always had a personal curiosity about how other woodturners organize
When I visit with other Gulf Coast Woodturners, or when I
am browsing woodturning sites on the Internet, shop/studio
organization is of interest to me.
I’ve picked up a lot of ideas in the process, some of which
have found their way into my own studio.
woodturners are not blessed with unlimited workspace—that’s certainly true in my case.
My own studio fits into a slightly oversized garage bay.
When I purchased my Oneway lathe in 1996, I had a contractor
enlarge my 2-˝ bay garage to three full bays.
A/C and heating units were added to the “new” bay, and it
was separated from the other two by an interior wall.
This allows me to control dust and keep heat and cold out.
At 22’ by 14’, it’s snug, less than I’d like to have,
but adequate with careful organization.
images for a larger view)
are some pictures of how I’ve organized my studio. My lathe is at the center of the studio.
Support equipment, tools and work areas surround it. At one
end of the lathe (the near side in this picture) I have a Shopsmith dust
collector, which has a hose and nozzle positioned near the lathe
spindle. I run the dust collector when I am turning dry wood or
when I am sanding. Additional dust is gathered by the studio's HVAC
system. I also wear a dust mask when sanding. I'd
prefer to have the Shopsmith dust collector outside of my studio to
reduce noise, but that's not practical at this time, so I wear earplugs
when running the system.
tool caddy with storage drawers sits adjacent to the lathe.
It’s mounted on four universal casters for mobility and can be
conveniently positioned to accommodate either inboard or outboard
turning. It’s shown here
and in the previous picture with one of four containment curtains
dropped behind it (to eliminate background clutter in the picture).
not shown in its entirety, the containment system consists of four nylon
shower curtains connected to two 10-foot sections of PVC pipe that have
been joined together to form a circle, which in turn is suspended from
the ceiling by light-duty chain. Dropping
the curtains when I’m turning wet wood keeps the shavings in about a 6’ circle around the
lathe and keeps any spray from soaking nearby equipment.
containment system helps keep my small studio clean . . . when I
remember to use it.
Shopsmith Mark V and a Shopsmith Power Station (shown here with the band saw)
sit at the
far end of the studio. In
addition to the band saw, I also have a Shopsmith belt sander. The
wall behind the equipment is a storage area for Shopsmith-related
portable buffing system sits on the large
use two chainsaws to prepare timber for turning. Outside of the studio, I use an 18" Stihl
gas chainsaw (shown below the Mark V) and inside
the studio, I use a 16" Craftsman electric chainsaw (not shown).
cart holds drying/dried items until they are ready to be
put green wood turnings in paper grocery bags during the
first two to four weeks of the drying process.
I check them after the first 48-hours and then once
or twice again until I remove them from the bags.
I look for two things when I check them: signs of
splits (which I stabilize with cyanoacrylate glue) and
fungus fuzz (which I
treat with 20% bleach solution).
small studio like mine, it’s difficult to apply protective
completed items and turn (or sand) at the same time.
Dust seems to find its way
into the drying finish.
Options are limited—either turn or finish,
OR find another solution.
I opted for the latter.
This picture shows a drying chamber I built that
effectively keeps the dust away from wet finishes while they are
consists of three hinged pieces (left and right sides and
the back) that fold flat when not in use.
The top and front of the chamber is a piece of heavy gauge
cardboard that fits snuggly against the hinged frame.
The whole assembly sits on top of a chest freezer
that shares my studio.
(By the way, the clip light shown in the picture was
added to provide extra light for the picture.)
freezer doubles as a valuable work surface when not being
used for the drying chamber.
One of the things I use it for is spraying.
I have a HVLP system and like to spray General
Finishes’ water-based Polyurethane & Acrylic Blend
lacquer on lighter colored woods that I don’t want to darken with oil
use a shop made turntable that sits on top of the chest
freezer. You can see the turntable (hanging vertically) over the
drying cart in the previous picture.
The table is powered by an industrial motor designed
for slow speed operation (60 rpm).
I further reduced the speed with pulleys and belts to
24 rpm. With my
turned item slowly rotating on the table, I only have to
hold my HVLP spray gun at one radial position (along a vertical
axis) to get even application of the lacquer.
It's very effective.