Shop Tips - Nelson

Over time it seems that farm shops are shrinking as tools are added, supplies expand, and the clutter takes over.

Brothers Dave, Dennis, and Neil Nelson of Belmond, Iowa outgrew their shop, so they built an 80'x80' structure with room for the future. Two 14'x14' doors allow them to bring in semi’s with trailers, and there’s also a third door. This allows for multiple service bays so if they’re working in one part of the shop, they can still get equipment in and out. Dennis says they put everything they could on wheels or skids to make their shop expandable and flexible.

"For the most part we try to stay mobile with our tool boxes, and along this wall we can put the more permanent projects," he says. "The ones that are going to be torn down, engine work, and major projects."

The Nelson brothers can fit three tractors and a 36-foot corn head in the building with some space left to work. It’s also tall enough that they can work on the combine and not worry about the height.

At the ground level, Neil says they installed the building’s air lines in a rather unique way.

"Before we poured our cement, we ran our air lines under the concrete so the distribution system goes into a manifold and then it takes a direct route to each wall," he says. "Less lines to upkeep, and that does help dry them a bit in the wintertime when the in-floor heat is going."

The Nelson’s built the farm office attached to but outside the shop. The advantage of this arrangement is that it keeps shop noise and dust out of the office. 

Watch this video to see the Nelson's shop and hear more about their ingenuity.