I’ve always loved the areas where the work gets done. Where the creators do their creating. Specialized makers spaces filled with specialized tools and specific areas designated to common tasks. Little one-man factories — sometimes as small as an artist’s desk. Others a multi-bay garage for the passionate gear-head. 

I love my shop. I’ve spent a lot of hours there, not just planning and making, but frequently just enjoying the peace of the room. Surrounded by tools and sawdust and in-progress works, it’s a place to calm the mind. 

It has its limitations. It’s a small, one-car integral garage that’s been converted to my needs. It’s too cold in the winter. Everything has to be shuffled around to perform tasks in the less-than-optimal amounts of space. But it’s my place and I don’t complain. 

While I prefer to be grateful for what I have, I’m not innocent of daydreaming of a dream space. Nothing fancy, but perhaps twice the room. Enough space for a cabinet maker’s workbench. Perhaps one day a lathe. Mostly, dedicated spaces within a dedicated space so that regular reconfiguration of the floor plan doesn’t need to occur multiple times in any given project. 

I’ve never placed much weight on these “maybe someday” fantasies. They mostly occur while reading woodworking books and magazines, silently crossing off great project ideas as impractical under the circumstances. But it seems things have changed. 

Even difficult changes can eventually reveal a little shine and the jewel I was given is a new shop. A big shop. So big, that upon digging out my old dream shop floor plans I discovered that I have even more room in my reality than even in my daydreams. I’ll take more surprises like this, please. 

25’ wide. 30’ long. Well-built, perfectly maintained and even a bit of storage above the ceiling. A blank canvas to create my own perfect woodshop. 

The electrician has already been by. In between a steady stream of, “Wow — you really did good getting this place. It’s amazing,” he penciled me in to upgrade the electrical box next week. After that, an appointment with the HVAC guy to give the heating system a go and I can get started on my end of things. 

I’m the meantime, I’m playing with layouts and tool configurations, trying to get my brain to fully understand, “Yeah, this is happening.” A new happy place. 

I’m going to build so many things.

Exterior view of new woodshop