Setting up shop #1: Clearing the storage room

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Mark Gipson posted 02-24-2009 11:40 AM 992 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Setting up shop series Part 2: Frustration in Thailand »

I made the first steps in setting up my shop today. I already have a workbench but currently it sits outside, not such a good plan with temperatures hitting 36C everyday and the rains approaching. We rent a house on the outskirts of Bangkok which has a small shed sized storage room which was full of the landlords old junk. Today a truck from a local temple arrived with 4 or 5 guys and they cleared it out and took everything away. Now I can start to clean it up, slap some paint on the walls and move the bench in.
It’s quite ‘compact’ for sure, but it seems to be the coolest room in the house and it’s attached to the back yard which is a good size. I plan to put my storage cabinets, router table etc. on wheels and move them out into the yard as required.

Cleared room ready to become a shop

6 comments so far

View TraumaJacques's profile


433 posts in 3888 days

#1 posted 02-24-2009 11:58 AM

Looks like you will be making saw dust soon. Keep us posted. How available is wood in your parts? and what species are common?

-- All bleeding will eventually stop.

View Mark Gipson's profile

Mark Gipson

189 posts in 3768 days

#2 posted 02-24-2009 12:20 PM

I have been making sawdust outside for a couple of weeks but the heat is getting too much for me so I put things on hold until I could get some shelter! Wood is easy to get hold of here. There are 2 streets in Bangkok collectively known as ‘wood street’ with hundreds of lumber yards, carving and furniture shops. I found one lumber yard with rough sawn maple, white oak, mahogany and teak for example. Tracking down what the local species are is proving more difficult, they called them ‘ordinary’ wood! It doesn’t help that my Thai is still poor and the word for wood is also the word for new, no and for asking a question, just with different tones. At the moment I am using rubber wood which is available in planed large boards. It’s ideal for a beginner like myself without access to a jointer or thickness planer and it’s not too expensive, I am using about $3 US worth to build a footstool, not counting the pieces where I learned how not to do something :-)

View TraumaJacques's profile


433 posts in 3888 days

#3 posted 02-24-2009 03:28 PM

Thanks, I am always interested in what woodworkers around the world do.This site is a great way to connect. Are you living there permanently? Oh and by the way the pieces I mess up on just becomes part of my wood collection to built smaller projects.I have a lot of those:-}

-- All bleeding will eventually stop.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4548 days

#4 posted 02-24-2009 04:08 PM

pretty exciting!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3829 days

#5 posted 02-25-2009 04:45 AM

Nice to hear from another expat in asia. It,s a mindtrip ain,t it! I see you,ve met Douglas already. I,m based in the Philippines and the timber situation is similar with all decent wood simply called “good” wood and the cheap stuff just called”coco lumber” and unless you,ve seen it before you don,t know what your getting. Philippine mahogany is made up of a half dozen different species all lumped in together so it gets confusing and so much of it is being, unfortunatly, illegaly logged. Watch that rubber wood, I know its been banned in the EU because of the chemicals used on it but that may be just the malaysian stuff, not sure about thailand. Take care over there, hope to hear more from you soon.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View Douglas Krueger's profile

Douglas Krueger

416 posts in 4111 days

#6 posted 02-25-2009 06:15 PM

Hi Mark,

Welcome to the woodworking side of Thailand, nice to have another LJ member a bit closer. I have been on a steep learning curve for the last 18 months and would be happy to pass on the in’s and out’s as well as the do’s and don’ts but at the moment it is 11pm and work comes early in the am.

I will try to get back to you over the weekend and try to give you some idea of acquiring tools and a bit more about the various woods. For starters, try this website in Phuket which will introduce you to the transliterated names for the woods available in Thailand as well as brief descriptions.

Back again soon,


-- I can so I wood but why are my learning curves always circles

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics