Wake up!! It’s Just a Dream Shop!!

Well it might be a dream, but I’ve certainly put a lot of thought into it!  I really think I am on to something.

Shop Inspiration 1

Let’s start with the exterior:

Barn Exterior 1

This is the view as you drive up the driveway. Below is a two car garage and a shed for outdoor tools

Barn Exterior 2

From the driveway you can drive up to a sliding barn door for easy unloading.

Barn Exterior 3

The side facing our house. These double doors would be the main entrance.

Barn Exterior 4

Shop Inspiration 2

Now let’s go inside……

Barn Shop 1

The overall space

The Breakdown

The Breakdown

The Breakdown:

  1. The Office Space–Complete with drafting table and a roll top oak desk.
  2. The Finishing Room–I really wanted to create a separate dust free room for finishing, complete with slop sink
  3. Stairs to Loft–over the office and finishing space I put a storage loft with easy access
  4. Floor Access to basement–This floor board would be pulled up a pully and allow access to the lower level.  I did not want to wast space with a door and full stairwell.
  5. Router Table
  6. Woodstove— I would most likely add another form of heat, just to keep the temperature above freezing, but, much like our house I would primarily use a woodstove while working in the winter, when we tend to be in the teens.
  7. Clamp Storage— I show a rolling clamp rack, but the space under the stairs seems like the perfect place to store clamps.
  8. Drill Press –I would definitely like to someday graduate to PM2800.
  9. Sharpening Station
  10. Hand Tool Area— I designed a dormer into the roof line of the saltbox style room in order to accommodate a window in front of which my bench could sit.  There is not as much natural light as I would like, but this is a place I would find it quite important and well, just a pleasing place to work.  These windows face the road, but given the height and the slope, the view will only be trees and the morning sun.  I also really like the idea of having a nook exclusively for hand tools.
  11. Hand Tool Cabinet
  12. Saw Stop 3HP-– On the other side of the spectrum and in the center of the work area would be my Saw Stop cabinet saw.
  13. Outfield table–no more flimsy Rigid stand!
  14. Assembly Table
  15. 16-32 Drum Sander — would be a nice addition
  16. Oscillating Spindal Sander— I own the rigid orange one now, perhaps an upgrade.
  17. Lathe— I own a Jet 12-36
  18. Jointer—  I own a Powermatic 8″ Jointer, 2HP with helical head
  19. Planer—  I own a Dewalt 735 Lunch box.  It would be nice to upgrade to a Powermatic.
  20. Chop Saw— Definitely an upgrade.  Still use one of the 1st tools I bought: a Ryobi Chop saw–Chop being the operable word (but it works!).  I’d love a Festool Kapex Compound Miter Saw.
  21. Antique Band Saw—   On a surprise visit to a neighbor (who had found our cat) we were invited in to see their shop, complete with the most amazing and interesting collection of power tools.  The stand out in their shop was a beautiful antique band saw.  My wife was kind enough to say “you’ll own that some day”.
  22. Powermatic 13″ Band Saw— Which I presently own.
  23. Mortiser–I own a Delta which has served me well.  If I used it more I’d be inclined to move up to a Powermatic.
  24. Large overhead factory lamps–always a favorite of mine.  We installed 12 in our cheese shop and the provide plenty of light.  I would never use fluorescent lamps.  To me woodworking is the the most romantic activities I can think of and this lighting designer loves the warm glow of an incandescent bulb.
  25. Sliding Barn Doors— on the driveway side for loading and unloading.
  26. Double Doors–Main Entrance.
  27. Basement–Storage and large cyclone dust collector system.
  28. Two Car Garage
  29. Wood Storage under eaves—  Not shown in the ground plan or model is the large amount of storage space under the eaves–I planned this for wood storage.
  30. and of course–ME

Barn Shop 1

Barn Shop 2 Barn Shop 3 Barn Shop 4 Barn Shop 5 Barn Shop 6

Finishing Rooom

Finishing Rooom


Barn Shop 8 Barn Shop 9 Barn Shop 10


The one thing I guess I’ve left out of the dream is that I really want to build it myself.  I was scheduled to take a timber framing course this fall, but schedule wise that just wasn’t in the cards.  No worries.  I have years before I will need those skills.  In the meantime I can perfect my timber framing, sketchup skills.


…To Do: Finish my Moxon Vise

Yes it’s true.  I too have a Moxon Vise.  I know, imagine that!

I think smarter folks than me have explained at length how they built their vise, so I won’t get into that. But I will share some of the modifications I’ve made this weekend.

Several years ago I built this moxon- wanna be, after seeing an example of it online.





It did not take me long to realize that these jig handles weren’t going to cut it. Not a complete failure, but depending on the size of the wood, it just didn’t have the grip, as you can imagine.



So I invested in the Benchcraft kit.







The vise is awesome, but I had seen two modifications on Paul-Marcel St-Onge’s site, www.halfinchshy.com, which I really grooved on.  The 1st was the addition of the rear bench, which is also shown on Benchcrafted’ site, and the other is the french cleat he added in order to hang and store the vise when not in use.  Paul-Marcel is a pretty smart guy, if you don’t follow his site, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Gluing up the back bench

Glueing and Screwing the french cleat to the back bench

Vise flipped over for final clamping of rear support.























Stores perfectly right under my bench!  Brilliant space saving in my tiny shop.

Thanks Paul-Marcel.





I am going to add one more small modification.  I use my Gramercy Hold Fasts to secure the Moxon to my bench.  Now that I have added the rear bench, I need to extend the stabalizer on each side, so fastening the holdfast isn’t as clumsy.

Now I have no excuse for practicing my dovetails!

Finish My Moxon Vise…


The To-Do List

I have had so little time in the shop lately and when I have, it seems its for short spurts.  Luckily I did a big shop cleanup, not too long ago, so I don’t spend my time cleaning.

Instead of starting another project, only to chip away at it sporadically I’ve decided to chip away at those little shop projects on the ever expanding To-Do list.  You know the ones where your in the middle of a project and think “someday, I’m going to fix that!”. The ones where you’ve bought the parts, but never get around to installing them.

So here are some of my recent To-Dos:

My Router.

I own a PC 890 with a fixed base and a plunge router. I’ve been very happy with it, but I had taken the motor out and placed it in my router table.  Sound familiar?  So every time I wanted to use the plunge feature I’d have to remove it from the table.  Not a huge deal, but it can be a pain. My router table has been fitted for the 890, so I didn’t want to start from scratch. I searched around and found just the motor for sale on eBay.  Perfect.    So I installed that and was able to tune up my plunge router.  Done.

My Lathe:

I am not turner, but I’ve been trying slowly trying to build my skills and use the lathe for portions of projects.  In the process of that I broke off one of the adjustment handles on the tool rest body.  I bought a bit to try and drill out the screw, with no luck.  In fact, I think I made it worse. I had a plan to find a metal shop that could rethread it for me.  But then it occurred to me that I could replace the base piece for about $30.  Kinda seemed like a no brainer.  So I Installed the new tool rest body and a new tool rest extension arm.  Done.

Lathe Tool Rests:

I bought my lathe used on craigslist and the tool rest was always rather beat up, not to mention it always seem to be too long for the project at hand, so while I was tuning up the lathe I decided to invest in some new tool rests.  I purchased the woodcraft toolrest sytem, it has one rod and you and you can screw on different rest.  I bought a 12″ rest, a 6″ rest for pen turning and a curved rest for when I take up bowl turning (as if I don’t have enough to do!)  Not a lot of set up, but Done!

Micro Jig Splitter:

I’ve had this forever and never seemed to get around to actually installing it.  Pretty stupid to not install something as important as a splitter.



The directions seem a little over complex, even slightly intimidating, but the truth is, it only took me less than an hour and it worked as advertised.  A great innovation.













I naturally was able to use another product from MJ:

The GRRRipper!!!



Starret 12″ Square:

I recently took a hand tool class and compared my old 12″ square with the instructors 12″ Starret.  Wow.  I was really surprised to see how accurate his was and how out of square my hardware store square was.  I had recently purchased the 4″ model and now I could not seem to build anything until I added this to my arsenal.  Luckily, I had an order from woodcraft coming anyway!  Imagine that. Square!  Done.

Today I worked on my Moxon Vise (yes, I too have built a Moxon!).  More on that tomorrow…