Average Shops (not VS. but compared too) Production shops

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Forum topic by steve6678 posted 11-10-2012 03:57 AM 1991 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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438 posts in 2058 days

11-10-2012 03:57 AM

Those Production shops are way beyond my want’s, really. I’d feel mechanical in a shop Full of Pro Industrial equipt.
I lose sight of simple woodworking when I see shops like these…
It’s just a whole nuther level. Maybe a level I do not aspire to.
Doesn’t even compare to my idea of woodworking as “I” see it.
Way different…too different, almost not correct.
I think of my shop as normal, but when I see myself in a PRODUCTION shop, woodworking would almost lose it’s fun.
Woodworking becomes…weird in there. BIG! and complicated…but at the same time…Umm, just ugly, and shared by too many.

Has any other woodworker looked at these shops with Huge equipt. and chaotic stuff everywhere, The best jigs, (supposedly) the best, of the best, of the biggest, and thought…”that doesn’t seem like it makes a lot of sense, or order, or fun. There always seems to be a mess right around the corner, that someone ELSE had made”
I look at full fledged production shops and see…boredom, manufacturing, too many other people making too many static things, not creations, but schematics….

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

36 replies so far

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444 posts in 3128 days

#1 posted 11-10-2012 04:08 AM

I agree.

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

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774 posts in 2365 days

#2 posted 11-10-2012 11:37 AM

I agree…the biggest tool i have is a 34”band saw….just because i wanted one $1000 invested….would like to have a 20” planer..other than that…i,m good…O a bigger table saw to ..old tannewitz or oliver…



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110 posts in 3276 days

#3 posted 11-10-2012 12:14 PM

As a snowbird who enjoys woodworking, I have two shops. One is a basement shop with all the machinery. The other is strictly hand tools. I enjoy working in both. The machinery lets me tackle larger, more practical projects; while the hand tools allow me to hone skills I enjoy using. It’s taking advantage of what each approach offers.

-- Measure twice, cut once, buy extra stock.

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2828 posts in 3283 days

#4 posted 11-10-2012 01:05 PM


I understand what you’re saying; I’ve owned both and it’s a different ball game in each. Working in a 7,500 sq.ft. shop with 6 other craftsman with all the equipment you could think of was a great learning experience, but I never enjoyed the atmosphere. Having to wear ear protection every minute you were in the shop because of all the equipment running at the same time. Saws, planers, jointers, shapers, routers, sanders, dust collection, compressors, spray booth fans and so on. Never ending. Just much more of the production atmosphere, even though we were a custom shop, we had 5 to 7 projects going at any given time.

I personally have enjoyed working as a one man shop alot more. If there is a noise in my shop; I’m making it. No distractions, no 7 different machines going at one time. I sometimes miss having the capabilities of using some of the large equipment, but overall, I just enjoy going to my little shop now and escaping to my own little world of saw dust. I actually feel much more creative working by myself…........but then again, that’s just me and how I like to do woodworking.

-- John @

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3104 posts in 2284 days

#5 posted 11-10-2012 02:12 PM

I can see evolving as a woodworker to one of those shops. Right now I’d feel out of place and not very creative in an advanced shop. It would be all about the tools and not about what I want them to do. I think we need to get comfortable with our tools before we can go to the next level. You always feel a little intimidated by a new larger tool than what you’re used to, but it fades and pretty soon you’re comfortable with it. The big production guys are just comfortable with the big stuff. We should all end up there.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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1642 posts in 2981 days

#6 posted 11-10-2012 02:44 PM

Comparing the 2 is difficult, when each is in itself is a different creature.
Both have their pro’s and con’s to them.
While the average shop as a general rule has what it needs to handle most tasks in one form or another. Its not bound by the need for large specialized machinery as in the production shop. With the average shop not being bound by the need for mass production of a project. You have more personalization in the shop, which provides an inviting atmosphere and allows for more personal creativity.
Whereas the production shop is equipped to mass produce allowing for a poor atmosphere and no creativity. The production shop can be a valuable asset to the average shop for those odd jobs that a production shop can do quickly for us.
For me the average shop would come out on top with atmosphere and creativity having the highest comparison to the production shop.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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2828 posts in 3283 days

#7 posted 11-10-2012 02:56 PM

That’s the beauty of this hobby/business we call woodworking. I used to shop every new tool and couldn’t wait to either get to use one or buy one for my shop. I believe that’s why I enjoy LJ’s so much. The talent I see here is so awesome. Here is one woodworker that has always amazed me and you have to read his profile and look at his projects to truly understand that it’s not always about how big our shop is or how many big tools we have that make us a great woodworker.

-- John @

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4769 posts in 3241 days

#8 posted 11-10-2012 08:23 PM

When I walk into a production woodworking shop, I get the impression that skill level is not present (although it probably does); that wood flows in at one end and comes out the other end as a finished product with little human involvement in the process other than pushing wood into a machine and retrieving it and pushing buttons. I don’t see craftsmen standing over workbenches pushing planes or scrapers. The goal seems to be; use as little labor as possible. In fact, I’m turned off by production shops. I appreciate the home workshop for what can come out of it utilizing skill, not machines with all the whistles and bells.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2682 days

#9 posted 11-10-2012 10:14 PM

MrRon…as much as we think our “hobby” machines are expensive, I’m guessing my entire shop inventory didn’t cost as much as a single machine in a production shop (that’s why I laugh when I see posts about not being able to balance a nickle or having .0001 run-out on a TS). It does force one to be “creative” at times (keeping safety first in mind of course). To me that’s more than 1/2 the fun.

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Raymond Thomas

189 posts in 2216 days

#10 posted 11-10-2012 11:49 PM

I have only been in two full production shops and I was in awe of the “power” of everything that was going on but it was a big distraction to my mind. I think my woodworking will always be at the hobby level. Few power tools, lots of hand tools, and plenty of quiet times to enjoy the wood I have at the moment.

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

View steve6678's profile


438 posts in 2058 days

#11 posted 11-11-2012 12:31 AM

Me too, I have been in a few, and I was intimidated by the size of the machines.
I also found that it was way too distracting and chaotic. I like to work alone, working with others would cause me stress and frustration. I like a neat, tidy, orderly, organized shop, and area. The shops I have visited were messy because of all the commotion and different attitudes towards picking things up, putting things away…and so on.
I enjoy my time in my shop…although I do it for a living, I do things on my time, my schedule, and my nit-picky-cleanliness-OCD, ha ha ha.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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4135 posts in 2307 days

#12 posted 11-11-2012 01:54 AM

Aren’t you guy comparing Apples to Oranges.

A production shop is a business with the intent to make money for the owner and it provide jobs so people can feed their loved one. It also good for the economy. We need all the jobs we can muster up in this country nowadays.

Hobby shop = fun, relaxation. Production shop = serious business thus apples and oranges.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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438 posts in 2058 days

#13 posted 11-11-2012 01:59 AM

I am not…guy.
I am simply saying the majority of production shops lack any personal feeling for woodworking.
I make a living in my shop, I know how to feed my family, I pay taxes, and I am the owner.
I think you mis-read, mis-understood, or missed my meaning.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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438 posts in 2058 days

#14 posted 11-11-2012 02:08 AM

Is addressing someone as “guy” an Alaskan thing? Where i come from it’s kinda derogatory…

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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4135 posts in 2307 days

#15 posted 11-11-2012 02:27 AM

First of all I missed the s on the end of guy and it should have read guys( I would have though you could figure that out but I guess not) . Second addressing a group of males or females it is quite common to use “guys or gals”. It is only derogatory in the minds of those who are alway looking for a fight.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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