People periodically ask me about my shop or the tools that I have to complete my projects.
The Shop Space
My shop is a modest one, attached to my house, and measuring about 12×22′ or so. The shop is big enough to allow projects like the stitch and glue canoe to be accomplished but requires everything to be on wheels so that I can maintain workspace in the middle of the floor. Projects like the Cricket Cottage Island top measuring 62″ x 96″ inches consumed almost all of my working floor space and challenged my ability to move around the shop.
Because of my space constraints, everything in my shop that rests on the floor is on wheels. Most tools are on cabinets that I have either saved and modified from other projects or built using plywood, designed for the specific task. This allows me to quickly and easily move my equipment to the middle of the floor so that I can safely and efficiently perform whatever woodworking function is next. The equipment shuffle sometimes is annoying or overwhelming to my friends who may be working with me, but with a little patience and choreography, we quickly find the rhythm and begin to work efficiently in the space.
I have a fair amount of power tools in the shop and an equal amount of duplicates in my bay house workshop and even more in storage. I was fortunate to be able to pick up a number of table saws, a planer, drill press, floor air compressor, and dust collection system, to mention just a few items, from my friend Jimmy Hackney, when he closed his warehouse workshop in Florida in 2013. They rounded out my existing stock nicely.
Each addition of a power tool allows me to upgrade or add to my existing capabilities and help my woodworking friends improve their shops with what I can give away. I certainly don’t have all of the tools that I would like for the shop but half of the fun is studying and selecting what the next addition to the shop may be.
I have tried to avoid lumber yards in my search for materials for my projects and prefer reclaimed lumber in whatever form, whenever possible. Certainly the material selection often determines the project possibilities but I am currently ok with that constraint as my current interest matches well with the often rustic nature of reclaimed materials.
Currently I am working through a supply of 100 year old red and white oak purchased from an individual who had torn down a small barn in Waterford, VA. The selection and quantity of the materials will likely keep me satisfied for coming year. As other supplies become available, I will address them as my ability to store the materials allow.