Once the lumber rack was built, I wiggled my big ol' bench against the other section of painted wall. The idea was to give me a place, a space, somewhere to do good work. It wasn't where I wanted the bench to end up, but it was a space the bench could sit until the rest of the shop was painted.

Of course the bench doesn't just work alone. It's companion (in my shop at least) is the tool chest and for the move I packed it full of things not normally located there: bench hooks, holdfasts, doe's feet, shooting board, miter saw, Moxon vise, bench dogs, the block with the toothed plane stop mounted into it, and several other things. Filled to the brim I praised the fact it rides around on heavy duty caster wheels. 

Many of these things live on the shelf under the bench, but some do not. As I started to sort through things with the idea of setting up to do some work, I found out something about myself. 

I consider my workbench a shop necessity. I consider my tool chest and it's contents a shop necessity. These two things should come as no surprise. But a bit of anxiety began to set in, I just wasn't happy with trying to store everything that needed out of the chest underneath the bench. I was missing a third necessity, Something I wasn't even aware of my dependence on until I tried to create a basic set up without it. 

This simple shop shelf.

It's my take on a Popular Woodworking Magazine project done by Chris Schwarz. He based it on a drawing of an old woodworking shop.  I built it in anticipation of my last shop and the things that hang on the pegs, sit on the shelf, and fit into the tool space behind the pegs has grown organically over time. 

Early on in the last shop. Circa summer 2013.
Before my family started buying me stickers for my tool chest too!!

Now, those items seem to live there permanently. Like the organization in my tool chest, I know exactly where a tool is before I go reaching for it and once you begin to work like that it is difficult to go back.

So I eased my OCD anxiety and hung the shelf, even though I had to take it down again to finish the painting, having it up just feels right.

In the end, "just feels right" is pretty important.

Ratione et Passionis


  1. As you age, you will be amazed at just how anal you are.

  2. Ha ha. When I was building my new bench, I had the laminated bench top on sawhorses up against the wall to use the studs and a 2x4 as a planing stop for well over a year. So now that the bench is done, I can't orient it any other way in the garage or it just feels weird. So that's where it's staying.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts