My workspace is different than my workplace. It’s where I occupy and work, that’s true, but my workspace is the environment where my tools and bench and tool cupboards and tool chests rest. My life revolves around this space and I live a great deal of my life immersed in it. You see, it isn’t so much hanging my tools from pegboard panels anchored to the wall above the workbench that creates my work space. Neither is it a ‘my-shed’ thing, but more a series of ‘pods’ in pods, that generally exist in the form of tills, boxes, drawers and workbenches, cupboards and so on. This series of pods isolates me from the building structure itself per se. If I go into my castle workshop, my tools rest and are podded, moveable, adaptable.

In my home shop I have some differences. Restricted space allows much less movement so my pods must be restricted; customised to fit the available room. Room is determined by the amont of space I need to work effectively making what I make as a furniture maker and not by the amount of stuff I have. Excesses beyond my daily needs can be stowed elsewhere. My essential tools must by right to hand.

Because I use mainly hand tools, I need only a fraction of the space machine-dependent machinists need. My actual workspace needs seldom exceed more than 3′ x 5′. I can make anything in that space. It’s assembly and finishingfinished pieces that consumes space, but this is not workspace.

My son makes violins. His work space measures 5′ x 5′ and that houses a 2′ x 3′ workbench! Again, his pods are available to him in the moveable arrangement of pods and it’s this that gives him the versatility he needs to work. The volumes remain the same no matter the arrangement of the pods, but pods give him adaptable and creative adjustability so he can macro or micro adjust according to need.

It’s often the case that some things, by natural restriction, must sometimes be permanently wall-hung or floor-fixed and therefore immoveable, but my methodology is to create pods that can occupy any space and could if need be or as needed enhance an evolving environ in a customising minute ways until the workspace fits in a belonging way. Your work space, no matter how temporary or large or isolated, should have that sense of settled ‘belonging‘ to you whereby you belong to it and it belongs to you.

  • D.J. Quigley on A Future PastMr. Joe Renta on 28 September 2020 at 7:01 pm got to it first. That is a damned fine rocking chair. Certainly a worthy project if it would be practical.
  • Terrence OBrien on A Future PastStaircases? My initial interest in hand woodworking came from a staircase in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Google "Loretto Stairs." It's easier than trying to explain the stairs. They are…
  • Steve P on A Few Years AgoI was planning on making the small dutch toolchest for travel but i really like this one. I 3rd the WWMC
  • Jeff D on A Future PastIt is nuts that some woods can last centuries in the open air without a synthetic preservative. I went to a state park the other day, maybe yesterday. I saw one of the oldest build…
  • Roger Browning on A Future PastPaul thanks for who you are and what you do. Now for the Texans and that splinter that gets bigger from one side of Texas to the other. Everything is bigger in Texas. When my Texas…
  • Jeff D on A Future PastThe boxwood rule comment slayed me!
  • John on Woodworking BudgetingHi Paul, I’ve been following your UTube videos for months. I’m starting to collect hardware to build your work bench. Recently came across a bench vise in an antique shop that must…