When we moved into our new home roughly a year and a half ago I was very excited to have a two car garage to move my shop into, and the new shop has been fantastic. More space. Room and power enough to run both my hand tools and the occasional power tool. Assembly area. Dedicated sharpening space!! I'll say that again, Dedicated sharpening space!!
I know there is no perfect shop set up and no perfect shop. Everything has upsides and down sides, but I have come to very much understand why some more evolved shops have a dedicated and separate machine room and bench room. There's the possibility of some big updates to the house here in the future and I have been considering that option seriously.
But the toughest thing about the garage shop has been the lack of insulation, and heat in the winter. Last year's polar vortex really sucked the wind out of my sails as my little kerosene R2-D2 heater just couldn't cut the mustard most days. I came to a stand still on work and inspiration and I hate that. I need the natural inertia I maintain hitting the shop regularly, Stopping makes it difficult to start again.
This year I needed an answer to the cold. Dropping the money to insulate and install an upgraded heating system was way beyond our means, but what I did have was an oddity of our house and a wife who is entirely too indulgent of my hair brained ideas.
We have two back porches. Outside our back door is a small four season porch about 12' by 6'. This was populated by some overly large and inconvenient to use cabinets left from the previous owner. Then there's a sliding patio door between at porch and a larger three season porch before you get outside.
I convinced my bride to let me move the cabinets out to the back porch and let me move some of the shop into the four season porch. After all I have an extra workbench now.
My kerosene heater warms the new winter shop to a good temp in less than fifteen minutes and after that, with the back door of the house open and the patio door closed, it's just like working inside, and I'm only three steps away from the coffee maker.
There is another door in this room, completely un-needed, I screwed it shut permanently when we moved in. now it supplies some natural light.
But not as much as this great, south facing window.
The patio door is my favorite. Last year we started shutting it in the winter to help keep the house warmer and people kept walking into the glass. So I asked my daughters to paint something on it so people could tell if it was open or closed. They chose a TARDIS door. Now it's the new door to my shop and I love it.
I know. It's supposed to be bigger on the inside. I guess that can't always be true.
The weather changed fast this year with not much of an autumn at all and the space is cozy. But honestly a smaller shop is easier to keep neat and orderly than a large one. I'm considering making this area a permanent shop space. Naomi rolls her eyes when she hears me say this, but she probably won't stop me.
A small window unit air conditioner and it will work just as well as a summer shop.
Ratione et Pasionis