Arts & Mysteries: Small-shop Efficiencies
by Bob Rozaieski
I’ve worked in a small workshop for many years now. Many, if not most woodworkers, would classify my 7′ x 13′ space more as a closet than a workshop. In fact, I have seen some master-suite walk-ins that were indeed larger than my shop.
The challenges of woodworking in a small space are fairly obvious to most people. Many of the luxuries that are afforded by working in a large basement, garage or stand-alone workshop don’t exist in a small shop. Nonetheless, one can work efficiently; the secret is to simplify and stay organized.
Start with the Workbench
The table saw is often considered the heart of the shop and is typically the first machine purchased and moved into place. The problem is, table saws have large footprints and require a lot of open space on at least three sides in order to function. In a small space, this leaves little room for anything else. If you only have a small space to work in, I suggest forgoing the table saw and finding other methods of doing things (a band saw for ripping for example). And for hand-tool-only work, well….