Richard’s Small Tennessee Workshop

Shop Tour - Submitted by Richard Arveaux from Smithville, TN
Added on February 9, 2014

My shop is quite small at 108 sq ft. It’s actually a 9’x 16’metal storage building, of which 3′ is used for storage! I have the following tools snugly inside: 13″ planer, 40″ lathe, 12″ sliding miter saw, shop-made router table, small compressor, table top drill press, 5′ workbench w/vise, 6″ jointer, 10″ bandsaw, a couple of clamp racks both long and small, a wall-mounted shop-made storage cabinet, and a 10″ table saw.

I started putting this shop together just to build various things for the yard and garden. I mostly had arbors and benches in mind. I had a neighbor ask me to build an arbor for their climbing rose bushes and from there, things just started getting out of hand! Friends and neighbors started putting in requests and the next thing I knew, I had a small business going… requiring considerably more tools than when building arbors. Now, I’m building furniture…60% of which is made from reclaimed barns that I re-mill and re-purpose! I try not to work around the natural worm holes or bee holes, and do what I can to incorporate them into the finished product! I have a few pictures here, but I do a lot of small stuff like: one sided towel racks, cutting boards and racks to hold them, and wall-mount coat hangers. I use mixed antique woods using poplar and cherry.

The larger pieces usually are tables from old poplar or old oak. The project I’m working on at the moment is a queen size bed using a mixture of 100 year old red oak and new kiln-dried oak with M/T connections and held with draw-bored pegging using some black walnut from my firewood pile. Speaking of the firewood pile, I’ve made a few wooden mallets out of that pile using red oak, white oak, hickory, ash and a local wood the locals call “ironwood.” I’m not sure what that wood is exactly, but it’s rock hard and the leaves look like beech!

The best part of my shop, even though it’s small, is that I can reach everything easily, well, except maybe the bathroom! Thank you Marc, for the inspiration to keep at it!


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