Michael James's Workshop

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Workshop by Michael James posted 07-26-2014 10:53 PM 5706 reads 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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Michael James

89 posts in 4504 days

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Michael James's Workshop Michael James's Workshop Michael James's Workshop
Michael James's Workshop Michael James's Workshop  

Edmonton, AB

In the summer of 2013, we demolished our very small one-car garage and built a new two-car, two-storey behemoth. The idea being that we had a place for both our van, a permanent place for woodworking, and some extra needed storage. We put a partition wall up between the two sides to keep the dust off the vehicle allow another wall for electrical and tools to go against.

Because we lived in an older neighbourhood, the power to the house was overhead – this became a problem with the new build so we ended up running the main line through the new garage and underground to the house. The benefit for me was having a brand new, full size panel in my shop where I could have as many breakers as I wanted. I have both 110v and 220v lines run and lots of room for more if I choose.

It’s a bit of a General showroom, but I’ve been very happy with the quality of their tools and have purchased some new and some used. There’s built in dust collection along the one wall. I’m still working out all the kinks in that and have realized I’m a bit under powered but it’s liveable right now. The DC is in a closet that was created by the staircase that goes to the second floor.

All my lumber storage is on the second floor. It could have been developed as a suite but to run plumbing to the detached garage would have been a large expense. Sheet goods are stored along the wall on the car side of the garage.

I’ve build most of the fixtures in there except for the drill press table. I just finished my first real bench – nothing fancy – so I thought I was done. What I’ve learned is that I’ll probably never be done completely. There’s always something to tweak or move or a tool you realize doesn’t need to be there so it will be replaced…etc…etc…there’s always something to do…

This is my first real shop so I’m not sure there’s a ton of efficiency at each station but because it’s so small (25’ x 11’), it’s not that big of a deal. There’s a small garage heater that allows me to use the space in the cold Edmonton winters. It takes about 20 minutes to heat up the space from the 10C I keep it at to my working 18C – not much time compared to the unheated garage I used to be in. That would take all day with the pathetic heaters I used to use.


-- Michael James -

9 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 5168 days

#1 posted 07-26-2014 11:37 PM

A good looking shop. I agree with you on the General tools, they are good tools.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View English's profile


695 posts in 2933 days

#2 posted 07-27-2014 12:11 AM

Nice looking shop!! Good heavy tools.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 2880 days

#3 posted 07-27-2014 09:45 PM

You have done a really nice job on the layout and the cabinets. I especially like the darker tool box, next to the vacuum.
I have to assume all the storage is upstairs?

Congratulations on getting some dedicated space.

-- Brad, Texas,

View Michael James's profile

Michael James

89 posts in 4504 days

#4 posted 07-27-2014 09:53 PM

@timbertailor – yes. Lumber storage is upstairs and sheet goods (limited) are on my wife’s side.

-- Michael James -

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3646 days

#5 posted 08-07-2014 02:49 AM

great workshop,very well organized.looks like a very nice place to work.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View mikethetermite's profile


602 posts in 4722 days

#6 posted 08-07-2014 04:01 AM

Nice looking shop with you making the most out of the space you have. Gives me hope for my next shop. I now have a 24’X30’ shop my wife wants to sell the farm and move into a condo. I guess the good side is I will have a 3 car with the third bay being 10’ X 57’ and no more grass to cut.

-- Mike The Termite ~~~~~ Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4259 days

#7 posted 11-06-2014 01:24 PM

A good looking shop, and well equipped.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View sparky52tx's profile


36 posts in 3974 days

#8 posted 12-19-2014 02:41 AM

Nice shop. I started the same way & had never done any woodworking before. I built my first workbench from a solid core door blank from a local lumber yard. It had some minor damage and the yard let me have it for $25. Makes a great workbench. I added a replaceable top to it so I can keep a good surface.
Hang in there and keep making chips. Like your pens too.

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5033 days

#9 posted 12-19-2014 03:03 AM

That’s a very nice shop.


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