In the above video James “Jim” Huggett shares a recent tour of his Furniture Making workshop in Earlysville, Virginia, just a few miles from the Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School.
Jim reached out to me over a year ago, after he learned that my shop & school were just down the road from him. I dropped by his workshop (J.F. Huggett Custom Furniture), and was amazed that such an accomplished and skilled furniture maker lived so close to me. Jim started woodworking about 45 years ago while in the United States Navy, out of necessity because he couldn’t afford to buy furniture for his small home. The old Navy chiefs taught him how to build furniture at the woodworking shop at the Navy base. He then spent the next 45 years refining his woodworking skills in basements and garages, as he worked through a Navy and business career, building furniture for clients on the side.
Five years ago, in preparation for his retirement Jim built his dream workshop in the woods behind his house, and now works full time building custom furniture for clients along the East Coast.
Jim spent decades designing his dream workshop, down to the smallest detail. His designs included large windows & skylights, copious lighting, two workbench locations, a carving station, lumber storage, a vacuum system, spots for his various power tools & hand tools, a sharpening station, and even a design station with a computer and books (this is where Jim taught me to use SketchUp!). Here are his woodworking workshop plans:
Visitors are welcomed by a charming front covered porch:
This is the first view that welcomes you when you enter the workshop:
And this is the view looking from the back of Jim’s workshop to the front entrance:
Here you can see Jim’s power tools and his design station & reference library:
Jim added a lot of windows along the walls of the workshop to bring more light into his workspaces. He added skylights along the more shaded forest-facing side of the workshop.
Jim’s carving & sharpening workbench runs along the east side of the shop:
Jim included a working cupola with an integrated attic fan, which sucks the dusty or smoky air from the workshop in a matter of seconds…notice the hand saw weathervane!
Jim builds many types of furniture for his clients, but his favorite furniture styles are more aligned with traditional New England furniture, including American antique styles from the Newport, Philadelphia, and Boston families.
Below you can view photos of Jim’s work. If you’re interested in commissioned work from Jim, you can contact him through his Facebook page (here) or drop me a line (here) if you don’t have Facebook, and I’ll give you his phone number or email address.