The (Almost) Final Step with the Horse Garage


I have never been so happy to hear from a roofer.

After 10 weeks of waiting for my number to come up, Brian the Roofer called to say his crew will begin the job Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.

Barring rain or a visit from the Angel of Death, I’ll have a new roof by the end of the week and will then set up my machines. That should take a day at most. I don’t have a lot of machines, and they (with one exception) are easy to move.

The only thing left to do is install the mini-split to control the climate in the workshop. The wiring for it is ready – so it’s a one-day job. (And until the mini-split gets installed, I’ll simply freeze my butt off when I work.)

Ever since moving my workbench to the storefront almost two years ago, I’ve been slowed down by having two shops. Though I don’t do a lot of machine work, there were times that I had to drive home to use the drill press for a very particular hole and then had to drive right back to the storefront to continue working.

Though I don’t live far from the storefront (4.2 miles), the route always has a chance of jackknifed semis or cornholed motorists on the stretch that locals call “Death Hill.”

When I was planning out my new shop, I half-considered writing a series of articles about the process. Then I realized that I think most people make it a lot more difficult than necessary. And by putting a lot of effort into the shop, they actually make it more of a pain to use in the long-term.

If you’d like to read my brief thoughts on setting up shop, check out my entry at my other blog at Popular Woodworking Magazine. Here’s the link. (Side note: I’d like to offer a huge thank-you to all the people who read my blog there – the monthly pay I receive is an important part of our family budget. And according to the traffic numbers, 2017 was a good one for my blog there.)

Now back to dreaming of my membrane roof.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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21 Responses to The (Almost) Final Step with the Horse Garage

  1. meanmna says:

    For some reason I thought your goal was to go all 18th, and 19th century and live in the building above the store front. Is that not the case, or is this a more long term – read after the kids are out of the house – kind of goal? I have always thought that kind of living/working arrangement was a grand idea. I love seeing more of these “village” style communities popping back up and wonder if it is going to be just a fad, or is it going to take hold for the long term.


    • Yes, we are moving above the storefront. But not until Katy graduates from high school in 2020.

      We are *very* eager to do this – just have to gut the top two floors, get rid of the black-and-gold bathroom fixtures (SWANKY!) and ….


  2. ericspaw says:

    But where’s the spot for the couch, flat screen, and mini fridge?


  3. “Death Hill.” Would that be the stretch of 71/75 that goes from the split to the river? If so, do you pass the world’s greatest water tower on your way to and from home, and do you put your hands in the air and exclaim “Florence Y’all!” as you do?

    That water tower never fails to put a smile on my face when I go by it 😀


    • mcqacp says:

      I was told that used to say Florence Mall but they changed it when the mall moved? Wonder if that’s true?


    • Yup. Death Hill is a short section of I71/75.

      And the “Florence Y’all” water tower is a crazy thing. It used to say “Florence Mall,” but then the local governments were reminded that they couldn’t put advertising on a water tower. The easiest fix? Change the “M” to a “Y'”


  4. toolnut says:

    Are you planning on insulating the walls to help the mini-split performance?


  5. johncashman73 says:

    220? 221?


  6. Monte says:

    Perhaps a brace and bit would save a trip to the drill press? Just sayin…


  7. Ings says:

    Living above a store front, don’t you worry about, stupid people, asking you to open up. At odd hours, just so they can just look around! A friend of mine moved ten miles away from his shop for this very reason.


  8. I would definitely wait until the split system is in. Your machine bearings will thank you. I worked in a shop where the boss refused to heat it and we spent more money replacing bearings in the machinery than what it would have cost to heat it.


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