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Timber-framed Dream Shop

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In a southern Ohio backyard, a copper-roofed stucture clad in stone invites you to come in and relax by the fireplace under the vaulted ceiling. The craftsmanship of an Amish timber-framing company wows guests—and provides the perfect setting for Marc Manly’s nicely appointed woodworking shop. 

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Marc’s main workbench sits in an alcove. Just around the corner, a Festool mulltifunction table provides more worksurface, and shelters his portable power tools stored below.

A rolling barn door separates the workshop from the entertainment area. At the opposite end, a room lined with base cabinets provides additional worksurfaces and storage, although it’s meant primarily for processing honey from Marc’s other hobby, beekeeping. Marc covered the shop walls with 12 " medium-density overlay (MDO), an exterior-grade plywood with a smooth fiberboard facing. Lumber reclaimed from an old granary makes up the shop floor. 

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Exposed beams and reclaimed-lumber flooring create a warm environment. Marc made and installed all of the trim in the building. Tall windows and LED ceiling lights provide plenty of illumination.

Placing the dust collector in the basement and hiding the dust-collection ductwork below the floor reduced clutter in the shop. Marc installed electronically activated blast gates in the ductwork that automatically open and close when a connected tool powers on or off.

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The large shop area provides permanent locations for larger power tools while still allowing plenty of room to maneuver. The room farther back provides additional storage in base cabinets.

For dust collection on portable hand tools, such as sanders, Marc relies on his Festool portable dust extractor. A ceiling-hung air filter helps capture dust that escapes the vac or central system.

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A rolling barn door, left, separates the shop from the comfortable and cozy entertaining areas and loft.

Marc designed the shop space to accommodate his stationary tools without feeling cramped. Since the shop is fairly new, he is taking his time figuring out storage options: “I am installing shelves and racks as I work and see what makes sense.” Less-frequently used tools, project lumber, and garden equipment store in the basement. 

One feature of his shop was built more for his wife—a bathroom with shower. “She would otherwise kill me bringing sawdust into the house.”

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Pounding nails and sawing wood since he was 6 years old, Marc Manly enjoys finish carpentry the most. A retired attorney, he also enjoys traveling and beekeeping.

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