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:
Just flat out …OUTSTANDING…
Beautiful shop. How sparse compared to the work the he produces. How does Jim thickness his stock, hand planes?
Jim uses a Dewalt thickness planer to thickness his stock, which you can see in some of the photos in this blog post.
Given all the other woodworking machines present, I’m rather surprised at the seeming absence of a thickness planer, and would like to hear Jim’s thoughts on this. Isn’t the jointer usually the dispensable machine, if pressed for space or budget? (especially since his jointer looks like a 54A – 6 inch.)
Hi Jeff, thanks for your comment! Look at the first interior photo of his shop, and you’ll see a yellow Dewalt thickness planer…do you see it?
I retired from the Navy three years ago 38 years. I just had the foundation poured for my wood shop as Jim did I worked for years in small spaces but drug my tools with me specifically Guam and Guantanamo
Jim is a superior craftsman. You are fortunate to have him for a neighbor. It is nice to see you two collaborating in the fine furniture field.
Would it be possible for you to feature a video on your web site with him demonstrating the process of creating the wave drawer fronts, completely from rough lumber to finished and ready to assemble?
Ha, ha, that’s quite a big request for a free YouTube video…but you never know!
You have designed a great shop! I am in the process of installing a dust system and agree with your thoughts on reducing duct work. To clarify your dust collection process, you just pull your extended hose to each of your power tools when needed?
Hey Bob, Joshua here. Jim uses a flexible dust collection hose that quickly clicks into each machine. I think this is similar: https://www.rockler.com/rockler-dust-right-4-quick-change-handle-with-expandable-hose
I’m planning my dream shop and just came across this video. Love it. I’m a little surprised by the HVAC choice. I was thinking I’d need a mini-split system which can run into a lot of money. I’ll have to look into those hotel style units to see if they could heat my space here in the northeast.
Glad you liked it!