The Shop

I’ve written a little bit about my shop space in the past. In addition to the workroom, which I use for layout and handwork and finishing, the bigger tools I inherited are stored against the back wall of the garage. The two cars that are parked in the space present an obstacle, as well as the shuttling back and forth through the basement door from space to space. Still, I have been quite happy with the space I am lucky enough to have. That doesn’t stop me from dreaming of the future, though. Here at school, I am very limited. I have finished up a few projects here at school for which I completed the bulk of the work at home. I brought up a few tools that I can manage with, but it is difficult to do work without a solid work surface or a good way to clamp parts down. Fortunately, I see these four years of college as the most limiting to my woodworking. After graduation, I’ll have my own apartment to start, and I should be able to fit a small bench and my chest of hand tools in the space (a connection to my last two posts). Hand tools are small, quiet, and relatively clean in comparison to power tools, so shouldn’t be a bother to roommate, neighbor, or landlord. Additionally, working by hand would force me to keep my projects small and develop real woodworking skills. Finally, if I get used to working by hand, that would save me a lot of space and money (and danger) on large power tools in the future. Even if I end up working primarily by hand in the more distant future, I think I will always try to have a bandsaw in my shop space. It can be argued that the bandsaw is the most useful of all power tools, as it can be used for rip, resaw, and curve cutting, plus many other more creative applications. It saves a lot of time and effort on tasks that would be mundane to do by hand. If I’m very lucky with my landlord I will fix up the one I have and use it in my first apartment. Otherwise, it will definitely be incorporated into my next more substantial shop space, which I expect will be in a small basement room or garage. It will probably be a utility room that I repurpose for woodworking (similar to my current situation), although hopefully everything can be fit into a single space. The ultimate dream might never be achieved, but it would consist of a dedicated room in the house or a separate outbuilding. It would be well insulated for temperature and sound and brightly lit. It would have a window to let in natural light and plenty of space for a large workbench. It’s nice to dream, but I have a lot of work ahead of me before I get to that point.

3 thoughts on “The Shop”

  1. Like you, my work space is more or less non existent. On top of not being able to work in my garage on my car much, I live in a town house, so shuffling my family’s three cars around is kind of a pain in the ass. Especially if I am awake before either of my parents but my car is in the garage blocked by one of theirs. C’est la vie.

  2. Wow you’ve really thought this through. I’m glad that you are thinking ahead and analyzing the logistics of how to pursue this passion with limited space and resources. Another option, I know some friends who share a shed and while they are living in apartments they can come to the shed and have space to work.

  3. Good luck with your future woodworking accommodations! Hopefully you’ll have the opportunity to execute all the projects you’ve described – and keep all your fingers for a long time to come.

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