Salt Lake City Community Wood shop?

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Forum topic by Rusty_Face posted 11-05-2012 03:11 PM 4464 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1065 days

11-05-2012 03:11 PM

I am brand new to LJ and was browsing the forums and noticed a Community Wood shop in LA, after searching the site and Google, I couldn’t find anything local here. I have always loved wood working and the past several years I have been making all my own christmas presents for my family.

This is the first year that I am going to be working with hardwoods are I am VERY excited. I have gotten some walnut and white oak for great prices at National Wood Products thinking that I would have access to a jointer and thickness planer. As it turns out I don’t have access to a jointer and I have some twisted boards I need to flatten before I send them through the planer.

Does anyone know if there are any places where one could get this done? I haven’t been able to find anything, I am a student up at the University of Utah and have been unsuccessful getting anyone to talk to me there, (I suppose they don’t let students use the wood shop for some reason). I was about to start to call some cabinet makers, but if at all possible I would prefer to do this myself, or at least be right there while it is being done. I this point, I don’t know where to turn.

Thanks in advanced LJ crew!

9 replies so far

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

2592 posts in 1288 days

#1 posted 11-05-2012 03:17 PM

@Rusty—Does LA mean Louisiana, Los Angeles, or Lower Alabama? Good luck with your projects!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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4 posts in 1065 days

#2 posted 11-05-2012 03:30 PM

In Los Angeles, “” This is an absolutely fabulous idea and I wish that this was an option here in Salt Lake.

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196 posts in 1421 days

#3 posted 11-05-2012 03:30 PM

Check with MacBeath’s Hardwood on 3rd West. Just down from Target. The guys in there are very helpful and might have a suggestion.

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55981 posts in 3309 days

#4 posted 11-05-2012 04:54 PM

Was wondering what kind of prices did you get on the wood if I may ask? Where is National Wood Products located in SLC?? I am not sure that MacBeaths has a jointer but they do have a thickness planer and they may be able to get in touch with someone that would.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

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4 posts in 1065 days

#5 posted 11-05-2012 05:05 PM

Max, I was incorrect in my first comment. After pulling out my receipt I had gotten my wood from Intermountain wood Products. I got the white oak for $3.18/bf for first and seconds, and the walnut was $2.87/bf for #1 common. The FAS walnut was around $5.50/bf, but I was really happy with the quality of the #1 common so went with that to save some money. I couldn’t be happier with the prices and the wood, just sad that I lost my access to a jointer (defeats the purpose of saving money with the rough sawn), I am tempted to just send my pieces through the thickness planer without jointing.. but the idea scares me.. haha

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55981 posts in 3309 days

#6 posted 11-05-2012 05:28 PM

Thanks for the info. How long and wide are the pieces you are working with? You could send them through the planner but they would keep the same twist they have now unless you built a sled and shimmed them so it would take the twist out.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

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4 posts in 1065 days

#7 posted 11-05-2012 09:35 PM

I have all 4/4, the widest is 7.5” and all are about 36” long. Maybe I will just see if I can make a sled for cheap, I really want to do this project right. I have seen several good sled builds.

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2 posts in 486 days

#8 posted 06-07-2014 03:23 AM

To Rusty_Face:

My name is Matthew Reeves, and I have found this post from some time ago.

Have you made any progress in finding a community woodshop here in SLC? Or, have you begun developing one?

I am currently an architecture student at the U, and am interested in starting one up here in town, for I will no longer have access to such specialty tools upon graduation.

Please let me know your thoughts, or of any other people interested.



View Paul's profile


656 posts in 601 days

#9 posted 06-07-2014 04:29 AM


The issues with community shops in big city’s largely revolve around legal issues when people get hurt. I know this is an old post but it brings up an issue that a lot of us would like to do but cannot afford.

First is commandeering a place to work around. Second is getting enough interest in the woodworking community that you have enough “rent/income” to keep it afloat. The legal ramifications of someone cutting off a finger and the insurance to keep a community shop up leave most of us with a dream.

Here in Chicago it’s almost impossible to get the clearance for a community shop legally without making it a business. It can be done but leaves very high monthly costs for insurance for the building owner or the people on the lease. This makes woodworking clubs, weekly, monthly meeting more feasible.

If you do it, lawyer up and make sure your butt is covered. Someone might never get injured (highly unlikely) but if someone does you need to be prepared for it. Physically at the time, or 6 months down the road.


I’ve been in contact with a person I met on this forum and have been in his shop and used his equipment. I haven’t been to his shop enough to consider him my mentor but I have learned quite a bit from him. I would reach out to people in your area, you might be surprised on what you find and how wood workers really stick together and help each other out.

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