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It sounds like he is talking about LA Civil Code CC 2368 which states:
Art. 2368. Increase of the value of separate property.
If the separate property of a spouse has increased in value as a result of the uncompensated common labor or industry of the spouses, the other spouse is entitled to be reimbursed from the spouse whose property has increased in value one-half of the increase attributed to the common labor.
In that section "industry" can mean either work or monies so it is possible that if the value of your separate property was enhanced through your ex's work or his money then he would be entitled to get some type of reimbursement for that. However, you could also argue that the amount of reimbursement he can get would be offset by the amount of use he got our of the shop during the marriage so the judge may decide it is a "wash".