Workshop Feels Like Home Again

I spent the week unpacking, making and stowing stuff back where it all belongs and today for the first time it felt right. We start filming again next week with some new projects planned so I am sure it could be a bumpy road for some elements. Anyway, this is how the new shop is looking now. It will be a few weeks before the new building for the studio proper will be done and soon we will be putting up the plans for all we are doing this year which includes the New Legacy Woodworking School, some scheduled workshop dates and much, much more.


I have enjoyed this rare occasion when you can actually lay things out and make adjustments you couldn’t easily make before. Micro adjusting is a creative process to refine your efficiency so even though this looks nice too, it all revolves around the efficiency of working, economy of movement and so on.P1160504

Some of you have asked about visits to the workshop. I’m sorry to say that that doesn’t work as we are almost always in some production mode that can’t be interrupted or there will be no blog, no youtube videos and worse still no woodworking masterclasses. That said, we do plan an open house week in May and will post the dates for planning shortly. After that we will have additional Saturdays for visits and these too will be scheduled periodically for planning purposes.P1160497

I will be updating plans and developments as the schedule begins to unfold. Soon spring will be here and of course that’s a great time to plan a class, a visit and so on.

31 thoughts on “Workshop Feels Like Home Again”

  1. Thanks for the images showing all the tools. It will help when I tell my wife I need more tools. I know she will say why, then I can say Paul has one. The all the cool kids have that tools played out after I got a froe.

    Seriously though, very nice looking shop.

    1. Not at all. This a filler workshop until the new facility is built. I also have a home garage workshop.

  2. Paul Dallender

    Paul I’d give my right arm to have a workshop a quarter that size; and as for the tools…..woodworkers heaven! I have a very small garden and once I’ve built a new storage shed to put my gardening paraphernalia in, I can commandeer my modest 10×6 concrete shed as my woodworking getaway. So like you Paul having a place for everything and ensuring they are kept tidy and making the most of the space you do have is important. Oh well, maybe I won’t be building any yachts but if I become competent enough, I’ll still have room to build a decent size cabinet. Mind you, there is one positive in having a small work space…less distance to walk to the kettle for that all important cuppa!

    Can’t wait to see your first video offerings from the new workshop. Will you be doing another video guided tour like the one you did at the castle?

    1. Probably, and I haven’t always had ideal working workshops either. I have worked out of my kitchen and living room, sheds like yours and then many other circumstances.

  3. You look very contented in that shot holding the plane. You have had so much going on, so thanks for taking the time to let us all have a peek. Great looking shop, love the open beams.


  4. I was amused when Paul described his new kitchen as fully loaded ready for working…ah he’s got a covert kitchen workshop. Great looking space, love the huge planes and saws.

    I’m intrigued by all the molding planes, are there plans to shed light on their usage and is there an equivalent approach as with planes and the Stanley #4 smoothing plane? if there is, how to use a few to build more complex profiles, and maintaining the irons. I’m keen to add molding planes to my ‘shop’ and projects, read lots, but not quite feeling like I got enough info to actually get started.

  5. Looks great and coming together very nicely. A serious arsenal of planes to be sure! Is a fall offering of a 9-day class in the realm of possibility?

    1. Yes, we will have some nine day workshop courses later this year and possibly one even earlier. Re the planes. I have some collections of bench planes by category or names. For instance I collect the now very rare I Sorby bench planes. The on the other hand I collected #4 bench planes by makers that are rare too; Mathieson, Preston, Spear and Jackson and so on. These now include Clifton, Lie Nielsen, Faithful, Silverline and the list grows with Chinese knockoffs so I may stop as I was only looking for rare ones.

  6. Well planned and presented.. Very tidy and not a bit like my clutter. What in your opinion is the correct working height for a work bench?

    1. In my search for good bench heights the general consensus followed the common source of misinformation and that was that a lower bench height was best, but this led to an equally common issue and that was low bench heights cause great discomfort resulting in severe back pain for many. Indeed this week I worked for a little while at a low bench and was reminded of the complexities we face when trying to find the right bench height. Once those that followed the low bench height advice raised the benches on blocks by as much as 6″ the back pain stopped and they found much greater levels of working comfort too. From there on it was just a question of tweaking the height with shims to find the perfect height that suited individual physical needs, which of course will vary from person to person depending on such things as age, strength, physical stature and much more. I am a diminishing 5’11 and have worked at 38″ for nearly 50 years. With no back pain suffering ever except for if, as I have, I lift, pull or push something I knew better not to do, i feel this ‘benchmark’ height can readily be scaled using that as a possible starter point. I never had any back pain related to my workbench working and I have stood within one foot of it 8 hours a day, six days a week year in year out since 1965.

  7. Ah, the lighting! I put a big strip light in over my workbench but even with that (and the bench being up against a window) it just doesn’t come close to the natural daylight you are getting from the roof lights.

    1. It is always hard to replace natural roof light with natural wall window light or fluorescent light. Wall windows create shadow whereas roof lights generally don’t and especially with a pitched roof with roof lights from both sides. Roof light is the way to go and especially so with the fibreglass reinforced roof light you get these days that are so much clearer than the old ones that gave a yellow hue to everything. We have LED fluorescent tubes for overcast days and night time that work well too as these replace the old T8 tubes quite nicely.

  8. Indeed you look contented there. It looks like a good place. The Big Saws hanging on the beam should suffice to ward off evil spirits. Did I just count sixteen marking gauges? No wonder it is difficult to find the right spot for everything. No offence, I have ten tape measures lying around and still that seems inadequate.

  9. Chris from Belgium

    When you were in Wales, you sometimes did saw Saturdays, where you taught saw sharpening for an afternoon, it would be great.
    Chris from Belgium

    1. We will be having one and two day workshops for planes and saws as soon as we have the work area floored and the benches in place. That’s only a few weeks away.

      1. Edward Williams

        Can you tell us where we can get notification of theses dates so we can book them please

  10. One quick question – what is the mat on the floor by the workbench? Is it some sort of non-slip mat?

    1. Interlocking, jigsaw-edged squares. Not for n0n-slip mat even comfort but to protect against a dropped plane on a concrete floor. Concrete and hand tools have never done well. A plane will always break the sole of a plane every time.

  11. Reinoud Delporte

    Can you make a video or a blog post of those chisel racks? They seem very handy and a nice beginners project.
    I love the big saws and planes, it would be nice to see them in a video as it becomes very hard to see them at work nowadays.

  12. Hi Paul, It’s good for me that you have moved to Oxfordshire as I’m just down the road in Buckinghamshire.

    Have you any tips for local timber yards? I’m just starting out and would appreciate a point in the right direction.

    See you at the signing next week

    1. I will be recording my own passage as we settle in here in the area over the coming weeks. I think it will help everyone.

  13. Eric Johnston

    I am intrigued by the hindmost of the two-man saws hanging from the roof-truss. Is it a pit-saw for ripping down billets?

  14. Ken Berregard

    Your new “creative space” looks great and as usual is quite an inspiration builder. I just recently completed my workbench based on your blog entries and YouTube videos and couldn’t be happier with the results. As a bit of a tribute, I’d like to paint it close to the color that most of your work pieces have. If I remember right it is a period color correct? Does that tint have a name or code associated with it?


  15. Regarding rubber mats mentioned above:
    Fortunately … years ago I “inherited” a garage space with badly cracked concrete floor.
    Decided to level it with 2×4 @ 24″ flat then added tapered 2×4 @ 16″ vertical (quite a bit of time to adjust levels by tapering – added plastic moisture barrier and insulation) … Flooring is now 4×8 sheets of osb boards screwed to 2×4 (the verticals).
    “Fortunately” that the floor was badly cracked or I probably would have lived with the concrete. A couple coats of polyurethane later I have a warmish, sweepable shop floor … Need to use broom more often.
    I admire your lighting too … Natural Light from at least two directions almost always successful.
    Looking forward to seeing the Oxfordshire shop … later this year hopefully.
    Note correction to my email. … Added a “g” to make it correct.

  16. Edward Williams

    I hope you are planning on doing a video on your clamp rack as that is what I need to do to tidy my small woodworking shed

    1. Hello Edward, With my workload constantly increasing I felt it necessary to take a year out to rethink my personal direction for one on one teaching. I feel at this stage I will not be teaching classes in the near future but I am not saying I will not hold classes again. I am working one on one on more specialised instruction that follows my interest in teaching and training high functioning autists as well as working in other areas of autism.

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