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.

  • Thomas on Plywood Workbench AnniversaryThank you! that's a good idea :-)
  • Paul Sellers on It’s All in the JoineryThe main reason never to hollow grind though is one) the general and unnecessary excessive loss of steel, two) overheating the steel and even burning it, three) the need of some ki…
  • Mark D. Baker on If You Need a ReasonFor about 40 years, I was involved in heavy construction. I gauged my work effort by my food consumption and weight each Monday morning and the following Friday. Each Monday, if my…
  • Ed on It’s All in the JoineryI think they hollow grind because A) New tools are almost universally thick blades, often cryogenically hardened B) They believe that the only way to have a sharp edge is from the…
  • JOe on If You Need a ReasonYou raise a good point Paul about physical labor. I faced a dilemma back in the late 1990s. I had finished my schooling and moved back home to start my career. My grandmother lived…
  • Joe on Furniture For Your HomeThanks Paul. Looking forward to it all. Any chance you can give us a vlog walkthrough on the ideas bouncing around in your head? I'm not trying to get you to commit to anything but…
  • Ed on It’s All in the JoineryWilliam Nenna, yes, this is what I mean by them sharpening differently. If you buy a grinder, hollow grind, etc., there's no issue. If you use water stones and a jig, there may als…