Poll: Where do you woodwork?

the-shopAfter running this website for seven years, I have seen quite a variety of workshops. Check out our Shop Tours section for a sampling. What is very encouraging to see is that regardless of what space is available, motivated woodworkers are doing what needs to be done to further their craft. From amazing 1000+ square foot palaces to portable tools on an apartment balcony, projects are being built!

So that’s what we want to find out from you with this poll: where do you do your woodworking?

This poll was created by Tom Iovino of TomsWorkbench.com.


  1. Scott Dimelow February 3, 2013

    My garage, when it’s not too bloody cold! I plan to stud it out soon, but apparently it’s ‘More important to sort out the house first’ Pfft!

    • james February 3, 2013

      Scott Dimelow .. I feel your pain .. my garage has zero heat … and I live in New england . I bought a 208v heater thinking it would be a help but I might as well have used a cigarette lighter .. We will struggle on ..glue ups take place inside my house much to the annoyance of the the wifey. Another major concern I have is wood movement , when you build something in a cold garage and then bring it to the house your looking at a 50- 60 degree swing..

  2. Eric Afyouni February 3, 2013

    I work in my attached garage in my apartment complex. It’s a bit tight and has only 1 power outlet, but I’m able to do quite a bit. The biggest issue is the lack of light. Thankfully no neighbors have complained yet, even after running the lathe till about 12 am.

  3. Seth H. February 3, 2013

    I built a 7′ 6″ x 12’6″ stand alone shop on my property that was supposed to be a storage shed/bike shop.

    Then I came across The Woodwhisperer pod cast on Itunes a few years ago, and added wood shop to the duties of my shop!

  4. Dave Stanton February 3, 2013

    I have a separate building on my property that has a dedicated area (550 sq.ft.) for my workshop. There is another 400 sq ft that is a double garage that rarely has any cars in it that is connected via a 9 feet wide roller door. Phone, internet, water and electricity (240 volts) and toilet are all connected. The second floor has an office and kitchenette. Great place for overflow accommodation when family come to visit. All insulated and the office is has a split system reverse cycle air conditioner…….Heaven!

  5. Brian Glendenning February 3, 2013

    Power tools in the garage, hand tools in the utility room (which leads to the garage).


  6. Mostly the basement, but since I got a secondhand bandsaw I’ve had to relegate the drill press to the adjoining garage.

  7. Jamie Lynch February 3, 2013

    We recently bought a new house with an existing 1200 square foot shop. I’m pretty blessed!

  8. Troy February 3, 2013

    The wife told me if I built a dedicated wood shop that it was over between us…. Im going to miss her….. No joke…. 480 sq/ft of unconditional love

    • Kyle February 4, 2013

      This made me burst out laughing. Thank you.

  9. We live in a residential airpark, so we have a hangar out back. In this case, hangar means “giant 50′ x 60′ uninsulated sheet metal shed. In the hangar is a 15′ x 15′ shop which is insulated and air conditioned (relatively speaking).

  10. Man…I’m jealous of ya’ll. Especially you Marc (but I know you worked hard to get into the shop you have now). I live in a small two bedroom basement apartment. There’s not much room, so my workshop has been regulated to the 3.5′ x 10′ space underneath the stairs. Which means I have a storage room. If I want to do a project I have to take it outside or find some space inside. But, I’ve managed to make as much use of the space as possible. I rigged up a slanted lumber storage that hangs from stairs, and I’ve put up a lot of rails and pegs to make use of wall storage.

  11. John Fitz February 4, 2013

    Basement shop here – stays warm in the winter, and the house has central A/C so it stays cool and dry in the summer. The main part is 13×17 (-ish), and we just added on to the house so the shop is now an ‘L’ with the other section 11×12(-ish). Also went with a doghouse-style entrance from outside, which beats the heck out of the bulkhead doors we had previously.

  12. Basement Workshop!

    I live in a community of rental townhouses. I have a full size basement, but of course I only get half and the laundry is on the other half but it is good enough for the projects I make and I am glad to have it! Renting does provide problems like when I added my dust collector which is 220v. I just made an extension cord that plugged into the same outlet that my dryer uses. Only problems is that the wife and I sometimes fight for the use of the dryer outlet. :)

    With all of these tools, I am not looking forward to moving when the day comes because several of them need to be disassembled just to get them up the stairs and through the basement door.

  13. Scott Schaffer February 4, 2013

    I’m privileged enough to be a middle school woodshop teacher. Having access to 180 square feet of workbench alone is enough motivation to really, really appreciate the equipment I have access to. I’ve more than started to collect a set of tools of my own, and one day plan to have either a garage or basement shop in which to build to my heart’s content. The next bit is going to be saving for the key fixture tools.

    One day I hope to have two dream shops at my disposal!

  14. Steve Konecny February 4, 2013

    Started out in a shop of my own, but had to sell all my tools when I moved from the west coast to the east coast a few years ago. Seriously guys, I cried. In the bathroom where no one could see me, of course.

    Since the move I’ve been paying dues to a local shop that has a pretty nice wood shop, in addition to a full metal working shop, 2 CNC routers (metal and wood), CAD stations, welding, metal casting, industrial sewing machines… the list goes on. BUT, sharing those tools with other people is kind of a nuisance, and they get a lot of abuse from people that probably shouldn’t be using them. They are constantly in need of repair and are rarely in alignment when I use them, meaning I waste a lot of time getting them setup good enough to use.

    Finally we’re moving into a new house with a big yard and a detached 2 car garage, which I’m having expanded, raising the roof to 11′ and putting down a wood floor to save my achin’ bacon. For the last month I’ve been feeling like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve, except these toys weigh about 500 lbs. each. My kind of Christmas.

  15. Kris Le May February 5, 2013

    i started out my little woodworking company here in Finland in 2010. My first shop was a tiny outhouse storage hut….that was about 64 ft2….The first job i got i didn’t have enough space to build there , so i cut all the pieces there and assembled and finish it in my apartment… In 2011 i moved to a bigger space about 500 ft2….more space only problem was it was damn cold in the winter (which gets to about – 30 celcius here) and very damp as it was an old building. Then finally last summer i moved to a space around, 970 ft2…. with an office/design room, very high roof, about 8 meter. more power outlets that one could need!

  16. jgreasy February 6, 2013

    less than half of a two car garage. Have to share with my wife’s car, and the kids bikes, stollers, etc (unless I’m in the middle of a bigger project, then i make my wife park in the driveway)

  17. ScottM February 6, 2013

    I build on my uncovered patio. So I have to pickup and cleanup completely each night when the sun goes down to keep my tools from being stolen or rained on….

  18. Frank February 7, 2013

    I have a detached two (almost) care garage that has never had a car in it. I have to share with the family for storage space, something I hope to amend soon by building a nice storage shed in back of the garage, then remodel the building itself to be a proper workshop. I also started woodworking and still occasionally do my woodworking in the Camp Lejeune Wood Hobby Shop.

  19. I have a 24′ x 24′ shop about 100 feet from my back door. It’s conditioned year around so I can work in short sleeves. Pretty sweet!

  20. Tintin February 8, 2013

    In my second bedroom of a two bedroom apartment… about 10` by 10` space… I build small stuff….

  21. Stephen Prunier February 8, 2013

    Mine is in my basement. It’s. currently 10′ x 20′. I work 90% with hand tools so the size isn’t a problem. I still have a garage full of tools from my carpentry business, so when I need power tools, I set up in my driveway! Like James, I’m also in N.E. Actually I’m on the North Shore of MA. A few years ago I insulated all of the pipes for my heating system . I have slowly been removing it in areas that I work. Usually it runs between 50 – 60 degrees during the winter. Not bad but could be better. In the future, I want to move the shop to a larger location. Ideally I would love to build a structure that has my shop on the ground floor, and living quarters for me up above. I’m just trying to decide if I still want to stay in this state!

  22. Curtis February 18, 2013

    I moved last year from a 30X60 shop with central heat/air and plumbing. When we moved there i thought i was in heaven. The kids ended up with half of it through imminent domain (wife). I did not want to invest in the necessary vacuum/filter system to operate the central unit…..so ended up not using it. Plumbing made it necessary to heat the bathroom in the winter. We’ve moved and completed a simple 30×40 shop with lots of storage–no plumbing or central units. Kids are old enough they’re not filling the shop up with their junk…..just my junk. Now, i’m in heaven.

  23. Stephen B. February 24, 2013

    I live on the 1st floor (above the ground level) of an apartment complex. We have uncovered parking. We don’t have any place to secure anything outside of the apartment. The management would have a “hissy” if I tried to set up shop in the apartment, which only has room for me and my two cats anyway. I can’t even change a dash light bulb in my car in the parking lot there. So, I rent a 10 ft by 15 ft unpowered, unheated storage area, and have to run a heavy extension cord from a slightly remote outside plugin to power my lathe, dust extractor, table saw, lighting, and benchtop band saw and drill press. I even have two 2 ft by 4 ft by 6 ft shelving units inside. I heat it when necessary with a propane heater. And, while I do have limited wood storage and some things stacked around, it all fits and I even have room to move around and work. My main complaints and the lack of storage and lack of inside power, The lathe and table saw are mobile so they can be moved outside during good weather. I get by, but dream of a dedicated shop with plenty of power outlets.

  24. A dedicated 3 bedroom apartment. Shop tour on my YouTube channel.

  25. Jerry LaBelle March 9, 2013

    Basement – Somewhat warm (60F – 68F) during the winter and cool during the summer. Have a dedicated closed off area for power tools (and sawdust) that’s 23′ x 21′. Another area for assembling, finishing and lumber storage that’s 17′ x 30′. Have a small office that’s 8′ x 12′. Also have direct access from the garage to basement which is great for hauling down material and hauling up finished projects. Still a work in process.

  26. Bogdan August 9, 2013

    Hi all, i try to use a spare bedroom in the apartment (fortunately it’s on the ground floor). However, the space is 11 x 9 feet (3,4 x 2,8 meter) and not much room at all considering all the stuff already in storage there… Plus, in Romania you really can’t find quality tools (you have to import which $ucks). So, you guys in the states are quite fortunate :)

    • SteveH September 16, 2013

      I live in rural Romania, in a house that my wife’s family has had for 120 years. I have a storeroom where I can keep all my tools and do electrical or mechanical jobs but no woodworking as the room is also used for storage of our winter food and fuel supplies – we don’t like sawdust in our preserves.
      So my workbench is outside, in the fresh air, so no problem with dust extraction. It is built from recycled materials and although level itself the actual height above the ground varies by about 14 inches along the length of the bench – this is actually quite useful as I can make use of different working heights depending on the job in hand.
      One big disadvantage is the climate – up to +40C in summer and down to -30C in winter. Major project work tends to be rather seasonal.

    • Alex January 20, 2014

      In the US they as well import for example Festool.. So.. They are not that fortunate anyway.. ;-)

  27. Clei Godoi October 27, 2013

    Acabei de transformar minha garagem em marcenaria,mas estou com um projeto em andamento ja de construir no espaço que tenho que mede 10 x 10m,claro que me espelhando nesse site,vai ficar muito legal.

  28. Gary February 18, 2014

    After 5 years of building the base structure that could support a Mack Truck, I finally broke down and hired a contractor to finish my new 12 x 24 shop. I have a second floor that is 8×12 on each end with the middle 8 ft open to the rafters for those projects where you just need additional height. Being that I didn’t get a permit, I am leery of having the county inspect the wiring, so I have wired the entire unit to run off a generator when I am out there, and I have a 20 amp heavy duty industrial extension cord hooked up to a circuit breaker in the box and have it on the same buss as the lights. so I can run lights without the gen noise.. The fact is, I can run pretty much everything off of the 20 AMP circuit, but I try and limit my usage to just lights. When I am working though, and running the big power tools, I pull the extension cord’s circuit breaker, and use gen power for everything I have a 115/230 30 amp plug that runs to the 100 amp circuit breaker box. Between the 30 Amp Circuit and the additional 20 amp 115 circuts that I can plug up to the power hogs like my dust collection, and Table saw, I am pretty set power wise, and because it doesn’t touch commercial power, I am golden. I insulated and put up the same plywood sheathing that I used on the outside, On the inside, and stained it white. I toyed with the idea of using tongue and groove 1×6 pine for the walls and ceiling ala Norm Abrahms, but decided int eh long run it was way too expensive. I did spring for Utility grade oak flooring from the local liquidators. It is a bargain if you don’t mind piecing in mis-matched and sometimes sub standard flooring material. Sand it, glue it nail it what ever it takes. It sure looks good for a shed floor that regularly has benches, tools and ATV;s rolling around on it.

  29. Unfortunately, our work-space is in my in-law’s house. My husband has a beautiful work-space there and neither of us mind spending time with his family, but it would be nice to be able to work on larger projects at home.

    Maybe when we’ve got more space!

  30. Andy June 5, 2014

    I have a 9m by 5m dedicated woodworking workshop separate to the house here in Perth Australia. Summers are hot, damn hot, and I find seasoning timber is difficult as its all stored away in my shop, other than that Im blessed like you wouldn’t believe.

  31. Jim June 26, 2014

    I have a small shop in my bsement for my lathe, (winter’s too cold in the garage) and I also belong to a woodworking club. The club shares space in a high school.

  32. Tom August 6, 2014

    It is not the number of square feet in the workshop, it is the talent in the woodworker that makes the difference.

  33. Carl December 1, 2014

    Arizona is the opposite of New England. I wood work partially in the garage and partially outside. You have to have sunglasses as the sun off of the table saw will blind you. Mid May, you’re done for a few months. Rule No. 1 in AZ. Never leave your tools in the sun.

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