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10/31/20: Starting to think about a future shop.

The girls went off to an early morning mass, so I was able to kick back and have my coffee and computer time.

Lately, the thing that has mostly been on my mind is finishing our property so that we can farm and create here so that our base of activities is here on the property instead of out away from here. In order to do that, I want to put a lot of time into designing a business and the place so that it is as effective as possible.

I’m watching a lot of videos and I’m using those to build a spreadsheet. That spreadsheet will be used to mock up a shop on paper and in Blender. I think I’ll spend the winter working this out and see if I can start building next spring. Then hopefully I can be in the new shop by mid summer or so.


We want a decent spot for my farrier and forging stuff, but also a place to build custom quads, dirt bikes and trucks. I also think our experience farming gives us the unique opportunity to make marketable animal housing and other products, so we need to be able to fabricate metal and wood.

This combination of capabilities will also put us in the position to host build events which we can profit from, but also help to create a better and stronger maker community.


Before I get into the detail, I’m thinking I want something like a 60′ by 80′ main shop and two wings off the short side for storage. That will end up closer to 90′ by 80′.

Maybe careful planning and design can greatly reduce the size. We shall see.

  • Heated floor with zones.
  • Premium lighting
  • Flow through doors (drive in one end and out the other).
  • One wing will be for cars, atvs and lawn equipment.
  • The other wing will be for trailers, metal and wood supply storage.

Forging/ shoeing

My current bread and butter is my farrier business, of course. Even if I could greatly reduce or even eliminate “ambulatory” work, I would still be interested in forging tools and producing farrier videos here. Maybe I could do some haul in work. It does kind of suck to haul horses on these roads though.

The forging area wouldn’t need to take up much space. I just need a power hammer, forges, anvil a vice or two and grinders. I would put it near my machining area so that things could expand in that direction. That is the logical flow.


This will take up a medium amount of space because the mill and lathe alone are rather large machines. Beyond that I would like a nice size build table, benders, presses, welders and other stuff as well as a staging area.

The biggest question I have here is how to lay out the electrical service so that it right for what I want and capable of some change. I will need a good electrician that is familiar with this type of setup to make sure it is right.


Here I mostly need toolboxes and a place to put whatever machine I am working on as well as a lift capable of handling a fully loaded farrier rig.

Wood working

This will actually be the smallest area of the shop. I just want enough room for my saws and a place to build my farm stuff like chicken houses, goat stands and what not. It doesn’t need to be elaborate because what I’m planning on doing there at this point is not.