A couple of dis-connected things. Most important is first – I’m not wild about holidays, but they’re hard to avoid to some degree. One that I think about in some ways is tomorrow, American Thanksgiving. Like many people, I have lots to be thankful for. One thing that’s been on my mind this morning as I wait for the fire to warm the shop up is all the people who make hospitals run. I had a chance to be a visitor at a hospital not too long ago and was amazed at how hard these people work and how they have adapted to all the pandemic concerns. Truly inspiring. I know there’s lots & lots of front-line workers all around the world who’ve kept things together while I’ve been tucked safely inside my shop. My hat’s off (not literally, this morning’s the coldest day this season…) to them, but the hospital crews are especially on my mind this Thanksgiving.
OK – the pictures today are a recent shop tour. I read a week or two ago about a “small shop” that was somewhere in the vicinity of 25′ x 40′! So I thought an updated shop tour might be timely. Plus there’s new readers each week. Mine’s 12′ x 16′. No electricity, so no lights other than windows. No machines – the motives for that approach are entirely personal. It’s not about some high-handed notion of this way being better than machine work. It’s better for me. That’s all.
The picture above is my main workbench. Most of my work happens here. Pine top, oak base. I’ve worked at it for 20 years. Saws above, various tools in racks and on the shelf below. And the photo below is the bench behind that one – an Ulmia workbench I bought in the early 1980s. A huge expenditure at that time. Right now, it’s just where I stick that cupboard base while I work on parts for it. And pile boards underneath, etc.
Looking back toward the door, to my right when I’m at the bench is a tool chest I built when Chris Schwarz’ book was new. https://lostartpress.com/products/the-anarchists-tool-chest That book convinced me that a chest was a good idea for me. In my old job, my tools hung on the walls. An ocean view from that shop was great, except for the tools. Rust never sleeps. Above this half of the shop is a loft, and tucked under it are chair parts and other odds and ends of dedicated wood.
At the other end of the shop, it’s open to the 16′ peak. In this view below you can see the cord from my pole lathe coming down on our left. The pole is just out of sight. Pattern sticks for chairs, tables and stools hang all over this part of the shop. But some then get covered up by other bits also hanging.
The lathe is simple. I only used it part-time these days. That means it collects junk on it until I need to do some turning. This bed is short, (about 3 feet) there’s a 4 1/2′ bed that I used to use. Now stashed until I really need that length.
The rest is details, mostly of where to put stuff when you have so many windows there’s barely walls. I did manage a couple of small cupboards – this one for axes. A similar one across it for turning tools.
That’s about it inside. There’s a riving brake and various wood piles outside. Another time for those. The view below is the door (thanks @gerrishisland ) and the shaving horse. It doesn’t stay outside. I stick it out there when I’m not using it, then put it back at night. I hate that notion that they are destined to weather & decay and be replaced.
Fire’s ready, I’m going to work.