Friday, July 5, 2013


We have been trying to sell our house for a year and it finally happened.  The buyer paid cash and required that we be out in 6 days!  The past week is a whirlwind; all of our possessions are in storage and we are homeless, a strange sensation.  We always spend much of the summer camping anyway, so it isn't that bad for now.

Woodworking space is a major priority in choosing what will likely be the last house we buy.  Even though you don't need to park your cars in the garage where we live, a two car garage simply wasn't adequate to house my workshop and have space for a motorcycle, four bicycles, camping gear . . .  I won't buy a house without a three car garage, space to build a workshop or a tandem three car garage.  The latter is new to me but seems like a great idea:  at least one of the two garage bays is double depth.

As Bob Rozaieski, Shannon Rogers and others demonstrate, one of the great things about hand tool woodworking is that you don't have to have that much space.  The equivalent of one garage bay is completely adequate as long as it is dedicated.  Sharing space is doable but I found it a drag: every time you work in your shop you have to move stuff around.

One thing I won't do is work in the house like several prominent woodworkers do.  My wife would kill me and no jury of her peers would convict her of a crime.

I also need space for the few machines I am going to keep but they fit comfortably along one wall:  bandsaw, drill press, jointer, planer and a shelf of portable tools.

It was surprisingly easy to move my workshop.  The bulk of my handtools are in the big tool chest which rolled right up into my utility trailer.  The machinist tool box I made travels easily.  The hardest item to move was my bench, which is a beast but I was able to back my utility trailer right up to it and slide it up a ramp.  Not as bad as I expected.

The other way in which woodworking affects our choice of a new home is a reaction to the construction quality of newer homes.  It often makes me grimace and I try not to look too closely at cabinetry, moldings, etc.  On the other hand, when I go into a house that is well-made, I really brighten up.  It is such a pleasure to see a well-made house and they do exist, even among newer, middle-range homes.

I am thinking about how I might do woodworking while camping but, in the meantime this blog will be on summer break.  Stay tuned.


  1. Hi Andy,

    Congrats on selling the house. When camping, you could always grab an axe a couple of knives and try your hand at spoon and bowl carving. Good luck with finding a new place.


  2. What an exciting time. Take your time and enjoy the search... and get what you want/need! Might I suggest spoon carving ala Peter Follansbee for some campside woodworking?

  3. Goes to show the if you have a decent realtor things happen.. That was pretty quick. Looking forward to revitalizing the wood planes when you get resettled. Congrats


  4. Congrats on the house sale and good luck in the search for a new shop...err...home.