We have had a rented space for our homebuilding business for some time, storage, shop, short-medium millwork runs, pre-fab'ing built- ins, and so on. All the major tools. Well, even though we are heading into winter, and the current economic climate is less than favorable, an opportunity has presented itself that is too hard to pass up. We are moving on a piece of commercial property with a 35 x 80 building on it. Will finalize in the next week or two. Wide open inside, heat, gas, city and well water, rest rooms, and a perfect office/gallery space on one end. There is a separate bay with overhead door on the other end that could double as a nice spray booth. 10' ceilings, concrete floor.
I have been reeling with layout, dust collection, sheet goods storage, product lines, and the like. Just though I would throw out this broad rambling in an attempt to tap into the collective expertise of the group.
While on the short term (2-5 years) we will be aiming to keep the place afloat with ww'ing sales combined with a hopeful ramping down of the homebuilding, our long term goal may be to add a second floor to half of the building and move it into some sort of a craft center. Multiple crafts, clinics, workshops, and classes. This would be in addition to our own work. Perhaps wood, ceramics (pottery), stained glass, beading, metal working, etc.. All on a smallish scale of course due to the building size but all areas we have experience in and yet could access crafts people to perform classes/workshops. There is nothing like this for a forty mile radius in our area so we are thinking it may be a good thing for us and the community.
Starting with a clean slate, like anyone, I am hoping to make the most of a not-so-big space with a scant eye on future public use. I am in hopes to move forward in a fashion that will prepare us for the opportunity to include the public.
In the short term we aim to install a woodstove to offset the gas heat in winter. Issues of sawdust and fumes are understood and this may be a non-option when the public comes on-line. Dust collection will be a biggie. I am not sure if a commercially available dust collector or building a chip house and extracting to it (already have big 3hp blower from other shop) would be better. Either will require drops from the ceiling. I am wondering about the best way to do this for center stations like table saws, etc.
Benches, sheet goods, lumber storage are very high on the list of needs.
Post is already too long, but look forward to any input you all may have, Thanks, Mark