James Huggett’s charming workshop sits on the edge of the woods in Earlysville, Virginia, just a few miles from my woodworking school. James started woodworking about 45 years ago while in the United States Navy. About seven years ago, in preparation for his retirement, James built his dream workshop in the woods behind his house, and now works full time building custom furniture for clients along the East Coast. He spent decades designing his dream workshop, down to the smallest detail with the perfect wood shop layout. His designs included large windows & skylights to provide plenty of lighting from multiple directions. Built-in work tables line one of the walls where he does his hand tool work, sharpening, and wood carving.
He also has a workbench in the middle area of the shop, along with his machinery. All of the machines are on mobile bases for flexibility on larger projects. His ingenious and highly flexible dust collection hose reaches to any machine, while the dust collector is housed in a back storage area to cut down on noise. One nice touch is the attic fan housed in a cupola on the roof. With the push of a button he can suck dusty or smoky air from the workshop in a matter of a few seconds. Along the other side of James’ shop is his lumber storage area, a shelf full of woodworking books, and his design area. He builds many types of furniture for his clients, but his favorite styles are more aligned with traditional New England furniture, including American antique styles from the Newport, Philadelphia, and Boston families. As you can see, James is a very talented furniture maker, and one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.