Starting Over?

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Blog entry by GeorgeM posted 02-11-2009 04:02 AM 852 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I hope you will all bear with me as I learn the tricks of woodworking. I am basically starting from scratch but I feel better saying that I am “starting over” in my woodworking. I did some ww back in the early 1980s but due to a divorce, moving, not having a place and losing custody of a lot of my tools, I am just now getting back to it. I may have bunches of questions as I go.

I am relagated to a small workshop due to space constraints in my yard. I just do not have enough space for a really nice place like I see on some of your videos and photos. Once I made my mind up that I was going to build a shop regardless of what amount of space it took out of my back yard, my wife convinced me that she would be happier if I could work with what was already in place. We have a two-car carport with two small “storage rooms” attached at the back. The rooms were 5 1/2’ x 18’ (inside dimensions). The divider wall was simply two sheets of peg-board nailed to 2×4 studs. Since I do not have the time, skill, or knowledge to do a room expansion I found a local “carpenter/mason/jack-of-all-trades” who agreed to do it for me at a reasonable price. So, we (he) poured a concrete slab extension, moved the existing back wall, added new end walls, put in lighting, windows on one end and a double door entry. I now have a “modest” 12’ x 18” workshop. Actually since I had to give up the two storage rooms, I have a “workshop/storage room”. My handyman carpenter put a scutlle-hole so I can use the “attic” to help with the storage space.

Overall I am happy and I think it is going to serve my purposes…I am not looking to build large furniture, etc. I just want to have a place to spend some time working on some smaller projects and learning more about this woderful hobby. I have already gotten a world of info from LJ and other sites. Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have all of the painting and cleaning up done and can actually get started on a ww project. Probably that first project is going to be a workbench and some storage cabinets/shelves.

I am reallly excited also that my dad who has done woodworking for many years is giving me all of his tools (including a lathe that he personallly designed and built—he was a machinist) and he will be spending some time with me helping and teaching me some of the finer points. He will be 88 yrs. old next week and has not done any woodworking for a few years due to some health problems. I think he is excited to have me taking up the torch. I just hope I can do it half as well as he did in his prime.

8 comments so far

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2506 posts in 2856 days

#1 posted 02-11-2009 04:24 AM

Such a cool story regarding your Dad and the tools. especially the lathe.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View woody57's profile


647 posts in 2846 days

#2 posted 02-11-2009 05:04 AM


Thanks for posting this.
I was divorced in 1986 and had to start over. It’s not easy, but it can be done.
My first shop was the driveway and the tail gate on my pickup.
I had an old circular saw, a jig saw, and a drill.
The next one was 1/2 of a 2 car garage.
It was so tight that I had to push my table saw out into the driveway to cut a sheet of plywood.
I finally got the shop I’d always wanted 2 yrs ago, it is 30×50.
Hang in there and keep trying.

You are lucky to have a father like that who wants to help. My relationship with my dad was not very good.
I wish we could have had what you obviously have. I wish you well. Keep us posted.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View Beaverwood's profile


49 posts in 2812 days

#3 posted 02-11-2009 05:41 AM

Nice to see others with the same space issues I’ve had to deal with for a very long time. Over the past 7 years I’ve had 7 shops. All of them small and cramped however also unique. We now own property that will allow expansion in the future.

-- Dave, North Dakota,

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3518 days

#4 posted 02-11-2009 05:51 AM

Welcome aboard and thanks for sharing your story.

We would love to see some photos!

The information flows freely here so I am sure that if you have any questions somebody will have an answer.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View GeorgeM's profile


8 posts in 2821 days

#5 posted 02-11-2009 06:02 AM

Thanks for all of the nice comments and encouragement. Now, if i can figure out all of this blog stuff and how to post photos maybe I can be a technological woodworker.

Can anybody give me a brief lesson on post photos to the blog area? I will worry about the projecst once I have something to post there!!!

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3193 days

#6 posted 02-11-2009 06:22 AM

I am starting over as well. Had my own cabinet business years ago and now that I am retired, I am going to build cabinets again. My new shop is mostly done and starting to buy the equipment. Love to see your workshop as you get it done. Check mine out and see what you think. Good Luck on the new shop.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 3131 days

#7 posted 02-11-2009 06:45 AM

And god bless all of us who at some point have had to start over. There’s nothing quite like it. It’s both the best thing and the worst thing you ever do…just not in that order, thank god.

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View GeorgeM's profile


8 posts in 2821 days

#8 posted 03-02-2009 04:30 AM

Well, I finally have a workshop/storage room. It is small (about 12×18) but, hey, it’s mine!! Actually the room has been completed for a couple of weeks but I have not had time to do much except find a place for the storage (Thank goodness, I have a pretty good amount of “attic” space above the workshop). Today, I finished my workbench. It is based on a 2×4 workbench in a book I have with a few minor changes. I will be honest, it has a couple of corners that are not 100% square and it isn’t the fanciest wood but again, it is mine and I built it!!

Now I need to find a project, but I don’t think that will be hard to do. The first thing, I know I need is more storage shelves and cabinets!!! Any suggetions for a beginner??

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