Workshop revamp is completed

DSC_1026Today we put stuff away at last. Actually, we’ve been doing that for a couple of days now, but then we decided to repaint the walls and floors and benches. Before we knew what we were doing we had doubled our workload but needed to complete in the same amount of time. Add into that all of the other things we needed to do and long days soon followed.

DSC_0034There is something about order that facilitates creativity and yet at the same time destroys it. When I am in the middle of a project I tend to keep my tools to hand and ready to go. I have students who make a knife cut, refold the knife to it’s closed, ‘safe’, position and place it out of reach at the other end of the bench where the end-of-day storage place is. So too all of the chisels get placed in order from large to small as if stowed at the end of the day. I think it gives them security. My tools tend to pile up in the well and on the benchtop because I am in the zone and don’t want a break in the flow. Every hour or so I stop and stow the excesses and then I get on with the work again.

DSC_1010The electrical equipment must be PAT tested each year and so every extension lead and plug adapter is tested for safety. We don’t have too much in the way of machines but our new and future work includes some new features surrounding certain types of machine use and so our new and used machines were tested too.

Storing wood in the workshop

DSC_0039My wood racks work better than any I have had before and I have two types. They bring order and access to what can be a terrible clutter. Racks on heavy-duty castors can be useful for moving them if need be.DSC_0044

The workshop has been an evolving process as does every workshop. Thus the workshop remedial work finally concludes today. It’s been a productive three weeks of building under-workbench cupboards, patching plasterwork, rebuilding my work area for filming, painting benches and cupboards and relocating all of the workbenches in readiness for the upcoming 9-day Foundational Course and longer term for our new and free 1-day workshops in the autumn and winter months. My creative workspace never changes too much, but it does constantly change and I think any and all places of productive creativity are always evolving. When the workspace begins the large, most obvious changes take place immediately usually, but it’s the subsequent refinements that for me and others never stop. It’s this engaged process of evolving that makes the space belong to us as user-artisan.

DSC_1009Most of my tools and my workbench  fit in a small portion of the greater whole. My work area is organised perfectly for me in a space of about 10′ x 10′. That space extends beyond my standing-working space and though generally it’s necessary to work anchored by the vise, I like the freedom of four-sided access. Being used to only one vise really helps bring the simplicity I like and I don’t really need clutter. DSC_0040So, seeing my creative workspace emerge from the upheaval all revamps cause, I felt peacefulness being restored.

Growing New Woodworkers

We have steadily grown over the years and on so many fronts, but what has grown all the more is our ability grow woodworkers who never had the opportunities I had as a lifestyle woodworker. My apprenticeship, journeymanship, self employment, entrepreneurialism all help me in providing practical ways to achieve woodworking mastery. That’s why my work is important to me and to those working with me.

Tomorrow and the next day will be testing days where we have a trial run on a variety of  fronts. Hopefully, next week Phil and I will be developing prototypes and building some of my new designs, which will be built in the three month course planned  for our apprentices.

2 comments on “Workshop revamp is completed

  1. Paul, I’d love to know more about your wood storage solution. Also, I’ve noticed there’s a drawer and a cubbyhole on your bench where you apparently store your sharpening stones. Can you write a blog about that?


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