Honest Shop Pictures

I have been thinking of writing this post for some time.

I love old woodworking tools.  They have an aesthetic beauty that many modern tools are missing. They come from a time when form, function and beauty were equally important parts of design and manufacture.

My shop is in what had been a small bedroom in our 100 year old home. I can smell a variety of wood-shavings and the hide glue cooking on the bench. Outside the window I see it is a beautiful snowy day.  This is the image I tend to emulate when illustrating my blog.

I am happy to  grace my blog  with illustrations of tools and shops from old books and photographs or photographs of my own tools such as this one:

planes and dulcimers

This is a set of shelves in my shop. How nice to look at these neatly organized planes and a few dulcimers in progress.

However, a slight change of angle reveals this view:

honest shop picture

Hmmm, not quite as cool and groovy. The grinder has a hard felt wheel I constantly use to keep tools razor sharp. The lovely red and black shop vac keeps everything clean and adds the occaisional relaxing, ambient sounds of a jet engine to the work environment.

The air cleaner works pretty well sitting on the floor though I imagine it will work better when I finally get around to hanging it up near the ceiling.

And the small router table and cardboard box of cotton rags makes an attractive display rack for fingerboards in progress, don’t you think? If only they were large enough to accommodate the lining strips and binding on the floor.

Yet there is hope. I did get a bunch of tops, backs and sides neatly organized the other day:

neatly stacked wood

Almost nice enough for  a feature in “Better Shops and Garages” don’t you think?

As for pictures of pretty tools; here is the saw that I use most often and always keep within reach:

saw and wedding ring

The lovely green plastic handle goes well with the turqoise picture frame on the left. The picture is a collage my wife made for me out of tea bag tags many years ago. And speaking of my wife, to the right of the gray plastic handle of the saw hiding behind the green one you can see my wedding ring. If it is not on my finger then it is on that hook. I take it off when I work but I always know where it is.

Coffee break is over, time to get back on my head……….

4 thoughts on “Honest Shop Pictures

  1. Whatever you say, your shop is neater and tidier than any that I grew up in. It is neat how you can carve out a space, and that space is important. I am spaceless right now and it is a bit like clinging to other people’s rafts and not having one of my own.

  2. You are absolutely right! My wife often refers to my shop as “Doug’s playroom.”

    I took a look at your blog. Very nice! I’d like to link to you if that’s okay with you.

    All the best,


  3. No matter what our workshops look like, they’re always our favorite place in the house, aren’t they? Before we built my above ground shop, I worked in a concrete basement with an unfinished 6′ ceiling and exposed lightbulbs for 12 years. Ugly, you bet. But I still spent every second of free time there. ; )

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