Wood Shop Comfort

Our shops MUST be comfortable. They must be warm during cold days and cool during hot days. Astounding statement…right?

Okay, after once you’re through laughing, let’s discuss the importance of heat/cool for our shops. Possibly, all of you believed the importance of the comfort of our shop is for us the woodworker.? If so, you 50% correct! That’s much better then being 10% correct, so congratulations. While we humans are important, our tools, the ones that transform the raw materials into our final products, they need to be comfortable too.

The conditions of our shops, weather hot/muggy or cold/dry just as they affect our bodies, and transforms us into lethargy and carelessness. Our equipment is affected similarly. Maintaining a comfortable shop helps our shops run smoother, resulting in great memories and projects.

While air conditioners and heaters would be our default sources to manage the comfort zone of our shops, there’s another element that is a bit more cost effective and would help in the overall cost of running our shops. Insulation, is the best defense to managing the heat and coolness of our shops. Insulated floors, ceilings and walls if vital to keep the conditions in the shop stabilized. The amount of insulation needed for your shop differs by your geographic location. Recommended R-values vary based on average outside temperature, relative to suggested conditions for our living spaces.

Once you have the correct insulation packed into the floor, ceiling and wall cavities, finding the correct size of heat and cooling unit(s) is the next step. Air conditioners and fuel heaters would likely be the next thought for managing air comfort. However, lets look at one more item before employing their uses.
Have you thought of fans!? Depending on the available shop space, a ceiling or wall
Ceiling fanmounted fan would be very effective to managing heat and cool air by Floor fancirculating and maintaining comfort. A ceiling mounted fan will push hot air down, helping with heat loss. Floor models, are very useful moving air too, especially if you’re limited on ceiling height.

Now, that we’ve looked at some great ways to maintain a comfortable shop with low cost Wood stoveideas, we now need to look at ways to use alternative heat sources. I’ve always loved the crackling of wood, and our shops likely have wood scraps,
so why not put a wood stove in our shops? Outside of the risk of burning down our shops due to having an open flame near a lot of fuel, I personally feel its a great source.Gas heater

Alternatives to wood stove units, there are a variety of electric and gas equipment to heat the air for comfort. They’re use can easily maintain a level of consistency, especially when used with a ceiling fan, and a thermostat.

Wall mount ACAir conditioners, are awesome! I love their cold air! However, I hate their energy costs. However, theirs a high degree of comfort provided by their use. Like the heat sources, using a ceiling fan can/will help maintain comfort throughout your shop.

There are a variety of ways to maintain comfortable wood shops. Based on my experience, combining forces will help with shop costs and create an environment you and friends will want to enjoy while working on projects.

Thanks for reading!

Thoughts and suggestions…email info@woodshopwood.com

Wood Shop Layout

Wood shop layout seems to be a bit of a misnomer. As a woodworker, all we want to do is build great projects!

One of my most favorite sayings, although it gives me a shutter each time I say it, “How You Do Anything Is How You Do Anything”.

If that’s true…applying that logic to our shops…if its not organized and clean, we’re screwed!

I’m not suggesting less efficient shops result in terrible and ugly projects, however I’m noting the process through which a project is built, and its final product, could have been completed for efficiently.

Personally, I can attest to enjoying a wood working project…any project for that matter…when the area around me is comfortable and efficient.

Last week, I posted many items related to planning a shop that’s efficient and well planned.

Based on interest in those shared videos, you’re looking for ideas, tools and suggestions.

While all of our shops have many items that are standard, the footprint of our shops is not typical.

To learn more about shop plans and layout, here’s a list of books and sites to help:

How to Design and Built Your Ideal Woodshop

Setting Up Shop: The Practical Guide to Designing and Building You

Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop

Shop Improvements: Great Designs from Fine Woodworking




Thanks for reading!

Thoughts and suggestions…email info@woodshopwood.com

Wood planer

With table saws, any board length can be achieved simply by measuring and cutting. Making a cylindrical project is achieved by using a lathe. Making a board flat MUST be done with a plane!

Prior to “modern” woodworking, a hand plane was the tool used to make a board flat, along with sanding. Today, while hand planes are still vital for our shops, the use of thickness planers is very popular.

A thickness planer has three main parts. The cutter head, which houses the knives, two rollers which move from one side of the machine to the other and a table, located below the roller and knives, which is adjustable to control the resultant thickness of the board.stationary-plane

Our shops will likely consist of two types of planers. The stationary cabinet style, comprising of its own base, heavy comparatively and much larger than a portable type.

With the advent of modern science…actually market demand, a lighter portable-planemore portable version of this planer has become available. The portable version, like the one shown here, maintains the same capabilities as its stationary cousin, while making planing rough lumber a bit more economical.

Operating the planer is relatively straight forward. The amount of material being removed is controlled by raising/lowering the cutter head. Feeding the board into the machine is controlled by the roller and head speed. This operation, similar to the hand plane, may take a number of passes and adjusting the cutter to get to the desired thickness and/or parallel surface results.

The plan is that the board that comes out of the machine flat/parallel. However, there is asnipe
condition you need to watch for, unlike the hand plane, which is called snipe. Snipe, while not desired, can be controlled by adjusting the tables at each end of the planer, adjusting the roller heights or planing for the snipe by planing a board longer then needed and cutting off the excess.

Thanks for reading! I trust this was helpful. If you need help finding a planer or have thoughts about this blog, please send to info@woodshopwood.com