Sooo, my wife finally lets me build a woodshop...WHOOOHOOOO!!!!

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Blog entry by Jay39 posted 10-06-2017 01:08 PM 3608 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In early 2015, I began a journey that my wife calls a mid-life crisis. That journey has turned in to something so big and so incredible that I can’t help but share it. It all started when I met a friend at work who asked me if I had ever heard of a Pocket Hole jig from Kreg. I said I hadn’t…and then it all began. I’m an IT engineer and have always had a fascination with technology. But, what I didn’t know is that I had an internal love for creating and building. Once unlocked, I began a journey into woodworking that has been so incredible that I can’t express into words. It’s consumed me. And, I just can’t get enough of it. So, I’m going to show some pictures from these last 2+ years of my woodworking evolution. I’m close to $100,000 invested and absolutely still counting…lol.

In January of 2015, my friend had introduced me to woodworking and said I could start by building a workbench. My “woodshop” at the time was in my 3rd bay of my garage and was a considered a catch all:

During 2015, I became more organized and started acquiring tools:

At this point, I knew needed more space as my intentions grew. The more I learned about woodworking, the more I wanted. SawStop was a priority and this new tool series called Festool caught my attention. And, as a result, my shop morphed…big time!

Here’s the thing, I had a great woodshop in my garage. Space was tight and our family used the garage to go into the house. This meant that I was always stressing about rain and my cast iron. It got to the point that I didn’t want my garage doors opened unless it was a beautiful day. Even then, I wanted them shut. I will admit, it caused issues. And, on top of it all…I had to move tables outside to work on my projects. So, I brought up the idea this year (May 2017) about building my own woodshop…fully dedicated to woodworking. No tractors, golf carts or storage of anything other than wood and wood tools (maybe a golf simulator). My wife was reluctant but knew she didn’t want to continue having to work around a garage that she or our two kids could not enter. So, I got about 5 estimates from differing contractors, changed my mind about 40 times on what I wanted, adjusted budget from around $20,000 to around $37,000…finally settled on what I thought would complement our house and our views. I decided on a 28’ x 32’ with a 12’ x 16’ and a 28’ x 8’ front porch. It’s a pole barn with a drive way that is also 28’ feet wide down to it, metal siding and metal interior with 10’ ceilings, outlets galore, 7 220’s, 2 220’s and 4 110’s in the floor, eight 8’ double LED light runs all connected, with windows and French double doors, heated and cool by a AirCon 33,000 BTU 22 SEER Mini Split unit and so much more… So, here are the pics:

All in all, I’m happy. Very very happy! I still have a ton to clear out of my 3 car garage, but once I do…my wife will park in the garage and I will have my dream shop in my back yard doing whatever makes me and my family happy. The best part is we don’t owe a cent and my wife supports my “mid life crisis”

-- Jay

20 comments so far

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9393 posts in 2928 days

#1 posted 10-06-2017 02:04 PM

Looks like a very nice set up… congrats…

Time to make something cool!

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1375 days

#2 posted 10-06-2017 02:11 PM

What do you build?

View Jay39's profile


51 posts in 1529 days

#3 posted 10-06-2017 02:48 PM

I build a little bit of everything…from boxes, to clothes drying racks, to laundry room cabinets, mudroom, Custom Walk-in closets, coolers, coffee tables, turning projects like bowls and goblets, little free pantries. My favorite thing to build is stuff for the shop…lol. So far, woodworking has been a very expensive hobby…but, hopefully I can bring in a little cash when I get better at my craft. I think I’ve saved a ton of money building stuff instead of just buying it outright. My custom walk in closet would have cost thousands, but I did it for around $800 and it’s pretty incredible.

-- Jay

View Planeman40's profile


1472 posts in 3361 days

#4 posted 10-06-2017 03:15 PM

Beautiful shop! Congratulations. You say “I had an internal love for creating and building”. Apparently it came late, but it was there all along in my opinion. With the coming of everyman’s computer, children and teens aren’t exposed to the joy of building anymore. I was born in 1940 and grew up in the era of building model airplanes. Every boy did it to some degree, but I was consumed with it. Then there were the magazines like Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Science and Mechanics, etc. plus all of the model airplane magazines. I became aware of machining with metal lathes, milling machines, and welding and learned more. I began building my shop in my teens and haven’t quit ever since. It is a mania. Its kind of a shame boys (and girls) aren’t exposed to creating things with their hands any more. It is getting to be a lost ability. And having been through a couple or rough times in my adult life, I contribute my sanity to being able to go back to building little rubber band powered model airplanes in a small apartment to occupy my mind until I got back on my feet again. I once knew a fellow who was going through a divorce. He was devoted to making money and was about to lose it through a nasty divorce. He lamented to me one day that he wished he had a hobby like mine to help him get through it. Bob eventually shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself, leaving two three year old twin boys. Yep, building things sure keeps your sanity and keeps you out of the bars and bawdy houses!

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View BurlyBob's profile


6881 posts in 2865 days

#5 posted 10-06-2017 03:16 PM

Good for you. I see you have a Jessem router table. Aren’t those totally awesome?

View Jay39's profile


51 posts in 1529 days

#6 posted 10-06-2017 03:20 PM

@BurlyBob, yes! I did a nice review on it and am always greatful for the ease of the side crank (master excel lift II)…makes life so much easier!

-- Jay

View Jay39's profile


51 posts in 1529 days

#7 posted 10-06-2017 03:28 PM

@Planeman40, I can’t agree more. I wish I would’ve taken shop when I was in school and got exposed to woodworking at an earlier age. At 40 years old, I feel like I’ve ventured into something unknown and exciting. For me, I’m glad to have discovered woodworking (even if late) and am blessed to be able to do it on this type of scale. My son (age 6) loves hanging with me in the woodshop and does some scroll saw work (with my help of course)...and we build double edge battle axes and swords. It’s fun to see his face when we complete a project. I hope he takes it up and becomes as interested as I am with it. But, he’s definitely got the interest. My little daughter loves the scroll saw and enjoys cutting out hearts. I’ve made several bandsaw boxes for her jewelry too…lol.

Sad to hear that story about the fellow and his problems. I think having a hobby like woodworking does help when stresses ensue. It’s amazing to me how much this woodworking venture has brought my family closer together. My wife loves doing small things on the lathe! Imagine having your wife come out to the shop not to ask why you’re out there and not in the house hanging out, but rather there to make a candle holder. That to me makes this shop worth it’s weight in gold! lol

-- Jay

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3466 days

#8 posted 10-06-2017 04:07 PM

Jay, you have a wonderful shop. Congratulations and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View tomb8's profile


81 posts in 835 days

#9 posted 10-06-2017 04:40 PM

Great looking New Shop. I’d most probably feel more comfortable in the old one but I understand the open door and traffic issues!

-- TomB

View Jay39's profile


51 posts in 1529 days

#10 posted 10-06-2017 04:54 PM

@tomb8, the old shop was very comfortable. But, it was very cramped and started to become very disorganized as I was buying tools at lightning speed. That space worked for a while, but I still had to make room for Kubota Tractor and golf cart. I just didn’t have enough room. Also, as an example of what I had to deal with…I bought the new Jet scroll saw and literally the next day after I bought it…my wife opened the garage door while it was windy and raining and literally covered my scroll saw (without any wax protection) and when I came home from work and saw the rust…I was…well…just not happy…lol. So, now I have an 8’ front porch in my new shop…I have tons of room…heated and cooled…not quite cozy yet…but it will get there.

-- Jay

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1915 posts in 2569 days

#11 posted 10-06-2017 05:33 PM

Well…I hate you. Just kidding, that is one sweet place. My congrats.

Maybe one day…...

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Jay39's profile


51 posts in 1529 days

#12 posted 10-06-2017 05:45 PM

@Kaleb the Swede, dude, now that’s funny. I said the same thing, and actually it took me a while to come to terms with doing it. I’m glad I held out as I was about to hire and have my woodshop built right behind the pool. My wife (and I give full credit where it is due) brought up the idea of moving it back so we could keep our sky line views with the hills in the background…and putting in a concrete drive way to the building…and lowering the roof. So, I went from a 12’ ceiling to a 10’...went from a 5/12 pitch to a 4/12 pitch…and moved it back about 40’. I don’t say this out loud too much…but, my wife was spot on. I actually saved money doing this…believe it or not. It’s fun walking into my shop now and the stress has all but left the building.

-- Jay

View ThistleDown's profile


49 posts in 1317 days

#13 posted 10-06-2017 06:53 PM

I am going to have to move back to Ohio, too much used up space for a rad garage like this. GOOD JOB!

-- My biggest fear is that when I am gone, my wife will sell my tools for what I told her I paid for them.

View finns's profile


169 posts in 3716 days

#14 posted 10-06-2017 09:38 PM

Nice shop Jay! Well thought out. It will serve you well.

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2804 days

#15 posted 10-07-2017 12:54 AM

Yep that workshop is definately up for a two word reply for sure!

-- Regards Rob

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