RogerM's Workshop

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Workshop by RogerM posted 11-01-2011 01:53 AM 6657 reads 9 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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RogerM's Workshop RogerM's Workshop RogerM's Workshop
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Retired nuclear engineer currently designing and building custom furniture, cabinets, bookcases, yard furniture and structures and what ever else comes down the “pipe.” Also doing some antique repair work and making a host of family gifts.

I started building this shop within 6 months after I retired in 2003. It has two stories with the first floor measuring 28’ x 50’ and a second floor of approx. 600 sq.ft. The first floor is on a cement slab with 10 foot ceilings and 1,160 sq. ft. of shop space plus a 240 sq.ft. car port. I was able to put in a small bathroom on the first floor that incorporates a small shower, sink, toilet, and some cabinetry. The second floor is my wife’s sewing/knitting studio, which is the main reason I could build such a shop. The two floors are separated by 16 inch I joists and some beefed up laminated beams so I could include a 1/2 ton chain hoist just behind the carriage doors. The hoist was necessary so that I could unload heavy loads from a pickup which can be driven through the carriage door opening. All major equipment is installed on rolling platforms and casters.

The exterior of the shop is 10” wide custom milled red cedar siding that matches the siding on our house about 50 feet away from the shop. The roof has three skylights, three copper topped dormers and is shingled with Lifetime Tri-Laminate shingles made by Certainteed which also matches the roof of our house.

The two floors are separated by I joists resting on 2×6 exterior walls. These design elements were necessary to eliminate all interior walls for more open floor space on the first floor. These features also allow R32 insulation for the walls and R55 insulation for the ceiling. The ceilings consist of brown painted I joists with 5/8” sheetrock laid between the I joists resulting in a ceiling that gives the appearance of a beamed ceiling. No screws, nails, tape or mud needed. Also, this arrangement gives total access to all of the ceiling for installing additional wiring, ducts, air lines, etc.

The shop is heated and cooled by a heat pump with a controller that allows separate thermostats in the upper and lower floors. For additional heat and emergency heat there is a wood stove installed in the lower floor which is used to supply most all of the heat during winter months. The two floors are separated by sliding bypass doors installed at the foot of the stairway which keeps most of the sawdust on the lower level.

The building has three electrical panels. A 200 amp. panel in the lower level for the building, a 125 amp. panel for most of the major shop equipment, and a 125 amp. panel for the second floor. There are numerous 110V and 220V electrical receptacles in the walls and the ceiling of the shop and three 110V electrical reels installed in the ceiling of the main shop. This arrangement allows for a lot of power cables to be installed in the ceiling, up and out of the way. Lighting is predominately 8 foot floursecent units using the new electronic ballast and T-8 bulbs which are proving to be efficient and reliable.

Air is supplied to the shop floor by a 60 gallon Ingersol Rand air compressor with a home made condenser and moisture collection/drain system. This system feeds three hose reels also installed on the ceiling up and out of the way. Condensed moisture is collected in a receptacle by the compressor that is periodically drained to the outside.

The dust collection system consists of an Onedia Super Gorilla Dust collection unit with self installed ducts, blast gates and flexible hoses. It and the air compressor are enclosed in a small separate room in the back corner of the shop with both an interior and an exterior door. This arrangement allows for collected sawdust and debris from the dust control unit to be easily removed from the shop. On moderate days the double door arrangement permits the interior door to be closed and the back door to be open so all air and fine dust from the dust control unit can be discharged to the exterior of the shop.

The lumber racks for stock storage are in the higher levels of the shop and consists of a simple arrangement of vertical 2×4’s with 9/16” holes drilled in them at a 15 degree angle. This allows 18” long 1/2” electrical conduit to be installed in each hole resulting in a rack for holding wood up against the 2×4 base. This inexpensive design allows freshly milled lumber in the upper regions of the shop that are flat, warm and dry. Consequently, I am able to air dry most 4 quarter lumber to a workable level well within one year of cutting it. I was fortunate to have found a small band mill a short distance from the shop that collects many of the logs from trees that are removed from the town in which I live. So far, I have been able to get poplar, hickory, maple, walnut, cherry, elm, sweet gum, heart pine, red oak, white oak, cedar, and sycamore and have inmilled to my specifications.

The Miter saw, stock length prep. area consists of two miter saws. One is a standard 12” chop saw and the other is a sliding miter saw. Both are mounted on sliding platforms which allows more flexibility in their use. Fences and stops are basic T-Trak components allowing flexibility and adjustments to be made for stock lengths of up to 18 feet. The retractable supports were installed on the front edge of the base cabinets for stabilizing wide stock and were fabricated from basic retractable shelf support hardware.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

22 comments so far

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4369 days

#1 posted 11-01-2011 10:35 AM

Now that is one heck of a sweet shop….real nice.

View Schwieb's profile


1915 posts in 4470 days

#2 posted 11-01-2011 12:18 PM

Nice shop! I see you’re not far from Williston. I live in Williston, FL

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3875 days

#3 posted 11-01-2011 01:54 PM

Roger, you have a great looking shop and I love that shop building. Welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Bertha's profile


13615 posts in 3701 days

#4 posted 11-01-2011 01:55 PM

Seriously nice shop. I don’t know which I like more, the interior or the exterior;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3514 days

#5 posted 11-01-2011 02:23 PM

Super shop. Lots of space!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4681 days

#6 posted 11-01-2011 03:51 PM

Nice looking shop!

View CampD's profile


1818 posts in 4494 days

#7 posted 11-02-2011 12:14 AM

Wow, now thats a beauty shop
2 miter saws set-up!

-- Doug...

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4110 days

#8 posted 11-02-2011 09:12 AM

Retirements fun, eh??...........

-- mike...............

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4240 days

#9 posted 11-02-2011 07:46 PM

Wow… You can actually see a floor in there! Nice shop all the way around. Good tools, good building, and it looks like a good dust collection setup. You just need stock to work with and to get busy making that place dirty!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View ronniebo's profile


130 posts in 3673 days

#10 posted 11-09-2011 06:25 AM

With such a shop, I guess you don`t have much time for your Court Tennis (or Real Tennis as we call it here in Hobart, Tasmania, Aus.)
Unfortunately I`m addicted to both and have just finished repairs to one of the dining tables for our club dining room. They are made of very hard and heavy Australian Eucalypt which causes its own probs when others try to drag them across a carpeted floor.
The legs tend to snap off.
Keep having fun in this wonderful land of retirement.
Ron Booth in Sunny Hobart—-the capital of the world of Real Tennis.

View RogerM's profile


807 posts in 3407 days

#11 posted 11-09-2011 06:24 PM

ronnie – Thanks for the comment on my shop. As you have correctly determined, This will always be a work in progress and yes, I do not have much time for hardly anything else but woodworking. This is OK as I am not into golf, hunting, fishing, tennis, cars, or hardly anything else. This is my thing and I am indeed really enjoying it. I do not have any experience with Australian Eucalypt but it sounds like an interesting wood to work with. Would this be similar to the Eucalyptus trees that are quite prevalent in California?

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 4035 days

#12 posted 11-09-2011 06:31 PM

Nice Shop :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path [email protected]

View ronniebo's profile


130 posts in 3673 days

#13 posted 11-11-2011 06:36 AM

Yes Roger. They grow all across Australia and are the predominant species.
They can vary from extra straight and almost plain grain, thru to some soft and very wet ones to twisted and super hard Murray River Red gum which finishes beautifully, but has such convoluted grain.
Good luck and I`ll try to look you up if I get to Aiken to play tennis.
You may know the Riviere family whose son Camden is #3or $#4 professional in the world.
Cheers Ron

View thrak76's profile


20 posts in 3394 days

#14 posted 11-17-2011 04:07 AM

Fantastic shop, Roger! I can tell you put a lot of thought into the design, and have executed that plan well!

View BobShu's profile


1 post in 3328 days

#15 posted 01-18-2012 08:43 PM

Roger,, great shop.

-- Bob

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