11 months have gone by…

weather schmeather

It’s coming on a whole year I’ve been building the workshop. I hope to finish just under that measure.

Lately it’s been windows – 15 windows in a building 12 feet by 16. It’s like I’m Tom Lie-Neilsen or something. They’re all in now, keeping out the dreadful wind and rain.

I’ve been making frames, (Justin Keegan made the first batch) fitting old sash to said frames, and trimming them inside & out. Work I know nothing about. Once I got going, I only had to re-do a small percentage of the work each day…Still more battens outside, some trim framing here & there inside. The battens need doing, the trim can wait til a bit later.

I did get to use planes a good bit, a relief from hammers, screwdrivers, etc. Reminded me of joinery.


With that many windows, there’s lots of light. Here’s an old box, fresh out of a 2-year stint in storage.



More pictures. The place is still a jumble, but each day it looks different. After this next photo, I cleaned it out. The floor is next, so I needed to get stuff out of there. Here, looking past the lathe, towards the river. In this photo, the lathe is just a place to pile junk.


Turning around, looking the other way, towards the door. Loft above. Main bench on our left.



more raking light.


begun hanging things here & there. Some will move when I find out they’re in the wrong spot. 


As soon as the loft was done, it got filled. A couple of times. Here’s loft-left:

And loft-to-the-right:


There’s carvings scattered around the outside too. Mostly under the window frames, but the red-painted one got temporarily hung above where the door will go. When the door goes in, it will come down to get trimmed, then re-hung.


A recent one under one of the front windows.

Today I started working on the floor boards. Two layers of 7/8″ white pine. Insulation underneath. First, I’ve been cutting tongue-and-groove joints on the finish floor boards. Bought this really nice pair of planes from Patrick Leach. All I had to do was sharpen them.


A test-run.


The floor boards are 16′ long. Got to work both edges of 18 boards. I’ll walk some ways in this task, but what fun. The near end of the board sits in a notched stick held in the end vice. It works.





20 thoughts on “11 months have gone by…

  1. 16 windows seems just about right…………! I live in a wooded area, so no light, but I do have loads of overhead lighting, and I really need it. Your shop is coming along so beautifully. Congratulations.

  2. I have to say when I think of a dream shop, THIS is exactly what I think of. Going to be a woodburning stove in there as well? Absolutely stunning and just beautiful !

  3. Well done. If it is any interest to you, your shop floor is exactly twice as big as mine – it being 8’x11′. Fortunately I get to take my work outside quite a lot. And I am going to start making my own tongue-and-groove too. Must now score some old planes. Lovely light btw.

    • all around the place there are pattern sticks – turning profiles, chair leg patterns, that sort of thing. There aren’t many walls with all those windows, so most of them hang around windows or from the tie-beams.

  4. Your shop looks great…something that you will enjoy for the rest of your life…it looks ideal and in an ideal location. The details, such as the carvings and the hand-made finished floors make your shop something special. Be inspired!

  5. Peter-

    Perhaps one of the greatest attributes of this shop in my opinion is that you’ll be using it to support your livelihood. What a masterpiece- both you and your shop. Keep inspiring us Peter- we need it.

    -Chris, CT

  6. Mine is 12×16. Sadly, I didn’t have the foresight to make a shed with the attic space as you have…

  7. I think it’s been about 20 years since I started my backyard workshop.
    That means 20 years of thinking about starting to build my backyard workshop.

    • I take it that the cracks between the exterior boards will be covered by battens?

      Looks like a fabulous shop…the kind of place it would be a pleasure to spend hour after hour.

      Well done.

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