Personal Fabrication Shop

Planning - Phase I

The first step on shop construction was identifying the objectives, functions, and constraints. What aspects of the shop need to be maximized or minimized? What all do I want to be able to do in the shop and what are the priorities of work based on available space? What are the essential conditions that must be met by the shop and what are the limitations?

Based on available space, I seperated the shop space into two seperate rooms. One would be dedicated to the woodworking equipment needing more space to comfortably manage. The second room would be dedicated to assembly, electronics fabrication, and the storage of parts and components.

I am able to work on conventional cabinetry, veneering, acrylic manufacturing, electronics, software, HVAC, plumbing, and many other fields out of this single shop space. I enjoy practicing the DIY mentality and challenging myself to learn new fields. Every new skill learned is that much more leverage I have in tackling the next big project. (plus it gives me a reason to go look at new tools at the local hardware store.)

The three major tools I would love to have access to would be a CNC, laser etching machine, and a 3d printer. Those tools will likely need to go in the basement. I'm running out of room.

Overhead view of shop space.

Woodworking large components.

Woodworking large components.

Electronics / Assembly / Storage.

Woodworking large components.

Rough Construction - Phase II

I began rough construction of the 12' walls in 2014. The walls were covered with 3/4" plywood on the inside of the shop and then drywalled both sides. I insulated all of the walls to minimize the ammount of noise I might cause in the neighborhood while working.

A blank slate

Bare walls.

Insulation in place.

Insulation in place.

Drywall in place.

Drywall in place.

Cabinetry Installation - Phase III

I purchased prefabricated metal cabinets to speed up the contruction process. Many cabinets were modified to meet a specific purpose. Wood shells were built for all of the cabinets to sit inside to carry the weight from stacking multiple units on top of eachother. I intended to build this shop to last with heavy countertops that were all at a uniform height throughout. I also wanted to take advantage of the verticle space by creating extensive storage areas. After accumulating parts, components, and tools of all types, I wanted to be able to organize those items into bins for easy access. I took a lot of inspiration from the Mythbusters show and their wall of storage bins.

Base cabinets

Full sized cabinets.

Upper cabinets

Upper cabinets.

A space for electronics work. The test equipment is stored in a
dust proof cabinet to the right

Work bench with monitors installed behind glass.

White board for notes and brainstorming.

A "tip-of-the-hat" to Mythbusters.

Main woodworking space.

Larger tools on rollers for easy storage/access.

My previous garage workspace

Some of my woodworking equipment

The electronics bench with dust-proof cabinets
for the more sensitive equipment.