Woodworking in small spaces like basements, apartments, or garages can be a challenge as a beginner. However, the size of the shop does not mean much. It’s really more about the quality and the determination of the woodworker. Here is how you get the most from your small shop.
Woodworking in Small Spaces
The only real limitation from a small shop is the size of things you can produce. In a second floor apartment, it’s going to be difficult to make big furniture pieces. You can find ways around it by making the items in sections, but it’s still not ideal.
As you look at your space, remember that you only need enough room for your tools and for your materials. Add in a little for moving around, and you have enough room to start making things from wood.
Having worked in several very small shops, and still working in what most would say is a smaller space, I don’t believe that the shop makes much of a difference at all.
If you desire to make great projects, then you find a way. It’s much more about you than your circumstances.
Small Spaces and the Determined Woodworker
How are you? Do you have passion? Do you like woodworking? Are you the kind of person that quits things because the conditions are not perfect? Think about hose questions as you consider woodworking in a small shop.
It would be really nice to have a lot of room as you work, but anyone with some passion and care can make a small shop work really well. If you are really into your work, you may not even really notice that your shop is small at all.
Also, there are already plenty of people that work in small apartments, and even at their kitchen table. This is not ideal, but since they are the kind of person that is passionate about that they do, the space does not matter. Good woodworking comes from within, not from a certain type or size of space.
How to Maximize Your Small Space
Woodworking in small spaces is all about organization. The more you organize, the more room you will have. This will end up making your shop look and feel bigger than it really is, and give you more freedom to accomplish your goals.
Start by making sure that everything has a home. Put tools in tool boxes or on peg boards, bigger tools on carts so that they can be easily moved. Don’t leave things out, because a little clutter in a small shop will seem like a lot.
Look to add drawers under benches and shelves where possible. This utilizes an open space that was wasted and allows more storage. Find other spaces like that, and maximize what you can store. Clean relentlessly, and your small space will look much bigger.
Woodworking in Small Spaces – Wrap Up
The quality of work produced from any shop is related to the quality of the woodworker, not the quality of the shop. Yes, tools make a difference, but we are not talking about someone banging rocks together and another person in a modern shop.
The outside circumstances can seem daunting as a beginner, but you need to change your frame of reference. Instead of looking at the circumstances and thinking about why they are preventing you from doing something, instead look at ways to accomplish the project.
Once you start focusing on yes, you will suddenly find solutions to your smaller woodworking space. You will end up staying more organized, more focused, and in the end produce better work, no matter what your shop looks like.
Additional Information About Westfarthing Woodworks
While I publish the overwhelming majority of my woodworking content for free, I also have several books available as well. You can see them on my Available Books Page, and they cover several different woodworking disciplines.
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