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The day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of present-making season for a lot of woodworkers (myself included). And with that in mind, here are a few spots you can turn to when you need some help or inspiration (or access to a wide-belt sander). Plus, classes make great gifts, and your local community workshop most likely offers opportunities for both beginner and experienced makers alike.

Allied Woodshop in Los Angeles, CA is a community workshop build around woodworking and furniture making. You can rent bench space or sign up for a class. It’s an inspiring, bright space with a lot of opportunities to learn from some excellent furniture makers.


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“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.” -Henry David Thoreau

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Mpls Make in Minneapolis, MN continues to grow and add new tools to their arsenal. Most recently, they put in a metalworking room and added a sawmill to their space. Alongside all of the woodworking machines you’d ever want, there are classes in turning, woodworking basics, welding and a big community of makers happy to share their expertise.

The Bodgery in Madison, WI offers free open shop times on Mondays and Fridays, and members get access to the space 24/7. In addition to a kitted-out woodshop, they have a machine shop, blacksmithing equipment, 3D printers and CNC machines, and a group of helpful volunteers skilled in making everything and anything.


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Happy Monday, Makers! It’s #meetthemakermonday, and today we are introducing Jim, one of the captains of the woodshop! Jim was a general contractor for many years in Indiana before moving to Madison after retiring. He is invaluable to us at the Bodgery, as he is constantly repairing and maintaining our machinery! His years of experience have made him a fountain of knowledge, and he is always happy to share his tips and tricks with others. He is here most weekday afternoons and is always happy to help out our Bodgers with any ongoing projects. To thank him for all he does, the woodshop pitched in and gifted him this @lienielsentoolworks handplane for his birthday last May! As you can see, he was quite surprised! Be sure to stop in and say hi to Jim ? . . . . . . #meetthemakermonday #thebodgery #makersofig #makersgonnamake #wisconsinmakers #madisonmakers #diy #doityourself #makerspace #hackerspace #handmade #midwestmade #wisconsinmade #madison #madisonwi #downtownmadison #woodshop #metalshop #machineshop #lasercutter #3Dprinter #crafting #sewing #woodworkers #woodworking #auto #autorepair #jewelrymaking #wip

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These are just a few of the many shared woodshops and makerspaces that continue to sprout up around the country. Being able to share access to big tools and have others to share their techniques and experiences can really kickstart your woodworking. Plus, taking classes in new techniques or materials is a great way to spend some free time, especially with friends and family. Get out there and make some great stuff!

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

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