Shop Talk


Lost Mule Lodge

… a journey that began with a cabin in the woods


Every man needs a shop.  That was determined by a simple poll.  There was just one question in this poll – and 4 out of 4 men polled answered the same.  “YES, a man needs a shop.” It seemed talking about a shop brought a spark that ignited those bearded faces, some even putting down their beer to enable the use of both hands.

It seems the more excited one gets about something – the more limbs are needed to speak.

They stated all the fabulous, but critical ideas on the construction of a shop.

The height of the ceilings. the placement of the doors and windows, the flooring, the insulation, the wiring, the heat source, the benefits of plumbing, and running water… with just a sink vs. including a toilet.

And of course the size….

apparently size IS important – when talking about a shop.

Just judging by the hand and arm movement, keeping mice out seemed to be of vital importance,…

It was agreed that mice and your stuff are not a good combination.

Above is the best photo I could find showing how ours was done.  When pouring the foundation’s stub wall – they formed it by putting a 2×4 around the stub wall edge.  When the 2×4 is removed it leaves an edge for the metal siding to rest on – so a mouse or rodent would have to chew through concrete or metal to gain access.

If you have mice or rodents who are able to chew through concrete or metal, you have bigger issues than we can help you with.

As their conversation turned to the heat source – the hot water heat in the concrete flooring got the most and the longest audible sighs…..  Even these big burly men wanted a warm and toasty shop.

They talked about all the fabulous things that would be kept inside the 4 walls of the shop.

The yard tools, the woodworking tools, the tractors and other big boy toys.

Then it hit me.  I suddenly felt sorry for my husband.  There would be no tinkering in his shop, no space for his tractor.  Not for a while.

His shop was going to be used to store stuff…  stuff like a creepy hoosier cabinet, a “used once” treadmill, a homemade dining room table and chairs, a couch and recliner, boxes of old books, hundreds of wine corks just waiting for the perfect project, and a washer and dryer, that thanks to the plumbing, would keep me out of the local laundry mat for the next 8 months….

His shop would not be HIS SHOP until the house was finished.

The current  function of his shop was to have a place to store all our “precious stuff” while our house was being built.

It seemed odd to me that the only thing these men really didn’t care about was the exterior colors of the shop.

Honestly, I was kind of happy about that, because that is where I come in… I love that part!!

As the shop project is getting finished, you don’t see any mice do you?  There are none inside either!  That is because of the tight fit of the metal to the concrete stub wall.

We love our shop in the woods.  It kept all our “stuff” dry and mouse free.  Now – finally, he gets to organize, tinker and putz in HIS shop.

Out of respect for our Amish and Mennonite workers – I have only posted photos that do not show their faces.

We were very impressed with their work.  Enough so, that we hired the same crew for the foundation on our house.

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All photos, thoughts, experiences and opinions are my own.

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3 Comments

    • teresa.peters@live.com

      Julieta – good observation! It is his man cave. Thank you for reading and taking a moment to leave a comment.

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