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    Small Woodworking Shops

    by Scott Gibson

    There is no perfect workshop. Any image conjured up by one woodworker would probably be less than ideal for the next. There are, however, many wonderful shops. Contemporary American woodworkers share a common cultural heritage with a nation of resourceful settlers who made do with what could be patched together.

    Hundreds of years later, we still manage to find places to set up our tools and work, no matter where we live. If the basement or garage workshop has become the icon of weekend do-it-yourselfer, woodworkers have also made themselves comfortably at home in endlessly creative spaces. At its simplest, a shop doesn't take much to be successful: a bit of roof, a bench, and a corner where a tool chest can be stored.

    Woodworkers prove as diverse as their shops. Some keep their workspaces fastidiously clean. Their tools are carefully arranged in drawers and on walls, and not a single wood shaving litters the floor. At the other end of the spectrum are spaces seemingly arranged by happenstance. Tools, lumber, furniture parts, and bits of hardware lie abandoned where they were last needed.

    Woodworkers who have been in the same space for many years often accumulate an agreeable clutter that makes them feel at home. Walls are painted or decorated with photographs torn from magazines or postcards. For others, a shop itself seems to hold little inherent interest; it's just four walls and a roof.   >>>

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    This article is excerpted from The Workshop: Celebrating the Place Where Craftsmanship Begins by Scott Gibson, with permission of the publisher, Taunton Press.

     

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    ArchWeek Image

    The North Bennet Street School in Boston teaches students the venerable craft of furniture making.
    Photo: Randy O'Rourke

    ArchWeek Image

    Woodworker Anna Carter is passing her skills on to her sons.
    Photo: Randy O'Rourke

     

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