I’m yearning for the day I will have a space at home that is dedicated to woodworking. Right now, as many of you know, my “shop” shares space with books and my computer in my study. It’s a small room, and I have scads of books…and scads of tools. The books – most of which in said room are literary criticism and drama – are arranged by subject area (and by author within each subject) on built-in shelves, so it’s easy for me to find exactly the book I need, when I need it. (Of course, I have to visit other rooms for fiction, poetry, history…but those are well-sorted, too.)
My tools, on the other hand, are stored in a number of small boxes, plastic bins, tool rolls, a couple of hanging tool racks, my tool chest (for which I still need to complete the sliding tills). Others are downstairs in the dining room in a bookcase that I use as a china cabinet. So alongside my Louisville Stoneware dishes are a couple lesser-used planes and saws, a few overflow marking implements and my few “collector” tools. In other words, if it’s not a tool I use a lot, I really have no idea where to find it. (With the caveat that if I’m at home, the needed tool is likely at work, or vice versa.)
So back to my dream: One day (soon, I hope), I will have a room with space enough for both power tools and all my hand tools. (As well as two full sets of hand tools so I can stop ferrying things hither and yon.) And I’ve been planning ways to organize things. While looking around today during a much-needed break from word-herding, I came across the article below (a free download – just click on the link) from the February 2007 issue of the magazine. It’s a good starting point for small-tool organization – a good place to start dreaming.
• The free download is from a special section, “Woodworking Essentials,” that ran in most issues of Popular Woodworking Magazine from late 2003 through late 2008, covering such basic – but necessary – topics as router joinery, case construction, setting up shop, table saw use and much more. You’ll find them all (and 8,000+ more pages of woodworking plans, techniques and projects) on the Popular Woodworking Magazine 1995-2013 DVD (which also includes the video “Finishes that Pop,” from Glen D. Huey).