Remember your very first real shop? Sally was digging around through photographs and came across a picture of my very first real, permanent woodshop. Oh, I’d been woodworking for more than a decade, but it was always in a not-a-real-shop location, like the patio, driveway, porch or any other area where I could swing a hammer and make some sawdust.
But when we bought our first home with a basement back in the ’80s, after framing out and drywalling half the space into a family room, the rest – the smaller leftover portion – was mine. I quickly claimed a small corner, threw some OSB and pegboard up on the bare studs, and installed an L-shaped laminated kitchen counter left over by the builders. (Our unit was the last one they finished, and it was their dumping ground for several hundred dollars worth of construction material they never came back for.)
Some quick and dirty shelves and a bag of pegboard hooks was all it took to create my first dedicated workspace. Yeah, it wasn’t much, but that photo above is a bit deceiving. There’s a bit more basement off the left side of the image that would later house a 14" Makita band saw, a 6" jointer, 12" planer and a portable table saw (all on wheels because I had to use them one at a time). But at the time this photo was taken this was pretty much it.
And to me, it was the sweetest thing in the world. I tweaked this small shop a lot – including moving part of a wall farther into the family room to get some more space in my work area – in the 18 or so years we were there.
After that I had 440 sq. ft. of garage shop at our new home when we moved to West Virginia in 2004, right on up to my current 1,2000-sq.-ft. shop in Pennsylvania. I’m amazed every day by how awesomely roomy and well equipped my current woodshop is, but there’s something about that little corner, tiny as it was, that I remember with more fondness than I realized.