My Work Space (Shop)

We have lived in our house since 1978 (45 years in 2023!). During that time, I have had variations on a workbench / workshop in our garage. At one point it was all shoved against the wall when parking inside (I built the first cradle then). Then when there was just too much equipment, the truck stayed outside. It was tight and cold, but it worked. A side note, my first piece of equipment was a Sears Craftsman Contractor Saw that my mother bought me in 1978. It is still in use and challenges me constantly with square and parallel.

I had always kind of planned on building a pole barn or garage in the backyard for my shop. Never happened. I like to tell the story that twice I had enough money to do it but had to pay for weddings. I offered to build the barn and have their receptions there, but no way.

Coming out of the pandemic we decide that it was time! No weddings in the near future and so plans began. Building codes, limited size and number of out buildings allowed on the property. If I kept it under 200 square feet, all I needed was a site permit. In addition, I had to tear down a small playhouse. I decided on 12 x 16 (192 square feet).

I laid out a taped floorplan on the garage floor and began trying to fit all my needs and equipment into it. It would be tight, but manageable. I would not be building sets of kitchen cabinets, but then I didn’t plan on it.

The permit was achieved, the site chosen, my wife’s potting shed (trailer) moved and some lilac bushes ripped out. I felt that I had gained enough knowledge from my dad to accomplish it. Plus, there is always the interweb, right?

So, on July 17, 2020, we started. I considered it complete on October 25, 2020. At the end we ran into the material shortages and price increases brought on by the pandemic, but for the most part we were not affected by it.

I had outside help on two tasks. My friend Terry, an electrician ran the wires through the conduit and made the connections in the box. My neighbor Kevin, an HVAC guy made the final connections for the gas lines. Everything else was accomplished my myself, my wife, my son in-law, my daughters and my granddaughters. 

Not to brag, but I consider it one of my greatest accomplishments.

Thank you to my wife Kirstie for allowing it to happen and for her help.

Disclaimer: I consider myself an artist. Words and wood are my mediums. I ‘create’ items in wood to express myself. I do not consider it a hobby. I do not make jigs and pump out hundreds of ‘craft’ items. I picture something in my mind and I ‘create’ it. It is a part of me.

“Woodworking is a fine art defined as “a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic and intellectual purposes.” We see beautiful artwork in woodworking all the time, and thus, it can be considered fine art.” (

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