Order in the Shop

My shop has gone through many changes in the five years since I’ve moved back to Philadelphia. From the workbench in the middle of the living room when I first arrived, because there was no where else, to my latest takeover the the entire area that used to be the garage.
The most recent renovation was in early October and I have to say, I think I’ve finally found a space where my work can thrive. Much of my equipment was in other places in the basement, my rolling mill and casting equipment actually required changing rooms in the middle of the process.
And I needed to set up a second workstation. I’ve had a second workstation that I set up at festivals and events where I work, but it was rare for me to have enough space clear to keep it set up. But recently I’ve had more interest in private students and that means they need a better place than just my traveling bench squeezed in a corner. I also wanted to start keeping a separate area for wax working and for base metals. This would help me keep my sweeps drawer cleaner for refining/recycling.

A few weeks after my most recent student started, I had a flash of how to redesign the second workstation to make it even better. The idea just grabbed me and I spent about 3 hours making a solid new bench that works great for home and breaks down well for traveling.

But the best side effect has been that my productive time in the shop has increased. Instead of passing by my work area when I go out the back door, I now pass through it. Maybe it’s some kind of Feng Shui thing, but looking at my bench as I walk by pulls me to it.

Previously the walkway went past my work area and it was easy to forget what I was walking by, especially with all the other junk piled in the “garage” area. Now I am no longer sharing my workspace with “storage.” Well except the four air conditioners piled in the corner, but I keep my photography stuff right there too.
One of the best things about having more workspace in having space to share. There were actually three of us working in there the other day and I just love having other creative energy going besides mine, it sparks new ideas and connections.
Meanwhile, my ideas are definitely in an flow rather than ebb tide right now, and my bench is calling.

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