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A Woodworker’s Thanksgiving 2014

My space: the workshop.

My space: the workshop.

Recently, I wrote on Facebook sharing the joy of simply being in my workshop. It was a Sunday morning; a cool Sunday morning. After descending the stairs into my basement workshop, I felt this peace. I took a photo of what I saw and uploaded it to Facebook. I felt lucky. And why not? I had a hot cup of coffee in hand, the space heater was humming and my favorite music was magically playing from my iPhone. Best of all, my woodworking project was patiently waiting for me to scratch it’s back with some sandpaper. So nice.

For 2014, I give thanks for my workshop. I have seen all kinds of workshops: basement shops so small that holes had to be placed in walls so lumber could be cut. Workshops in kitchens (seriously!), outdoor workshops and workshops in apartment bedrooms. Workshops which are not what I would call ideal, but ones where the desire to work wood makes the craftsman or craftswoman take extreme measures just so they can create. Exceptional when you think about it. I am blessed to have a traditional work space.

My basement workshop is a small one, but larger than some. I call it a humble size. My shop is “L shaped” with the main work space measuring only about 23′ x 14′. Running off one end is another area which is 8′ x 14′. I am territorial in the basement. There are parts of the basement which I consider “my space”. As I work wood, I think about this space and how I can make it better, and I have ambitious plans for my workshop.

I am fortunate to have this workshop. I am fortunate to even have a house with a basement. My tools are there; tools most of which have been part of my woodworking for many, many years. Memories are there of the projects that have been built. The success and pride of what has been created with my hands; the designs which came from my mind. There have been challenges to work through; mistakes that made me mad as well as mistakes that made me smile. It is a special place.

My workshop isn’t perfect. There is a fine layer of sawdust here and there. If you look closely at the floor, you will see spots of yellow glue – and paint. I once spilt a whole can of Minwax stain on the floor. There is a support pole right in the middle of my small work space. Like a bad joke; this pole really could not be in a worse location. Even though my workshop has a very common eight foot ceiling height, with all the ductwork, pipes and wires, I have to be careful when moving boards and sheet goods.

None of this matters though – I like it, I am more than happy with my workshop. When it is all cleaned up with tools put away and a furniture project sitting on my workbench; I’ll take in the view and smile. So I give thanks. I am grateful. Thanks to the good Lord above for my workshop.

My messy tool cabinet and pipe clamp area. I'll replace the tool cabinet next year.

My messy tool cabinet and pipe clamp area. I’ll replace the tool cabinet next year.

When she was a child, my daughter made the labels for my tool cabinet drawers.

When she was a child, my daughter made the labels for my tool cabinet drawers.

RELATED: From a year ago; A Woodworker’s Thanksgiving.


  1. Indeed be thankful. I am one who works most often outside and therefore the weather sometimes dictates my project for the day. But I am grateful for the outdoors & the laundry-room lathe! Happy thanksgiving!

    • MV, I know what you mean. 🙂 A workshop could be called a place for mental therapy. And yes, my assembly bench is very easy to move. A photo with it out of place…

      Workshop, no bench. photo workshop-wall-surround-006a.jpg

    • Tim, your comment about the creative process is important. I have that green panelled wall to help make my shop a more inspiring space. The same is true for my router table. It has figured wood in its panels. This makes the space more pleasing to be in.

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