Doubly Beneficial Shop
When Mitchell Scott informed his wife that a new dust collector would have to be installed on her side of his garage shop, she very strongly suggested that he construct a separate outbuilding instead. And that she'd like new kitchen cabinets. So, as any smart spouse would do, Mitchell got busy designing and building.
With two each of bandsaws, planers, tablesaws, and router tables, he spent a couple of years planning the layout of the tools, light fixtures, and electrical needs. He accounted for 8' infeed and outfeed space around each major tool, plus stock support for his mitersaw to accommodate 8' boards.
After a contractor erected the 1,600 sq. ft. wood-frame structure, Mitchell walled off three corner rooms: one for lumber storage, a finishing room, and a closet that isolates the air compressor and dust collector.
Mitchell worked with Oneida Air Systems to design the dust-collection system. Before the insulation and drywall went in, Mitchell routed 8", 7", 6", and 4" ducts through the attic to the closet that houses the 5-hp cyclone. A sensor activates a blue strobe light in the shop when the collection drum fills up; a differential pressure gauge on the wall alerts him when the filter needs cleaning.
Mitchell also plumbed compressed-air lines in the walls. A 3⁄4" copper header in the attic feeds six drops of 1⁄2" copper lines, with an additional line supplying the finishing room. Each line terminates with a quick-disconnect and two isolation valves (one for condensate drainage, one for air supply). Mitchell installed air regulators in the finishing room and at the front door of the shop. Other lines run at header pressure, regulated by the compressor setting.
For electrical service Mitchell installed a 200-amp, 40-circuit supply panel. The panel features dedicated circuits for each 220-volt tool and one circuit for Mitchell's radial-arm saw—the first major woodworking tool he purchased. The remainder of the power tools tap into separate 110-volt circuits. Six circuits with motion-detection switches feed the many fluorescent light fixtures.
Mitchell hired out the HVAC, insulation, and drywall work. He took care of the painting and interior trim himself, then installed the lighting fixtures, receptacles, and quick-disconnects for compressed air. Once he placed the major tools in their final locations, he completed the dust-collector ceiling drops with blast gates. With so much wall space available, Mitchell installed French cleats for hanging clamps, jigs, and project patterns.
The primary benefit of all of Mitchell's hard work building his shop is a happy marriage. He has a fully functional, efficient workshop. His wife has her garage back ... and new kitchen cabinets.