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Working on a new tiny shop

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My main shop is about 300 feet from the house, 10 x20, uninsulated and unheated, and it doubles as storage space. It's okay for summer use but pretty tough for winter work -- and steeply down hill. Kinda creepy walking there through the dark woods at night, too!

I have another small shed only 20 feet from the house that once housed a wood furnace I built (HAHSA type).

It's built of concrete block and has a metal roof and also features a built-in brick chimney. So it would be ideal for a small cozy shop to work in evenings.

It should be easy to heat There is  3" foam insulation on the outside of the block, giving a good thermal mass. And one end is actually underground, since it's built into a steep hill. Heat retention is very good. The only problem is, it's tiny -- 6 feet by 8 feet, and the chimney comes down to the slab at one end giving a practical floor space of really more like 6 by 6 feet.

Still I think it's usable -- a small space is better than no space! So I built up the floor a couple weeks ago with a couple inches more concrete (it used to drain in from the door instead of being level), and have started to make two full length benches. They can extend beside the chimney -- so can be full 8' long. Top width on one side could be 24" and on the other side 20" to clear the door.

Two full length benches would take up 44 of the 72 inches available, leaving an aisle of 28" between them. I think that's tight but do able, and I figure I'll mostly be sitting down anyway. I suppose I could reduce wider bench to 20" and get an aisle of 32". But I'm not sure if that will really make much positive difference, and a wider bench seems to me to be more useful.

I know the basic machines I'd like to put in there -- all of which have been stored and and unfortunately attacked by surface rust. They need TLC -- and the new shop is just the excuse needed to restore them to good condition.

They are:

7" Gingery lathe w/milling attachment
Atlas horizontal mill
Small Delta bench top drill press
Small Delta bench top jigsaw
Small Delta bench top belt and disk sander

I have a spare good heavy vise, too

And if I can figure out how to do it -- I'd like to convert the lower block portion of the chimney to a miniature forge and melting furnace. It could then also provide heat, though I'll have an electric oil filled radiator in the shop as well.

The jigsaw and sander will be used for pattern making, and the sander can double as a tool sharpener. If I need to take off serious metal I can always go down to the bigger shop and use the bandsaw and grinder.

The workbenches will be built from wood with drawers -- I started on the 20" side today.

The small tools will make it seem like a miniature version of my larger summer workshop which has a 12" lathe, round column mill/drill, etc.

This sounds like fun!

Regards, Matthew.

Thanks Matt!

I'll try to get some pics tomorrow.

I'll follow this with interest Steve not sure of the forge idea though in such a tight space.

One thing I'd say though, 'split site' working can be a real pain as the tool that you want is ALWAYS in the other workshop. Or even worse, you think that it is, go find to find it, and find that actually it's where you started.

With the amount of ground you have is there no possibility of long term building a new larger shed close to the house?

Sounds like 'split decision' time   :D  I would go for the nice cosy option in winter, could you not rig up a forge in your big shed, will add heating when you're in there ..  :scratch:



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