Making the garage a shop #1: Introduction

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Blog entry by Shawn K. posted 02-14-2011 05:01 PM 1111 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Making the garage a shop series Part 2: I'm going to need a plan. »

What a longish/shortish strange journey it’s been. And that’s just the bits to get to the beginning of the journey to make my garage into a workshop. I’ll start with a little background, and then get to the point, the introduction to this series.

I’ve been woodworking off and on for most of my life. My father and I would while away the weekend and evening hours in his garage in the Colorado mountains, building whatever was needed, restoring furniture, and making tons of shavings with a lathe. If something didn’t work out, it was OK, we had a wood stove in the garage. Dad taught me make-do woodworking. “Work with what you’ve got, we can’t afford the tool you need.” That was our Mantra.

I moved out, and woodworking became less involved in woodworking. I kept my parent’s mentality, do what needs to be done yourself. To that end, I built my daughter a loft bed. I built my wife a 10’ x 10’ deck in the back yard. For these projects I picked up a benchtop drill press, a Ryobi table saw, and circular saw. Christmas 2009 I made doll beds for my daughter and niece. Nothing fancy, just but-jointed white pine with some slats, and hardboard for the bed. I didn’t rabbet, mortise, lap or anything, I kept it simple, and just made do.

While the beds were a hit, I wasn’t happy with them, they were slapdash and lacked craftsmanship of a level I felt the project deserved. This helped the bug germinate, I wanted to be a woodworker again. Last year, with my wife’s encouragement, I picked up a ShopFox midi lathe. This led to the chucks and tools I’d need for bowls, pens, etc. This led to a 14” bandsaw to help cut parts, round blanks, and other things. Somehow in there I decided I needed a workbench, so I picked up a basic Sjoberg hobby bench, and I started to decide I needed more tools, like planes, saws etc.

My wife has encouraged me with all this, to that end I’m awaiting a tax refund so I can get my new table saw off layaway. Well, I’m not going to put this new saw in a crappy garage, I need to turn it into a shop, this is that journey, and a long story to introduce it. Next up, the actual first steps

-- -- Never entrust power to those who desire it.

2 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile


15459 posts in 2425 days

#1 posted 02-14-2011 07:26 PM

Nice to have a wife that supports you and your hobby. A little bit at a time is my mantra. Good luck and always leave room for more tools!

Welcome to Lumberjocks by the way.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View rogerw's profile


262 posts in 2109 days

#2 posted 02-15-2011 04:20 PM

good luck with your venture. i too work out of my garage. i have a two car garage that i get about 1/3 of. this area shares it’s space with my motorcycle so the shop is closed on rainy days. someday i may just have to clear out all the kid’s stuff and take it over completely but for now that is just a pipe dream. lol


-- >> my shop teacher used to say "do the best at everything you make for your mom because you're going to see it for the rest of your life!" <<

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