Wow… I finally have a place I can call “home” again with a reliable internet connection.  Throughout the house-hunting process, a make-or-break for us was whether or not the home had a spot I could house ol’ Snakeye Woodworks.  Trust me, this unbending priority stopped us from renting a place or two that we otherwise liked.

Prior to moving to Britain, I felt like I was getting some good time in the shop.  Especially since I had this unyielding weight over my shoulders to finish about five projects in the time I could only finish one.  And I didn’t even make it that far; I still have at least two or three weekends of good work to finish my living room table (and that is just to get it physically built… not finished).  So my shop, and projects at various production stages, still sit in boxes for the time being.  Soon though, I will have all the time in the world to just sit and work without a deadline of moving looming over me.

Though I found a place to house Snakeye Woodworks, I don’t have anything remotely close to a working shop.  It’s a one-car garage:

Snakeye PreWorkshop

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be diverting the money and time I use for woodworking towards building a shop I would be proud to work in.  As you can see, I think I have my work cut out for me.

On the to-do list:

  • Replace the garage door (it’s broken).  The landlord agreed to cover this expense.
  • Broken garage door

  • Hire a flooring person to put down a floor.  I toyed with the idea of buying some plywood and setting it down, but the landlord knows all the people in town that do this type of stuff and said it would be less expensive and easier to get it done by an expert.  Time is money and my time is limited, so my landlord wins out.  I think I’m going with the cushioned vinyl floor that looks like a wood floor (it will probably be easier to clean up sawdust this way too).
  • Concrete garage floor

  • Hire an electrician to wire some plug sockets and fluorescent-tube lights.  I’d do it myself, but I guess there are safety codes in place that prevent this.  So I’ll need to install a few overhead lights, with at least two plug sockets to run a space heater, my shop vac, and my Bose/iPod speaker combo.
  • lack of good lighting

  • Replace the rotting wood shelves with something that is more interior-oriented.  This will probably hold my tools until I get my Anarchist’s Tool Chest built.
  • weather-rotted shelves

  • A thorough cleaning.  There’s spider webs, leaves, rot and bird shit all over the place.
  • Birdshit 'n' cobwebs

Until further notice, all woodworking projects are on a tactical pause until I have a facility that can accommodate them.  More posts on the progress later.  Luckily (unlike those websites where guys brag about how grand their shops are with all the electrical considerations and intricacies), I have no power tools to set up so this shop will be quite simple.

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  • Brian Eve

    Hey Travis, it looks like it will be a great space! I would give my eye teeth for a window like that over my bench.

    If I were you, I would have a couple extra electrical oultes installed just in case you can’t live without a band saw or a planer.

    The floor is definately worth doing right. I have linoleum on mine, which is indeed easy to sweep up compared to concrete, but a bit of cushion will let you work a lot longer.

    • Yeah… I’m just waiting on the landlord to fix the door (so it shuts – it’s stuck open) first. I don’t want a new floor (even a cheap one) exposed to the elements.

  • Jonas Jensen

    Congratulations on finding a new home.
    That will be a super workshop in a short time. If your workbench fits it there then you are golden.
    I think it is a wise decision to get an electrician to do the wiring. Every country still pretty much have some special regulations on that field.
    Have fun organizing you shop.

    • Thanks Jonas… I’ll put up the progress as it happens (though I can’t wait to blog about woodworking instead of interior design).

  • Hand Made

    Welcome to the UK.

    Depending where you are you are never more than about 80
    miles or so to the nearest sea – this means humidity and condensation!

    You’re right about the electrics. If the garage is attached
    to a dwelling it comes under Part ‘P’ of the building regulations (different part
    name and different laws in Scotland, but basically the same) and your electrician will need to be
    certified to carry out external work and issue you with a certificate.

    In reality, qualified electricians are able to self-certify their work.

    One thing that I would advise, though, is to beef up the doors and
    windows and invest in some form of security alarm and check your insurance
    covers tools etc. in outbuildings. Garages are, sadly, a target for thieves

    Anyway good luck and keep posting.

    All best from Wales

    • Thanks and will do! I’ve stocked up on the oil for the tools. Now I just need to find a good wood supplier out here in Lincolnshire…