woodworking shop

A Tour of my Woodworking Shop

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Retirement.

A time to pursue your dreams.  To create.  To live.

I’ve recently discovered a new hobby, woodworking, which has become a part of my retirement dream. I’ve been enjoying using some of my previous “writing time” to finish up the woodworking shop, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.   I’m excited to show you what I’ve done with the place.

I trust you’ll enjoy a bit of insight into what I’m doing with my time now that I’m retired.

Simply put, I’m pursuing my dreams.

I hope you’re pursuing yours.

Today, a tour of my woodworking shop. I hope you like what I've done with the place! Click To Tweet

woodworking shop tour

My Woodworking Shop

Back in July, I shared my new Treehouse Writing Studio with you.  Getting my writing studio completed was my first priority in “The Purposeful Workshop Project”, but I always had a goal of completing the adjacent woodworking shop.  I never knew it would take an additional 8 months to complete.

With my time recently freed up from writing a weekly post, I’ve been able to dedicate more of my time to the project.  Today, I’m proud to announce…

My woodworking shop is complete!

In fact, I have my first woodworking project on the assembly table as I type these words, a doghouse for my wife’s charity, Freedom For Fido!  I just stepped out and took a photo of the shop as it looks this very moment (that’s the doghouse frame on the assembly table, under the flag):

You’ll see it’s quite a change from how the woodworking shop looked back in July 2020 when I finished the epoxy floor coating, my first step in the process:

If we go back a bit further, you’ll see an even more dramatic change from May 21, 2020, when the concrete was first poured:

Yep, it’s come a LOOONGG way!  It’s been an exciting project in my retirement, and I’ve been looking forward to showing you the finished project for many months.

Today is that day!

To celebrate, I decided to put together a YouTube video with a personalized tour (including a walk through of both the woodworking shop and my new writing studio)! 

Enjoy the show…

I hope you enjoyed the video of the shop, I figured it would be the easiest way to show you around (you DID take a few minutes to watch, right?).  I’ve got to say, I enjoy watching the construction come together in that video.

I’m pleased with the shop “furniture” I built for the woodworking shop.  I built everything from scratch, without plans.  I love the challenge of trying to figure out how to build something, and am especially pleased with the “Assembly Table”, my final task in completing the shop:

The 4′ x 8′ Assembly Table I built from scratch.

I found a free dresser on a local Facebook yard sale site, and refurbished the drawers into the gray drawers you see above.  I already had the frame built when I found the dresser and was pleased with how well the drawers fit into the design I had in my mind.   Here’s an “in-process” picture of the assembly table for comparison:

I took the same approach with the Miter Saw Station, including a “roll-out table” that fits snugly beneath the wing extensions on the left side of the saw:

miter station

In short, I’ve been having fun learning woodworking as I’ve built the workspaces inside my new shop.  With the shop now complete, it’s time to move on to building some dog houses!  I can’t wait to deliver my first project. 

The first house is going to Dixie, a poor dog who’s currently living her life on a chain.  We’re building her free fence this week, and I’ll be delivering her new dog house as soon as I can get it done.

Here’s a photo I took of Dixie during our site visit last week.  Her life is going to get a whole lot better in the very near future.  Come to think of it, so will mine after I see her living in the dog house I’ll have built for her in my new woodworking shop. 

Dixie’s life is about to get a whole lot better…

 Making life better for some unfortunate dogs.  It’s become one of my dreams in retirement.

The dream is coming true, thanks to the things I’m now creating in my new woodworking shop.

Isn’t that what retirement is all about?


Conclusion

It’s rewarding to create something from nothing.  It’s rewarding to find a way to “give back”.  I’m accomplishing both with my new woodworking shop.

I find the process of woodworking similar to the writing I do on this blog.  I get an idea, I think on it for a while, and I take the first steps.  After the inevitable modifications made during the process, the thing evolves.   It develops.  It becomes.

Eventually, it can make a small difference in this world.

Find ways to create in retirement.  Find a way to give back. It’s worth the effort and brings a true sense of fulfillment.  If you’ve not yet created something in your retirement, give it a try.  Better yet, create something that will benefit the world in some small way.

Your retirement will be better for the effort.

Your Turn:  What have you created?   How are you giving back? What hobbies are you pursuing in retirement?  Finally, what do you think of the new woodworking shop?  I hope you like it as much as I do.  I’m heading through that door now.  After all, I’ve got a doghouse to build.  We’ve got to get Dixie out of the rain…

49 comments

  1. Thank you for the tour! I just love seeing how you did everything and used your resources. Love love the wood and space you have made. Simply inspiring Fritz!

    1. Well done on the workshop. It looks very functional. Stay with it and share your new tools as you start new projects. Remember, new project normally means a New Tool.
      I have Been in training to be a Red Cross Volunteer for the past few months since we are back from our 73 day camping adventure after retirement.
      Along with my own garage (ManCave in the development ) the yard, pool maintenance, 8 acres of woods (2.5 mile Mountain Bike Trail just recently completed, 3 kids, 6 grandkids, (tennis matches and flag football games) it is keeping me plenty busy and fun. (When did I have time for work?)
      Thanks for sharing your Woodshop.

      1. Mike, I’ve already learned that “new project = new tool” lesson, have been having fun prioritizing the tools for my shop. Welcome back from your trip, the Red Cross work is a worthy endeavor. Good luck completing that ManCave, not sure how you’ll find the time to finish it with all the other things going on in your life (hmmm…that sounds familiar).

  2. Nice. We’ve been working on creating a native plant pollinator garden – transforming a forested lot with barren land into a beehive of wildlife. A flagstone fountain has been completed, as well as a prayer/meditation path, and firepit relocated. Now patience is required. Next up – converting an underused closet (9×13) into a model train room….

  3. Great job Fritz, looks really cool and functional. Actually got it done pretty quickly when you factor in you cross country adventures. Congrats!

  4. And once again our interests cross! I’ve been doing the same for years and plan to do more when I finally pull the plug, although not in quite as nice a defined setting. 1/2 of my 2 car garage is all I could manage. Now wait until you decide you need a dust collection system, router table, or bench planer, or jointer or…. I fear you’ve opened up a Pandora’s box here. Enjoy!

  5. “I find the process of woodworking similar to the writing I do on this blog. I get an idea, I think on it for a while, and I take the first steps. After the inevitable modifications made during the process, the thing evolves. It develops. It becomes.

    Eventually, it can make a small difference in this world.”

    You’re an inspiration, my friend. Thanks for sharing. The workshop is awesome, and so is Freedom for Fido. Cheers.

    1. Thanks for quoting that part of the post, that was my favorite part to write. And, FFF wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of those who appreciate the cause. You know who you are, and you’re much appreciated!

  6. My only advice (and it’s too late now that your construction is done) would have been to build it twice as big as you think you need. I made that mistake when building my barn. I built it exactly for what I needed at the time, but 20+ years later, I wish I had the advice from long-time farmers that I know now.

    1. LL, I’d heard that advice, but was constrained by the realities of my geography to the 20′ x 30′ space. Probably a good thing, kept me from going too wild on the $$ side building this thing! I’m already considering leveling an additional area for a 10′ x 14′ shed to store my wood in….(and so it begins, right?).

  7. Looks great, Fritz. You have some talent there, my friend.

    Giving back for me is a great source of satisfaction. I do it in two ways. 1) I am a volunteer tutor in our county GED completion program. 2) I offer free workshops on personal financial literacy.

    Best wishes for success i9n your woodworking!

    Ed

  8. Absolutely awesome Fritz. I am very happy for you. I would agree with Mr. Groovy that you are an inspiration.

    And I love you and your wife’s Freedom for Fido. It inspired me to help dogs out as well and become a volunteer for Best Friends Animal Society where I help transport lots of dogs from city dog pounds to shelters around the country so they can continue to live and find a new home.

    Keep up the great advice and inspiration!!

  9. Thanks for the outstandingly executed tour of your outbuilding! A workshop (for good) and a writing shop (for others good) is a well thought out plan Fritz!

    Love the thought process of many of the work tables, really going to make a huge difference in saving time for your future projects! May I suggest taking the “US Flag pallet” project further? Maybe make one from wood/plywood and attach it to the front exterior of your workshop? Just an idea. My Navy retirement has afforded us the luxury of time and volunteering our talents to make someone’s life better. We are blessed, aren’t we Fritz? 🙂 Our hearts get bigger, you know?

    God speed to your entire family young man, Steve

    1. Steve, I love the idea! I’d already been thinking of doing a “US Flag” project out of wood, I agree it’d look great on the front of the workshop. It’s in the queue! Thanks for your service, Steve. And yes, we are indeed blessed.

  10. Your workshop and office look great Fritz. It’s nice to have space to do what you love. One thing I didn’t see was how you are heating/cooling your shop. i assume even in Georgia that it gets below freezing at times so you would want some type of heat in the winter. I put a combination through the wall AC/Heat unit in my new shop which works really well.
    Congratulations on your finished project. My shop is built but I have not “furnished” it yet with workbenches and storage cabinets. Thanks for showing pictures of how you built yours.

    Dale

    1. Dale,
      The unit you installed in your shop was it a PTAC type?
      Thanks
      Mike

    2. Dale, it’s a mini-split system from Daikin, recommended by my contractor. Works GREAT! Condensor sits along the bottom outside wall, heat exchanger was built into the wall of the writing studio. No ductwork required, and heats and cools the entire building, efficiently. I absolutely love it! (not sure about the “PTAC” abbreviation, I just know it as a mini-split).

  11. Hi Fritz,

    Great looking place. Definitely has the Gilbert touch. (detail and creative) Looking forward to seeing your future projects.

    Hey to Jackie.

  12. That is one good man cave for creative makers you built there, Fritz. You are fortunate that you could build/buy the fundamentals of your workshop all new. Many of us have a workshop that grew by itself to include dad’s power tools and granddad’s hand tools (and never enough storage space).

    May you keep your spaces organized and well-used. Congratulations.

  13. Great job Fritz and thank you for sharing. The place looks great and I am glad Dixie is getting a new place.

  14. Thank you so very much for helping dogs. I hope you visit the dogs after the fences go up, and the doghouses are installed, to make sure the dogs are benefitting from your and your wife’s generosity of time, money and spirit.

    1. We live in a small town, SS, so we’re constantly driving past previous fence projects (35 fences completed to date!). The gratitude of the owner’s is overwhelming, and we expect most of the dogs will enjoy the benefits for years to come.

  15. A fantastic space, both for your writing and your woodwork. Nothing like having everything you need easily to hand, and not having to clear up a half finished project, to make space available for something else.

    Enjoy. I’m sure it will enhance your creativity

    ERith

    1. Erith, great to hear from you, my Scottish friend! You’re spot on with the comment about not having to clear the space of half finished projects. Enjoyable endeavors, and I’m absolutely loving the new workshop.

  16. Wow, looks great Fritz!

    I love how well you’ve designed everything. Like yourself, I also enjoy woodworking and creating something useful and practical. My most ambitious project was my DIY kitchen and building the cabinets and countertops.
    I agree, writing a blog is similar to the process of woodworking. Both are full of creativity and feel rewarding. That fabrication table looks perfect for FFF dog house assembly.

  17. Congratulations on the completion of the shop/studio, Fritz. I’ve been following along with pretty much everything you’ve been doing and writing since your retirement. I’ve also read your book and used a lot of the information to create an actual plan for my retirement. I can’t thank you enough for all the help and encouragement. I’m a little behind schedule. I’m 71 and had hoped to retire last year, but Covid-19 kind of cramped my style, so right now I’m planning for Dec. 31, 2021.
    Keep enjoying your retirement and thanks again for all the help in planning ours.

  18. I’m sitting here in my pjs at 9 am having breakfast while watching your video.
    And yes, I watched the full 10 minutes, though I admit I zoned out a bit during the manly tools parts.
    That picture of Dixie was heartbreaking. Here in Australia dogs on chains aren’t a thing. Every house has a fenced back yard so if anyone owns a dog, it already has a safe space to roam in – assuming the fences are secure, of course!
    I like that your man cave is so close to the house. It facilitates people actually going to it and using it. Too far away and it’d become too much bother. (That’s a permaculture idea.)

  19. Fritz, place looks awesome! Might I suggest the addition of a small beer fridge and a Keurig?! Maybe not a beer fridge in the wood shop…

    Love the flag. Next time you come to Gettysburg, beer and a burger on me just over the Mason Dixon Line in beautiful, historic, very Civil War appropriate, Frederick, MD

  20. Great space Fritz! I’m currently in the planning stages for a similar space at our place, so I appreciate the tour and ideas. Mine will likely look more like a fancy small barn, but will include a woodworking shop, an equipment storage space (tractor/mower/ATV/kayaks etc…to hopefully free up my garage!), and a nice gardening room with an adjacent small greenhouse space. Fulfilling life long hobbies in retirement is wonderful, especially when you can overlap with great causes. Kudos on the dog houses. What a great cause!

  21. What a nice project! It’s a pleasure to see how good planning makes for a better outcome. The dual closets were a great idea, the writing studio set up is awesome, and the 9-foot ceilings would be a treat in any wood shop. You have a great accomplishment! Thank you for sharing this.

    By the way, I received your book (Keys to a Successful Retirement) as a parting gift from co-workers at my retirement luncheon last month. Excellent book from cover to cover!

  22. A nice tour of your writing studio and wood working shop! The workshop and the studio has a certain charm and elegance! Loved the décor. Glimpses of building the whole property from scratch was comforting and motivating! Thanks for the video!

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