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Simply Radiant

White-painted walls and ceilings give Dave Shively's Indiana workshop its bright look, but it’s the in-floor radiant heat that keeps it comfortable all winter long.

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Dave Shively's Indiana shop

Winter can be brutal in Lafayette, Indiana, but Dave Shively doesn't care. He's out in his workshop custom-building cabinets or furniture—in his shirtsleeves. "The best thing I did was install in-floor radiant heat. There's no open flame, no air movement, constant temperature, and a warm floor," Dave says.

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Casters keep it mobile

Dave's 4x8' mobile assembly table is covered with a sheet of ultra-high-molecular- weight (UHMW) polymer. Glue drips flake right off.

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A very dedicated outbuilding

The east-facing shop sits at the end of a short branch of Dave's driveway.

Shop Specs
TYPE: Dedicated outbuilding

SIZE: 32x48', including 10' ceiling; including 12x12' finish/spray room, 5x7' utility room, and 3 1/2/x5' bathroom

CONSTRUCTION: Brick veneer and 2x6 wall studs on concrete pad, with R-24 wall insulation and R-70 attic insulation

HEATING: In-floor radiant heat; natural gas 50-gallon water heater contains an antifreeze/water blend

COOLING: Ceiling fans and whole-house fan; open windows

ELECTRICAL: 200-amp service panel

LIGHTING: Eight 8' T-8 fluorescent fixtures; two 4' double-lamp fixtures; nine 65-watt floodlights

DUST COLLECTION: Oneida 3-hp cyclone

AIR COMPRESSOR: Powermate 6.5-hp; 60-gallon capacity

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Easy in, easy out

The 10'-wide garage door provides easy access to Dave's spacious and neatly organized shop. Lumber and sheet goods are stored on a rack or against a nearby wall.

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His tablesaw, front and center

Along the walls are, from left, the finish/spray room door, bathroom door, and mobile tools, including shaper, bandsaw, spindle sander, lathe, mortiser, and router table. A mobile assembly table sits under a wall-mounted swinging extension cord arm with Dave's tablesaw and jointer only a few steps away.

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Floor plan with finesse

When planning his shop, Dave had to do a little more thinking than most woodworkers. He knew he wanted in-floor radiant heat, but at the same time he wanted to minimize the clutter of dust-collection ducts and extension cords. His solution was to hide those under the floor as well, and the result was worth the extra up-front effort. "I did it just right," he says. "I got everything where I wanted it."

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No joints, no leaks

A layer of Styrofoam covers the pea gravel. Wire mesh stabilizes the concrete to minimize cracking. Tie straps secure the tubing to the mesh. There are no joints in the tubing under the floor, eliminating the possibility of leaks.

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A useful utility room

Double doors enclose the 5x7' utility room that houses the air compressor, water heater—which is dedicated to the floor-heating system—and dust collector. There's even room for some storage space. Plastic tubing that supplies the 50-50 water/antifreeze solution courses down on the wall. The solution flows through the set of six tubes on the left, with each tube representing a specific heating zone. The return end of each tube is seen on the right.

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Down-under ductwork

All dust-collection piping lies under the concrete floor, eliminating the need for exposed ducts hanging from the walls or ceiling. Each location includes the appropriate wiring (volts/amps) for the machine intended to sit there. Duct diameters range from 5" at the individual machines to 8" at the dust collector. Dave uses a handheld remote control to activate the system.

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Safe and quiet finish room

The 12x12' finish/spray room combines efficiency with safety. "I use an HVLP [high-volume, low-pressure] sprayer, and due to the high-pitched whine, I mounted it outside the finish room, running the hose through the wall," Dave says.

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Quick-clean system

The yellow hose connects to a 2.5-gallon pressure pot, in which Dave places a can of lacquer. The lacquer passes through the black hose. When spraying is complete, the lacquer is removed and is quickly replaced by a can of lacquer thinner. Cleanup is complete in about 5 minutes, Dave says.

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Ensuring clean air

Ventilation is achieved through the combination of an explosion-proof fan and the special ventilating door that Dave designed and made. The fan exhausts air to the outside, while the six 20x20" standard furnace filters in the door provide an adequate supply of fresh air.

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Heavy-duty lumber rack

Stock lumber is stored on this steel rack, constructed of 2x3" tubular steel. It is positioned just inside the garage-size shop door, easing the transfer from the loading area. With its five tiers, the rack can hold up to 2,400 board feet of lumber. Each tier has five standards spaced 2' apart. Although a freestanding unit, the rack is bolted to the wall for safety.

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Mobile scrap bin

The mobile scrap bin can be moved about easily. Sheet goods rest against the wall behind the bin. Sloping sides allow for easy viewing and access to available scrap.

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Combination clamp/glue-up rack

Tired of setting his clamps on the assembly table or the floor, Dave devised this mobile combination clamp rack and glue-up station. Made of 2x2" tubular steel and measuring 7' wide x 6' high x 42" deep, the rack holds twenty 36" bar clamps.

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Angle irons

The angle irons fit into the channels created by horizontal pairs of angle irons.

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Swinging conduit arm

Dave keeps extension cord clutter to a minimum with this 10'-long swinging conduit arm. Made of 34 " black pipe painted yellow to match the cord color, the arm primarily serves his assembly table but swings 150°. Two pieces of maple screwed to the wall hold the arm in place, and a grommetlike fitting at the end of the arm squeezes the cord to keep it from shifting inside the conduit.

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