Cooperative woodshop space ??

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Forum topic by natenaaron posted 10-09-2013 05:29 PM 1604 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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442 posts in 2038 days

10-09-2013 05:29 PM

I have an incomplete wood shop with lots of space, a friend has no space but does have some machines that will complement what I have. His father in law has no space either but has more tools. I bet between the three of us we got a well equipped wood shop.

Here is the deal-
I have the space, and we have kicked around the idea of combining our tools to have a little cooperative wood shop thing. I trust the guy, and his father in law is a hoot. Now the issue-

My shop is also part of our business, which is insured under the business. As the one man business owner/IT department/janitor/and maintinance crew I am covered under this insurance but they would not be. If I lop a finger off the insurance won’t like it but they will cover it This means I am a bit hesitant. Does anyone share space and tools? If so, How do you handle things? Obviously going into this I would want to make sure we remained friends.

23 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


5277 posts in 3485 days

#1 posted 10-09-2013 06:10 PM

I’m not addressing the legal aspects of your question, but I would say if you want to remain friends, DO NOT share your shop with anyone else. Issues will arise in the future that can create bad feelings. No one can ever get along 100%. I’ll give you an example. Your friend asks if he can bring over a friend. You may not like the idea, but because he is your friend, you say OK. What results after that can create hard feelings. One thing that will creap in with any relationship is “manipulation”. Most people don’t even realize they are manipulating or being manipulated and that can cause problems that are hard to resolve. Best is to keep everying to yourself and 100% under your control. Don’t combine friendship with your business. Having lived 79 years (today), I have experienced every situation and have learned lessons. Unfortunately, once you learn a lesson, you no longer have the need to repeat the situation. That is my advise; take it ot not. That’s up to you.

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2279 days

#2 posted 10-09-2013 06:23 PM

Having lived 79 years (today),
Happy Birthday to you…..

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

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5155 posts in 2592 days

#3 posted 10-09-2013 06:29 PM

I wouldn’t do it, keep the space for yourself. Can you imagine three or more projects going once? People showing up at your place unannounced and using your space and then leaving a mess. Maybe I’m just cynical, but my experience is that these things are fun for a while, then they are not. Furthermore if it doesn’t work out you are going to have to be the bad guy and kick the others out.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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5277 posts in 3485 days

#4 posted 10-09-2013 06:35 PM

Thank you JustJoe. I’m cooking a nice dinner and will have all my family over.

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 2723 days

#5 posted 10-09-2013 06:37 PM

My two bits. My workshop is fully outfitted with tools, wood, power, etc everything you need to make anything. So I got thinking it would be nice to work with someone. I tried it out for awhile, few months. I had to terminate the shop sharing idea for many reasons. My shop was not mine, skill level differences, different project focuses, insurance concerns, unfamiliarity with tool operation, consumption of shop sundries and power.

My belief, Better to keep your shop your own and not share it !!

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View natenaaron's profile


442 posts in 2038 days

#6 posted 10-09-2013 08:24 PM

Interesting thoughts. Some I had not thought of. We had talked a little about it and we agreed that since this was a business area I had to be there when someone wanted to use it. Whether I was working in the shop or not, I have to be on site. One of them rents space from me for his repair shop. No, he does not have room for wood tools in his unit. The auto tools take up the space. You folks have given me things to think about.

Happy Birthday MrRon. I see you are like me. I always cook my own birthday dinner.

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Bill White

5149 posts in 4201 days

#7 posted 10-09-2013 10:57 PM

Not! No way! No how! Negative!
Know where I’m comin’ from?
Kindly submitted.


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5837 posts in 2650 days

#8 posted 10-10-2013 12:51 AM

I put the idea of sharing my shop with someone else right up their with this weird wife swapping crowd. NOT HAPPENING! You may be good friends now, but when things go missing, get broken, or as you suggested an injury that friendship evaporates in an instant. Save a friendship, just say no.

In my desire to be a reasonable person you may of course have all of the ex-wife you want, make sure you have good mental health coverage because I assure you it will get used. Or for those like me who dislike seeing the doctor you could take up heavy drinking. Either way your call.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2931 days

#9 posted 10-10-2013 02:07 AM

Mr Ron, Hope you are having a great birthday and I wish you many more!

Now as far as the shared shop: There is one guy in the entire world that I could share a shop with and live happily ever after. Anyone else, NO WAY. I agree with all the negative comments above.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JADobson's profile


1337 posts in 2352 days

#10 posted 10-10-2013 02:15 AM

I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here and say that I like the idea. Not only do you get more tools in your shop you also get people who you can bounce ideas off of and who can show you new things (or at least a new way of looking at things). I think as long as you guys have CLEARLY outlined what everyone’s responsibilities are and these are people you trust to uphold their fair share then go for it. I should say that I’m not speaking from experience as I’ve never really had to share a shop.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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57 posts in 2198 days

#11 posted 10-10-2013 01:15 PM

I agree with NOT sharing. Just imagine your friend just got a gig to remodel a kitchen and he comes in with 10 sheets of plywood and starts cutting out parts. MAN you will be waiting for ever to cut an extra part for the project you almost have done. And of course you cant use the table saw when hes on break or not using it. How dare you change the table saw setting in your own shop. What a nightmare!

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8289 posts in 2391 days

#12 posted 10-10-2013 03:37 PM

If he was a good friend, I can see going along with it. I would make agreements though that everything gets cleaned up every day, all shared tools be put back, and you each have a separate cabinet for your own consumables (glue, sandpaper, etc.). Maintenance/repair will be shared equally, as well as things like blades. I would lean to say that all hand tools be separate as well.

But it could work depending on how good of friends you are

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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117421 posts in 3818 days

#13 posted 10-10-2013 03:44 PM

I’m afraid I would stick with the group that says NO WAY. There’s just to many liabilities friends or not.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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5322 posts in 1962 days

#14 posted 10-10-2013 04:22 PM

While in a perfect world, it would be a great opportunity for everyone, if something was lost, broken, stolen, burned, lacerated, amputated, electrocuted, or otherwise damaged it could become a big problem. Even if you had the property insurance, liability insurance, and renters insurance all sorted out, if someone got hurt the ability for the cost to “fix” whatever happened could become astronomical very quickly. The level of coverage could be exceeded and the remaining balance fall onto your shoulders, not to mention what tremendous levels of loss could potentially do to a relationship. Be glad that you have the extra space for multiple projects.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View MrRon's profile


5277 posts in 3485 days

#15 posted 10-10-2013 09:00 PM

As an after thought, I share my shop with my son; not on a formal basis, but being my son, he will use it regardles of what I think. He will use tools and not put them back. He will also help me when I need his assistance. Being family is a lot different from a friend relationship. I can yell at my son, but if it were a friend, it would not be good.

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