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New workshop, new work

Updated: Jul 13, 2018

After the long search for a workshop was over and setting up the workspace had begun, I instantly realised what a massive change this meant for my budding business. It took me two days to get the workshop back to its bare bones before I could even think about how I was going to set it up. I threw everything out. Dragged it all to the curb and organised a council clean up to come by. Apparently the previous tenant of the garage had fooled my landlord into thinking he was just storing his car there. Late one night when my landlord heard noises coming from the garage, she called the police, only to find her tenant had been using the place as a place to ‘crash’.

With my new workshop came the ability to create new pieces that weren’t possible with my previous set up, although looking back now at what I was able to achieve in Mum’s backyard before Common Wood HQ was a thing does surprise me from time to time. Although I only had a few tools in my collection, having them set up, plugged them in and got my little collection ready to go already gave me a head start on my old ways of loading in and out of Mum’s shed every day.

Spring and summer in Australia are the busiest times for any landscaping business and working at Straight Up Gardens is no different. With my landscaping work super busy and my need to ramp up production in preparation for Christmas it was extremely important that my workshop was a place where I could create without anything slowing me down. I read endless blogs and watched hours of YouTube videos on workshop flow and set up. Obviously with a very small budget and limited time I began to create a workspace that I felt would best suit what I would be making.

It all started with a new workbench top for my landlord’s old workbench that was previously hidden under a mountain of rubbish. This gave me a bench on which I could work creating other parts of the workshop. The most pressing thing I needed to make was a new main workbench. Once this was created everything else could be made in spare moments over the next few weeks.

With the workshop somewhat set up I could head there after my day job each day and with a twist of a lock, a roll of a garage door and the flick of a few switches I could be creating. If my memory serves me correctly the first piece to come out of the new workshop was the art piece ‘Saltire’.

As Christmas was just a few short months away I decided it was high time I delved deeper into the world of home décor in order to boost sales over the festive season. I had a list of items that I wanted to create. The main pieces being a new range of 100% reclaimed timber chopping boards, candle holders, bath caddies and tablet stands. I also had the idea of turning my style of artwork into a range of functional serving trays.


I waited till after Christmas until I built my beloved mitre saw bench for my 305mm Ryobi Mitre Saw. I can’t imagine a world without that bench now. I use it all day every day. It makes light work when it comes to cutting accurate lengths of timber.

I know that if I had not been able to find a workshop and get it up and running when I did I would not be where I am today when it comes to Common Wood. I am constantly updating my workspace in order to increase workflow and productivity. As I get more tools and bigger jobs I need to rejig things so I’m not tripping over myself.

Next Week – Preloved Lumber Larrikins

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