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What's in your workshop?


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Hi kd, are you in the remodeling phase for your space or professionally advising for a customer? 



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I would have my personal work space completely separate from the class area. I can only/mostly speak of work involving metal lathes etc.


I would want a lathe  (Taig or Sherline) and attachments for each student. Suggest at least one milling machine Sherline, and a good mini drill press.  for wood work I would suggest at least a couple of mini table saws something like thee larger Micro-Mark.  For work space I would want a place for each student at a minimum of six feet long and two feet deep. Don't laugh but I would also like each space to be divided by a little wall just tall enough to denote space limit to prevent turf wars.  For me a U shape layout of work spaces with the U open towards a black or white board and a work space/desk for the instructor by the board. For materials space, tables along one wall.  If possible, lockers for each student to keep tools and project in at night. Students should be bringing their own small hand tools etc. 


Bill H

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Hi KD, I'm actually in the process of rebuilding my workshop. I was planning to move and looking forward to create a new set up. One that would eliminate the frustrations I started to run into after organically growing and taking up more and more space in the garden shed over the years. 


Plans have changed and I'm not moving. But the desire to improve remained. So as soon as I knew (a month ago or so) i started. Most important one is to separate the major power tools and having them permanently set up with some sort of dust extractor to keep other area's as clean as possible. 

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Hey there,


I have a workshop area but no actual place for power tools.  I have cabinets built in and a bar sink which is invaluable for washing

paint brushes and the usual messes I make.


One of these days, this space is getting a really good cleaning and rearranging!!!


I keep my paints close by as well as all the tools I constantly use, and pretty much everything else is within reach, including my

CDs and my radio - gotta have sports!!

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Hi kdappleby I read your post on CAMP, and also read your introduction at this forum.


I would want at least 25' x 25' of space and 4 3'x 8' banquet tables, and 1 each 3'x 6' banquet table.  These are nice sturdy tables, and you can safely build structures or roomboxes on them.   You can seat up to 24 - 32 people, at 6-8 people per table, and the 3'x6' table is for the teachers' use.  Remember to add your computer and phone connections in your facilities too.  You can re=arrange the configuration into rows, or a square, or a modified "U", etc, etc,.


You need to give careful consideration to your floor, if you are hosting artistic events.  Don't spend a lot of money on flooring if you are going to let people use stain or paint at your hosted events.  Stain & Paint add-ons don't look good on cherry laminate floors.


I would recommend a lot of plugs in the floors so you don't have to walk over cords, a zoned thermostat, kitchen and bathroom facilties.  From the other posts that I read, it sounds like the building would not be attached to your home, so the separate entrance is really nice, so you don't have people tracking through your home.


I wonder about the little houses that will house your guests, I don't know where you are in Florida but are hurricanes ever an issue where you are located, can these be attached to a foundation so they won't blow away?  Our tornados here can play havoc with mobile home communities, and these little houses don't look to be much bigger then a mobile home.


Do you already have someone that has committed to your location?   You could rent your space to the Life Size quilters retreats too, small family reunions, etc, etc...



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Our initial plan (which was nearly double the cost) had the workshop attached to our home with the guest sleeping quarters on the far side of the space.  Our new plan has the structure separate as an outbuilding, with the Tiny Houses nestled around it. 


Our plan was to have a large workshop space.  I was initially thinking tile floor, but perhaps a cool stained concrete would be ideal (and less expensive).  Outlets in the floor spaced so that instructors can make the tables classroom style, U shaped, whatever suits their needs. 


We will have to bath facilities in the workshop space, a half bath with a washer/dryer in it and a full, handicapped accessible bath with a shower.  The back wall of the workshop space will be a full line of cabinets and counter space to the left, and counters and a double sink (or is one large sink better) to the right.  There will also be a fridge along that wall. 


There is also a separate room where hubby plans to set up his workout equipment for all to use, I was also envisioning this could be a separate space where dust or fume generating activities could occur.  It will have its own set of exterior doors, so can be well ventilated.


Lighting....we've been tossing around what kind of lighting we would prefer.  Hubby (as a former plane model builder) has his preferences.  I'm not sure they serve the same needs as miniaturists.


Tools, some of the suggestions sparked ideas....we have his dad's old tools in boxes.  His lathe, etc.  His dad was a record holder control line model airplane builder.  I was thinking those could be installed either in the fume/exercise room or near the permanent cabinet/counter area in the back. 


Tiny houses, we are in Central FL in one of the (few) parts of FL that has hills.  It really is quite pretty here.  Hubby wanted to move where people GO when there's a hurricane, not where they hit.  That being said, it's always possible, heck a hurricane hit NJ the right before the Philadelphia show a couple years back!  However, we will not be hosting workshops during hurricane season, our plan is to run from Nov through the spring.  I don't think people really want to visit in FL June, July and Aug, and I'm far too busy in Sept and Oct.  So, we've effectively taken hurricane season out of the equation.  I think the idea of escaping the winter cold, snow and ice to come down and enjoy the warmth, sun, camaraderie and a chance to go with a new miniature creation will be a draw. 


Yes, the tiny houses are actually more RV sized, and they are on wheels, so they can be relocated if need be.  However, they are also built from traditional building materials which makes them somewhat more study than an RV.  I love the idea of them.  My cousin is planning to build one and has attended workshops on them.  She started to share the idea with me, and I fell in love.  Plus, it enables me to move on with my plans at half the cost of our original design.  And, I get to create them!!  Still need to get funding, but that's a different issue.


I have not had any real commitments.  I have a number of instructors who have told me if I build it they will be the first to sign up to teach down here.  Yes, we have also thought of life size quilters, embroidery groups, youth groups, etc.  I don't think we will have any issues filling the space.  We are really in a lovely location (and we're a half hour from Disney).  Better yet, we're close to Ron's fabulous miniature shop and even closer to where the miniature White House is on display.  I've seen it a few times, it's a wonderful little museum!!


I'm really wondering if we're on the right track with the workshop design, if there are things others prefer we've not thought of (now is the time to make the changes and add them in), and what lighting preferences people have.  Oh, and the sink...double or one large one?  And anything else I've not thought of. 


Thanks all for your comments and suggestions!!



Clermont, FL

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh yes, lighting is very important.  I would examine LED Lighting, but I installed Florescent lighting when we did our offices, and then purchased soft florescent lights for my office to so it casts warmer light;  as they have multiple spectrum florescent bulbs.  I suggested the plugs in the floors (if your building code allows) because I assumed that all miniaturists know that they need to bring their portable (ott) lights.  So I would look at ceiling lights and then let people bring their own task lights to supplements.  All the windows that you can include in your structure, just add to the visual warmth of the facilities, and perhaps temperature warmth, so it is a balancing act.


If you have the space, a gally kitchen with a few cabinets and countertop, fridge and stove is also very helpful for multi-day events.  Our club used to meet in the basement that was owned by some local masons, and we got very spoiled by having kitchen facilities.   I think having a microwave, toaster oven and coffee are basic necessities... for camping away from home.  (I have taken my toaster oven when I'm camped out at the Marriott when I go to the Tom Bishop show in Chicago, I just put it away before I leave the room.)  You might be able to guess that I don't camp (under the heading of free will) unless their is electricity and a bathroom... I generally only suggest camping in hotels. :).  I'm too old to sleep on the ground on a sleeping bag, and then be able to move in the morning. 


Oh, and remember, to check your building codes for handicap access, you may not have to put up with the requirements if you are a small business, but on the other hand your building codes may require ADA access when you are building new.


hmmm... I think double or single sink is purely a personal call, but I put a stainless steel one in in our offices and it makes me nuts that you can see the water spots, on the other hand it does make me do the dishes so the sink is neat.  I thought stainless was pretty cool, until I saw all the spots. 


Tamra / Indiana

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