We all have our ideas of a dream shop. Sometimes we all need reminders of what we have.

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Blog entry by DraftsmanRick posted 03-24-2011 05:18 AM 1523 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I went to and island off the coast of Cancun called Isla Mujeres earlier this month. I was walking the streets chatting it up with the locals while my girl friend was worshiping the sun. As I rounded a corner i heard the sound of music coming from what looked like an otherwise empty space. Upon looking inside, this is what i saw. Just thought i would share these pics (sorry for the sunlight) its a very sunny place. This is all this guy had in his shop. A jointer, router, homemade table saw, and a spray gun. With the tools listed its certainly enough to build lots of nice furniture but im only trying to make a point. Notice the table saw. It was basically a plywood top with the motor on the bottom. I didnt really look under it but it was the crudest example of a table saw ive ever seen. I asked if i could take some pics and he said yes. He was working on some cabinets at the time i took these pictures.

The front door to the shop

His assembly table

No fence here, he just screws a guide rail to the top

Jointer in the foreground, radio on a stand screwed to a post thats not even close to being plum.

-- Jesus was a carpenter

10 comments so far

View judgesawdust's profile


36 posts in 3543 days

#1 posted 03-24-2011 05:28 AM

Crazy. You are exactly right; we often forget how blessed we are until we see a stark reminder like you’ve just shown. I bet his end product is amazing considering his tools. I’ve seen many examples of what ingenuity coupled with some crude tools can do!

-- If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3595 days

#2 posted 03-24-2011 06:16 AM

It is the “Craftsman” that makes a workpiece and not the tool or machine. Did you happen to see any of his finished work? I have a timeshare in Cancun, perhaps I should visit his shop and commission a piece.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 3613 days

#3 posted 03-24-2011 07:06 AM

On the plus side, that table saw top looks like it has no need for a ZCI

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 4111 days

#4 posted 03-24-2011 07:54 AM

This guy lives on a tropical island and your all going how lucky we are????

I’ll take the wood table saw in the sun!!!:)

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5166 days

#5 posted 03-24-2011 12:03 PM

Amazing what talented people can do with little. Look at Dilo’s shop.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Schwieb's profile


1914 posts in 4381 days

#6 posted 03-24-2011 01:17 PM

My Dad always said that it was more about what you did with the tools you had than to whine about needing better tools. I think that applies to life in general too and so many in our world today have no concept of that.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 4028 days

#7 posted 03-24-2011 01:36 PM

Actually, his setup looks more elaborate than some I have seen in these types of areas. The tablsesaw design may be quite intentional. I can just imagine the battle with rust the guy would have with a cast iron table in that area.

Thanks for sharing,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 3756 days

#8 posted 03-24-2011 02:33 PM

I notice Bob that you live in WI!

It’s funny, I was just thinking last night that I have the shop of my reality. It’s not the shop of my dreams…not all the tools and brands and equiptment I would want, but it is more than I need and it is a clean ordered space (sometimes). Thank God.


-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 3860 days

#9 posted 03-24-2011 10:33 PM

Hey, he still has electricity! A luxury if compared to some workshops I’ve seen here in Africa!
Interesting post, thanks for sharing.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View DraftsmanRick's profile


112 posts in 3980 days

#10 posted 03-25-2011 05:16 AM

Randy, I didnt see any of his finished work as i was just getting my day started and wanted to go to the area where all the shops were to haggle and buy stuff. Im betting though that his work is sufficient for the area if not above average. In case you do want to check it out, it was at the far end of the island where the Reef Club is. The ferry ticket you have to buy to get to the island will cost you $15 round trip. But the night life there with the locals is great!

Dan True that! And he never has to make any either. Or play with trunions so his blade is parrallel to to his miter slot lol…

-- Jesus was a carpenter

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