Chad Brink's Shop
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A Tour of Chad Brink's Shop

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Proof that planning pays off.

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Here is the floor plan for my shop. It works fairly well for being only 320 ft² because I can expand into the garage for large projects. I have about 300 board feet of longer oak boards stored in the garage and keep a saw and sawhorses there to precut what I need.

The ceiling slopes from 9' 6" to 7'. I insulated the walls with R19 and R30 in the ceiling. For lighting, I installed four 4' fluorescent fixtures, six task lights, and full under-cabinet lighting, which reflect well due to the painted drywall. I have a 50 amp sub-panel with four 120V and two 240V circuits. I control the temperature in the winter by electric baseboard and cove heat, and a wall mount AC unit helps in the summer months.

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I built my shop behind my garage by closing in an existing covered patio. The dimensions are about 14' by 22'. I also extended the shop four feet into my existing two-car garage for an enclosed sink room and built-in lumber rack. The two big windows are 6' x 4' Andersen units and the smaller one is a used barn sash that I saved. I really enjoy the view of my garden through the big windows, especially in the winter when the shop is toasty warm and I am enjoying my first cup of coffee.

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At this end of the shop is the workbench and tool storage. I constructed a full-length backbench with upper cabinets. The backbench is 16" deep with 12" deep adjustable shelving below. I added one row of 16" deep x 4" high drawers above the shelves. The bench surface is hardboard with oak edging. I left a 12" wide recess in the middle of the backbench to keep power tool cords from interfering with the use of the drawers.

The upper cabinets are 12" deep with adjustable shelving. I installed full cabinet lighting controlled by a pre-wired wall mounted switch. The window AC unit, permanently mounted in the wall, is here as well.

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Here you can see my efficient clamp rack holding 50 bar clamps from 4" to 30" lengths. In addition, located in this corner is my hardware cabinet containing 40 plastic trays for screws, bolts, and nails. Norm's shrine (thanks to SWMBO!) is in this corner for inspiration.

You can also see one of the in-wall mounted speakers for my sound system along with one of the compressed air outlets. The dial timer switch for the remote garage installed air compressor is also visible. This is also where the dust collector piping leaves the shop and enters the garage.

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Here is the entry to the shop from the garage. I made a pair of 2' 6" x 7' doors by laminating pre-finished paneling on each side of a 1½" high density foam core and a perimeter of 2 x 2 pine. This system is a cheap way to make interior grade insulated doors and I have made many similar since. The main tool visible here is my 17" drill press with homebuilt woodworking table. The table features an adjustable fence, mounts in the metalworking vice and is easily removable.

Next to the drill press is my Delta BOSS spindle sander. It mounts onto my drill bit and blade cabinet, which sits on an unused tablesaw stand. The seldom-used half of the double door is a good place to mount my tablesaw crosscut sled.

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Behind the drill press is my lumber and sheet goods storage area. The rack is 8' deep and has large access doors in the garage for easy loading and restacking.


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The east wall of my shop is for finish storage. Some discarded furniture is enjoying new life as my finish cabinet and general storage drawers. My bandsaw is located here and can accommodate long stock by opening up the door to the sink room on the left and the walkout door on the right. The electrical sub-panel is behind the right door as well. On the right, by the door, is my wife's potting bench.

I generously allow her 4 ft² of shop to keep the peace. In the foreground is my tablesaw and jointer. I fabricated custom stands for each so I can roll them around. An outlet located in the floor provides power. The tablesaw extension table has a router mounted in it and a router bit cabinet will be added next. A shortened drafting table provides the base for the 5' x 3' outfeed table. I have enough room to feed 4' x 8' sheets with a foot to spare on each end. It's tight but workable.

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Here is my miter saw station. It attaches to the wall with custom brackets and mounted high enough for easy use. The saw mounts in the station with two large knobs so I can remove it easily and take it offsite. I centered it on the south wall to provide eight feet of space to either side of the blade. The drawers contain blades, wrenches, and small tool parts.

The dust collection works well and there is a compressed air outlet handy for blowing what dust remains. Above the saw is my media cabinet with TV, radio, and phone. A switch controls the under-cabinet lighting for the saw area. The dust collection piping has a hook-up for a sanding hood, which I store behind the workbench.

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My workbench has a 30" x 60" top constructed by laminating ¼" hardboard on each side of three layers of ¾" particleboard, resulting in a massive 2½" thick top. It has oak edging and an 8" vise. Supporting the base is a massive laminated pine trestle. There are also six drawers mounted in a plywood case, which mounts between the trestles. I included a 2" gap between the top and lower cabinet allowing clamps to pass through when using the workbench surface as a caul.

My 60" Bessey clamps hang on the backside of the bench. I added the infill below the trestles and drawers later because of debris getting under the bench. I learned my lesson and will now provide dust closures for all future shop fixtures.

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This is the metal cutting and welding station in my garage. Having the ability to lightly work metal is a boon for many woodworkers. The welder operates on a 20 amp, 120-volt circuit and will handle up to ¼" thick steel.


Regards, Chad

Posted 26 February 2005

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