IONE-When Dana and Loren Heideman planned the new shop on their wheat farm near Ione, the brothers had two main considerations-their 53- foot chisel plow and winds that can top 90 mph.
The chisel plow fits comfortably into the 60 by 80-foot steel structure. A 30 by 80-foot apron in front gives added work space. The brothers can move their combines and other equipment inside, no matter what the weather is like.
"The big thing out here in the spring and fall is the wind. It's relentless, and when it's cold it's miserable outside," said Dana Heideman.
In the winter a stove burning used motor oil keeps the temperature comfortable under a double-insulated ceiling. During the scorching summers the shop stays 20 degrees cooler than the air outside.
The brothers, who have been farming together since 1980, spent a year planning the new shop before building it in 2002.
"We looked at a lot of shops and dreamed a lot," Loren said.
Those dreams were based on years of experience with less-than-adequate facilities.
"Our other shops were tin buildings with no insulation. One had a dirt floor for a while," Dana said.
"Dana did a lot of thinking, a lot of looking in magazines and seeing other people's shops.
"Now he spends a lot more time in the shop than he used to, because he has the nicest shop he's ever owned," said Tonya Heideman, Dana's wife.
The new shop has a fine concrete floor, a small office, a storage room that doubles as a game cooler during hunting season, and a restroom. Porthole windows in the three big doors and a pair of skylights add natural light to the half-dozen fixtures hanging overhead. One corner is wired for welding equipment and the workbench running along the back wall is 6 inches higher than usual.
"We had it custom built extra tall because we're all 6-foot-3 or more," Dana said.
The brothers installed their own tire-changing machine and a high capacity 27 cfs air compressor to handle the hundreds of tires they air up every year. The compressor also comes in handy for blowing off combines.
What other farmers notice, though, is how usable the space is.
"With the big doors we can get full-size equipment inside, unfold it and work on it. If I built another one I'd make it 10 feet deeper so I could put the equipment in with the tractor still hooked to it," Dana said.
"Just like a garage, it's never big enough," Loren added.
Larry Lutcher, Oregon State University extension agent for Morrow County, is one of the shop's admirers.
"Dana and Loren have one of the nicest shops I've ever seen. It's big. You can get equipment in and out of there, and it's well outfitted with tools and equipment required for maintenance, service, and repair," Lutcher said.
Over the years the Heidemans' shop has hosted a dinner for the county wheat league, a birthday party complete with 12-volt electric cars for Loren's grandson, pingpong tournaments and more than a few poker games.
"The best thing is, you get more done because you're in a comfortable environment," Dana said.
"Exactly," Loren agreed. "You get a whole lot more done, and that gives you time to go play."