Arts & Mysteries: More Windows than Walls

peter follansbees shopDetermining patterns of work in a new shop.

by Peter Follansbee
pages 58-60

I’m in the last stages of building my workshop. When I first planned the building, I knew where the workbench, lathe and tool chest would go, but all the minor details were left until the building was ready. Every workshop is different, so for me there’s no real point in reading those “how to set up your workshop” articles. And this ain’t one of them.

My previous shop was a museum exhibit, so the museum visitors were the priority. I had my bench facing the audience, and my back to the windows. The new shop uses natural light, so the bench goes along a wall containing four windows. I’ll get great raking light across my carvings all the time now; none of that overhead light for me anymore.

There are a lot of windows, probably too many. That means few uninterrupted walls, making shelving scarce. Working with green wood puts most of my stock outdoors, which simplifies wood storage.

After being in one shop for 20 years, I’m slowly developing new patterns to my work. I had two temporary setups, which further complicated matters. Now I’m training myself each time I work at the bench. The goal is to unlearn old movements, and replace them with new ones.

Blog: Read Peter Follansbee’s blog.
Article:The Best Oak Money Can’t Buy.”

From the June 2017 issue, #232