LJ Interviews #14: WistysWoodworkingWonders - Shop Tour

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 03-16-2011 03:09 PM 2039 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: TopamaxSurvivor Part 14 of LJ Interviews series Part 15: Dennisgrosen »

While checking out workshops I noticed this one by WistysWoodworkingWonders. I smiled when I saw that a single idea blossomed into a multi-purposed space.

Wisty’s work space began as a typical garage workshop and then, during a casual (and joking) conversation with a neighbour the idea started to form. But I’ll let Wisty tell you about the journey himself.


“Debbie asked if she could drop by for a tour of my shop [in Victory, BC, Canada] which of course is a great honour. So let’s start off with why I built the shop and how I came up with the design. For years (since high school) I have been playing around with computer drafting programs and designing floor plans for houses. I took basic woodworking in school which I suppose was the true start of my love for woodworking.

About 12 years ago I got the woodworking bug back after buying my first home. At that time, I worked primarily out of a shed with improvised tools to do the brunt of the work. After moving to our current house, I set up shop my wife’s garage (typical layout of many beginner shops). My neighbour and I were talking one day – actually joking about combining his shop with whatever I build in my back yard and he suggested, why not build it now instead of saving up for years. So the idea was there and after several long talks with my wife and kids, we decided to do the build.
The design of the shop came to fruition due to a few key elements. The first being what space I had available and the current layout of our yard and home. We decided to figure out exactly what other spaces we would need or could gain through the addition. After a few weeks of planning, I started in on the computer and came up with the layout of my shop/garage/Wii room/sun deck, sports gear room, etc – oh, and a place for my hot tub too.

Construction started in 2005. The first step was to remove 2 massive trees that bordered the land between my neighbours place and mine. It took an arborist all of 1 day to fall both trees, which of course took us a few weeks to clean up. We ended up getting a great deal on having the trees milled at a local woodworking show that just happened to be the weekend after we had the trees taken down. Some things just work out for us woodworkers. We let the wood dry for the next couple of years in my shed and have since used some of it to build the cabinetry you see in my shop pics.

Back to the construction – It took a while to get to where we are now as I have a full time job with the Canadian Navy that takes me away from home frequently such as my trip to the Sudan in 2008. I did manage to get everything built within a couple of years and am still working on completing the cabinetry. It is currently on hold as I serve another overseas mission – this time to Afghanistan.

The shop itself is connected to the house through what was the back door. It has enough room for a serious hobbyist to have all my tools and room to move around in the shop. The ceilings are 9’ at the highest point lowering to just over 8’ (to assist with the required slope of the deck above). I built a separate room to house my compressor to assist with noise reduction. There is a space for every tool in my shop which now includes all the basic tools (planer, jointer, table saw, router table, wood lathe, drill press, radial arm saw, chop saw and massive dust collector).


As I mentioned, the shop is still under construction but only to finish building the remainder of the cabinets. It has been a long and challenging project but worth every bit of time and money we have put into it. Once I retire from the Military, I plan on continuing my work with wood as a serious hobbyist. There is nothing better than spending a day in the shop seeing a project transition from rough lumber to a beautiful project for the house.

Speaking of projects – what kind do I build? Well for now, mostly just things we need around the house such as kids furniture, desks, entertainment centers, etc. I have not yet made a business of my wood shop, but that is a possibility we may consider in the future. Have a look at my projects that I have posted to see more.

Thank you all for visiting my shop – I hope you all enjoyed the quick write up about how the shop came to be. Please feel free to leave any type of feedback on my lumberjocks page – I always enjoy hearing what people have to say about my shop, tools, etc.

Have a great Woodworking Day!” ~ Wisty.

You can read more about his shop/deck/Wii Room here.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

3 comments so far

View mainwoodworks's profile


112 posts in 3162 days

#1 posted 03-16-2011 07:38 PM


Sounds like you are well on your way. I wish you all the luck in the world.
I finally got to the point of being able to do some of the more fun and difficult projects after starting my shop in 2000. I retired in 2000 and was called back to work for a couple of years. The shop is not completed as of yet, I expect it will never be in my lifetime.


-- Measure twice, cut once, and hope for the best.

View mafe's profile


12110 posts in 3603 days

#2 posted 03-17-2011 11:26 PM

Sounds like a nice tour you are on.
Congratulation with the future there.
Best thoughts,

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

View learnin2do's profile


891 posts in 3366 days

#3 posted 03-25-2011 11:42 PM

I fear i must concoct some dust collection system soon; i overheard my neighbor yelling about the dust the other day.
Your idea sounds very functional and considerate! -I guess the dust collection systems must work welll enough that you do not track dust all through the house too?

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

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