John’s Small and Portable – Shop Tour

This week’s featured shop submission comes from John, a novice woodworker on a budget. Let’s see what he has to say:
“I want to give a shout out to all my fellow beginner woodworkers on a tight budget like myself. I am not a professional by any stretch of the imagination but I just finished my first project (bunk beds for my 2 daughters) and am totally hooked! I’m finishing college and living in a townhouse so space is kind of tight. It only takes two pictures to completely view my shop which consists of some shelves and a bench that were slapped together with scraps I found around my parents garage (I should also mention that they were made before I knew what joinery even was), Everything I have is small and portable. The bench holds my router and router table, scroll saw, circular saw, miter saw, clamps….well…lets just say everything I have. I know it isn’t as nice as some of the other shops that have been featured, but looking at them gives me something to shoot for in the future. My next project is end grain cutting boards which I am super excited for! I love your site and videos. It is not an exaggeration to say that my entire woodworking knowledge is based on your videos…kind of scary, eh?”

Hehehe…yeah that is scary, John!!


  1. @John: Gotta link to some pix of those bunk beds?

  2. John,

    That’s a great looking starter shop! I’m a fellow beginner and I’m in your same situation… space is tight and so is the budget! Congrats on getting started and let’s see some pics of those bunk beds!

    Josh in Tampa

  3. Mark Steffens August 28, 2008

    Excellent start to this hooby/passion/obsession (see “handplanes”). I wish I had had the resources (i.e. Wood Whisperer, et. al. ) which are available now when I started 40+ years ago. I still have my B & D 3/8 drill from those heady times. Enjoy the journey! You’re in for a treat!

  4. Tim August 28, 2008

    I’ve been saving up and buying used/new equipment here and the for the past 3 years, but have yet to set up shop. So you are ahead of me!! “Workshop is where you work”… so it’s a real nice one!!

  5. Claude Stewart August 29, 2008

    John great things come from humble beginnings. Having this guy as a role model and teacher, even if it’s just from watching his stuff, is great. He is at least accessible through email and he actually answers it. All my role models I got from TV and that medium isn’t conductive to any interaction. Claude

  6. James in Tempe (http://) August 30, 2008

    I highly recommend used equipment if you are on a budget. I got my tablesaw/workbench on craigslist for a reasonable price. It took a lot of TLC to get it to work better but I learned alot.

    I started by wanting to build bookshelves. Unfortunately, I ended up buying LOTS of woodworking books and I still haven’t built the bookshelves! I now have an even bigger problem.

    I have been able to do some home repair tasks with my “new” tools.

    Good Luck!

    James in Tempe

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