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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
 

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A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
Just thinking about it is part of the planing phase. I have found that we tend to impose limitations on ourselves. I used to work with another woodworker that had a table saw, jointer and workbench and his shop space was about 60 sq. feet. (He only needed to turn in a circle to reach each tool). I have also seen other shops that consist of nothing more that a carport. Its a little hard on the tools with respect to rust but it can be done.

The humidity is largely something you can't control but you can deal with it by making allowances in your joinery. But you are right I would consider something to secure your tools. If not then they will tend to disappear. I have two sons that "borrow" mine from time to time and, I am sure probably still have some of them. I minimized this to a great deal by buying tools for Christmas presents ( a win-win situation for everyone).

Keep on thinking and planning. Doing is the next step.
 

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A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
OK, I hate to sound like a commercial, or, at the very least, a broken record, but a 6'x6' area is enough room for a table saw, lathe, 12" disc sander, drill press, horizintal boring machine, bandsaw, 6" belt sander, shaper, and a bunch of other stuff if you get creative.
I'm talking about (Shopsmithtom, here…what else would I say,) a shopsmith. Yes, I know there some limitations in the eyes of some woodworkers, but your space is the big limitation, here. The tool limitations (and I have said this before…that they are more a mindset than actual physical limitations) are a small price to pay for the versatility in such a small space.
Speaking about prices to pay, I wouldn't buy one new. There are a ton of great used ones to be had in the $300-$600 range (even less…I found a nice one for $150, once) which, if you consider the number of tools you get, is a bargain. They seldom break, too.
If you do decide to go down this path, let me know. I can let you know which are the best production dates to look for, and which few you might want to avoid. -SST
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
I thought about a ShopSmith, and they do look seriously cool. I remember watching a demo for a ShopSmith back in the early '80's with my Dad. He wanted one so bad he could taste it. However, I'm leaning toward hand tools mostly. My concerns with shop space isn't so much the tools as the workpieces I could handle in there.

Well, that and my wife wants to put the freezer in there instead of it being a workshop. ;)
 

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A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
If you slipped a shopsmith in there before she got the freezer, you'd eliminate the conflict for space. I'm thinking that it would get cold enough in your house that you wouldn't need a freezer. -SST
By the way, if you're thinking more of hand tools, think fold-away and think vertical, to increase usable area. Actually, if you had a small chest freezer, you could build something fold-away over it and maybe have both uses, also, you'd be close to the popsicles while you work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
Unfortunately, it's an upright freezer (just my luck, ain't it?). Granted, it's not a done deal that it will go in that room…it's more of a case where she would prefer it in there, but only if I have something else for shop space.

The only problem with fold away is that the primary item I know I'd need would be a workbench. Hand tool workbenches need to be very sturdy, something fold away just doesn't seem to do. However, I have been thinking about a small assembly station next to the hot water heater, and making that fold away might be just the trick. Good suggestion!
 

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A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
I had an idea for you.

How about 4 post with a tin roof, and then use 2 4×8 sheets of plywood on hinges as walls. When you want you can prop them up and give you more work area as needed. For security you can use bolts and hasp with padlock. Simple yet effective.
 

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A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
Hmmmm, nothing like a challenge to stir the juices. I think you're barking up the right pine my friend by considering only hand work and the tools that go with that effort. I started with little more than a notion that I might like woodworking. It was in my father's blood and his father before but for what ever reason my dad did little more than expose me to his own woodworking abilities. Abilities that were spare and refined. Spare in their lack of adornment but refined in execution. His joinery was always flawless. I believe that this was due to his unwillingness to spend his hard earned pay for power tools. That's why I inherited more hand tools than power tools. He grew up on a depression era farm in south Georgia, the son of a successful sharecropper and once itinerant master joiner. A title that used to mean something in the world of work but is now relegated to certain volunteers you meet at living museums.

Anyway, working wood is really done only by hand. Whenever the tool you pick up requires electricity you are then machining wood and no longer working it. Machines reduce the time it takes to produce a project. But the lack of them in no way is guarantor of your not being able to make things.

Whenever I can I defer to hand work for a given process. And let's face it, we're processing wood into something else either by spinning blades and bits or handsaws and planes. Sometimes they're useful, sometimes aesthetic and always we hope to join the two. Remember, the first woodworkers had nothing of what we have at our disposal. So fear not and carry on with what'cha got. Learn to sharpen fast and often and don't forget the music. Tunes are always welcome in my shop and using hand tools guarantees I'll be able to hear them.

always,
J.C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
Fireman,

That's a possibility. I need to check building codes though and see what they say.

J.C.

Thanks for the encouragement. All to often, people will default the route that involves spending money unnecessarily, rather than encourage one to gather the skill needed for a given task. Having trouble cutting dovetails? Buy a jig and a router.

Me, I'd prefer to know that, no matter what, I can build. It doesn't matter if the power is out, or there's a trade embargo, or an energy crisis, or the neighbors are having to sleep…I want to be able to build regardless. Hand tools offer me a route to do just that. I can't help but believe I'd be stupid not to take them up on that.

Not only that, but there's something extremely cool about an old tool that could have been my great grandfather's ;)
 

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A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
I think the constraints make us more inventive. A sharp blade, a piece of wood, and somewhere to sit is all you REALLY need. ;)
 

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A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
Another idea might be to have two workshops. Keep some of the space in the 6×6 room but have that outside area as well. I find myself doing a lot of planing out in our driveway (right on the concrete) simply because I don't have a way to do it in the shop yet. I've half thought of putting some sort of cheap easy table out there for tasks too big for my shop.

Also, if you decided to have a wall-less shelter, you could put storage up high, right under the roof, for your lumber and projects-in-process. Should minimize the windy rain issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
Unfortunately, there's not much of an overhang outside. 12" tops.

I have considered an outdoor workbench for large jobs, similar to you planing outside. I just have to do some thinking on that one a bit.
 

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A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
Just thinking outside of the box.

I have seen shops inside of old buses, Semi tractor trailers, Campers, Large tents with hard floors, even in spare bedrooms. what about a shed, you can build them pretty cheap and even get them at auction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A New Beginning

By now, my 6'x6' shop is pretty well bemoaned and documented. Frankly, it sucks. The size of a shop can limit what kind of work you do. Sure, in my small shop I could build toys, boxes, and probably some small furniture pieces. However, I dream about bigger things. I want to be able to crank out highboys and dining tables. I don't want limits, and unfortunately, a 6'x6' shop has those.

Money is a bit of an issue. With the cost of tools, wood to build projects, and the fact that I really hate construction projects, a stand alone shop probably isn't in my future. However, I can't help but believe that there's no other options. So here I am, with a rough plan in my head to share. Now, I'm open to other ideas, since I'm just now really toying with this idea.

First, this is an outdoor workshop. I live in southwest Georgia, where it's warm most of the year. Even when it's cold, it's usually only for a couple of weeks. This leaves the vast majority of the year availble to work in the "shop". Second, size wouldn't be nearly as limited. After all, the back yard should be plenty big enough for even the largest book case I conceive myself building.

Now, there are limits to this. Besides the temperature, there's humidity. South Georgia can be very humid. 90% is very normal around here, even when there's not a cloud in the sky. I can see this playing havoc in regards to wood movement. In truth, this one might be the deal breaker. The only thing I can think of is to use the storage room that is currently slated to serve as my workshop for wood storage, and put work pieces back into the room when I'm finished working. That'll be a pain in the butt, and introduce those same limits I'm trying to avoid.

Since I'm planing on there being some type of shelter, rain wouldn't be to much of a problem. Windy rain, on the other hand, could be a pain in the butt. Whatever shelter would have to be capable of having sides to shelter from the weather, but otherwise be open to the world. I don't want to work in a stifling tent, you know?

Theft is a real concern for me. Any plan would require a way to keep my tools as my tools. A locking tool cabinet or a tool chest that can be transported into a secure area would work. I'd just have to decide which direction I'd like to go.

There's a lot to think about on this plan, so nothing will be set in stone for a little while. Still, it's better to get this worked out now, so I know where this is going, you know?
Mario,

I've thought about a shed, but I hate construction/remodeling projects, and all the sheds I typically see need assembly by someone. Since cash is tight, I can't afford to pay someone else to do it, which would mean me. So, unless I can come up with a lot more money than I think I can, a shed just won't happen.

However, if I do come up with that, a good size shed is my first choice. I dream of something large enough to have a workbench, a dedicated sharpening station, an assembly station, and maybe even a bandsaw someday. Ah…Nirvana on Earth ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yet Another possibility here

I've done a bit more thinking about my workshop situation, and figured I needed to list my all spaces that can be used for woodworking, and how much they can be used.

1. Storage room - at 6'x6', it's smaller than any other workshop I've encountered. However, it can be dedicated to woodworking full time if necessary. If another shop situation reveals itself, it can get some use as lumber storage, so it'll work either way.

2. Screened-in back porch - This space can be used for woodworking, but not dedicated to woodworking. My wife wants a sitting area outside. This does lend itself to the possibility of small tables that serve as end tables while sitting, but serve a woodworking purpose otherwise. However, due to the lay out, there's not really space to dedicate completely to a shop function.

3. Patio - It's about 8' wide and 16' long (guestimating), so it will fit a variety of functions sizewise. However, there's no cover so foul weather could be a significant problem.

4. Back yard - lots of space, all in all, but no shelter or anything else to make it a good shop space by itself.

Now, this is what I have to work with. While my wife would prefer to have the freezer in the storage room, it's not a huge issue with her if it's not apparently. With my assets on the table, here are some of the options I have in mind.

A. Stick with the storage room - The argument can be made that I'm simply overthinking this and the storage room will work fine. Besides, a Chippendale highboy made it a 6'x6' shop is even more impressive than one made in a 20'x20' shop.

B. Outdoor Shop - Set up some kind of awning or canopy and build away. Sure, cold weather will make it difficult to work, and raid could be a problem, even if there are sides, but it's certainly doable. The downside is that an awning or canopy must be bought or built, and I hate construction-esque jobs.

C. Build a decent sized shed - Honestly, if money permits, this is where I'd prefer to go. However, money has to allow for materials and labor. As I've said before, I hate construction-type work…even if it's mine!

D. The "Hybrid" approach - Basically, this is a combination of more than one of the above options. For example, using the storage room, but having the capability to move outdoors for larger projects. Or, build a shop and use the storage room for sharpening or tool restoration.

There's still a lot to think about, and unless some money shows up sooner than I think it will, I may not be able to build a shop period, which just leaves A, B, and D as options.

Right now, I'm seriously looking at Option D as the most viable. Basically, build two workbenches. One for outside work, and another for inside the shop. The outside workbench could double as a BBQ table (so my wife would be happy ;), but could still serve it's original purpose of serving as a workbench. This would be primarily for larger projects.

Within the screened in porch, a couple of small tables can double as part of an assembly table when not being used as end tables for my wife's sitting area. The floor of the porch could serve partial duty as an assembly area during potentially rainy weather.

What I like about this option is the versatility of it. I can do work any time, and any where. I should be able to handle almost any sized project, and the only hurdle would be where to store things after they're done, but I can deal with that one when I get to it.

Who knows though…I might hit the lottery and have my dream workshop before it's all said and done ;)
 

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Yet Another possibility here

I've done a bit more thinking about my workshop situation, and figured I needed to list my all spaces that can be used for woodworking, and how much they can be used.

1. Storage room - at 6'x6', it's smaller than any other workshop I've encountered. However, it can be dedicated to woodworking full time if necessary. If another shop situation reveals itself, it can get some use as lumber storage, so it'll work either way.

2. Screened-in back porch - This space can be used for woodworking, but not dedicated to woodworking. My wife wants a sitting area outside. This does lend itself to the possibility of small tables that serve as end tables while sitting, but serve a woodworking purpose otherwise. However, due to the lay out, there's not really space to dedicate completely to a shop function.

3. Patio - It's about 8' wide and 16' long (guestimating), so it will fit a variety of functions sizewise. However, there's no cover so foul weather could be a significant problem.

4. Back yard - lots of space, all in all, but no shelter or anything else to make it a good shop space by itself.

Now, this is what I have to work with. While my wife would prefer to have the freezer in the storage room, it's not a huge issue with her if it's not apparently. With my assets on the table, here are some of the options I have in mind.

A. Stick with the storage room - The argument can be made that I'm simply overthinking this and the storage room will work fine. Besides, a Chippendale highboy made it a 6'x6' shop is even more impressive than one made in a 20'x20' shop.

B. Outdoor Shop - Set up some kind of awning or canopy and build away. Sure, cold weather will make it difficult to work, and raid could be a problem, even if there are sides, but it's certainly doable. The downside is that an awning or canopy must be bought or built, and I hate construction-esque jobs.

C. Build a decent sized shed - Honestly, if money permits, this is where I'd prefer to go. However, money has to allow for materials and labor. As I've said before, I hate construction-type work…even if it's mine!

D. The "Hybrid" approach - Basically, this is a combination of more than one of the above options. For example, using the storage room, but having the capability to move outdoors for larger projects. Or, build a shop and use the storage room for sharpening or tool restoration.

There's still a lot to think about, and unless some money shows up sooner than I think it will, I may not be able to build a shop period, which just leaves A, B, and D as options.

Right now, I'm seriously looking at Option D as the most viable. Basically, build two workbenches. One for outside work, and another for inside the shop. The outside workbench could double as a BBQ table (so my wife would be happy ;), but could still serve it's original purpose of serving as a workbench. This would be primarily for larger projects.

Within the screened in porch, a couple of small tables can double as part of an assembly table when not being used as end tables for my wife's sitting area. The floor of the porch could serve partial duty as an assembly area during potentially rainy weather.

What I like about this option is the versatility of it. I can do work any time, and any where. I should be able to handle almost any sized project, and the only hurdle would be where to store things after they're done, but I can deal with that one when I get to it.

Who knows though…I might hit the lottery and have my dream workshop before it's all said and done ;)
I feel for you Brother LJ.

In the beginning I had a least a one car garage that was crammed full of tools. I had to pull them out onto the concrete driveway to use them.

Then I graduated to a two car garage with a similar situation.

I finally had enough and built the shop but I had to for my business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yet Another possibility here

I've done a bit more thinking about my workshop situation, and figured I needed to list my all spaces that can be used for woodworking, and how much they can be used.

1. Storage room - at 6'x6', it's smaller than any other workshop I've encountered. However, it can be dedicated to woodworking full time if necessary. If another shop situation reveals itself, it can get some use as lumber storage, so it'll work either way.

2. Screened-in back porch - This space can be used for woodworking, but not dedicated to woodworking. My wife wants a sitting area outside. This does lend itself to the possibility of small tables that serve as end tables while sitting, but serve a woodworking purpose otherwise. However, due to the lay out, there's not really space to dedicate completely to a shop function.

3. Patio - It's about 8' wide and 16' long (guestimating), so it will fit a variety of functions sizewise. However, there's no cover so foul weather could be a significant problem.

4. Back yard - lots of space, all in all, but no shelter or anything else to make it a good shop space by itself.

Now, this is what I have to work with. While my wife would prefer to have the freezer in the storage room, it's not a huge issue with her if it's not apparently. With my assets on the table, here are some of the options I have in mind.

A. Stick with the storage room - The argument can be made that I'm simply overthinking this and the storage room will work fine. Besides, a Chippendale highboy made it a 6'x6' shop is even more impressive than one made in a 20'x20' shop.

B. Outdoor Shop - Set up some kind of awning or canopy and build away. Sure, cold weather will make it difficult to work, and raid could be a problem, even if there are sides, but it's certainly doable. The downside is that an awning or canopy must be bought or built, and I hate construction-esque jobs.

C. Build a decent sized shed - Honestly, if money permits, this is where I'd prefer to go. However, money has to allow for materials and labor. As I've said before, I hate construction-type work…even if it's mine!

D. The "Hybrid" approach - Basically, this is a combination of more than one of the above options. For example, using the storage room, but having the capability to move outdoors for larger projects. Or, build a shop and use the storage room for sharpening or tool restoration.

There's still a lot to think about, and unless some money shows up sooner than I think it will, I may not be able to build a shop period, which just leaves A, B, and D as options.

Right now, I'm seriously looking at Option D as the most viable. Basically, build two workbenches. One for outside work, and another for inside the shop. The outside workbench could double as a BBQ table (so my wife would be happy ;), but could still serve it's original purpose of serving as a workbench. This would be primarily for larger projects.

Within the screened in porch, a couple of small tables can double as part of an assembly table when not being used as end tables for my wife's sitting area. The floor of the porch could serve partial duty as an assembly area during potentially rainy weather.

What I like about this option is the versatility of it. I can do work any time, and any where. I should be able to handle almost any sized project, and the only hurdle would be where to store things after they're done, but I can deal with that one when I get to it.

Who knows though…I might hit the lottery and have my dream workshop before it's all said and done ;)
Oh yeah, what I would give for a one car garage! ;)
 

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Yet Another possibility here

I've done a bit more thinking about my workshop situation, and figured I needed to list my all spaces that can be used for woodworking, and how much they can be used.

1. Storage room - at 6'x6', it's smaller than any other workshop I've encountered. However, it can be dedicated to woodworking full time if necessary. If another shop situation reveals itself, it can get some use as lumber storage, so it'll work either way.

2. Screened-in back porch - This space can be used for woodworking, but not dedicated to woodworking. My wife wants a sitting area outside. This does lend itself to the possibility of small tables that serve as end tables while sitting, but serve a woodworking purpose otherwise. However, due to the lay out, there's not really space to dedicate completely to a shop function.

3. Patio - It's about 8' wide and 16' long (guestimating), so it will fit a variety of functions sizewise. However, there's no cover so foul weather could be a significant problem.

4. Back yard - lots of space, all in all, but no shelter or anything else to make it a good shop space by itself.

Now, this is what I have to work with. While my wife would prefer to have the freezer in the storage room, it's not a huge issue with her if it's not apparently. With my assets on the table, here are some of the options I have in mind.

A. Stick with the storage room - The argument can be made that I'm simply overthinking this and the storage room will work fine. Besides, a Chippendale highboy made it a 6'x6' shop is even more impressive than one made in a 20'x20' shop.

B. Outdoor Shop - Set up some kind of awning or canopy and build away. Sure, cold weather will make it difficult to work, and raid could be a problem, even if there are sides, but it's certainly doable. The downside is that an awning or canopy must be bought or built, and I hate construction-esque jobs.

C. Build a decent sized shed - Honestly, if money permits, this is where I'd prefer to go. However, money has to allow for materials and labor. As I've said before, I hate construction-type work…even if it's mine!

D. The "Hybrid" approach - Basically, this is a combination of more than one of the above options. For example, using the storage room, but having the capability to move outdoors for larger projects. Or, build a shop and use the storage room for sharpening or tool restoration.

There's still a lot to think about, and unless some money shows up sooner than I think it will, I may not be able to build a shop period, which just leaves A, B, and D as options.

Right now, I'm seriously looking at Option D as the most viable. Basically, build two workbenches. One for outside work, and another for inside the shop. The outside workbench could double as a BBQ table (so my wife would be happy ;), but could still serve it's original purpose of serving as a workbench. This would be primarily for larger projects.

Within the screened in porch, a couple of small tables can double as part of an assembly table when not being used as end tables for my wife's sitting area. The floor of the porch could serve partial duty as an assembly area during potentially rainy weather.

What I like about this option is the versatility of it. I can do work any time, and any where. I should be able to handle almost any sized project, and the only hurdle would be where to store things after they're done, but I can deal with that one when I get to it.

Who knows though…I might hit the lottery and have my dream workshop before it's all said and done ;)
I think you have a great plan there!
I especially like the "anything built in a 6×6 is more impressive than in a 20×20"-so always include the size of your workspace when posting a project!!!
AND… get the materials for a dedicated shed and arrange a "barn raising" event where all your LumberJocks friends pop by for a day and they build it for you!! Oh what fun that would be..
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yet Another possibility here

I've done a bit more thinking about my workshop situation, and figured I needed to list my all spaces that can be used for woodworking, and how much they can be used.

1. Storage room - at 6'x6', it's smaller than any other workshop I've encountered. However, it can be dedicated to woodworking full time if necessary. If another shop situation reveals itself, it can get some use as lumber storage, so it'll work either way.

2. Screened-in back porch - This space can be used for woodworking, but not dedicated to woodworking. My wife wants a sitting area outside. This does lend itself to the possibility of small tables that serve as end tables while sitting, but serve a woodworking purpose otherwise. However, due to the lay out, there's not really space to dedicate completely to a shop function.

3. Patio - It's about 8' wide and 16' long (guestimating), so it will fit a variety of functions sizewise. However, there's no cover so foul weather could be a significant problem.

4. Back yard - lots of space, all in all, but no shelter or anything else to make it a good shop space by itself.

Now, this is what I have to work with. While my wife would prefer to have the freezer in the storage room, it's not a huge issue with her if it's not apparently. With my assets on the table, here are some of the options I have in mind.

A. Stick with the storage room - The argument can be made that I'm simply overthinking this and the storage room will work fine. Besides, a Chippendale highboy made it a 6'x6' shop is even more impressive than one made in a 20'x20' shop.

B. Outdoor Shop - Set up some kind of awning or canopy and build away. Sure, cold weather will make it difficult to work, and raid could be a problem, even if there are sides, but it's certainly doable. The downside is that an awning or canopy must be bought or built, and I hate construction-esque jobs.

C. Build a decent sized shed - Honestly, if money permits, this is where I'd prefer to go. However, money has to allow for materials and labor. As I've said before, I hate construction-type work…even if it's mine!

D. The "Hybrid" approach - Basically, this is a combination of more than one of the above options. For example, using the storage room, but having the capability to move outdoors for larger projects. Or, build a shop and use the storage room for sharpening or tool restoration.

There's still a lot to think about, and unless some money shows up sooner than I think it will, I may not be able to build a shop period, which just leaves A, B, and D as options.

Right now, I'm seriously looking at Option D as the most viable. Basically, build two workbenches. One for outside work, and another for inside the shop. The outside workbench could double as a BBQ table (so my wife would be happy ;), but could still serve it's original purpose of serving as a workbench. This would be primarily for larger projects.

Within the screened in porch, a couple of small tables can double as part of an assembly table when not being used as end tables for my wife's sitting area. The floor of the porch could serve partial duty as an assembly area during potentially rainy weather.

What I like about this option is the versatility of it. I can do work any time, and any where. I should be able to handle almost any sized project, and the only hurdle would be where to store things after they're done, but I can deal with that one when I get to it.

Who knows though…I might hit the lottery and have my dream workshop before it's all said and done ;)
I'd love to have a "barn raising" Debbie. Unfortunately, I haven't found any LumberJocks in my neck of the wood just yet :(
 

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Yet Another possibility here

I've done a bit more thinking about my workshop situation, and figured I needed to list my all spaces that can be used for woodworking, and how much they can be used.

1. Storage room - at 6'x6', it's smaller than any other workshop I've encountered. However, it can be dedicated to woodworking full time if necessary. If another shop situation reveals itself, it can get some use as lumber storage, so it'll work either way.

2. Screened-in back porch - This space can be used for woodworking, but not dedicated to woodworking. My wife wants a sitting area outside. This does lend itself to the possibility of small tables that serve as end tables while sitting, but serve a woodworking purpose otherwise. However, due to the lay out, there's not really space to dedicate completely to a shop function.

3. Patio - It's about 8' wide and 16' long (guestimating), so it will fit a variety of functions sizewise. However, there's no cover so foul weather could be a significant problem.

4. Back yard - lots of space, all in all, but no shelter or anything else to make it a good shop space by itself.

Now, this is what I have to work with. While my wife would prefer to have the freezer in the storage room, it's not a huge issue with her if it's not apparently. With my assets on the table, here are some of the options I have in mind.

A. Stick with the storage room - The argument can be made that I'm simply overthinking this and the storage room will work fine. Besides, a Chippendale highboy made it a 6'x6' shop is even more impressive than one made in a 20'x20' shop.

B. Outdoor Shop - Set up some kind of awning or canopy and build away. Sure, cold weather will make it difficult to work, and raid could be a problem, even if there are sides, but it's certainly doable. The downside is that an awning or canopy must be bought or built, and I hate construction-esque jobs.

C. Build a decent sized shed - Honestly, if money permits, this is where I'd prefer to go. However, money has to allow for materials and labor. As I've said before, I hate construction-type work…even if it's mine!

D. The "Hybrid" approach - Basically, this is a combination of more than one of the above options. For example, using the storage room, but having the capability to move outdoors for larger projects. Or, build a shop and use the storage room for sharpening or tool restoration.

There's still a lot to think about, and unless some money shows up sooner than I think it will, I may not be able to build a shop period, which just leaves A, B, and D as options.

Right now, I'm seriously looking at Option D as the most viable. Basically, build two workbenches. One for outside work, and another for inside the shop. The outside workbench could double as a BBQ table (so my wife would be happy ;), but could still serve it's original purpose of serving as a workbench. This would be primarily for larger projects.

Within the screened in porch, a couple of small tables can double as part of an assembly table when not being used as end tables for my wife's sitting area. The floor of the porch could serve partial duty as an assembly area during potentially rainy weather.

What I like about this option is the versatility of it. I can do work any time, and any where. I should be able to handle almost any sized project, and the only hurdle would be where to store things after they're done, but I can deal with that one when I get to it.

Who knows though…I might hit the lottery and have my dream workshop before it's all said and done ;)
Sounds like a great opportunity for a few LumberJocks to plan a vacation :)
(A little far for me and I wouldn't be much help, anyway… or I'd be there with bells on)
 
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