need? Hmmm. I need a place to put my chair, my 23"x8"x9" toolbox, my Workmate table. That's about it! 8'x10" oughta work just fine! ;)


Al Navas said...


Congratulations on the anniversary! It was fun to look at the photos of the build. Terrific!

Eric said...

Congrats, Kari, and thanks for the ride! That was fun to watch (all at once, over in 10 minutes, unlike what you experienced!).

The Great Ethan Allen said...

What a Great work shop! Mostly, it's the space that I envy. I'm still in a small cramped spare room! Then again, It's all I need at the moment, but who wouldn't want more room! Love the shop funiture as well. Looks very professional!

Woodbloke said...

Kari - fantastic build and a great 'shop. The only thing I didn't do in mine was to make the floor strong enough...I could do with a few of those 'I' beams.
What's all this about not listening to muzak in the 'shop? forget your Manilo post with the red rose (which you'll never live down and permanently regret!) - Rob

Kari Hultman said...

Bob, that's certainly one of the benefits of working with handtools and knives--you don't need as much shop space. :o)

Eric, glad you enjoyed it!

TGEA, that's a good point you bring up. It is possible (imo) to build too LARGE a shop. You don't want to continually have to walk from one end to the other for a pencil.

Rob, ah, but Barry Manilow is in another category. His is not just music. More like the songs of angels. hee hee