Natural light

Every time I read about a window in a shop, I remember the best shop I ever had.

It was a building of my own construction and was a simple, one-room building with a sloped shed roof. The back wall, which faced north, was six and a half feet high but the south facing front wall rose to almost 12 feet. It was almost all glass. the view was spectacular being that the shop was on a hilltop from which you could see five mountain ranges.

The result of all that glass was that it was like working outside. The natural light that filled the workspace allowed me to clearly see any sanding imperfections and I never had to worry about how a color match really looked. And, as an added bonus, I never hand to worry about lighting when I needed to take a picture of something.

Later I moved into a commercial space in a concrete tilt up style building with no windows and fluorescent lighting. It did have a big roll up door so some daylight was able to penetrate. But it was still cave like compared to my previous sunlit workspace.

I keep telling myself that one of these days I’ll build another shop like that.



  • Jerry says:

    I would be concerned about all that sunlight adversely affecting the wood and projects that were in my shop. We all know what bright sunlight does to wood, so how did you compensate?

  • Jeff says:

    I just moved into a new metal building and was afraid of the cave syndrome. I was able to put 3 foot tall translucent panels on the back and side of the building and it makes all the difference in the world! I am sure they can be retro-fitted. I had them made up in a two-ply configuration to get a little better R factor. When the sun is right about 2 to 4pm, I can almost turn off the lights. No cave syndrome anymore!

  • jerry moors says:

    I would be concerned about the affect that bright sunlight would have on the wood and projects in the workshop. We all know what sunlight will do to wood and finished, so what did you do to overcome this?

  • Sir,
    I am certainly glad I am not the only one in the world who’s found the perfect shop space only to wind up selling it and moving to a cavern instead! Thanks for sharing and let’s hope we both find another “perfect shop” soon!


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