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My first workshop was the 6′ x 10′ back porch of our Victorian home in Lexington, Ky. The floor sloped dramatically thanks to termites, and the the whole place reeked of rotting opossum after one of the marsupial buggers took a dirt nap below the joists.

Let me tell you that it is dang hard to get rid of opossum odor – something that is never covered in the fancy books on setting up your workshop.

Every workshop I’ve had since then has been a small improvement. And this summer I took a huge leap forward when I resolved to finish out my current shop. It still had a raw concrete floor, open stud walls and cinderblock foundation.

The first order of business was to install a wooden floor. The contractor I worked with recommended a white oak floor with only one coat of water-based polyurethane on it. Putting on only one coat protects the floor from moisture and minor spills but it doesn’t make the floor slick.


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