Monday, April 1, 2013

Putting a Small Workshop Together

Well, this is a different kind of post for me. Until this point I have tried to keep every post about a specific toy that I have built. For some reason though, I've now decided to branch out a bit. Expand my scope so to speak.

Relax (he says to himself and no one else in particular)... it is still about toy making. It just that each post won't always be about specific toys. Sometimes it is going to be a bit bigger picture. The point of the site is so that I can share some of what I've learned while making toys so other like minded/motivated types can pick up some things from my successes and or failures. So that's my justification; it's still about toy making (he says justifying it for himself and no one else in particular.)

My tools have been in storage and there hasn't been a lot of "making" for Toy Making Dad over the last year and a half. It has been a bit of a bummer.

We recently added an addition to our house (Seems redundant. What else do you do with an addition other then add it?) Part of the addition is a utility room. The intention all along was for me to have space in there for my stuff. The idea of having that space at the end of the road helped me through the whole addition process.

We are in the home stretch of the addition and the utility room is pretty much finished and ready to use. As soon as stuff started moving in, I quickly realized a few things; chief among them - the space is actually pretty small. My grand designs of foot powered lathes and a mighty hand built Roubo workbench dashed by the reality of a finite universe. In the words of Charlie Brown - "Rats."

But you know what? It's my space and I should quit talking and start making. I made stuff with no shop. No way I'm gonna complain about a small one.

Here is the general layout of the room:
It isn't perfectly to scale, but you get the idea. The areas in red are accounted for.
So, here is the part that is mine:

I have about of 7'x5' space with about 5' along the other wall. Okay, not exactly the New Yankee Workshop, but it's bright, dry, warm in the winter, cool in the summer and has a bazillion electrical outlets way off the ground. Dig it.

So, I'm now the official owner of a small shop space. Time to start making the most of it.

First up... a tool bench.


  1. Well alright then! Let's get this party started!

  2. You'd be surprised how much use you can get from a small space - yours looks about the same size as my workshop, and I managed to find room for a workbench, 2 bench lathes, and mill. I use a lot of wall space and overhead space for storage, and that really helps.


Just Saying...

While we don’t necessarily need more objects, we just might benefit from more making.
- John Dunnigan


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Regular guy who likes to make stuff who lives with a very patient wife, three daughters and three cats.