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A Tour of Clay Foster's Shop

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I've been building a new shop for a couple of years. The outside has been finished for a while, but I thought I would post this picture to begin the tour. The room on the left is my wife Penny's stained glass studio. The gable window is of a Maximillian sunflower. We have 20 acres of them here in the fall. This end faces east, so I get wonderful light through them and the doors in the morning. Penny did the paint job.

east end of the shop

The single door on the right goes to Penny's studio. I put a transom window above the door so I could see the sunflower window in the morning. I made the doors from sycamore. Penny did the glass. I still have a few light fixtures to put up, and some more cabinets to build. Now that all the drywall and painting is done I can install a dust collection system.

tool cabinet

I just recently completed this tool cabinet. It's made of white oak and the top is cedar elm. I milled and air dried all the wood. It sits below the two cabinets barely visible in the upper left of the picture above.

tool chest

Even more recently I got another cabinet for my shop finished. It has a wide overhang on the top to make it easier to clamp a dove tail jig or the Leigh mortise & tenon jig to it. The top is quarter sawn sycamore. The cabinet and louvered grill are quarter sawn white oak. I milled and air dried all the lumber.

west end of the shop

This is the other end of the shop. There is about 200 square feet of storage space on the other side of the door. The dust collector and air compressor will be over there, too. The door to the left of the lathe goes to an outside work area. Right now it's just a concrete pad, but eventually it will have a shed roof over it.

sunflower window

This is the sunflower window I can see in the morning through the transom window.


This window is at eye level beside the sliding table saw. The design matches the doors.


What I look at every morning after my 12 second commute.

I do wake up every morning anxious to be out there. The future DC will be a Dust Gorilla. Right now I have a portable roll about. It's taken 2 years to get this far, but it's all paid for. I did all of the work except the concrete slab and the central heat/air conditioning.

I've heard skepticism about my shop because it's clean. The truth is I'm old and grumpy, and have a low tolerance for clutter. I don't hesitate to do something because it will make a mess, and I don't hesitate to clean up the mess as soon as I'm through making it. Also, whenever I'm stuck on a design problem, I clean the shop. Some days the shop gets real clean.

penny's shop

Penny's studio isn't very big, so it's hard to photograph much of it at once, but it does have great light.

penny's bench

Penny isn't as OCD as I've gotten to be about tidiness, so excuse the clutter.

Cheers, Clay

Posted 28 March 2008

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