i started, as many modern woodworkers do, working in the garage. i staked my claim to one stall of our three car garage and tried to come up with some sort of workflow that allowed enough room for me, my machines, wood and my current projects.
then, about a year ago, i got turned on to hand tools. yes, i'm one of 'them'. feel free to leave mocking comments ;).
i began to accumulate hand tools and quickly found my existing workbench impossible to work with. it had pretty much failed with power tools as well but i'd managed to 'make do' so far. i read everything i could find on workbench design (schwarz, landis, odate, etc..) and decided to build a nicholson. i'll do another post on the how's/why's but i managed to make space in my 'shop' for the new bench and was quite happy.
working in the garage in colorado is wonderful in the spring and fall but winters are cold and my west facing garage made summer time unbearable. in the past, i'd simply avoided woodworking during those times but i was far too stoked to take an extended break and i was in the middle of several projects that i didn't want to postpone.
inspired by tom fidgen's experiences as related in his wonderful book, Made by Hand, i decided to build a hand tool area in my basement and dedicate the garage space to machine work. of course, my nicholson wouldn't fit down the stairs so i had to build another bench, a roubo, for the basement. i tacked up some paneling (which i don't like, plan to replace..) and built another tool shelf.
the new space clearly isn't finished yet but it's usable and i'm looking forward to be able to work through the winter in comfort. there have been days where i've made more trips than i'd have liked from one area to the other to grab a tool/pencil/square/etc. but that's diminishing as i settle into the new workflow.
as many others have done, i try to use the machines for the rough work (milling, dimensioning) and do the fine work (layout, joinery, finishing) in the hand shop. it's still a new process for me but i'm happy with it so far.
here's a pic of the garage area before i built the basement area. i'll clean up and post a current one soon..
here's a shot of the basement as it sits now..
thanks for reading and i'd be more than happy to answer any questions.