James’ Man Cave

Shop Tour - Submitted by James from Pacific Northwest
Added on August 20, 2009

Located in the Pacific Northwest, the origins of my shop started last March when I decided I needed a separate building for my new woodworking hobby. I selected a 12′ x 18′ shop that matched my home due to neighborhood regulations. I then worked hard on getting the most functionality out of that size shop. The shop itself was one of my first major projects. The entire shop was built by me with a little help from friends and family. I did research on other small shops and tried to take the best of each and incorporate them into my shop. The shop is powered by a 100 amp sub panel with currently 10 of 12 20 amp circuits being used. The shop has electric heat and six 4′ fluorescent lights. This seems to provide all the power, light and heat I need.

The heart of the shop consists of a work station that contains my WoodTek 3 hp cabinet saw with built in router table similar to David Marks’ setup. Behind the table saw I built a version of Marc Spagnuolo’s assembly table. It serves dual functions as an out-feed table and assembly table. I use the space below to store some of my power hand tools. This is also where I set up my bench to plane when needed. The location in the center front third of my shop allows me to rip or plane material up to 8′ by opening the shop’s french doors and sliding my 14″ Grizzly band saw located on the back wall slightly to one side.

The left side of the shop has a 6″ Grizzly jointer and a Christopher Schwarz’s designed La Roubo work bench I just finished. The current jointer location allows me to joint material up to 48″. The jointer is equipped with a mobile base so if the material exceeds 48″ I just pull it away from the wall. The work bench is located next to a window to provide natural light and has most of my hand tools to my front and right.

At the front entrance of the shop is a mobile cabinet that I built to hold a bench top drill press that also has dual function as a isolating spindle sander. The lower section of the cabinet was built to hold my Ryobi 13″ planer, that I just pull out and position on the out-feed table when needed. Everything in the shop is easily connected to my Delta 1.5 hp dust collector located in the front right corner of the shop. I use a system of flexible and metal ducting to provide 3 dust collection hook ups that I switch from tool to tool as necessary. At some point in the future, I’m going to install more permanent ducting so that each tool has a dedicated connection.

On the rear right side of the shop is wood storage and my Makita 10″ sliding miter saw. This allows me to cut material down to more workable sizes efficiently before I have to move them around the shop. The miter saw table is lowered to allow the out-feed table to help support my work. On the back wall of the shop is my clamp storage. I found this design in Fine Woodworking, it allows easy access to all my clamps and I like the way it displays them. Also on the back wall is my 1.5 hp 14″ Grizzly band saw. It also incorporates a mobile base for movement if necessary, the location seems to work well though with the direction of cut across the shop.

All extra space on the walls is used for storage of some sort. Everything has it place so nothing is on my work table unless I’m using it, and because of the small size of the shop its not hard to get things out or put them back. That’s one of the beauties of a small shop everything has its place and that place is only a few steps away. I have really enjoyed working out the functionality of the shop and continue to fine tune it. I have enjoyed having a space to call my own, which is affectionately called The Man Cave.


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