I’m sure I’m not the only reader who is astounded by the pristine, seemingly unused shops that frequently appear in this department. Here are a couple of pictures of my shop, showing the carnage after turning two salad bowls and sixteen serving bowls as wedding gifts. Piled in front of my bandsaw are left-over scraps from sawing the logs. Under the saw is sawdust. Stacked not-soneatly behind the saw are short pieces of wood that are too beautiful to burn. The old filing cabinet in the back is full of machine manuals, paper, patterns and other shop essentials. I found the stacked blue tackle boxes—now full of square drive screws—at the town dump.
I took the lathe photo after removing most of the mid-calf pile of shavings created during the bowl-turning. As any turner knows, you need lots of sandpaper—check out the yellow Klingspor bargain boxes. The old hospital light (I’m an ER physician by day) provides great illumination for bowl turning.
My outfeed table consists of two soapstone chemistry lab tables that I rescued from the old high school. Dead flat and impervious to mallet blows, they also make excellent assembly tables.
Visitors always ask why my shop is so untidy. The answer is simple: My six-month backlog of projects and orders doesn’t leave a lot of time to spend cleaning. So please give ordinary woodworkers— those of us who don’t clean our shops daily—a taste of glory. Those clean shops scare me! –Roger Lafleur
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.