Finally, my long-held dream has materialised. After many, many years and what seemed like an eternity I have managed to secure a workshop.
Over the years I had, like many other carpenters, become what I once heard of as a “van warrior”. That is to say I had no static area to work from and had to peddle my artisan craft to my domestic customers in West London and the home county of Bucks from a panel van.
This method of working is by far a noteworthy achievement. Not only do you have to meticulously plan the internal compartmentalisation for power tool storage, but you also have to think about their on board welfare with regard to theft.
Next up, a quick trip (or maybe not so quick trip) to the timber yard, where any spare avenues within the van are quickly exploited by pre cut sheets of mdf and whatever timber you may need for the forthcoming project and there you have it, the fully laden mobile workshop which is just about to be decanted into the front room/bedroom/back garden of the customer.
At this point a whole plethora of expensive portable tools are needed to reach the exacting standards of todays modern customer including suitable dust extraction for both you and the customer, perforated workbenches and whatever else you may need to do to carry out the customers requirements.
In my opinion no matter how hard you try working like this and it is hard going and not for some, you can never truly compete against a carpenter/joiner with workshop facilities. I have observed on various social media platforms and trade forums recently comments made by those that have managed to get a static workshop and that it was a “Gamechanger”.
So I have now hung up my warrior boots and changed my game!