Great Woodshops: Living the European Dream


A St. Louis physician spent years assembling the perfect shop.
By Christopher Schwarz
Page: 52-54

From the February 2011 issue #188
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The problem with many “dream shops” is that their visionaries never wake up and get on with building any furniture.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with building a hobby shop and having the shop alone being the hobby, but this magazine is about building wooden things inside a shop. So it seems a waste when I visit a shop that never sees a speck of sawdust. For the last few years, I’ve been following the progress of Dr. Kent Adkins, a young surgical urologist outside St. Louis, who has been methodically planning and constructing an 1,800-square-foot shop attached to his home by a breezeway.

It would be easy to assume that Adkins simply picked the machines and tools with the highest price tags for his shop, but that would be an insult to the years of passionate research Adkins and his friends have put into searching the world for tools that are the best in class and safe as possible.

I’ve seen Adkins on the floor of the International Woodworking Fair, picking apart the features and details of machines, veneer presses and even hand tools. He traveled twice to the Ligna woodworking show in Germany. I’ve watched him question sales representatives with the insight of a journalist. And in May 2010, I got to operate his crane.

Video: See the Maka mortiser in action.
Web Site: Download a free video from this shop.
Web Site: Visit the web sites of many of the European manufactures listed in the story.
In Our Store: Mark Duginske’s “The New Complete Guide to the Band Saw.”


From the February 2011 issue #188
Buy this issue now

2 thoughts on “Great Woodshops: Living the European Dream

  1. gpennel

    Enjoyed the article but what happened to the slide show and links? Am starting design for a new shop and am interested in any information available on Dr Adkins shop. I really like the idea of making the shop nice looking to make it more enjoyable to work in. The equipment is impressive for a home workshop or a professional shop, I’m ready for some German equipment.

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