Mike Hayes’ experience as a restaurant chef informed his shop design when he built it several years ago: “In the kitchen, I had to know every day that all my tools were in the right place.

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Mike Hayes' experience as a restaurant chef informed his shop design when he built it several years ago: "In the kitchen, I had to know every day that all my tools were in the right place. Everything we needed was hanging on racks—there wasn't time to look for things in a drawer." In his woodworking shop, he applied the concept by storing most tools on open shelves, unimpeded by doors.

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Despite the shop's compact footprint, Mike squeezed in a small desk, refrigerator, and even a comfy chair below the open shelving.

For the interior of his shop, Mike chose affordable 34 " oriented-strand board (OSB). "OSB just doesn't show dirt," he says, although he confesses to recoating the floor with polyurethane every few years due to daily wear.

And, just as a chef tweaks a recipe many times to perfect it, Mike "built" a scaled version of his 16×24' shop from cardboard and rearranged the tools within it several times before actually breaking ground. "I originally planned a 16×20' shop," he says, "but it wasn't working out right, so I added on to my model."

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A 26×71 1/2" bench provides space for Mike's drill press, scrollsaw, and 4" belt sander. He stores a mini-lathe and other tools below.

The only thing he would do differently is make it taller. "I was used to the low ceiling in my old basement shop. Without a roof, the luxury of a 10' ceiling didn't show up on my scale model," he chuckles.

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The 5×6' overhead door and ramp of Mike Hayes' 16×24' shop make it easy to move equipment and materials in and out.