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Forum topic by a1Jim posted 12-09-2012 09:54 PM 3614 views 0 times favorited 80 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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118161 posts in 4587 days

12-09-2012 09:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi folks
In viewing projects and shops on LJs . I’m sometimes embarrassed when after seeing shops on line 5 times larger than my house and shop combined and that look like their finished inside like someones living room with all high dollar equipment wall to wall . I then catch my self thinking if my shop was only larger or it would be nice to have a particular tool that I don’t have. Then other times I find myself being a tool snob,thinking to myself thoughts like that person will never make anything worth while with that $99 table saw. I then catch myself from that kind of wrong thinking and think, no matter what tools and shop environment a person has it’s the passion,drive, patience and talent that turns out there project. I believe this to be true .I have seen folks on Ljs that work in closet size shops that turn out master pieces beyond my wildest dreams ,then there are those who don’t even have a shop or much in the way of tools or materials but still press forward to follow their passion.

So I contend that the perfect shop is were every you work with what ever you work with makes it perfect for you because you are working with wood and pursuing your passion.

I salute those of you who have limited space,tools and material but still press forward. Thank you for your passion ,your an inspiration to us all.


80 replies so far

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4741 posts in 3244 days

#1 posted 12-09-2012 10:07 PM

Well said, Jim. I’ve had those same (fleeting) thoughts!

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL All my life I've wanted to be someone. I see now I should have been more specific.

View Dez's profile


1172 posts in 5088 days

#2 posted 12-09-2012 10:08 PM

Jim, I have to agree with you about all that!
All it took for me was loosing it all and still having the woodworking bug bad enough that I learned to work out of half of a two car garage. I still sometimes miss my big stationary tools and the room to set them up but hey, I can still make some killer stuff!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3418 days

#3 posted 12-09-2012 10:15 PM

Great thoughts Jim. When I started out in woodworking 2 years ago, I worked in my den, on my back porch, and in an open door garage…...........and it WAS Winter-time and cold! I now have a shop I helped build, better tools, and a passion that cannot be calmed. LumberJocks and all the people on it have taught me dang near all I know and I continue to soak it all up. Thanks for being one of those teachers.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 3297 days

#4 posted 12-09-2012 10:25 PM

Well said Jim.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5063 days

#5 posted 12-09-2012 10:27 PM


That all makes sense…

It’s just like… The more money you make, the more you spend…

And that amount for a given person May be 2x, 4x, 10x, 100x times as much as what you do…
... a little of something is all relevant as to what is a lot of something…

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence…

etc. etc. etc.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

#6 posted 12-09-2012 11:01 PM

Great post Jim I believe it is not the cost of the tools you have or even how big your shop is its how you use the space and the tools that counts. I work in a single car gargage with Laura and we do just fine even if our garage is wood and tools I think we put out some great product and our sales prove it.

-- (L an D Woodworks)

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4314 days

#7 posted 12-09-2012 11:05 PM

you are exactly right Jim, ive seen shops that are the most grand looking shop ive seen, and then ive seen shops where i saw there tools and thought they would not produce the quality type work, then to go look at there projects and be blown away with there talent, yes and i have even seen some smaller shops that were smaller then mine but set up so nicely that i envied there shop, but each persons shop can be the place that masterpieces are made, i think we should each be grateful we live in a country where we can have nice shops, and stores to go buy needed tools or wood, there are many places in the world where getting the tools is hard to do, the other day i saw a video of a guy making chess pieces right on the street, using a foot powered lathe and he was not in any kind of shop..they were great chess pieces too…im very grateful for my shop. and even though you have more routers then me, i still like ya..:)

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20263 posts in 4686 days

#8 posted 12-09-2012 11:07 PM

I don’t pay any attention to shops, but I look at all the projects.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4747 days

#9 posted 12-09-2012 11:27 PM

I agree with you Jim,

I was 3,000 miles from my decent shop this last summer building a custom cherry kitchen under a 10’ x 10’ canopy and a very small single car garage. Everything was folded up each day and set up again the next.

It is not always the best shop and tools but how to use what one has at hand.

Here is the result: The doors are solid book matched panels and the side panels are custom book matched veneer.

I would like to note that Charles Neil did the finish on the cabinets and we also did the re-sawing of the solid panels on his band saw.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4755 days

#10 posted 12-09-2012 11:32 PM

Well said, Jim. Many a time I’ve thought about trading in the old Delta contractor saw that I’ve been using for almost 15 years, and upgrading to a nice cabinet saw, but then I think, it won’t make any difference in the way I cut lumber. Or scrap my old workbench, that I made from a solid core maple door. It does everything that a new custom made Roubo can do. And I don’t think that if I finish putting up the rest of the sheet rock on my shop walls, it will make a difference in the finished products coming out of my shop. So, like you said, it’s better to put your energies into creating the best piece of woodwork that you can, with what you have. The satisfaction is the big payoff, especially if you’re doing more with less. Thanks for the post.

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4587 days

#11 posted 12-09-2012 11:35 PM

Thanks for all of your input gang.

Wow they turned out great,it doesn’t hurt to have Charles as your finisher . Beautiful work a excellent example of what I was talking about. Three cheers For John hep hep hooray .


View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5063 days

#12 posted 12-10-2012 12:36 AM

John Ormsby


That is dedication… or making do with what one has…
... God bless those wheels under all of those heavy things… They make a huge difference!

That is a very nice table saw… proving it doesn’t have to weigh 300 lbs. to be good… LOL

Wonderful work, John

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View HorizontalMike's profile


7913 posts in 3924 days

#13 posted 12-10-2012 12:38 AM

I think you hit the nail on the head! Just make sure you got the thumb out of the way! +10

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View EarlS's profile


4308 posts in 3358 days

#14 posted 12-10-2012 12:44 AM

I find that I like to see what other folks have – not necessarily more, bigger, better, or fancier toys, but the homeade jigs, tools, and set ups. Those are the things that drive my creativity and give me new ideas. Same goes for the projects. Sharing what we do and how we do it betters the person sharing as well as the person reading about it. This is the fundamental reason I am part of LJ – to better myself, and possibly, in some way to add to the betterment of the craft.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3624 days

#15 posted 12-10-2012 12:55 AM

Jim you are so right ,

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

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