My woodworking shop shocks a lot of people when they see it. They see the things that I make, and just assume that you need to have a really intense shop to make it happen. In reality, anyone with the patience to work on something can make a great project. Yes, a giant shop full of tools can help, but it is not the only factor. You can start woodworking right now, even with a smaller space. It’s all about how much heart you put into your work.
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This is my woodworking shop. In this picture it’s between cleanings. My father won’t believe this for a second, because he’s never seen it clean, but that’s ok. It’s one half of a two car garage, and all of my tools are arranged in a rectangle around the outside.
I have a lot of tools, but they are almost all smaller bench top versions. This helps conserve space. Also, I have pegboard everywhere to get my tools off the benches and into view. I wrote about layout for the small shop before, so that’s not what I am going to be talking about here. This is all about making people think you have a much larger and better outfitted facility than you do.
My shop is nicer than some, but far lower end than many. However, I turn out pieces that look great time after time. This is not because I have fancy tools. It’s because I use them well, practice a lot, and won’t hand out something unless it’s perfect. That is what I lovingly call the last 10% principle. No matter where you are in your woodworking adventure, you can build and make anything you want, no matter what your shop looks like.
I have seen great projects come out of kitchens before, and others from a pair of sawhorses and a door in the back yard. It really doesn’t matter the space you have, as long as you work hard and make a nice piece.
There is a myth out there that makes people think they need every tool under the sun to make a nice project. It’s true that you do need tools. However, you don’t need many. Even with all the tools I have in my shop, I really only use a hand full. The majority of my projects could be completed with less than 1/4 of what you see in these pictures. I have been a woodworker for close to two decades, so I have been collecting things here and there for a long time. I store it all together, so it looks like a lot.
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Whatever space you have, it’s big enough. Whatever tools you have, they may be just what you need to make your project. Spend some time learning about ways to make things, and alternative things that your existing tools can do. A router is a magician in the shop. It can serve as several other tools, saving you money.
Have confidence, and start that project you have been thinking about. Don’t let a smaller space, or the thought that you need a huge shop get in your way. Once you get started, you will be glad that you did. You will also surprise people that see where you made it.
If you have any questions about My Woodworking Shop, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Also, please share my work with your friends on Pinterest! Happy building.
- 20 Years Experience in Woodworking
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