Badger Pond Shop Tours
A Tour of Tom Skaggs' Shop

Fellow Ponders, well, in April, '99 we broke ground for my shop. It was a real race against time as a storm front was due in a couple of days. As luck would have it we got the footings and floor poured and surface cured with about 4 hours to spare before the heavens cut loose.

Exterior view of the shop

Here is a photo of the site. The shed was moved to my backyard neighbor's place. Great deal for him but saves me from demolishing it. Eventually the garage will be resided with the shop. The shop is not as wide as the garage so the door you see on the garage will be outside of the shop. I cut an opening for a double door in the common wall.

Here are some pictures of the progress:

Exterior view of the shop

Here we are formed up. The floor slab is 6" thick at its thinnest point and thicker in other areas due to grade and matching the adjacent garage floor. I chose to insulate the inside side of the footing as well as the perimeter of the slab. There is an expansion joint between new floor and garage floor due to possible differential in movement.

Exterior view of the shop

You can see in the earlier picture that I had framed out a double door opening between the garage and shop. We literally brought all the concrete though the garage. That is a power buggy hauling the concrete. Youe see the expansion material going in and the #4 rebar grid in place.

Exterior view of the shop

Here is the concrete going in. Boy I wish I owned one of those power buggies. That one cost $14K!

Exterior view of the shop

Here is the finished floor. It was power troweled and since the weather was cool we got a very smooth finish on it. I was happy like a pig in mud to get such a good result. The next day we sawcut a joint each way in mid slab to control cracking. We will seal the floor when the sun comes out. That's it for now. Weather permitting the framing begins this week! Dang...I forgot to write my name in the cement! arrg!

Then, at long last the shop was DONE! (well almost). I have moved in most of my tools and stop on occassion just to take it all in and get a big grin on my face.

Quick recap: I designed the shop last winter ('98-99) and started construction in April. I had help with the concrete floor and the framing & roof. The rest of the work I have done on my own in my spare time (mostly to save money). The shop is 21'X20' and attached to the back of my garage. With that said, on with the tour!

Exterior view of the shop

Here is an exterior view of the shop. I am currently building some flagstone steps and a landing to the door. I still need to re-side the garage this fall.)

Installing the interior walls

Here I am installing the interior walls. I went with cheapie pine beadboard. On sale it wound up being cheaper than sheetrock. I liked the way it came out.

Busted by SWMBO

This is where I got busted by SWMBO for routing ogees on the edges of the window and door trim. " fancy are you making this place?" she asked. "What, do you plan to live out here?" I just kept routing.

Shop looking north

So here is the shop. Looking north from the garage. Delta Unisaw with a 52" Beismeyer fence, the new Jet 15" planer (not yet task), Delta 6" Deluxe jointer. The ceiling is almost 13" high at the peak.

My assistant.

I had very little assistance from anyone else. Ok, so my dog Scooter did "some" of the finish carpentry. But I swear, most of the work is MINE! Notice that he was a good dog and wore safety goggles.

East wall of the shop

Here is the east wall. You see a section of bowlng lane on saw horses. I plan to build a workbench with it for that spot. The lathe is my newest and oldest tool. It's a 1953 Rockwell that I bought from a guy dirt cheap. It's in great shape...can't wait to make some curls!

South wall of the shop

Sorry about dark pictures. The room is actually brighter than hell. Here is the south wall. It is the common wall to the garage. I still need to install a double door in that opening. Up top you see the "lumber loft". I am using the space where the roofs connect to store some extra boards. Yes, that is a TV next to the boombox. And yes, that is a cable leading to it. Caught hell from SWMBO about that too! Hey, I gotta watch Norm in action don't I?

West wall of the shop

Here is the west wall. I put awning windows in to get light but kept them above the work areas. Here you see my rinky-dink B&D miter saw. Soon to be replaced with an SCMS. I have more bowling lanes that I plan to build a long cutoff table along that wall. I also installed track lighting above the cutoff bench and work bench areas for spot lighting.

Look who stopped by!

And look who stopped by to help me christen the shop! My old buddy Norm. I think he was jealous because he kept boasting that he had more tools than me. I didn't take it personally ;-)

So that's the tour. Thanks so much to all my friends at Badger Pond who have contributed so much knowledge and wisdom towards my project. Your help really made the difference. If any of you find yourselves in Central Illinois I hope you stop by for a visit.


Originally posted 9 September 1999

wb 16 June 2001