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Forum topic by jmurf posted 02-07-2020 04:06 PM 667 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jmurf's profile


22 posts in 827 days

02-07-2020 04:06 PM

HI, I only recently started woodworking. It is very enjoyable. Right now I am limited to a small area of my garage for my woodworking. And as you can see from the title, Chicago winters impact time in the garage for 3 months of the year. I am looking for opportunities to access a shop with a more complete set of equipment and year round access.

Libertyville HS offers a woodworking class one night a week for about 12 weeks of the year. I joined that twice when I had specific projects to work on. Each session (one in fall for 6 weeks and one in late winter for 6 weeks) runs about $175. I have not found other high schools with similar open shops.

I have approached my local HS which has a shop to open it on a weeknight or weekend but no luck.

Rolling Meadows and Arlington Heights have wood shops open to seniors. Almost there. But each is limited to a few hours a day, no weekends. Cost seems reasonable at about $10 a visit.

I think the Chicago School of Woodworking (NW Side) has open shop time if you are also registered for a course.

Any other ideas ? Appreciate any tips on other locations in the area.

Has anyone started a club and opened a full shop? Any guidance on that would be appreciated.


3 replies so far

View Wintergreen78's profile


96 posts in 984 days

#1 posted 02-07-2020 04:53 PM

You could also check local community colleges. Ours has a program similar to the high school one you’ve described. It is part of their “fee-based life enhancement” classes that allow you to sign up without being a registered student.

View ibewjon's profile


2649 posts in 4038 days

#2 posted 02-07-2020 06:15 PM

I know it is the wrong direction for you, but there is a woodworking club with a shop in the South Holland area, but I don’t remember the name. I am near Joliet, I don’t know of anything around here.

View 4wood's profile


105 posts in 1198 days

#3 posted 02-09-2020 02:47 AM

I copied the information below from our condominium email group. You may have something like this in your area. I have never heard of it before.

My husband and I recently needed to build a big plywood crate to ship some boat parts overseas. What do you do when your home is a condo and you don’t have a garage?

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, there is a thing today called “The Makers’ Movement.” These are folks who are creators, people who love to build stuff, and there are museums and libraries and private individuals who create “Makerspaces.” So, that is what I searched for, and I found we have such a place in Broward County.

It’s called Makers’ Lair. It is a shop in Lauderhill owned by a marvelous gentleman. He charges $20/day, and you can use all his tools, including a complete woodworking shop, tablesaw, CNC machine, 3D printers, you name it. It was such a find for us, and he even let us store our crate there overnight because it was pouring rain when we finished it.

If you have a project that is too big for your boat or condo, or if you would just like some advice on a project from a very knowledgeable engineer, check out the Makers’ Lair. I highly recommend it.

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