home studio

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.

Removing the existing window

Removing the existing window



New, custom-made, didn't-cost-us-$3000 hobbit doors

New, custom-made, didn’t-cost-us-$3000 hobbit doors

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.

Poly vapor barrier over the concrete, topped with 2×3 sleepers, topped with OSB. Nice and springy!

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.

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Heck, I’m not gonna let a little thing like full-to-capacity keep me from getting cool wood, especially when a friend gives you a whole tree! I now have extra racks and they, too, are completely full!

Now that my solid wood had a home, I needed to create some space for sheet goods – plywood, MDF and the like.

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Rick working on a place for sheet good storage.

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Full sheets store on bottom with storage for extra lumber on top.

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.

The jointer strapped to a rented Dingo (like a baby Bobcat), ready to be placed on the platform leading to the basement.

Ramps leading to the basement

Ramps leading to the basement

Success!

Success!

Oops! Not quite as successful. This one sort of got away while sliding down the ramp and went all ass over tea kettle on us. I especially love the ‘fragile, do not drop’ stamp on the carton as my poor table saw sits on its head.

Most of the big tools placed in their final locations.

Most of the big tools placed in their final locations.

The pride of my studio - my Sjobergs bench.  It cost as much and weighs as much as some of my big power tools!

The pride of my studio – my Sjobergs bench. It cost as much and weighs as much as some of my big power tools!

Now for power.  About 40 light fixtures, 220 service for my big tools, light switches, outlets galore… electrical was a big job!!

Oh, yeah, we’re full now! Wiring for the studio filled up most of the extra capacity of our boxes.

The cutest little electrician on the job site!  (Don't worry - the other end wasn't hooked to the panel yet!)

The cutest little electrician on the job site! (Don’t worry – the other end wasn’t hooked to the panel yet!)

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.

Nailing on the pine paneling.

Making progress!

Making progress!

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!

6″ pipes and tool drops

Blast gates allow me to concentrate the dust collection at the tool I'm using.  I open the gate for the tool I'm using and leave the others closed.

Blast gates allow me to concentrate the dust collection at the tool I’m using. I open the gate for the tool I’m using and leave the others closed.

Home-made cyclone (on right) plus dust collector.  The cyclone is like a big pre-filter that keeps the bulk of the chips and sawdust out of my dust collector.  It's much easier to empty than the bags on the dust collector.

Home-made cyclone (on right) plus dust collector. The cyclone is like a big pre-filter that keeps the bulk of the chips and sawdust out of my dust collector. It’s much easier to empty than the bags on the dust collector.

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!

Happy!

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4 thoughts on “home studio

  1. So amazing! If the detail in the work to build the studio reflects in your finished pieces (which I know it will and does!) then I KNOW you’re work is quality!! I’m proud to own a Woodsong heirloom box!

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