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Pro's/Con's of converting 13'x16' living room into hand tooling shop

by Holbs
posted 09-06-2016 09:36 PM


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Woodknack

12887 posts in 2858 days


#1 posted 09-06-2016 10:08 PM

A man after my own heart… There will be some dust because there’s always some dust but much less if you are only makin’ shavings. Really I wouldn’t want to woodwork in the house proper unless I could seal the room.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Holbs

2225 posts in 2507 days


#2 posted 09-06-2016 10:15 PM

Sealing the room. Hmm… I assume you mean open/close doorways to the rest of the house, not plastic sheeting everything. Here is picture of living room and the 2 entrances: front door and upstairs, and then hallway to kitchen (and 2 of 3 dogs i’m babysitting. don’t mind the failed experimental paint color attempts)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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bbasiaga

1243 posts in 2473 days


#3 posted 09-06-2016 10:36 PM

Why not a spare bedroom instead?

Smaller workbench, but more isolated.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1243 posts in 2473 days


#4 posted 09-06-2016 10:37 PM

And don’t spray in the house. The furnace/ AC will recirculate all that through the whole house. Its not so bad with water based or shellac only. But lacquer or oil based will be a big problem.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

2225 posts in 2507 days


#5 posted 09-06-2016 10:39 PM

I have no need for isolation other than sealing issues.. Living room is almost twice as big as my spare bedrooms. Plus bedrooms are upstairs:)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

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#6 posted 09-06-2016 11:11 PM

For hand tools? No problem! I took over our den (commonly known as a Florida room down here) about the same size after I ran out of room in the garage, shed, pole barn and patio :) Keep the band saw, planers (3 of them), jointers (2 of them), scroll saw, sewing machine and two of my four lathes in there. For most stuff, I just open up the sliding glass door and shoot the chips out back – but for the rest of the stuff, it hasn’t been noticeable anywhere else in the house and a shop vac provides the cleanup at the end of the day. No problems other than the looks that I get from the wife now and then – and I waited until the kids moved out before taking it over.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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JoeinGa

7741 posts in 2485 days


#7 posted 09-06-2016 11:21 PM

When I saw the title, my FIRST thought was ’’ Well, HE sure as hell aint married ”
.
Sorry, but I’ve been married 42 years tomorrow, so I certainly have no ideas for converting the living room into a shop !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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Holbs

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#8 posted 09-06-2016 11:22 PM

Brad, did you have to add lighting or anything electrical?
Joe… Come on. You know you want to :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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woodbutcherbynight

5974 posts in 2887 days


#9 posted 09-07-2016 01:17 AM

Joe I saw this and thought the same thing!!!

Holbs
You have thrown out the pros in that you get more space and such. That said let me list a few cons I recall a few guys who did so tell me.
1. If you have no spouse that might change in the future, having the living room part of your wood-shop will be an issue unless they enjoy the hobby as much as you.
2. If you do have a spouse while they may agree to it believe this, they will hold this against you until you die!
3. My Father sprayed lacquer in the basement once in our 1st house, smelled like that for years.
4. No matter how careful you are short of a airlock, dust will get in, and you will track it with you.
5. 8 feet ceilings suck to work in.

Years ago I worked with a guy that was single, he turned the house into a multilayered shop (2 story) and the detached garage into a bedroom, bathroom, common room/ kitchen. Had this for a few years then met some girl and after a few months it looked serious so he invited her over. She had a stroke when he showed her the shop. ROFLMAO

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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Holbs

2225 posts in 2507 days


#10 posted 09-07-2016 01:23 AM

Yep butcher… I realize Cupid may hit me one day. But being a bachelor at my age…well… this is not a social dating site (attention female woodworkers!). I’ll take my chances on the #1 you mentioned. I am also trying to configure the living room/woodshop room so that if I had to move or spouse & kids come into the picture, it will take little effort to make it look like a remodeled living room. Such as wood grained vinyl plank floors, old barn wood wallpaper, etc.
Good points on the spraying of lacquer and dust. I’ll look into it. But if I had a 4’x6’ alcove area with venting out big living window by fan or such… would the lacquer smell or other sprays still proliferate elsewhere afterwards?

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7468 posts in 2677 days


#11 posted 09-07-2016 01:44 AM

Brad, did you have to add lighting or anything electrical?
- Holbs

Nope… everything in there runs on 120v and don’t require a lot of juice. Lighting is just regular stuff although I do have one of those pivoting arm things for my scroll saw. I think the largest load would be the planers, but nothing a 15A outlet can’t handle. Table saw and other stuff that needs 240v is out in the garage where it’s available.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Holbs

2225 posts in 2507 days


#12 posted 09-07-2016 02:09 AM

Brad… what about ventilation, dust, spray booth or so?

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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MrUnix

7468 posts in 2677 days


#13 posted 09-07-2016 02:15 AM

Dust hasn’t been an issue and I never spray indoors… plus the compressor is out in the garage. I will do some finish work inside if I’m using a brush or wiping on poly, but wait until the wife goes to bed so she doesn’t have to deal with the smell of mineral spirits (which I love btw!).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Holbs

2225 posts in 2507 days


#14 posted 09-07-2016 02:16 AM

ah good point of compressor being in garage. didn’t think about that. ok…good to realize.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile

TheTurtleCarpenter

1053 posts in 1544 days


#15 posted 09-07-2016 03:04 AM

I would put some extra support under the floor joist if you put the bench midspan. If up against the wall it should be OK.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

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Holbs

2225 posts in 2507 days


#16 posted 09-07-2016 03:05 AM

concrete sub floor :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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TheTurtleCarpenter

1053 posts in 1544 days


#17 posted 09-07-2016 03:17 AM

Not a problem then, My perfect house would be a steel building with a couple rooms framed in for a bath and bedroom. Ha ! With the rest of the space as my shop

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

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Holbs

2225 posts in 2507 days


#18 posted 09-07-2016 03:23 AM

my perfect shop would be the Fonzi layout

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View nightguy's profile

nightguy

213 posts in 1140 days


#19 posted 09-07-2016 03:24 AM

I would put some extra support under the floor joist if you put the bench midspan. If up against the wall it should be OK.

- TheTurtleCarpenter

Standard floor load is 40lb sq ft by code, so if his bench was 8×3ft, it would have to weight 960lbs, think water bed, I had a king size for years, water weighs 8.4 lbs per gallon, it held a 100+ gallons.

Stay single at all cost, if in love, keep your place the way you want it and visit hers. Love is an idealistic dream, just like for ever and ever, and until death do we part. Ya right, just look how many Divorce Attorneys there are!!!!!!!!!!!
I have a friend, divorced 2 kids paying child support on, met a widow with 3, THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE, got married to her, she talked him into adopting her kids, 6 months later, she files for divorce, now he has 5 kids he is paying child support on. She had a plan right from the start, they are all cold, heartless, connivers.

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TheTurtleCarpenter

1053 posts in 1544 days


#20 posted 09-07-2016 03:31 AM

Standard load would not take into effect hammering and such plus you are centralizing that weight to 4 small areas of contact, Waterbeds had a gridwork to distribute that weight.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

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MikesProjects

172 posts in 2380 days


#21 posted 09-07-2016 03:43 AM

Great idea converting the living room space, I love the idea & hope you do it, that would be awesome, please post lots of pics.
do it, do it, do it, oh yeah, you’ll have a true industrial style living room. Maybe try to blend it in & make an industrial themed living room space. You know you can have a tv & sitting area along with a work bench. I think the walls need to be painted slightly darker. This totally could be fun… Check out industrial furniture on the internet…

-- -Mike, Southern California, YouTube User ( Give & Take )

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nightguy

213 posts in 1140 days


#22 posted 09-07-2016 04:26 AM



Great idea converting the living room space, I love the idea & hope you do it, that would be awesome, please post lots of pics.
do it, do it, do it, oh yeah, you ll have a true industrial style living room. Maybe try to blend it in & make an industrial themed living room space. You know you can have a tv & sitting area along with a work bench. I think the walls need to be painted slightly darker. This totally could be fun… Check out industrial furniture on the internet…

- MikesProjects

Add a fire place too, to burn scrap and ombionce!!

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nightguy

213 posts in 1140 days


#23 posted 09-07-2016 04:32 AM


Standard load would not take into effect hammering and such plus you are centralizing that weight to 4 small areas of contact, Waterbeds had a gridwork to distribute that weight.

- TheTurtleCarpenter

The problem with some people is they think they are always correct and have to get the last word in.
Hammering, at best a mallet and chisel, that aint hammering.
Then there are the non comprehensive readers, his house is on a concrete slab!!!
” I have a concrete foundation so that’s a plus. “

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TheTurtleCarpenter

1053 posts in 1544 days


#24 posted 09-07-2016 05:20 AM

The problem with some people is they think they are always correct and have to get the last word in.
Hammering, at best a mallet and chisel, that aint hammering.
Then there are the non comprehensive readers, his house is on a concrete slab!!!
” I have a concrete foundation so that’s a plus. “

Mr Holbs didnt mention that he had a concrete slab in the original post Nightguy, I made my post and you felt you should correct me. Lets just stick to keeping this post on track,

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

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Holbs

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#25 posted 09-07-2016 05:21 AM

yep..concrete slab :) so maybe can create a 2,000lb Roubo!

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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nightguy

213 posts in 1140 days


#26 posted 09-07-2016 05:51 AM

Not knowing the whole hosue lay out, a 20” box fan with a 2” 20×20”Merf 8, pleated filter would make for good dust collection in the air. I would not spray finish in there, too messy with over spray, now for wipe on/brush on would be okay.
I set up a shop in my basement 15×15ft, I had 15ft x5ft area that was storage and a machinists work bench, I had 3 box fans with those filters on it hung from the ceiling and a Jet 1i00 collector in the wood working space hooked up to all my machines. Not much free dust on horizontal surfaces in the WW shop.
I hung 8 Mil plastic sheeting to separate the wood shop from the clean area, 3 openings, I overlapped the plastic at those openings by 8”, no dust over there. Just my experience.

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Holbs

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#27 posted 09-07-2016 05:59 AM

Night… it’s a dinky single family 1200 sq ft 2 story house. You can see the sliding window in the above picture for ventilation, and another one to the right (out of picture). Ventilation will be no problem. I’ll figure something out to attempt less dust getting around the house, somehow. I gots time to figure that part out.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5338 posts in 2787 days


#28 posted 09-07-2016 07:02 AM

I say do it, It’s the perfect way to stay single.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View nightguy's profile

nightguy

213 posts in 1140 days


#29 posted 09-07-2016 07:03 AM



Night… it s a dinky single family 1200 sq ft 2 story house. You can see the sliding window in the above picture for ventilation, and another one to the right (out of picture). Ventilation will be no problem. I ll figure something out to attempt less dust getting around the house, somehow. I gots time to figure that part out.

- Holbs

But it is yours do with what you want, no Land Lord or SO to tell you what you can and cannot do!!!!! Appreciate and enjoy both of that!!!!!

View BigYin's profile

BigYin

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#30 posted 09-07-2016 07:10 AM

Fit fire door seals around the doosr to the rest of the house and fine filters over the aircon.

I suggested doing this in our house to my wife this morning … certainly woke her up but was just a little negative about the idea. ;-)

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

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HokieKen

10738 posts in 1616 days


#31 posted 09-07-2016 02:16 PM

I’m lucky I get to work in the garage you lucky dog! I wouldn’t think dust would be much of an issue if you’re only using hand tools. As others mentioned, I wouldn’t spray any finishes in there though and a box fan with a furnace filter fitted to it would be a good idea.

I am curious about 1 thing though, if you’re a single man, why are there pink and teal paint samples on the wall?
;-P

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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Holbs

2225 posts in 2507 days


#32 posted 09-07-2016 02:20 PM

Ken… I am not married, nor current g/f. Does not mean I have er….um….”friends” :) One of those friends wanted to help me paint my place since I’m tired of the tan sand paint so we tried a couple sample runs which thankfully didn’t pan out.
Ok…no spray finishes in the house. Figured I could convert the 4’x7’ alcove (to the right of the little trash can in the picture) to a mini-spray area if plastic sheeted off, but may not.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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Snipes

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#33 posted 09-07-2016 02:31 PM

I agree with Alaska, get after it! put some of that sticky plastic down where you walk in to pull the dust off your feet..

-- if it is to be it is up to me

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Clarkie

482 posts in 2319 days


#34 posted 09-07-2016 03:32 PM

Why not just put a bunk in the garage shop and let others live in your house? Argh!

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Aj2

2422 posts in 2276 days


#35 posted 09-07-2016 03:48 PM

I thinks it’s a great idea for a bachelor.
I did the same thing when I was single,Mostly wood carving but sometimes I broke out the jig saw.
I used my dinner table.I was roofing full time just to stay above water.Ive been homeless several times in my life.Its very difficult to party and have a place to live at the same time.
My coworker Jerry used to point out that most people have food scraps on their dinner table.Aj has wood chips.
Completely normal for me.
So I say go for it but be careful with solvent finishes.Very careful

Aj

-- Aj

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1689 posts in 3102 days


#36 posted 09-07-2016 04:31 PM

First determine where your return air duct is. They are rarely in the living room. The return air is what would spread fumes/dust throughout the house. Otherwise you have only incoming air essentially creating a positive pressure room. I would definitely find a way to close off the room. Doors (pocket) or any other method to contain dust/shavings. Further door mats on the working side to get stuff off your shoes. I could not tell where your entry door to the house is but will you have to walk through the new ‘shop’ to access the rest of the house?
All that said you are the envy of many wood workers here. I myself am quite fortunate to be married to a fine woman who allows light woodworking ‘in house’. She has an easel set up in the spare bedroom in addition to her studio in the back yard. She also has a drawing wall just off the dining room wall where she does charcoal drawing. There are paintings all over the house. I store wood in the house as my shop, a two car garage is full. There is storage behind every chair couch and sideboard. Veneer is stored under all of the beds.
Good luck in you endeavor.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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nightguy

213 posts in 1140 days


#37 posted 09-07-2016 04:51 PM

If you have a furnace return in there you dont want to close it off, you need that open for proper air flow for the operation of the furnace, but put a filter media over it.

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

2225 posts in 2507 days


#38 posted 09-07-2016 06:06 PM

Furnace return, oddly enough is visible on the lower left corner (you can see the white grill). What house engineer decided to put the furnance return vent in the living room I have no idea. Hmm… you guys bring up valid point about dust filters since the furnance return IS sitting in same room. I’ll look into solutions.
They vinyl planking I’ll be laying down will be wood-looking related. Darker the better. It came to mind to me today… wallpaper? These existing walls are BORING sand color. Tis an option to repaint white or something. But then I thought barn wood or log looking wallpaper. Hmm…. this is turning into a serious project since the sky is the limit such as:

Jack..the return is INDEED in living room. Door mats as I walk out of room is a great idea. And the front door is the white door at the end of the stairwell (which in one of the pictures is behind the wall with proclain tile on ground…another stupid engineering aspect I hate…should have glass walls or alcoves there). So to get to the kitchen, I’ll have to walk thru this room.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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jumbojack

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#39 posted 09-07-2016 07:02 PM

Yep see it now. That is unfortunate. With the return air and front door access you may want to rethink your idea. That is a lot to overcome.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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Holbs

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#40 posted 09-07-2016 07:10 PM

Jack..I could install HEPA filter for furnace…or double filter it or even re-direct the inlet via sit down bench or boxed shelving.. or another over head air cleaner. I’ll look into it. And this will be an area of hand planes and chisels, not bosch router or table saws. Lots of shavings, less dust than from inside garage machine area.
Lots of overcome…but it sure is exciting and fun!

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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woodbutcherbynight

5974 posts in 2887 days


#41 posted 09-09-2016 01:56 AM

For all the time and effort what is the possibility of building a extension on your existing shop, or in close proximity a second building? Myself I built onto my shop years ago and added 10×10. Small but stayed within limits dealing with permits and such. Reaching out to friends I got alot of supplies, 2×4s 2×6s etc etc and kept it down to less than $2000.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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Holbs

2225 posts in 2507 days


#42 posted 09-09-2016 02:33 AM

Butcher… I have always kept it in the back of my mind to extend the garage outwards by 10 or 20’. It’s still a possibility. But that would involve, as you said, permits & engineers and greater financial investment If that time ever came…unsure if it would be more wise to lease/purchase/build my own separate steel building.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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Betsy

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#43 posted 09-09-2016 02:55 AM

Holbs – go for it. I too live alone and I have my 2-car garage for all the big tools, use my middle bedroom for finishing and storing completed boards, use my second bedroom to glue up and sanding, my living room is often a lumber storage area when I buy a big load of lumber and the larger glue ups get done on my 5” wide kitchen counter top.

My little buddy, Peter, doesn’t mind one twit so that is all that matters to me.

Now all that said – there’s nothing in the book that you can’t reconvert the living room/shop back into a living room should you decide to add another 2-legged being into your life. Although I admit it would be hard – may have to get a bigger house to make up for losing the living room/shop. But that’s doable.

Long and short if you live alone do whatever the heck you want.

As others have said the dust can be an issue – but it’s manageable especially since you are doing hand tools. I also suggest no spraying inside the house – with the air system you’ll regret every second your hand is on the spray trigger.

Good luck!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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Holbs

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#44 posted 09-09-2016 04:40 AM

Betsy… sounds like your entire house is one big shop :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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TheFridge

10859 posts in 1964 days


#45 posted 09-09-2016 04:46 AM

All I can think of is a workbench and scantily women draped over it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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woodbutcherbynight

5974 posts in 2887 days


#46 posted 09-10-2016 03:35 AM



All I can think of is a workbench and scantily women draped over it.

- TheFridge

Don’t give this bunch idea’s someone will post a picture of just that.

ROFLMAO

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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nightguy

213 posts in 1140 days


#47 posted 09-10-2016 03:54 AM

Using bench hold downs like wrist and ankle stirrups!!!

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Holbs

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#48 posted 09-10-2016 03:57 AM

hm….actually have a female “friend” that would do such, even wile wearing a LumberJocks.com t-shirt. But I’m sure it would not be well received here :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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nightguy

213 posts in 1140 days


#49 posted 09-10-2016 03:58 AM

All I can think of is a workbench and scantily women draped over it.

- TheFridge

Don t give this bunch idea s someone will post a picture of just that.

ROFLMAO

- woodbutcherbynight

Pics for a male Wood Workers Calendar, “Work Bench of the Month, with flesh added”!!!

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nightguy

213 posts in 1140 days


#50 posted 09-10-2016 04:48 AM



hm….actually have a female “friend” that would do such, even wile wearing a LumberJocks.com t-shirt. But I m sure it would not be well received here :)

- Holbs

You could PM them to us guys!!

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