Century-old Converted Workshop
Nestled behind a 110-year old Victorian home in the Catskill Mountains, a three-story carriage house tucked into the side of a hill serves as Tom Jeffers’s woodworking retreat. The bottom level stores primarily lawn and garden equipment; the second story, with an at-grade entrance, houses the woodshop; and the attic provides storage for lumber and miscellaneous items.
When Tom decided to build out his shop, he stripped the walls down to the framework and had foam insulation sprayed into the exterior walls. After installing oriented-strand board (OSB) sheets over the original rough-lumber floor, he topped it off with vinyl interlocking tiles for comfort.
To save space, Tom mounted his benchtop tools on full-extension, heavy-duty drawer slides (rated for 100 pounds) on top of the cabinets. To use each tool, he extends the base past the front of the bench for easy access. Tom says the slides have no problem holding the weight of the various tools, even his benchtop planer.
For power, Tom had an electrician install a 100-amp subpanel and a few electrical drops from the ceiling that provide easy access to power in the middle of the shop. He mounted to the ceiling two electric hoists that he uses for heavy lifting.
Because Tom’s shop measures less than 500 square feet, he takes full advantage of wall space and under-bench storage. Lots of drawers and storage bins help him keep things organized and out of the way. He also utilizes the space under the attic stairs.
Tom has one regret and offers this advice: “If you are putting in a shop, spend the money and the time to put in your dust collection as the first item of business.” He wishes he had installed his dust collector in the lower level and figured out how to run the ductwork before all his tools were in place. Moving the dust collector is a future project, Tom says.