A Woodworker's Thanksgiving 2014

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Blog entry by jeffbranch posted 11-27-2014 02:41 PM 1989 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My space: the workshop.

Recently, I wrote on Facebook sharing the joy of simply being in my workshop. It was a Sunday morning; a cool Sunday morning. After descending the stairs into my basement workshop, I felt this peace. I took a photo of what I saw and uploaded it to Facebook. I felt lucky. And why not, I had a hot cup of coffee in hand, the space heater was humming and my favorite music was magically playing from my iPhone. Best of all, my woodworking project was patiently waiting for me to scratch it’s back with some sandpaper. So nice.

For 2014, I give thanks for my workshop. I have seen all kinds of workshops: basement shops so small that holes had to be placed in walls so lumber could be cut. Workshops in kitchens, outdoor workshops and workshops in apartment bedrooms. Workshops which are not what I would call ideal, but ones where the desire to work wood makes the craftsman or craftswoman take extreme measures just so they can create. Exceptional when you think about it. I am blessed to have a traditional work space.

My basement workshop is a small one, but larger than some. I call it a humble size. My shop is “L shaped” with the main work space measuring only about 23′ x 14′. Running off one end is another area which is 8′ x 14′. I am territorial in the basement. There are parts of the basement which I consider “my space”. As I work wood, I think about this space and how I can make it better, and I have ambitious plans for my workshop.

I am fortunate to have this workshop. I am fortunate to even have a house with a basement. My tools are there; tools most of which have been part of my woodworking for many, many years. Memories are there of the projects that have been built. The success and pride of what has been created with my hands; the designs which came from my mind. There have been challenges to work through; mistakes that made me mad as well as mistakes that made me smile. It is a special place.

My workshop isn’t perfect. There is a fine layer of sawdust here and there. If you look closely at the floor, you will see spots of yellow glue – and paint. I once spilt a whole can of Minwax stain on the floor. There is a support pole right in the middle of my small work space. Like a bad joke; this pole really could not be in a worse location. Even though my workshop has a very common eight foot ceiling height, with all the ductwork, pipes and wires, I have to be careful when moving boards and sheet goods.

None of this matters though – I like it, I am more than happy with my workshop. When it is all cleaned up with tools put away and a furniture project sitting on my workbench; I’ll take in the view and smile. So I give thanks. I am grateful. Thanks to the good Lord above for my workshop.

My messy tool cabinet and pipe clamp area.

When she was a child, my daughter made the labels for my tool cabinet drawers.

Related: From last year: A Woodworker's Thanksgiving.


7 comments so far

View littlecope's profile


3051 posts in 2918 days

#1 posted 11-27-2014 10:34 PM

Happy Thanksgiving Jeff… :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Nickdarr's profile


67 posts in 1447 days

#2 posted 11-28-2014 12:48 AM

Happy Thanksgiving. True sentiments that I echo a similar offering of thanks for as well.

-- Darren... Hmmmm, I got nothin.

View Eddie Elizondo's profile

Eddie Elizondo

68 posts in 3254 days

#3 posted 11-28-2014 03:22 AM

Jeff I am with you on this. I drive about four miles to my little storage unit where I have set up my little workshop. like you I always have a cup of coffee at hand and my radio is always going. this will be my second time around on collecting my big tools. I recently picked up a Laguna 1412 band saw, sweet is the work for this, and I also bought the dewalt two speed planer. already had the ridged table saw. my router table is fifteen years old, time for a new one. everything is mobile. I just recently built a good solid workbench and today I put a woodcraft front vise on it. works great. I need a joiner, drill press. I guess the point is I love my shop, my space. my castle. there is nothing like having a place to go and unwind and even if all I do is make little pieces of wood out of larger pieces of wood. Cheers to you my friend.

-- Eddie -

View jeffbranch's profile


110 posts in 2069 days

#4 posted 11-28-2014 04:27 AM

Mike and Darren – thank you; Happy Thanksgiving. Eddie, sounds like you have a great little shop going. Some nice tools too. :)


View CueballRosendaul's profile


484 posts in 1556 days

#5 posted 11-28-2014 01:53 PM

Amen Jeff. Although I do a little work in the shop all year, the fall and winter are when I spend the most time in the shop and sometimes I don’t really even DO anything but drink coffee and look at it. Love your drawer labels too. I’d put them under plexiglass covers to keep them just the way they look.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View jeffbranch's profile


110 posts in 2069 days

#6 posted 11-28-2014 04:55 PM

Matt – I know what you mean. :) My next major project will be replacing my tool cabinet. I will move my assembly table to that location and build a built-in tool cabinet under the stairs adjacent to the green wall. I am thinking of removing the drawer fronts of my existing cabinet and preserve them.


View jinkyjock's profile


486 posts in 991 days

#7 posted 11-28-2014 06:19 PM

I think the sentiments of your post resonate with many of us.
Love the drawer labelling….....IRREPLACEABLE.
P.S. Size ISN’T everything, my shop is 16×12ft.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

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