Sadly I ain’t one of those that can say he’s been in a generations old workshop all of his working life.
There aren’t tools still hung on the wall that my grandad put up, or boxes full of secrets who’s keys were lost lifetimes ago.
Instead I seem to move workshop like a Viking.
I’ve never been able to settle for one reason or another. Change of location, change of work but mostly as I’ve always wanted to do it alone, or my way as I like to say.
I’ve worked everywhere really. Outside in a field, right through to a fully kitted up industrial unit. They’re all had at least one thing I’d change about them, but on the whole they’ve all served their purpose perfectly well.
What To Look For In A Workshop
As a rule, finding a workshop that’s right for you is about being clear on what it is you need from it.
When working with machinery the space required is pretty much dictated by the kit and size of stuff you’re building. Each machine takes up a certain footprint and the perfect workshop would allow for ample space around them, ensuring they’re practical to use and comfortable to move around.
If it’s hand tools that you build with then I’d say that most places can be made to work, you just need to size your workbench to fit the space and bring in your bag of tools.
In this case I’d take advantage of being able to put your focus on making or finding a place that feels nice, so that you always want to work.
I’ve always found the environment to be the most important thing for anything creative.
A dry, heated back bedroom could work very well. You could work in your pants and slippers and you’d never have to psyche yourself up to venture forth into the cold.
The productivity you may lack in the small space you’d more than make up for by wanting to actually be in there.
This whole “in the house working” is something I’ve only just discovered. We’ve temporarily moved home while we get a load of building work done at the barns. I’ve set a little workshop up in a spare room while I’m here, and I love it.
As a professional I naturally need a lot more space, and the filming takes up even more on top, but it still works a treat in here for now.
So what would be my dream workshop?
Well, I do love watching the world go by, so my perfect workshop would probably be somewhere more lively like a town. Maybe the first floor of a shop with great big windows so I can see the comings and goings down below, without being on show. Being on the ground floor though might feel a little like working in a fish bowl.
That really is the joy of hand tools, you can create a workshop almost anywhere.
You can crack on and use what you have even if it isn’t perfect, or if you’re in a position to choose then you really can get creative.
As a little extra today we’ve created a short e-book for anyone asking themselves the question, ‘Why would I do it all with hand tools?’.
It pulls together the concepts that we’ve touched on over the years, giving the reasons that we believe hand tools are the best solution for the individual maker. Whatever your skill level we hope this guide will help you find the route to getting set up and building, and show you a little more about what we do.
You can download it for free below.
P.S If you’re already subscribed then you’ll find a link to this download in your notification email for this post.