I hate my current shop space, as it does not reflect my revised philosophy of practicing woodworking. It has been about ten years ago, that I went to one of the annual woodworking shows that traveled to Seattle and first saw the Lie Nielsen booth. I was struck by a lightning bolt of inspiration, realizing that there was a more challenging, but I believe, rewarding way to work wood. More rewarding, because it relied not on machinery, but the development of my hand and eye. This should not have been a surprise, because my neighbor when I was a child had both hand tools and woodworking machinery. But being a child, it was the machinery that I associated with woodworking. That was then reinforced by the New Yankee Workshop that enthralled me for many years and became the standard of what a shop should look like.
With the change of more of a hand tool approach to woodworking, came more of a dissatisfaction with my working space. It now seemed crowded and not optimized for hand tool woodworking. If I was starting from a clean slate, making the change would be easy, but when you have a space full of machinery, corded tools, other non-woodworking items; it is a slow process to making a real change. But I always had a dream of a shop with very little clutter and just the bare necessities. I see a lot of shops that are packed to the rafters (literally!) with tools, wood and whatever; with only a small space to move around, but that is not my vision. My vision has always been something akin to the Anthony Hay Cabinet Shop at Williamsburg. Now there is new inspiration for me. The following link is to Jamie Bacon's new shop. It is a confirmation of my own ideas and an encouragement that there are others with the same vision.
I am not alone!
I am a firm believer that your space determines how you work. I continue to work my current space into more like my ultimate vision. The bench was the start and I am close to finishing a tool chest to pull all of my handtools together. This winter I am determined to make a huge transformation that will necessitate getting rid of a lot of tools that I hardly use. And someday soon we will be leaving this house and I will be able to start my space from scratch. I can't wait! In the mean time, for those of you with a like mind, enjoy the link to a great woodworking space.