Friday, October 3, 2008

Clean slate

So, the shop is moving to a new, undisclosed location. Tufts University owned the last place I was working in, and they've decided that it's going to be turned into a shiny new lab space for their sciencey people. They're not sure when, but they now have the money to make this plan a reality.

Well, it might be a while until they get the whole plan together. But I'm not going to wait around until they do and be the last guy in line at the loading dock.

So, as of Oct 1 the lease started on the new place. Of the space you can see, we're renting about half. If you look at the green and white pillars that break up the windows, our space goes down two more pillars from the left side of the picture. Altogether, it'll be about 3500 sq ft.

The shop will solve a few problems I've been dealing with lately:

-Loneliness. My first shop was pretty good, as first shops went. But it was specifically designated as a one-man space. When I was going to school for woodworking, we had 40 woodworkers on the same floor, every day. Lots of people to talk to, harass, and listen to. That, and I was still working at a woodworking retail store, so I had co-workers to spend time with, and customers to mistreat. It was great. But leaving the store and starting up my own shop, I went from all that, to nothing... just me. It took me a while to figure out how much of a problem that would be, psychologically... and what a potential problem it could have been, safety wise. I'll be moving into the new shop and sharing it with two classmates from school who are good friends of mine. It's not the same as interacting with a school full of people, but it's better than yelling at the walls.

-I needed a little more space to work in. My first shop was around 8-900 sq feet, for just me, and it was functional, but a little cramped after a while. Part of that had to do with the fact that the layout wasn't everything I could have hoped for. Over the course of my first year, I've learned a lot about what I like and don't like in a shop, and how the layout of the shop can work with, or work against, the way I like to do my woodwork.

-Layout! I'll get the chance to do this all over again, knowing now what I didn't know then. There's a proper work flow that my old shop lacked. Basically, there were times when I'd spend half of my time walking from one side of the shop to another, like a bumblebee. And I'd rather be spending my time working, instead of bumbling around. Of course, with almost 4 times as much space to bumble in, the shop layout had better be good.

-Separation of machines and bench space. Machines are great for the quick and dirty stuff, but they make a lot of noise and raise a lot of dust. In my own space, there really wasn't room, or need, to divide up the space. But that meant that I was walking around in the cloud of dust created by whatever machine I'd been working with, even when I was finally working at the bench. Now I'll be able to step out of the dusty area. And with 2 other guys, the wall will provide a nice sound barrier, so I won't have to listen to screaming machines while I'm doing (bang, bang, bang) quieter work at the bench.

-A commute will probably do more good than harm. I found out the hard way that working very close to home was a problem. At first, I'd go home during lunch, and end up wasting a lot of time. Later on, I'd get caught up in something at home sometimes, and it was easier to do that, knowing that work was only 5 minutes away. "I'll just get this done and go to work. It's not like it'll take me any time to get there... " Live and learn. The new space isn't quite so close.

So, stay tuned, I'm sure there'll be more news on a regular basis.

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