As I mentioned in my last post, the new workshop is going to open up a lot of options for the projects I work on. Previously I had two workspaces, a 9′ (2.75m) x 3.5′ (1m) space in the spare room of my apartment and a 2.5′ (0.76m) x 4′ (1.2m) mobile work bench in my parent’s garage.
The apartment space was nice but limited in size. As can be seen, with a CNC machine and a 3D printer there was hardly any clear workspace left over and minimal storage. There wasn’t any room for more tools and all projects had to be packed away if I wanted to work on something else. Another limitation was the requirement to keep the noise levels down while working. This meant that my CNC machine had to have a low power spindle instead of using a full speed router. The limitations of apartment living is one of the reasons I got into hobby electronics. If I had access to a wood shop at the time I don’t think I would have spent the time playing with Arduinos and other apartment friendly hobbies.
My other space was this mobile work bench that I kept in my parent’s garage. The bench is a modified version of this design from Wood Magazine.
As can be seen it is equipped with a drill press, disk sander, wood lathe and a grinder. When not in use it tucked neatly away in a corner of the garage it was design to fit into. The downside of this set-up was that my parent’s place was a 20 minute drive from my apartment. This meant that a small job that took half an hour would require two hours to complete when travel time, set-up and clean up were taken into account. Having my shop in the basement will mean that travel time will be counted in seconds and I will have all of my tools set up and ready to go once I get there. As with the apartment, space was at a premium. In my new shop I hope to have room for the combination of a table saw/ jointer/ thickness planer which will allow me to take on more traditional woodworking projects. I also hope to incorporate metal working equipment in the form of a mill and/or lathe that I simply didn’t have room to consider before. The extra floor space and the fact that I don’t have to put everything away to make room for a car when I’m done, will allow me to work on projects that are physically bigger in size.