Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My "Someday" Shop

I've been dreaming of a hand tool only woodworking shop for a few years now. For now, I operate out of about a quarter of a 2 car garage. Not terrible; I'm sure some have less of a space than I do, but as I trend more toward working with hand tools, I find myself wanting a detached, dedicated hand tool shop. The good thing about working with hand tools is that you really don't need that big of a space. After all, you don't need to make room for the table saw, power jointer, thickness planer, drill press, band saw, radial arm saw, etc. I've been toying with some different design layouts and different size shops lately. These are the two most promising designs I've come up with so far. I don't have any fancy CAD programs, so these were just done on Exel, hence the crudeness, but you get the idea. The county I'm in doesn't require a building permit for buildings under 300 square feet, so both these come in just under. Any time you can avoid dealing with planning and zoning, I highly recommend you avoid it. I really want this to look more like an 18th century shop than a garage, hence the lack of an overhead garage door. I also want lots of windows to let in lots of natural light. I'm not even sure I'd run electricity to it if it weren't for the hot, humid summers we get here in southern Maryland. I think I'd at least need a fan out there. :) The photos are of the Shoemaker's Shop in Colonial Williamsburg. This is ideally what I'd like my shop to look like on the outside. Or at least somewhat this style. I believe that the area you work in can inspire you to do better work and a shop like this would just make woodworking that much more enjoyable for me.
Alas, this is all a dream for now as funding will not allow this for quite some time I'm sure. But it never hurts to dream and plan; for someday.


D said...

Hey Jamie, I just found your blog here and I'm really digging it. I love the workbench, mine is a little bit of a non traditional take on the Nicholson but I love it, good job. And making your own saws, dude you're right up my alley. Keep it up!

I really like your thoughts on the stand alone hand tool shop. You've got me thinking too. So thanks for the ideas and I've got you in my reader now so I look forward to seeing what you're doing in the shop



Jamie Bacon said...

Hey Derek. Thanks for the kind words! I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago and spent a LOT of time going through your past post. I love your style of work. As you can probably tell, I dig the hand tool work. And I especially like doing the work with old tools.
Making saws can be kind of addictive. Last Friday I cut out saw plates for a 19" Tenon saw, a 16" Tenon saw, and a 14" Carcase saw; all out of .025 spring steel from McMaster Carr. Next is making the saw backs, which is the hardest part. I really like the stair saw you made and I think I have enough steel left over to make one.
Keep up the great work on you blog!

Jamie Bacon

Richard said...

Jamie love the site! I'm in the middle of my version of the Nicholson bench and I love the looks of yours. You have also inspired me to rehab the small barn I have on my property it needs alot but the size is close or a little bit bigger than the shoe makers shop in CW if I remember correctly I kist need to get busy and Finnish up my other projects. Good luck and keep up the wonderful posts!
Rice Rausch

Jamie Bacon said...

Hi Richard. Glad you like the blog. I need to get out in the shop and get to work again. Thinking a spring pole lathe will be my next project. That little barn sounds like it'll make a perfect shop. The only thing holding me up from mine is funds. :P Glad the post inspired you. :) Let me know how the bench and shop turn out.


Alex Comes said...

I think we're in the same boat, Jamie. About a year ago I decided to turn a room in my row home basement into a hand-tools-only woodshop. It's around 240 sqft... not big at all. Perfect for hand tools.

Do you own a spring pole lathe or just something in the future. I ask because one day I'd liked to build a treadle or spring pole lathe.

Going to add you to my blogs I follow.


baconj said...

Hi Alex. I don't own a lathe yet but I do want to build a spring pole lathe soon. I'm going to build one modeled after Roy Underhill's first to try my hand at turning but if I ever get my dedicated shop, I will probably build a heavier version, possibly even built in somehow. I've heard people that have used the Underhill style say that it is a bit light and moves a bit too much in use.
Your 240 square feet of shop sound pretty ideal. That's one of the great thing about hand tools, they don't take up the space of the big machines. I'm really enjoying hand tool work and have not use my table saw or any power tool for that matter in months. I get much more satisfaction doing things by hand.
Glad you like the blog and thanks for following along. I hope to keep finding shop time and to keep the blog fairly fresh.