Welcome to my home studio. I have to say that I love my space and you sure can’t beat the commute! It took almost a year to convert raw, unfinished basement into my lovely studio and get the tools set up. Yeah, we couldn’t believe it took a year, either, but it was a heck of a lot of work!!
The first thing I needed was access. We don’t have a walk-out basement so we needed to replace our egress windows with something that would open fully so that I could get sheet goods in and big projects out. We checked with the company that made our windows and they wanted close to $3000 to make our custom-sized ‘hobbit door’ to fit the space! Um, no. So, my enterprising husband made the doors. He used double-paned glass and everything.
Now that I could get materials in and out we turned our attention to the floors. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to work on concrete floors all day, but it really sucks. We decided to make floating floors so mama’s dogs wouldn’t be barking at the end of every day.
Well, what else do you need to make cool wood things? Wood! We bought what I thought was a lot of racks for wood storage. These babies are beefy and will hold a lot of weight, but it’s not nearly as much storage as I thought. So I have wood stashed all over the place.
Now that my solid wood had a home, I needed to create some space for sheet goods – plywood, MDF and the like.
Ok, ok. Where are the tools? Well, let me tell you, getting 600-pound tools into the basement through the window was quite an adventure. My husband, a physicist by training, has never backed down from a moving-lots-of-weight challenge. Ramps, levers and pipes are his friends.
Now for power. About 40 light fixtures, 220 service for my big tools, light switches, outlets galore… electrical was a big job!!
Rick wanted me to have a nice place to bring clients. I was being the queen of austerity and didn’t want to spend the dough. Our compromise was to have nice paneling on the inside and outside of my bench room. We used blue-stained pine. A beetle is decimating the lodge pole pines from Colorado clear up into Canada. The lumber milled from these trees has a beautiful grey-blue staining to it, hence the name.
Next up, dust collection. Being science geeks, we of course research everything. Rick read a book that showed that 7″ ducting was the best to optimize the air velocity in the dust collection system and at the tools. Not being commercially available, he was able to (eventually) concede that 6″ piping would do an acceptable job. (Most people use 4″ pipe and call it a day. Have I mentioned that Rick is the king of over-building? 🙂 ) He put in an awesome dust collection system for me and even made blast gates. The commercial ones were stupid expensive!
Well, that’s my space — I love it! One day when I was working on a project with Rick’s granddaughter, she looked up and said to me, “You have the best office!” I couldn’t agree more!