Dave Owen's Workshop

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Workshop by Dave Owen posted 01-13-2010 05:45 PM 5306 reads 7 times favorited 44 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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Dave Owen

254 posts in 3642 days

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Dave Owen's Workshop Dave Owen's Workshop Dave Owen's Workshop
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This 543 s.f. shop (and adjoining carport) was designed and built in 2003. The shop is wood frame construction, with Hardie Plank exterior and drywall walls and ceiling on the interior. The floor, unfortunately, is bare concrete – which I eventually hope to remedy. The ceiling height is 9’-0”, and lighting is provided by fifteen 4-foot, 2-bulb, fluorescent fixtures with electronic ballasts and 5,000 Kelvin bulbs. Natural lighting and ventilation is provided by a single 12’ wide x 8’ high sliding glass door. A thru-wall air conditioner provides cooling and heat when needed.

To pre-empt questions about the unusual shape of the shop, here’s a brief explanation. The house in which I live lies on a small lake (an old phosphate pit) in Lakeland, Florida. The owner of the land and house asked me to design a 3-space enclosed garage with an apartment on the 2nd floor adjacent to the house. He particularly wanted the apartment to have a nice view of the lake. The angle at which vehicles would approach, the desire for a good view, and an effort to preserve as much as possible of the owner’s view of the lake all contributed to an unusual floor plan. When the garage/apartment idea was abandoned, I began thinking about building a double carport for the house in which I live, with an adjoining workshop. I soon realized that the parameters that governed my original design were also valid for the carport/workshop, and the final shop plan was much the same size and shape as the original living room for the apartment. The result was a shop layout with a tool layout that I liked and more open space and flexibility than I could have achieved with a rectangular shop of the same area.

The first photo (the Floor Plan), together with the following descriptions should answer most questions about the layout. If not, I’ll be happy to answer any questions.

View 1 shows the wall with the entry door from the carport. To the left of that door is a small space for yard tools and a heavy-duty adjustable shelf system used in conjunction with a portable tools and assembly table that sits in front of the sliding glass door. To the right of the entry door is an ancient radial-arm saw – then a bandsaw, planer, drum sander, oscillating sander and drill press. All of those tools are on rolling stands, and while they can be readily moved anywhere in the shop, I normally use them near their ‘home base’ by simply moving them out a couple of feet from the wall. PVC dust-collection piping runs in the ceiling space, and a drop can be seen near the left-center of the pegboard. Note that on each of the mobile tools, I have extended its dust port to a common height so that each can easily be hooked to the dust piping using the flexible hose at the end of the drop. An air filter is shown on the ceiling, and in the foreground can be seen my tablesaw and some maple planks for the top on my current workbench project. A router is mounted in the end of the tablesaw extension.

View 2 was taken from near the corner to the left of the entry door, and shows the mobile tools referred to above and the two short walls at the rear of the shop. Pegboard on these short walls are used for drill press and tablesaw accessories, as well as the cyclone dust collector and miscellaneous items. The ‘up’ dust pipe from the collector goes to three ceiling drops, while the ‘down’ pipe goes beneath the floor to the tablesaw and jointer. My new workbench base is also shown in View 2 (a temporary location while under construction).

View 3 is not shown. If included, it would have shown the dust collector. jointer, and lumber rack.

View 4 was taken from the same location near the entry door as in View 2. This view shows the lumber rack, plus the corner workbench I built for tool storage and general use. The old vertical file cabinet (between the lumber rack and the wall workbench) was purchased from a hospital ‘garage sale’. It has ten, heavy-duty, full extension drawers that I find exceptionally well suited for hardware storage. The twenty-five drawers in the lower part of the bench are fir ‘tote-trays’ some sixty years of age, that were reclaimed from a demolished schoolhouse. The Workmate shown holding the boards for the top of my new bench is in the location where the new bench will go when completed.

View 5 was taken from center of the small end of the shop, and shows the wall workbench with pegboard storage above and to the right. To the right hand side can be seen a part of one of the three sliding door panels with the view to the lake.

View 6 was taken from the same location as View 5. It shows the router in the tablesaw extension in the foreground. In front of the sliding door is the multi-purpose table mentioned above and to its right, the shelf system that holds my scroll saw and other seldom used tools. To the left is a chair where I take my breaks and enjoy the view. Above the sliding glass door is a shelf for finish materials. Perhaps not the ideal place – but fairly convenient and out of the way.

Newer photos will be posted when available.

-- Dave O.

44 comments so far

View measure2x's profile


50 posts in 3701 days

#1 posted 01-13-2010 06:56 PM


A great space…certainly nice with all the lights and natural light….don’t spend all your time in the chair with the view ;.)

-- Terry, Fredericton, NB Canada

View wpreman's profile


1611 posts in 4280 days

#2 posted 01-13-2010 07:12 PM

Dave, looks like a great space to create lots of saw dust. I agree with Terry, don’t spend to much time enjoying the view!

-- Bill, Florida

View Dave Owen's profile

Dave Owen

254 posts in 3642 days

#3 posted 01-13-2010 07:16 PM

Thanks for the comments. I’ve really enjoyed finally having a workshop. I call it my “Sawdust Studio”. Unfortunately, as you may someday find out, the formula is – greater age = less standing + more sitting.


-- Dave O.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4390 days

#4 posted 01-14-2010 12:07 AM

Dave, you certainly have a nice shop in which to work. It is spacious and well lit and, of course, the glass that you have in there is a bonus in my book. Not only does it give you a nice view but it lets in an abundance of natural light. The pegboard organizers are a nice addition to your shop. They are a fairly economical way to add an effective organization system for your hand tools.

You have a nice set of tools in there as well. Putting as many as you can on mobile bases is an excellent idea that effectively uses the available space that you have. I also like the tiles that you have put under your tools to form a pretty effective anti-fatigue matting. This is another good idea. And I see your bench is coming along nicely. That will be a welcome addition to your shop once it is completed.

Thanks for the photos. I enjoyed visiting your shop.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3929 days

#5 posted 01-14-2010 12:33 AM

Hey Dave,
Really sweet set-up…welll done.

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4342 days

#6 posted 01-14-2010 01:27 AM

Great looking shop Dave. You are my kind of guy. Everything has a place and everything is in its place. I love to see a neat organized shop. I am still working on cabinets for my shop when I am not building something for someone else. I have a sister in-law in Tampa and am going to be delivering a L-shaped computer station to her in March or April. Maybe we could get together for a cup of coffee or something.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4453 days

#7 posted 01-14-2010 01:38 AM

WOW NICE SHOP!!!! That reminds me I need to paint the rest of mine white too.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View woodworm's profile


14476 posts in 4158 days

#8 posted 01-14-2010 02:43 AM

Great, clean and nicely set-up Shop.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View a1Jim's profile


117803 posts in 4145 days

#9 posted 01-14-2010 02:48 AM

Super shop looks wonderful very well organized and great tools too.

View rozzi's profile


323 posts in 3890 days

#10 posted 01-14-2010 02:12 PM

Wow, I think you have something I would like to have. Very nice small shop. Thanks for posting.

-- Duane, Iowa

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3766 days

#11 posted 01-14-2010 02:54 PM

Very organized and clean, you must give tours, wonder what you will do with the lumber on your workbench.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3736 days

#12 posted 01-14-2010 08:16 PM

Very nice shop, thanks for the tour.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View degoose's profile


7264 posts in 3922 days

#13 posted 01-15-2010 11:10 PM

What a great shop and so organised… very nice… I must now go and clean up my “sawdust studio” LOL

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View stuk4x4's profile


115 posts in 3635 days

#14 posted 01-20-2010 01:41 AM

Great looking shop, I think you hit the nail on the head with the glass doors. I also like all the organization of it. welcome to LJ’s.

-- All the tools in the world wont make you a good mechanic or craftsman... however it helps!

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4270 posts in 3732 days

#15 posted 01-23-2010 04:46 AM

Dave, you came on board while I was on vacation in Hawaii, and otherwise preoccupied.

Your shop has an….....air about it. Your background as an architect is very obvious. Space, light, color, view, organization. You have more space than me, a lot more, since yours is dedicated space. I have no view, no windows. I notice the unfinished classical work bench in the pictures.

In my shop, I am going to improve the light, although it is not bad, make most of my large power tools mobile, and completely redo tool storage, since I have limited wall space.

I envy your situation.

If I was not working, I would be able to do things quite differently. But alas, I am resigned to my space for the foreseeable future. Right now, it is a usable shop. See my blog, shop, etc. for details.

Thanks for the tour, inspiring organization and forethought…...


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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