“I’m Still Around!” or “Nothing To Do With April Fools! (Seriously)”

10930182_827260414020070_3437241858251852337_nYeah, this winter was a LITTLE mental. I’ve had a ridiculous time with the snow, as you can imagine for a location almost 60 degrees of latitude; sea-level or not. Well, we’re alive, not for lack of Mother Nature’s efforts. We’ve been dumped on with snow, practically blown away, our furnace failed and has not been working right for five months, we’ve had budgetary crisis’ and work has been a long, hard slug through the trenches to get caught-up. All in all, I’m MORE than excited to get out in the shop and get some real fun stuff made. To tell you the truth, the process of designing my dream shop in SketchUp and the thought of having my

11046673_824709984275113_7330743608805223551_nfather come out to give me a hand (Always more fun with a buddy) with the renovation in the shop has been a large part of what’s gotten me through this winter. This first pic is of our 8′ tall dog kennel out in front of our house… but that was before another full two feet fell… you could barely see it at ALL at the worst of it. The picture to the right is of a particularly mild morning, on my way to a conference. It’s been as low as -39C (-40F) at 8am. It’s been so cold that it sounded as though the equinox had asthma when we start the engine. Good times.

Okay, enough about the cold and my excuses for being away (60-hour work-weeks not withstanding), onto the SHOW!

Shed, BeforeThe object to the left is the garage, empty, as it is now. ONLY original walls, external, no real partitions and all partitions as they are. I didn’t draw in windows because I don’t have the precise measurements for them, and several are buried in snow at the moment.

Shed, AfterThe pic to the right covers the proposed changes. For the purposes of description, the largest section is the MAIN building, the wing to the right of each image is the REAR section, and the object to the lower left is the SIDE section. The REAR contains 9-10 cord of firewood, in the new image, with exterior and interior access door, the SIDE section contains a closet and almost a thousand cubic feet of lumber storage, 8′ deep on sliding rails.

Shed 1

This is an overview of the building as designed currently. This covers the REAR building full of dark cordwood for the fireplace, seen in RED. The blue tank above the red furnace is the equalizing tank for the hydronic service, being removed from my home this month as we prepare for an all-electric system and electrical service upgrade.

Shed 2The next picture, seen to the right, is a flipped image. You can see the lumber storage to the top of the picture, and cordwood to the rear. The basic premise of the whole renovation is to install two partitions across the building to create 3 rooms 20′ long that divide the 32′ building length into a 19′ wide by 20′ long workshop area, a 4′ wide utility area to the back, and a 6′ wide office area to the front. The two smaller rooms, front and back, will have 7′ ceilings, so the above-areas can serve as lofts and storage for irregular boards and for air-drying. The space over the main workshop will be 11′ tall, as the ceiling will attach directly to the overhead trusses. Long-form lumber storage above the lumber storage room can be seen in this right-most image, and ventilation pipes can be seen on both long walls… but more on that later.

Shed 3To the left, you can see the main double-doors, notice that I removed the garage door completely. I don’t need to move a truck into and out-of the garage any longer. It USED to be an automotive repair station, by the previous owner of the house, but now i’ll just be moving wood and projects into and out of the place. TWO 36″ exterior doors ought to service that purpose nicely. You can see my office space to the left, just inside the main front wall and the closet to the right in the lumber SIDE wing, with the multi-coloured jackets and an armoir peaking out.

Shed 4In the main building, I will, basically, build a small shop inside the building. Supported/insulated floors, building 3 walls around it, with the long-wall to the right housing ventilation piping. This is all 4″ (100m) PVC, one for dust-collection, one for dehumidification, one for air-purification intake and one for the exhaust. The lights, not shown, will be approx 70,000 lumens over the shop area, producing about 750LUX of light for the shop space. It’ll be very, very bright, and fluorescent initially. I will, as time goes by, gradually replace those with high-efficiency LED’s.

Shed 5Here we have an over-head shot, providing a little more detail and additional information. The bench in the middle of the workshop space is 4′ by 8′, an entire sheet of plywood. The whole main building, for the purposes of clarity, is 32′ by 20′ (approximately 11m by 7m). I’ve been thinking very, very heavily about doubling-up on wall and ceiling insulation. Literally adding a 6″ wall to all sides of the primary building as well as doing something similar to the ceiling. I really cannot adequately express my desire to construct a ridiculously tight building envelope with enough insulation for TWO buildings of this size. It’ll pay dividends in space-heating and overall comfort, to speak nothing of noise-proofing the building. It boils down to comfort. I’ve had to “make do” my whole life; had to just make the best of a bad situation. Our home-heating furnace hasn’t worked right in 5 months; we’ve been making do. I had used car after used car, 11 years university, transitioning from part-time job to part-time job… I’m sick of it. I will have ONE awesome thing (besides my wife and fur-babies, I love you, Dear) that I can show off and be proud of.

Shed 6That said, these drawings do NOT include the double-wall construction, though I might do that for my next version. You can see the drawing to the right with the cabinetry removed in the workshop space. THIS has a sort of double-wall construction, but that’s a false-wall meant to hide my dust-collection equipment. Those pipes and hoses, better visible in the next image, are designed to have blast-gates that can open and close as per use. ALL the wiring for my tools will be integrated into the system so that if ANY power is drawn through that one wall, the vacuum cleaner kicks in and sucks air through the THEIN baffle (separating the dust and chips from the air to save my shop vac filter).

Shed 7

That said, the pipes and hoses MIGHT end up going on the ceiling, rather than the wall, and that wall space MIGHT be better-served as long-format lumber storage. That remains to be seen. MOST of the shop features will be modular, hung on french cleats and adjustable to suit my needs, present and future. For example, I want an air-to-air heat exchanger in my building, maybe a mini-split air-to-air heat pump. I want a relatlively strong household dehumidifier to keep my airborne humidity down. I want all the wiring done to my spec, and err on the side of caution when it comes to building it with room to expand. That’s the hardest part, leaving space in a “complete” plan for expansion and revision, especially those plans you cannot, immediately predict.

img_1382In any event, the shop, as it stands, needs a LOT of work and I’m learning a HELL of a lot of material on various things from plumbing to electrical to home design to insulation techniques, acoustical dampening and more. Really a thrill to digest all this information and be able to say, “This annoys me, and I can only think of seven ways to improve it.” I want a place that I’ll be excited to enter, to bring friends to and teach young people the true passions of woodworking and similar trades. A place to whittle away the time (tee-hee, pun) and leave feeling better than I entered. My therapy in the form of sawdust.

One day, one day, I’ll have a place I can be proud of. A building that I can feel inspired in. One with my trade colours (Robin’s Egg Blue and Crimson) and a sign above the door, “Barter Only”. Enough wood in the rear room to last a full winter without a second thought (10 cord) and a full-tank of oil in the fall. I want to have the toys to take on some wild new experimental projects, and the means by which to move them to market. A place in which I can create all the gifts for all the occasions, and create them myself with care.

One day…


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