This business of trying to do my woodworking out of my garage is just not working out and I don’t think it ever will.  Ignoring the car situation for the moment and after thinking on it, I have to admit that it’s still hot and poorly lit in there.  Both those things can be dealt with easily enough and I may indeed do that in the future but there’s just not enough space in there.  The problem is this: all those nice power tools have to have space to exist.  At the moment, they’re all shoved up against the walls on wheels so that if I want to do something I first have to back a car out then move a bunch of stuff then clean up first because of all the clutter I’ve let accumulate because I could not get to the drawers.  It is a given that the cars must go in the garage – I pay upwards of $20,000 for them at the very least and to have $40,000 of valuable equipment sitting outside getting pounded by the not-uncommon hailstorm makes no sense.

I’m fed up.

I’m also terribly jealous of all the guys who have basements.  For reasons that have been lost to time, nobody around Tulsa has ever built a house with a basement.  Some people claim to have them but they’re just built into a hillside. I guess that’s why so many Okies have garages full of crap and their cars outside – no place else to keep their junk.  And I don’t believe anybody can ever really divest themselves of junk – everybody has seasonal clothes and decorations that have to be stored.

So I’ve been doing some hard thinking.  We’ve been looking at other houses to buy in the distant future but requiring them to have a shop or a large lot to build a shop on has complicated things unnecessarily.  I have therefore decided to entertain the notion of selling all my large tools.  The table saw, the jointer, the drill press, the dust collector, and the bandsaw.  I am considering going in for hand tools only.  Just leave myself a nice workbench (which I already have) and a cabinet. Maybe leave the router table since it isn’t that large anyway.

I would also re-scope my projects to only tackle smaller things like boxes, smaller shelves, maybe a chair or two.

I’m also jealous of my woodworking friends out on the east coast.  There is apparently a vibrant community of hand tool woodworkers out there.  Around here in Oklahoma the only cohorts I’ve been able to learn of (via the local Woodcraft store) is people that like to turn bowls and pens.  Well, that doesn’t interest me all that much.  I’ve turned about 30 pens so far and although they were great fun, I am awash with them now.  I can’t give them away fast enough.  Everybody I give one to treats it as if it’s a thing of great value and never uses them so they don’t get worn out.  (Otherwise I’d give them another one – the parts kits only cost me $5.) But I can’t move to North Carolina – my job is here and I like it.  I’ll just have to maybe go out there for a class sometime and meet some folks.

If I got rid of all the big tools, I could then work more effectively in the space I have; plus, when I buy another house, all I’d need is a three car garage.  An extra bay would easily accommodate a hand tool only habit.

And I must be honest: I can never give up the woodworking.  It’s just too much a part of my soul.  Both my grandfathers were in the trade and I think it’s just in me too deeply. My Dad too was a huge builder of things although he was a mailman.

So… I would truly like the opinions of others on this.  Those in my woodworking circle on google+ must have more experience than I and would have some good wisdom to pass on.  Admittedly, I’ve self-selected the hand-tool-only guys to put in my circle but I’d like an objective opinion.  That is, an opinion that is not my hot-headed, flying off the handle because the weather is so damned hot, opinion.