It seems that every time my family and I move houses, I get a bigger shop. The first two shops were in the married quarters of a Canadian Forces Base and they were pretty tight. My first shop was about 40 sq ft and under the basement stairs with the spiders and a never-ending supply of cob webs and dust motes. The next house was a bungalow we rented and I was stoked to find out that I would be able to have 85 sq ft in the corner. Not only did I double my space but I also didn't have to duck while using half of my bench due to the stairs.
When I left the service we bought our first house in Carleton Place and I somehow negotiated the un-shared use of the single-car garage with my wife. I wish I could remember how I did that because my negotiation skills as of late have not been as successful. Now I had a 170 sq ft shop - over double the size of where we just came from. I was in school at Rosewood Studio at the time and started to get things set-up in the garage. I crammed in a jointer, thickness planer, bandsaw, table saw, lathe, router table and dust collector. As well as a bench and hand tool cabinet. Needless to say it was a bit tight but I have been working in there for about 10 years. I started paring down the number of machines I have which gave me more breathing room.
Well it's happening again. On May 20th, my family will be taking possession of our new (hopefully last) home and the trend continues. In this house I will have a 480 sq ft shop that is well over twice the size of my current spot. It will be in the basement this time - I was informed that cars will be going into the two-car garage, not a shop.
Lately I've been looking at how to best use all this space. I still have no desire to own a table saw or jointer but I have been taking a serious look at a Festool TS-75. It would be nice to work with plywood again because for some builds it really is the best choice. I will also be adding a couple more workbenches: an elbow-height joinery bench and a 2-foot high assembly bench. If I end up going with a TS-75 I will build a bench for it as well.
I'm thinking that this will likely be the shop I die in. My goal is to drop dead at my bench doing what I love to do. I will have climate control though out the year so I will no longer worry about humidity and temperature swings. The space will also have LED lighting, a separate ventilation fan for those finishing days, plywood floors and walls, and a finished ceiling. At the time of my writing, I have 60 days to go before I get into my new shop (and the rest of the house I suppose). There is going to be a lot coming out of my new space and I can't wait to get started.
In order to understand, you must do. - V