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Thread: Wood Working Put on Hold?

  1. #1

    Wood Working Put on Hold?

    I am new at wood working and have started getting tools to begin the long journey to become even half way good at it. I was going to put my work shop on our screened in back porch after putting up walls but we have decided to sell our house and I can't even get started now. No place for wood working at the new place but I do have a 12 x 18 shed that I bought 2 years ago from some local Amish and I can get it moved. I was wondering if it could used for starting out if I ran electrical to it. If so I will have to figure out what to do with the mowers, weed eater, chain saw and other outside tools.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Los Angeles, CA

    12 x 18 is a good size shed. I hope you will be able to work something out and start doing some woodworking.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  3. #3
    A shed the size you have will work fine. It just takes planning and realistic expectations. Don't think that you're going to house industrial machines, and strongly consider learning hand tools. My shop occupies a 10 x12 space in my garage, and I can make pretty much anything. Matthew Teague did a great article in FWW some years ago about his shop in a small garage. If you can't find it I'll send you the PDF.

    Here's the link:
    Last edited by Bruce Haugen; 02-12-2012 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Added link

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    There are lots of ideal situations, but most of us make do with what we have. I started on a front porch with hand tools. Then I had a screened porch with a single power outlet, which was an extension cord run to the kitchen. Now I have a 12 x 24 garage, which started with a single light bulb, controlled from the laundry room, as the only electricity.

    Get that shed moved, and get started. One never knows where destiny will lead!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Welcome Greg, I see you are at the fork in the path we have all been at, even though we may have never have seen it. On the right is the wide well paved road of working with machines. It is the road well traveled On the left is a barely discernible path that is heavily overgrown and looks like it is seldom traveled. They both eventually reach the same destination, but one relies on acquiring hand and eye skills and the other on machines and jigs. The road less traveled does not require much room and can be practiced with very little money.

    I took the wide well paved road at first, because I did not really see that other path. But I was troubled because I began to feel I was only as good as the machine I owned. I always felt as if somehow I was a fraud, by not trusting that I could teach my hand and eye to do what I was relying on a machine to do for me. Slowly I realized that the other path existed and I found a way over to it. I still use machines, but not to do the skillful exacting aspects of woodworking, only the tedious crude parts. I now feel less like an operator and more like a craftsman.

    The space that I need to do woodworking, has gotten smaller and smaller. I only suggest that you look what you are defining as woodworking. If you are defining it as working with large sheets of plywood and big shiny machinery, then yes you will need to find another home for those outside tools. Besides, shouldn't outside tools stay outside?
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  6. #6
    Thanks for the replies. I'm planning on just working on small stuff. I really want to start making jigs LOL. I think for a while I will just have me a table saw, router and hand tools to start out. I can even take some stuff to work and use out industrial band saws, lathes and other stuff. We don't use the band saws anymore because we have water jet now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
    my shop at my house in NY is 12x20. It is a bit cozy at times in terms of square footage, but you can certainly make sawdust in a 10x18 shop. Drag that shed over to the new shop, string some extension cords (short term) or run a sub panel (long term) out there and get to having fun again in your shop!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    I hope you solve your dilemma in a fun and relaxing way. Wood can be a great relaxer.


    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Croton, Ohio (about a half hour NE of Columbus)
    Welcome aboard Greg. My shop is in a one car garage that measures all of 13' x 18'. There is a post of my layout in the Shop Tours section. Just starting out with a table saw, router and hand tools, you'll be in good shape. I think the key for me was to try to come up with a reasonable layout that left me some floor space to work and to make pretty much everything mobile. so far it's worked out pretty well. Enjoy your time you get in the shop!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Ellsinore, Mo.
    I worked in a 10 x 16 for many years.Work bench across the 10 ft side, drill press and band saw mounted on it. Router table, cabinet saw with extensions,& sander and the planner was parked on that 16 ft wall, other wall was shelves with air compressor under them and a 6" craftsman joiner and a full sized drill press on the other 16 ft wall. Everything was mounted on wheels. The other 10 ft was all door. Worked fairly well..didn't have far to go to any one tool, and trying to work on wife's quilt rack was almost impossible. When we moved, I upgraded to a 40 x 40 shop, lots of distance between tools, but only limited by my skills now!!

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