The $8,000.00 Workshop
Orcas Island Workshop
Dale Heisinger's Orcas Island, Washington, workshop isn't much bigger than the half of the two-car garage where he used to work. But his new 16x24' shop is so much better. There's no need to move the family cars. And with a 12'-high vaulted ceiling and a covered porch, next slide, extending the work area, has all the space he needs.
Exterior View of Dale's Shop
Dale's shop sits at the end of a gravel drive, simplifying the task of unloading lumber and loading finished projects. Trees on the property provide a continual wood supply for Dale's projects.
Double Doors make for Easy Access
Sheet goods and lumber are stored just inside the double doors. Six clerestory windows and five double-hung windows allow plenty of natural light to enter the east-facing workshop.
TYPE: Dedicated outbuilding
SIZE: 16x24', plus 6x8' covered porch
CONSTRUCTION: Stick- built, with 2x4 stud walls and metal roof, 5⁄8 " plywood sheathing, 3⁄8 " exterior T-111 with battens, R-11 insulated walls
HEATING: One 10' electric baseboard heater; one woodburning stove
COOLING: Window fan
ELECTRICAL: 200-amp service panel
LIGHTING: Eight 4' fluorescent lights, plus task lighting
DUST COLLECTION: Grizzly 2-hp, two-bag collector
AIR COMPRESSOR: DeVilbiss 1.5-hp, 3-gallon
Wall- and ceiling-mounted ducts keep Dale's shop nearly free of hanging obstacles. Clamps and small tools neatly arranged on the wall are close at hand. Baseboard heat can supplement warmth from the woodburning stove, which Dale prefers.
The compact size of Dale's shop doesn't impede his workflow. Built in 2003, the shop has double doors and a 12' vaulted ceiling that make maneuvering materials easy, and the 6x8' covered porch extends the work area when ripping sheet goods and long stock. There are three aisles for side-to-side movement, and two aisles for movement from end to end, placing all tools within easy reach. The radial-arm saw is mounted on a 16'-long crosscut bench for sawing long stock. The jointer, bandsaw, and sanders are positioned on the right side of the shop, because they are used mostly for smaller stock. All rest on mobile bases to allow moving the tools if stock requires it. A central dust-collection system services the larger tools.
Making the Most of Wall Space
This busy corner of Dale's shop makes the most of precious wall space. Carving tools and chisels are stored in the cabinet on the right. The cabinet on the left is for stains, paints, and varnishes. Two rows of pullout boxes contain hinges, screws, nails, and bolts. Sanders, drills, and their accessories are in the lower compartments.
Sliding-Door Tool Cabinet
The tool storage cabinet includes three perforated hardboard panels in back and two sliding doors on the front. When one door is moved, it reveals another tool-laden panel. The doors are mounted on wheels that roll along a steel rail.
16' Crosscut Bench
While working at this 16'-long crosscut bench, Dale has a great view over his home and across the Rosario Straits to Mt. Baker.
Lumber Storage Rack
Dale built this wood storage system that keeps sheet goods and boards close at hand but occupies minimal space.
Swing-Out Sheet-Goods Holder
The second component is a swinging sheet-goods holder.
A Compact Corner
Dale uses this corner at the back of his shop as an office. He sketches design concepts at his desk, referring to the wall library that includes magazines and reference books about joinery and wood types.
Dale at Work
Storm-damaged alder trees on Dale's property are a source of wood for his projects, such as this table with raised top and shelf.
To learn more about Dale's outsanding shop and dozens of other top shops from the country, see this trio of magazine.