Slipping the tools up the ramps and into the workshop I became aware of my working space again. I recall my travels over the years and whenever I have spent more than a few weeks in one place the first thing I’ve done is create workspace where I can whittle on wood, photograph my work and my working and also write.

You know, most of my writing is unpublished. I write every day because I like to record and release articles periodically for my fellow woodworkers to glean from. To do this I keep a journal every day in which I write and sketch and draw my work. I keep records of the things I design so that I can reference material cutting lists, check material sizes and much more. It’s in this workspace that I reflect on designs, make changes, remain true to a design concept, which includes joint details as the one shown here.

This too is all intrinsic to my creative workspace and I encourage this as a pattern of work in my apprentices and students. Here I also record details and thoughts for my current and future articles. I’ve been published a dozen or so times over the past 18 months and I record the details needed for them in my journal as I go. Its from my journal that this series of ‘My creative workspace’ articles comes from. I jot down thoughts. They make me think through the processes, rehearse difficult steps in my head and then commit them to hardcopy paper. Before I begin any project I always have the steps fully worked out, I have encountered the problems, worked them through in my head and when I begin I am fully conscious of all of the difficulties.

The images here show my rough drawings from my journals. They go back years, but they still have great value to me and to others also. This is my workspace on paper. It doesn’t matter if you are good at drawing, draw! You will get better and as a memory aid you’ll soon find that it becomes quite indispensable.

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  • Thomas Olson on Sharp TalkingI also love to sharpen. One of the greatest ways I know to relax.
  • Dennis Sheehan on Sharp TalkingAs a plumber I drilled or cut many round holes usually anywhere from 1/2” through 8” and the benefit of a sharp bit and new worm was self evident at the end of the day . The master…
  • Joe on Sharp TalkingThanks Paul. I followed your advice regarding diamond stones. Have my three and have never looked back. They work well and I'm blissfully ignorant of any other way and happy to rem…
  • Patrick Sadr on Sharp Talking"I do use a coarse abrasive, cloth-backed, to reestablish a damaged bevel and so on, or if I have gone out of square." Paul could you please go on about this? I do vaguely remember…
  • Brandon Wilson on Sharp TalkingPaul: *is an expert and a Sellers and talks about sharpening* Also Paul: *complains when "expert sellers" talk about sharpening* (yes, I know I'm not the first and probably won't b…
  • Jerry Stark on Sharp TalkingI certainly agree with Paul on this one. The more time I have spent wood working, the more I have realized that it is better to build skills than it is to buy machines. (I could ha…