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The non-yankee workshop

Stan Crenshaw’s shop may be based in the South, but his love of woodworking and many of his shop projects have some definite Yankee roots.

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  • Borrowed ideas for an efficient shop

    Anderson, S.C., a city with Southern charm, boasts one spot with a touch of New England. Stan Crenshaw credits TV's "The New Yankee Workshop" for his love of woodworking, so it's only natural he'd borrow ideas from the show to enhance shop efficiency.

  • Large projects to the front

    While he does most of his cutting and working in the rear area, he keeps the front of the building near the garage door open for large-scale assembly work, auto maintenance, and his welding equipment.

  • Makings of a grand entrance

    Stan likes making projects for outdoor use, as evidenced by the Adirondack chairs and pergola entrance to his shop.

    SHOP SPECS:

    TYPE: Detached garage.

    SIZE: 20×40' (800 sq. ft.).

    CONSTRUCTION:

    2x4 frame.

    HEATING & COOLING: Kerosene heater for winter; attic and floor fans for summer.

    ELECTRICAL: 100-amp service with both 110- and 220-volt circuits.

    LIGHTING: High-intensity fluorescents.

    DUST COLLECTION:

    2-hp, 220-volt Grizzly collector connected to 4" ducting throughout shop; ceiling-mount air cleaner.

    AIR COMPRESSOR:

    5-hp Husky Pro; hose reel on one side of shop, and a copper air line to other side. Compressor (and dust collector) located in building extension.

  • Kitchen island turning center

    This lathe stand started life as a workbench Stan bought specifically to get the wooden top, which he used to build a kitchen island. "It was actually cheaper to get that top prefinished than for me to order it, plus I got a base out of it for almost nothing," he says. Stan added drawers, then shortened the metal legs to get a good working height for the lathe.

  • A floor plan that flows

    By keeping the front of his shop open (nearest the garage door at left in the floor plan), Stan has the option of bringing his car into the shop for maintenance if needed. At other times the space serves as an assembly and staging area for building large furniture, or for keeping large completed components out of the way while he continues working.

  • A shared crosscut surface

    Stan's crosscutting area groups his mitersaw bench and the radial-arm saw as a tag team--the table surface of the mitersaw also acts as a workpiece support for the radial-arm saw. The drawer cabinet under the right wing of the mitersaw station has its own worktop, and can be rolled out for use anywhere in the shop.

  • No time like shop time

    "If I'm in the middle of something, I come out here every day I'm off work. If I don't have a project in progress I might not be in the shop for a while, but then I'll get fired up to get back out and make something."

  • A wall turned work center

    The east wall serves as a major work area with jointer, router table, disc sander, and the larger of Stan's two bandsaws. He also keeps his several crosscut sleds, jigs, and other accessories for his tablesaw here. The wall cabinet houses finishing supplies.

  • One strong workbench

    Stan upgraded his assembly bench by keeping the old leg base from one he'd made several years earlier, scrapping the old top and replacing it with a sturdy new torsion-box worktop. "It's dead flat and unbelievably strong," he says. "And it's heavier than my old top, because the top and the bottom of the torsion box are 1/2" MDF, and you have the 1/2" MDF grid inside; the outside is 3/4" oak, plus another 1/4" sacrificial top of tempered hardboard that can be replaced when worn. That's a lot of mass."

  • Stan's tailor-made workbench

    The oak top of Stan's 28x72" workbench features a wide strip of bookmatched walnut running down the center, while yellow pine makes up the leg base. Stan made a larger clamp block for the Grizzly vise on the front, and used a Veritas clamp screw to create a captured slider in the benchtop that acts like a tail vise. A tool trough on the back and a row of bench dogs along the front edge complete the bench.

  • Open 24/7

    Stan made this cabinet years ago for all his hand tools. It works well, but if he ever makes another one he'll do it differently. "I never close it for one thing; it works better for me as open storage. I keep a couple spring clamps on it most of the time to keep the doors from moving at all."

  • A Norm Abram inspired router table

    This router table is yet another shop project like one built by Norm Abram. "I don't think I've ever followed anything exactly, but it's pretty much the way he built it," Stan says. "I wired the switch a little differently than he did his, but as far as the actual design it's probably 90 percent his." One difference in Stan's version is the lower portion of the cabinet; the original from "The New Yankee Workshop" had a deep storage drawer, but by leaving the lower space open Stan found the perfect spot for his shop stereo. The carcase, made of 3/4" birch plywood with oak trim, has a top that measures about 2x3'. The table rests on a Delta mobile base.

  • A Norm Abram inspired desk

    Stan based his office's drop-front desk on one built by Norm Abram. The design for the combination bookcase and computer center is his own.

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