Fortunate is the woodworker who can say his workshop is not wanting for more floor space. Most one- person shops, whether you work wood for recreation or vocation, are busting at the seams with lumber, scraps, tools, jigs and all the miscellaneous stuff that woodworkers collect in the course of building furniture. To make things worse, many of us put up with the ignominy of having to share our workspace with a washer and dryer or family car.
Ive squeezed my woodworking shop into what was once used as a family room in a split-level home. In order to make this 420 sq. ft. shop function, Ive had to put most machines on wheels. Mobility allows me to configure the shop for a variety of tasks, from rough milling long boards to creating a space for spray finishing. Its not ideal, but with four windows and finished walls, its a lot more pleasant than my former cinder-block basement shop.
Like the authors whose work is featured in this book, Ive made every effort to get the most out of my shop. Layout, storage solutions, choice of tools, dust collection and safety were all important considerations in its evolution. Aesthetics are important too. When I moved into my shop, I figured the obnoxious pink-toned walls would eventually be hidden by a fine layer of sawdust. Despite my best efforts, the pink held on like a bad case of red eye.
After three years, I finally painted the walls and floor, too. As a bonus, the paint job helped me see better due to the more reflective, neutral colors surrounding me. My shop isnt really done; its continually evolving, like that of most woodworkers, and Im always looking for new ideas. The articles in this book are intended to offer solutions on everything from the big picture issues of design and workflow to the nitty gritty of picking the right tools. Originally published in Fine Woodworking magazine, these articles represent the innovative spirit of woodworkers everywhere, in shops large and small.
editor, Fine Woodworking