One of the most exciting things about moving out of the city is space. Our apartment is pretty luxurious by New York standards, a two bedroom at around 1200 square feet. Its enough space to so that our coffee table in the living room doesn’t have to double as a dinner table, but not enough space to sprawl out and work. Typically, if I had a craft/wood/electronics project I would set up on the dining table, so it was temporary. I could spread out, but I would have to pack up every night. I couldn’t mount tools to the table, and more importantly, I couldn’t make a mess. Part of the fun of working on projects is the mess, it gives me a sense of productivity. I don’t feel like I’ve really made something unless there is at least a respectible pile of sawdust.
Once we got the farm I finally had space, unadulterated unused unnecessary space that could be put to any purpose. The first thing we did with our extra space was build a shop. We converted the retired chicken coop, with beautiful old warehouse style windows, into a wood shop. We cleaned out all the bird poop, built a enormous bench, and set up our tools.
We stopped there and decided to use it for a year or so, to see what worked and what didn’t. So far it has been great except for three issues: electrical, heat and wood storage.
As you can see from the photos the electrical all runs out of one duplex outlet, which is completely overloaded. Running the tablesaw and vacuum at the same time blows the circuit, so we are going to upgrade the electrical. We have aspirations for the room next door, hoping to put in a pool table and small bar, so we are going to make sure there is enough electrical for that use as well.
The wood storage has been a problem because we have several projects running in parallel (new fences, new gates, etc.) and we also have a lot of reclaimed wood from various renovation projects. The plan is to build out an entire wall of shelving to store wood, running parallel to the bench on the opposite wall.
Having adequate wood storage will free up the end wall of the space, where all the wood is currently stacked. The short wall will then be free to solve our third problem – heat. There is no heating in this space at all, it is the old stables. There is however a small chimney on the short wall, we plan to take the wood stove we removed from our kitchen last year and duct it into the chimney to heat the space. Updates soon when we build out the storage and get new electric.