Leaving My First Real Workshop

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Blog entry by Eric posted 08-25-2008 05:38 PM 932 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We’re moving in about 10 days to a different part of the country. Tomorrow the movers come to haul off some of our belongings. We’re mailing what we can, as it’s much cheaper, but some things (like a TV) are best moved by professionals. Our stuff is traveling by boat and should arrive about a week or so after we get there.

Today I had to dismantle my workshop and pack everything up. It was fun in a way, as this was my first real workshop and I had some good times here. I’ve had workspace before, in our last two apartments, but I never before had a place to call my own. A place where my wife had zero interest in entering. A sanctum, of sorts.

So today, I methodically waxed all my important tools, and then buffed them before wrapping them in bubble wrap. Once everything was wrapped up, I meticulously placed everything just right in the plastic tub that functions (for now) as my tool box. My training as a grocery bagger served me well. Here are all the tools I own:

tool storage

As I reflect on the past 8 months or so we’ve lived at this house, I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t give props to my workbench. I put it down almost every chance I had, since I knew (or at least had an idea) of what it would be like to have a proper workbench with real vises and solidity (Oh, solidity! What I wouldn’t give!). This workbench is basically just a stand-alone cabinet. It had a white melamine (I think?) top, which I foolishly ripped off, revealing a mere 1/8” (if that!) sheet of plywood underneath. As a result, I had to reinforce the vise mounting with a sheet of thicker plywood, and anytime I needed to do anything workbenchy (like chiseling, sawing, etc.), I had to whip out thicker boards (like my shooting board) on which to work. You can see in the pic below that I had to rip out a door and drawers (even cutting out the drawer supports) to get some clamping room.

But as flimsy and substandard as this workbench was, it did the trick. I have two great projects (my wife’s jewelry box and my kids’ step stool) and a couple smaller projects that were built on that bench. So here’s to you, Cabinet. You’ll be on the scrap pile in a couple weeks, but I’ll never forget ya.

2008 workbench

P.S. I had a flurry of woodworking activity the past couple days (my marking knife and the reverse engineering project) – pics to follow once I get past the movers’ visit tomorrow!

-- Eric at

8 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3740 days

#1 posted 08-25-2008 05:45 PM

Good luck at the new location. Will you have a workspace/shop there?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3811 days

#2 posted 08-25-2008 05:57 PM

Thanks Mark. Not sure yet. We’ll be in a temporary place first, while we house hunt. My only woodworking goal during that transition time is to sharpen my irons and blades. Don’t need much room to do that!

But my wife is very supportive of me having a place to do woodworking at whatever place we find, so workspace is a factor when we look at places. I’m blessed!

-- Eric at

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3676 days

#3 posted 08-25-2008 06:00 PM

Good luck with the move, we just moved ourselves…. I hate moving and all that packing- but it’s usually for the better.

where are you guys moving to?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3811 days

#4 posted 08-25-2008 06:02 PM

Hey Lev,

We move a LOT (I think this is our 10th place in almost 10 years of marriage!). It’s good for keeping your possessions down to a minimum.

We’ll be moving to Kota Kinabalu, which is the capital of the state of Sabah on the island of Borneo. Awesome snorkeling there! In general, has a slower pace than the big city of Kuala Lumpur – looking forward to that.

-- Eric at

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3676 days

#5 posted 08-25-2008 06:58 PM

Eric – Not bad. We moved 6 times in 6 years of marriage… so based on your experience I should be looking at 4 more moves in the next years huh? lol (well -we’ll definitely have 1 more move as we’re planning to buy our own place in a few years – but no rush as of yet)

hope the next place fits your pace!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View wraith's profile


16 posts in 3591 days

#6 posted 08-25-2008 07:43 PM

Hope your new space fills all your needs. I’m still at the “working in my apartment’s second room” phase.

-- The platypus is nature's way of saying "I made this thing out of spare parts I found on the floor, and it can still cripple you."

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3701 days

#7 posted 08-25-2008 09:22 PM

I hope the new space will be any better.

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 3832 days

#8 posted 08-28-2008 08:06 PM

Eric, wish you a very prosperous and successful life in your new place.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

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