As I began to grow in my woodworking journey I realised I was going to be in need of a proper workspace that I could call my own. Until that time I had been making masses of sawdust out the back of my very accommodating mother’s place. This was not working for many reasons. Getting started every morning began with a very slow process of dragging everything out of the back shed and setting it up on the back deck and lawn. Only after I had run power cables from her kitchen was I able to hit the ‘Go’ button. The same went for pack-down each afternoon. I was totally at the mercy of Mother Nature as well. If it looked like rain, I’d pack down and go and wait it out inside. Not very productive. That being said, when the sun is shining and birds are chirping, there’s nothing better than woodworking outside.
At first I was not sure what sort of space I would need. What size would I need? What tools would I need? What access would I require? Location?
I began my search on my beloved Gumtree but I found places to be just a bit out of my price range. Anyone living is Sydney will know the insanely high cost of living here, especially when it comes to any sort of real estate. I widened my search to websites like Spacer, Domain and Facebook Marketplace but I kept finding the same thing. People asking crazy amounts of money for very little/very unworkable spaces. Oh boy did I look at some dumps.
At one point I found a disused petrol station that I thought I could turn into a workshop and store front. Although I still think this could have been great, it needed a full renovation and was definitely well outside my budget. Maybe one day. During this search my understanding and very tolerant mother had also decided it was time for a tree change. She was selling up and moving to her place down in the Southern Highlands in NSW so the pressure was on to find a workspace. No workplace, no woodwork.
Eventually, after thinking I would never find a space, about 10 pages through a search on Gumtree I stumbled across a detached garage for rent. The photos were dark and blurry, the ad wasn’t anything special, but the price was right and it was only 15 mins drive from my front door. Off I went to check it out.
The garage door opens. The landlord says “Oh I have not been inside the garage in about three years.” At first glance it wasn’t great, but after I climbed over the junk I saw an old workbench in the back corner. “We might be on to something here.” I thought. After a bit of a chat we came to an agreement that I would clear everything out of her garage for her and I could set up the Common Wood World Headquarters.
Next week - New workshop, New work