Add a Decorative Touch to Your Woodworking Shop

Woodworking Shop

There’s no reason why your woodworking shop can’t be easy on the eyes, outside and in. The one pictured above was created in order to write and research my book Bob Vila’s Workshop. We trimmed it out to reflect the Greek Revival homes and other structures common to the area it’s located in. (Adding to the old-timey feel of the place are the old doors and windows bought at salvage).

Flush columns, or pilasters, decorate the front and side elevations of the shop, rhythmically punctuating the horizontal spread of the clapboard siding. But far from being expensive made-to-order decorations, these pilasters were made on site using standard one-by and five-quarter boards, a miter saw, and two bead planes.

Woodworking Shop -

A bead plane, together with the pilaster capital

In the image above, notice the half-inch bead at the base of the capital (of five-quarter stock) and the three-eighths-inch bead on the trim piece across the top. The shaft of the pilaster (made of one-by-eight boards) is trimmed with three-eighths-inch beads, too. And, as you can see, it all goes together easily.

Woodworking Shop

The nailers beneath the capital (above, left) disappear as the capital is added (center). The last touch is a very simple curved decoration added in the broad valley between the pilaster pieces (right), giving the whole column the look of having a single exaggerated flute at its center.

Since the whole building was to be painted with oil paint, the wood is all common, full of knots to be sealed, in this case with a shellac-based sealer. (We used a pneumatic siding gun to fasten everything). When painted, the finished woodworking shop looks impressive, yet properly vernacular for its setting.