By Joshua Farnsworth
I’ve always loved planning what I’m going to do with a space, and my first traditional workshop was no exception. I feel very fortunate to have a walkout basement with nice natural light, but my space is very limited to say the least. But that’s the great thing about traditional woodworking! All you need is space enough for a workbench and some storage shelves. I hope this guide inspires you to create a traditional woodworking workshop where you spend countless quality hours creating beautiful furniture! Please send me photos of your workshops!
Where can you put your woodworking work shop?
The beautiful truth about traditional woodworking with hand tools is that you don’t need much space to get started; just a small room. A couple years ago we needed to move into a new house with more bedrooms, but with a much smaller basement. Because of this I sadly sold most of my big power tools (table saw, jointer, band saw, router table, etc.). But this apparent setback was really a blessing because my 8’x14′ basement space was perfect for a traditional woodworking shop! Heck, you can even use a spare bedroom if you have to.
Sketching Your Workshop Space
Part of the fun of getting involved in traditional woodworking is planning where you’re going to put your new workbench and beloved tools. I like to just take out some grid paper (you remember it from high school algebra, right?) and sketch away! It will help you see if you’ve got enough room for that dream workbench, plus all your tools.
Woodworking Hand Tool Storage
It’s no secret…I’ve become obsessed with traditional woodworking hand tools; both old and new. Hand tools are so beautiful that it would be a shame to store them in a closet or under your workbench where you (and let’s face it…others too) can always see them. That explains why so many traditional woodworkers spend so much of their woodworking energy on building display cases, shelves, and tills. But it’s not all for showing off our “babies” and gratifying our tool lust. Our “babies” can break a handle or shatter a plane body if not securely stored. The above video shows how I store (and display) my coveted tool collection.
Shortcut to 10 steps:
- Step 1: Buy the Right Woodworking Hand Tools
- Step 2: Setup Your Workshop & Tool Storage
- Step 3: Learn how to Tune, Refurbish, & Sharpen Tools
- Step 4: Learn how to Use Woodworking Hand Tools
- Step 5: Learn how to Design Woodworking Projects
- Step 6: Learn how to Choose Stable, Strong, & Beautiful Wood
- Step 7: Learn how to Square & Flatten Rough Boards
- Step 8: Joinery: Learn how to Layout & Cut Joints
- Step 9: Learn how to Assemble, Fasten, & Glue-up
- Step 10: Learn how to Traditionally Finish the Wood