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A Tour of Dan Barber's Shop

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The shop is a 24' x 26' garage that was built (by the previous owner) adjacent to the two car garage that is attached to the house. This project was begun the week before Thanksgiving and just seemed like it would never end.

bare bones

When I started it had stud walls which had been insulated and a gas radiant heater, but no insulation in the ceiling. I had just purchased a MIG and TIG welder along with a plasma torch and did not think it a good idea to use them in this shop without some drywall for fire protection.

blue and white wall

The T-111 siding (which I realize is not fire proof) is on the wall that is common to the original garage; it will be replaced with fire rated drywall after the electrical meters are moved to he outside wall. For now it’s painted Miller Blue and White—don’t ask. The electrical meters’ current location is a clear code violation and I have no idea how they were allowed to be put where they are.


Moving the electrical meters is part of the justification for buying the metal working equipment—I’m going to build a backhoe to help install the new electrical service.

chop saw

This shop will eventually be dedicated to metalworking and auto repair. But for now it has to serve as my woodworking space as well as it is heated and has sufficient electrical service to run the tools.

The second shop (30' x 40') which is to be dedicated to woodworking is about 250' from the house and needs electrical service beyond the 20 Amp circuit currently serving it—more reason for a backhoe. It will also need wiring, insulation, drywall, and HVAC. For now if I need to use the table saw, we fire up the generator. Hopefully next year that shop will be another subject for sharing with you.

work in progress

Anyhow, this area has ended up being a very handy space; we’ve already completed some book shelves for a friend and what you see laid out on the sawhorses are the components for cherry built-in bookcases I promised to build a year ago.

overhead hoist

For this space, I added a couple of things that should prove valuable; an overhead hoist mounted on sliding barn door track which allows it to travel from one side of the shop to the other. Weight lifting capacity is limited, but it’s clearly capable of lifting more than I can. I also hard plumbed the air supply using &frac3f;" copper and a retractable hose reel. A retractable extension cord and an air cleaner complete the amenities.


The cabinets were some that were in the garage, but due to their poor construction I supplemented them with some threaded rod and turnbuckles suspended from the ceiling joists and tied into a support member beneath the cabinets.

Thanks for looking!


Posted 18 February 2005

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