Brit's Workshop

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Workshop by Brit posted 04-13-2014 07:10 PM 8821 reads 2 times favorited 118 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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I figured it was time I had a place to work. I actually built this 3m x 3m building 8 years ago and we used it as an office for a while. During that time the spiders moved in, the moss took over the roof and the birds crapped all over it. So I took a couple of weeks off work to claim it back. Phase 1 was to renew the exterior which involved brushing, scraping, washing, sanding, filling, sanding, brushing, painting, painting and more painting. Glad that’s over. Phase 2 will be to clear it out and Phase 3 will be to lay on proper electricity, a new floor and insulate the walls and roof so it can be used all year round. It’s a start.

I’ll update with more photos as things progress.

Phase 2 is now complete. All cleared out. Just need to vacuum the cobwebs.

Even the old saw till is no more. LOL.

And so it begins…

The electrics are all done and the battening for the tongue and groove at the bottom on the walls is complete. I gave myself 21 sockets + 1 outside socket, which should be enough in a 3m x 3m space. Sockets are like clamps, you can never have too many. :o)

The bottom insulation is all fitted now ready for the tongue and groove work next weekend.

Tongue and Groove work to the bottom of the walls is now complete. All hand tools, which basically consisted of a little 20” Disston D8 panel saw, a hammer, a block plane, a couple of chisels and a square.

The following shot shows the little panel saw that did all this work. As I stood there sawing I couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that I was getting a good workout doing something I enjoyed. I also spared a thought for all those people who were stuck in traffic on their way to the gym to ride stationary bicycles. LOL.

I can’t decide whether to tackle the top part of the walls next or the ceiling. Guess we’ll all find out next weekend.

I haven’t had much time to progress the workshop lately due to the fact that I’ve been working six days a week for the last couple of weeks. However, I have managed to get the roof insulated and the first layer of insulation on the top half of the walls. Looks a bit space age at the moment.

The upper part of the walls are finally finished. I knew it would be a bit of a challenge to measure and cut the compound angles in the MDF around the corner roof trusses, so I started by making myself a template.

Even though each corner was inevitably slightly different, I was able to use the template to measure and allow for these differences. Glad to say I managed to cut around all the roof trusses with my little Disston panel saw without screwing up.

I made a shelf above the door which is where the stereo will be housed which is wired to a digital ariel on the outside of one of the back walls. I put three sockets on the shelf, one for the stereo, one to power the digital ariel and one spare for a small TV if I decide I want one at a later date.

Next I’ll board out the roof between the trusses.

And as if by magic, here it is done. 12mm MDF for the roof boards.

Only one day of shop time this weekend and this is what I made. Now I ask you, did you ever see such a ridiculous shape?

There’s a lot to be said for putting a flat roof on your workshop. LOL. Still it is up, I have light and that means longer days in the shop are now possible. Can’t knock that! Oh and if you can see any little gaps, well that’s what filler was made for.

The first of the internal window frames is done. I only had one day to work on the workshop this weekend and that was downgraded to half a day when the dishwasher decided to give up the ghost. I had to drag that out and dismantle it to see if it was worth getting it repaired or I need to spend £650 on a new one. Gonna see if it can be repaired I think. Anyhow, here is the first frame. The original frame which was just four separate pieces screwed to the outside window frame to hold it in. That can’t be used anymore because I’ve thickened the walls. I decided to join the four new pieces to make it a proper frame with handcut hardwood splines. Four sides and all of them different.

You might not be able to see it very clearly, but I ran two equi-spaced V-grooves around the front face for a bit of decoration. I managed to add this detail to all of the other boards as well, so at least I don’t have to do that next week.

The light was failing so the mess will have to wait until next week.

The other window frame and the door frame is made and up.

I also decided to give the ceiling a coat of paint before I fit the beading to hold the boards in. The boards are bound to shrink a bit and I don’t want to be looking at unpainted MDF when they do.

I’ve decided to use light-reflecting paint for the top coat on the ceiling and the top half of the walls. Never used it before, but if it works then great.

Beading next. The end is in sight me thinks.

Got the first part of the beading done today. That is the bit where the walls meet the ceiling as you can see below.

I needed a molding which was a parallelogram or a diamond shape, so I had to make it myself and that meant lots of planing. Since I don’t have a vice of any description that works at present, I had to turn the old Workmate into a jig to hold a rectangular cross-section while I planed it into a parallelogram. This is what I came up with and it worked really well.

By the time I’d planed all the pieces, I’d had a good workout and was left with a satisfying pile of shavings.

The rest of the beading will be quadrant shaped, so at least you can buy that ready-made.

All the beading is done. OMG, am I glad that is over. 56 bits of quadrant beading all individually cut, planed, coped, drilled, glued, nailed and set. I was quite pleased that I only messed up about three pieces. When you add the parallelogram shaped pieces I made to join the walls to the ceiling, that’s a total of 72 hand cut bits of molding. Like I said, glad that’s over.

Just have to fill all the nail holes in the beading and then the painting can commence. I just bought all the paint and nearly fell over when they told me the price. Luckily they had a buy one, get the second one half price deal on paint, so I told the cashier to put my 7 cans of paint through the till in three separate transactions. That saved me £26, but it still cost me £109. Stone the crows! I must be getting old. LOL.

The bulk of the painting is now complete. The walls and ceiling have all had three coats of paint. The ceiling was particularly slow work due to all the brush work involved, but I got through it.

The window and door frames will all be painted white when I can get around to it.

Next up will be the dado rail and a couple of floating shelves for my stereo speakers.

The floating shelves are up and the stereo is connected to the digital ariel. I always work better with some music on and I’ve even been known to bust a few moves.

I’ve made a start on the dado rail to hide the expansion gap between the upper and lower walls, but I doubt much will happen over the next 3 weekends as we’re fast approaching this year’s charity Christmas carnival. I spent today making road signs and next weekend I’ll be driving around the county bashing them into the ground.

2015 and I’m back working on the shop. The boards on the outside of the workshop run horizontally, so when I boarded the inside I had to allow for the fact that the outside walls will rise and fall by about 3/8” with the seasons. That expansion gap occurs at the top of the tongue and groove boards, so I made an L-shaped dado rail that is affixed to the MDF sheets above the tongue and groove boards and rises and falls over the top of the boards.

I also wasn’t happy with the level of lighting. If you remember, last year I fitted this light which I do like, but it just isn’t bright enough for woodworking.

I decided to supplement it with another 200W in the shape of 4 X 50W spotlights. Since I can’t recess spotlights into the ceiling, I made four opposing boxes radiating out from the center light. Now the lighting rocks! It kind of reminds me of the dentist though. LOL.

Next up is laying the floor.

I finished laying the floor today which sits on more sound insulation. I used solid carbonised strand woven 142mm bamboo flooring. My little Disston panel saw did all the cutting. I’m going to have to treat it to a sharpening session soon. It isn’t as sharp as it was, but considering what it has achieved during this workshop build, I think RESPECT is due to the little fella. Anyhow, here’s some pics.

I will add some skirting board once I’ve built some fitted cupboards along the back wall.

I gave my 607 some exercise this morning, or did it give me some exercise. The jury’s still out on that one. Made some French cleats.

Got a big pile of shavings to show for it too.

I’ll probably paint them the same colour as the wall so they blend in a bit more.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

118 comments so far

View CL810's profile


4107 posts in 3999 days

#1 posted 04-13-2014 07:39 PM

Beautiful Andy! If anyone deserves a good work space it’s you. Congrats!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17231 posts in 3629 days

#2 posted 04-13-2014 07:39 PM

It looks great, Andy!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View summerfi's profile


4383 posts in 2698 days

#3 posted 04-13-2014 07:50 PM

That’s a sweet looking little building, Andy. What type of pines are those in the background?

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works -- ~Non multa sed multum~

View Don W's profile

Don W

19891 posts in 3578 days

#4 posted 04-13-2014 07:53 PM

Awesome! Looks like a great place to sharpen a saw or two.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View mafe's profile


12928 posts in 4100 days

#5 posted 04-13-2014 08:10 PM

Looks just wonderful Andy, I would love to Work there, birds singing, shaves flying and the smell of nature.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4345 days

#6 posted 04-13-2014 08:36 PM

Sweet place Andy. Looking forward to the updates.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View llwynog's profile


288 posts in 3590 days

#7 posted 04-13-2014 08:38 PM

Lots of windows, you must get great light in there. Very nice, especially since you can also step outside if the weather is nice.
Looking forward to seeing the next steps.

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

View Brit's profile


8303 posts in 3854 days

#8 posted 04-13-2014 08:38 PM

Thanks guys. Very small by American standards, but then you don’t need much space when you use hand tools and buy your lumber PAR.

Bob – They’re Scots pines mixed in with silver birch.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View theoldfart's profile


12457 posts in 3462 days

#9 posted 04-13-2014 08:47 PM

I can see opening the doors and windows , light streaming in, and a smoothing plane leaving flat backlit wisps. Looks like nirvana to me since i’m a basement troll! Let the blogging begin Andy.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View terryR's profile


7640 posts in 3319 days

#10 posted 04-13-2014 09:30 PM

It looks fine, Andy! Plenty of space for the master to keep his tools and practice magic…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Slyy's profile


2840 posts in 2666 days

#11 posted 04-14-2014 02:27 AM

Excellent hut of woodworking there Andy! Will be great to see you get it into working order.

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

View thedude50's profile


3613 posts in 3489 days

#12 posted 04-14-2014 03:14 AM

congrats Brit it will be nice good light and all I wish my shop had windows and I am focused on ac and heat this year so I can use the shop 4 seasons like you are hooping for too

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3867 days

#13 posted 04-14-2014 10:46 AM

Looking good Andy
Now you just need a matching workmate :)


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Brit's profile


8303 posts in 3854 days

#14 posted 04-14-2014 11:20 AM

One thing I know for sure Jamie is that is will be a Workmate free zone. :o)

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View AnthonyReed's profile


10164 posts in 3451 days

#15 posted 04-14-2014 12:51 PM

A wonderful space Andy. It will be great to see how you mold it to fit your use.

-- ~Tony

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