Shop ideas

Our scrapbook of good ideas

While we have been working on finding a site for a community woodshop, we have been gathering ideas  for the shop we hope to build.

Green Valley community woodshop

The woodshop in this retirement community in Arizona provided our initial inspiration. Roger Lauen, our president, brought back these pictures.

Arizona woodshop

Major machines are installed at one end of the shop. Workbenches are at the other end.

Workbench in shop

Members built the workbenches and the storage cabinets below. Members supply their own hand tools and buy their own materials.

Woodshop in Sun City, Arizona

The retirement community of Sun City, Arizona, also has a community woodshop. Tom Wilson, one of our members, brought back these pictures.

workbench area

Workbenches of different heights allow members to work at the height most suitable for the task at hand. Low workbenches are handy during assembly and glue-up, for example.

Dust-collection system

Each major tool is connected to the shop's dust-collection system. Lighting consists of fluorescent bulbs and skylights.

Seattle Central Community College

We have made several trips to Seattle Central Community College, which has a 4,000-square-foot shop where first-year students learn the basics of building with wood.

View of shop

We loved the abundant natural and artificial light and the soaring ceiling. Builders installed batt insulation, sprayed it black, then added 1x4 skip sheathing to create the look of an expensive wood ceiling.

Overall view of shop

Although the building itself has a concrete floor, the shop sits on an elevated floor made of plywood. It's a lot more comfortable to work on a wood floor, and the gap under the plywood provides space for the ducts that whisk away sawdust. Putting the dust-collection system in the floor helps reduce noise in the shop and eliminates the usual clutter along the ceiling.

Mezzanine level

The tall ceiling provides enough space for a mezzanine with additional workbench space.

  • Not your typical bus shelter

    Bus shelter framing The first houses in the new Ferncliff Avenue affordable housing project are just beginning to be built, but a beautiful amenity of the neighborhood—a timberframed bus shelter—is already in place. Volunteers from Bainbridge Island Community Woodshop assembled and finished the structure in mid November, using wood from trees that had to be cleared from the site to make way for the development. Coyote Woodworks, a Bainbridge sawmill company, milled the wood, and timberframers at Salisbury Construction cut the joinery. See how the structure took shape.