I’ve done a bit more thinking about my workshop situation, and figured I needed to list my all spaces that can be used for woodworking, and how much they can be used.
1. Storage room – at 6’x6’, it’s smaller than any other workshop I’ve encountered. However, it can be dedicated to woodworking full time if necessary. If another shop situation reveals itself, it can get some use as lumber storage, so it’ll work either way.
2. Screened-in back porch – This space can be used for woodworking, but not dedicated to woodworking. My wife wants a sitting area outside. This does lend itself to the possibility of small tables that serve as end tables while sitting, but serve a woodworking purpose otherwise. However, due to the lay out, there’s not really space to dedicate completely to a shop function.
3. Patio – It’s about 8’ wide and 16’ long (guestimating), so it will fit a variety of functions sizewise. However, there’s no cover so foul weather could be a significant problem.
4. Back yard – lots of space, all in all, but no shelter or anything else to make it a good shop space by itself.
Now, this is what I have to work with. While my wife would prefer to have the freezer in the storage room, it’s not a huge issue with her if it’s not apparently. With my assets on the table, here are some of the options I have in mind.
A. Stick with the storage room – The argument can be made that I’m simply overthinking this and the storage room will work fine. Besides, a Chippendale highboy made it a 6’x6’ shop is even more impressive than one made in a 20’x20’ shop.
B. Outdoor Shop – Set up some kind of awning or canopy and build away. Sure, cold weather will make it difficult to work, and raid could be a problem, even if there are sides, but it’s certainly doable. The downside is that an awning or canopy must be bought or built, and I hate construction-esque jobs.
C. Build a decent sized shed – Honestly, if money permits, this is where I’d prefer to go. However, money has to allow for materials and labor. As I’ve said before, I hate construction-type work…even if it’s mine!
D. The “Hybrid” approach – Basically, this is a combination of more than one of the above options. For example, using the storage room, but having the capability to move outdoors for larger projects. Or, build a shop and use the storage room for sharpening or tool restoration.
There’s still a lot to think about, and unless some money shows up sooner than I think it will, I may not be able to build a shop period, which just leaves A, B, and D as options.
Right now, I’m seriously looking at Option D as the most viable. Basically, build two workbenches. One for outside work, and another for inside the shop. The outside workbench could double as a BBQ table (so my wife would be happy ;), but could still serve it’s original purpose of serving as a workbench. This would be primarily for larger projects.
Within the screened in porch, a couple of small tables can double as part of an assembly table when not being used as end tables for my wife’s sitting area. The floor of the porch could serve partial duty as an assembly area during potentially rainy weather.
What I like about this option is the versatility of it. I can do work any time, and any where. I should be able to handle almost any sized project, and the only hurdle would be where to store things after they’re done, but I can deal with that one when I get to it.
Who knows though…I might hit the lottery and have my dream workshop before it’s all said and done ;)
-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!