Monday, September 14, 2009

Shop space / Man cave

The house pictured is my favorite local "Bat Cave."  Southern facing, ability to open up the doors and take in the sunshine - perfect!  There are a few other houses that are similar in the area, but this one is my current favorite.  A 5 car garage with a house over it would be ideal for my needs.  Ok, why did I call it a Bat Cave?  Phrase came from bro Greg, regarding some of the house designs I've come up with over the years:  "Sure, it is cool, but it is like Batman's Batcave - guys all dig it, but you could never get a woman to live there with you."
You have to admit, he has a point.  My current "shop" is garage based, with work spilling into the driveway whenever the sun makes an appearance.  Most hobbyist woodworkers are in the same situation - whether their shop is in a basement or garage, there just isn't enough space.  There are some interesting alternatives out there though.  First, you can build a detached shop, separate from your home.  Second, you could rent space for a shop.  Third, you could learn to make do with the space you have available.
And finally, you could share a shop with someone, either formally, or informally.  If I lived closer, The Shop People in Portland at SE Grand and Oak have an amazing shared setup.  Plenty of quality tools, and you simply pay a low monthly membership fee.  Somewhat closer to home and with a diverse tool selection is Portland TechShop which also offers classes in using some of the more high-tech tools.  Classes taken in more traditional venues are another option - most community colleges have woodworking classes, and there are woodworking specific schools nearly everywhere too.  The NW Woodworking School founded by Gary Rogowski and the Oregon College of Art & Craft are probably the two most famous locally.  But, schools don't really solve the shop space problem.  So, no answers for the masses, just a review of options

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