Building a Workshop: Part 1 "A Great Foundation"


It’s been almost 3 years since we moved into our home and since I’ve built up my small shop area.  A workshop is essential for a craftsman; it’s not so much a place to go hide out or avoid family responsibilities, instead it’s an ever evolving space that accommodates  our passions while defining our progress.

I started out with a relatively small space (22’ x 12’) that housed our water heater, air conditioning units, plenty of uncovered duct work and the electrical panel; all on top of a concrete floor. I mapped out a rough plan and went to work knowing flexibility was important but a few things were non-negotiables. Below is my list which I will expand on in subsequent blogs:


Anything we build will only be as good as the foundation it’s built upon; the word of God tells us that “the house built upon the solid foundation will not fall” so we start with:

SAFETY:  This is priority one when designing a shop and working in one. One of the greatest challenges any shop designer will find is: “where do you do your work when building your shop?” You may have outdoor space you can use like a driveway or carport, maybe even the front or back yard, or you may have to divide your shop into sections as you use part of the area to work in while building up the other parts. Detailed safety items for electrical connections, power tools, storage, fumes, dust, etc., will follow.

PRAYER:  This may sound far fetched to some but my Christian faith speaks extensively about the power of prayer and the purpose of prayer. I want what I create to honor the God I serve. I also pray each time I start working in my shop. We’re dealing with a lot of serious elements including high powered cutting blades that can change your life with one mistake or even a momentary distraction. Prayer is essential and it ties in with safety as well as creativity!

bag of money
MONEY:  Let’s face it, our financial position will determine much about our shop. I love to use high quality equipment but I have a limited budget. Some areas I won’t compromise, others I have been able to find a lower quality but somewhat comparable material that fits my finances.

Before you begin building anything take inventory of what you have and then determine what you’re willing to spend; remember that you can always add on later.
Biblical wisdom tells us that before undertaking anything we need to count the cost.

measuring tape by cyberscooty

   SPACE:  This is probably the least negotiable item. We have what we have, so unless you plan to blow out a wall or leave your car parked forever in the driveway, your space will be determined by preexisting conditions.  This is where creativity is important but so is flexibility, and most shop items can be moved.

Just some things to ponder as you contemplate your shop.

The Prodigal Carpenter

1.Mat 7:24  "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Mat 7:25  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
2.Luke 14:28  For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

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