The Workshop Book by Scott Landis, is a fantastic read. I was curious to get a good perspective of the many home and professional workshops Landis visited while writing this book.
Table of Contents
A concept book
The book is filled with tons of creative ideas for tool and wood storage, self-made tools, accessories, workshop location, and layouts. Some of the concepts can be lifted right out of the book. Others have to be adapted to your particular case.
One woodworker that Lannis documented found an innovative solution to the space limitations of a small garage shop. He cut the garage in half, rolled one half to a concrete pad, and then filled in the open space with windows, walls, and a roof.
A broad scope of ideas
What makes this book so attractive is the number of practical ideas for any woodworker. For example, Landis describes the dust collection systems that range from a consumer-grade shop vacuum to a self-designed system that would cost over $500, up to a seriously professional system that compresses the sawdust into bricks that are later burned to heat the room.
Ideas that save space
One of the significant pain points this book is solving is the lack of space in your shop. Most amateur woodworkers have this problem. One of the ideas presented in the book is setting up shop in the laundry room. Limited in the number of power tools you can have there, you will have to manage with just a fold-out benchtop, a band saw with supports, and some storage space for all the tools.
A lot of workshops Landis visited were like this. They are fitted into closets, pantries, and cellars. The key point is these minimalistic shops offer insight that the reader can use in their own life. The critical lesson is you can have a shop despite not having a lot of free space in your house.
Most people don’t have access to a lot of space. Fortunately, thanks to this book we can learn from woodworkers that do. Landis documents people with access to thousands of square feet of shops, who are utilizing every inch of it. Professionals are clustering work surfaces to get the maximum use of their space and tools. These details are what make a shop work efficiently.
Landis included in his book over a dozen colorful blueprints and hundreds of photos of the shops he documented. The book shows enough detail that you can base your next shop idea off it. The only downside for inexperienced woodworkers is a lack of step-by-step tutorials and plans on how to recreate some of the concepts presented in this book.
As your woodworking skills grow, your shop needs to grow along with you. Whether you are just starting or are somewhere along this lifetime journey, this book will be your faithful guide.