Planning My Workshop

I’m in the process of moving my workshop. The initial space I had was a bit too small and it was damp so my tools were in danger of rusting. I’m trying to plan the layout of my new workshop so I can make the best use of the space. As well as being a comfortable place to work it must be laid out to maximise my work speed and avoid safety hazards.

I started by listing all the tools and equipment that I have or plan to get that need to be in this workspace. I went through the equipment deciding where it needs to be positioned for ease of use and any safety hazards that should be considered. For example my soldering area needs to be well ventilated.  I then looked at the list of tools deciding how best to store these tools. The hammers and stakes need to be on a stand where each type can be easily identified and accessed.

I had a look at some photos of other silversmiths workshops on the Society of American Silversmiths website. Apart from turning green with envy I got lots of clever ideas on how to store my tools. Here’s a photo of my dream workshop!

Randy Stromsoe Workshop
Randy Stromsoe Workshop

You can see from this that apart from an amazingly organised space everything has a place and everything is easy to get at. As you will see this won’t be as much of a problem in my workshop as I have way less tools and space so I’m going for the more minimalist look!

Workshop sketch 1
Workshop sketch 1
Workshop sketch 2
Workshop sketch 2

I’ve sketched out some different options because it saves me having to drag heavy equipment around the room trying to decide where everything goes.

Jeffrey Herman Workshop
Jeffrey Herman Workshop

Because of the limited space I’m going to make a rack for my hammers that sits between the two legs of my bench. I am also going to put a bar along the side of my bench to hold my pliers like in the photo above. I can put some hooks on the side of the bench to hold my piercing frame and my soldering torch.  If you want to see more great photos of his workshop click here.

I know that despite my best intentions to be organised and minimal. Most workshops have the habit of becoming over run with odd useless objects and tools you pick up over time. I love the Workspace series by the photographer Joseph O Holmes. This series of various workspaces proves that eventually regardless of how tidy the person is the space becomes part of you. We’ll have to wait and see how my workshop grows…

Joseph O Holmes, Workspace Series
Joseph O Holmes, Workspace Series

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