Sadly, I can’t write about our machine room without saying something about electricity and woodworking.
Because I appeared on Roy Underhill’s show six (?) times, some people think I use hand tools exclusively. In fact, one visitor to my shop started making the sign of the cross and hissing when he saw my table saw.
So here are the words that I can’t believe I have to write.
There is only one line when it comes to our craft. Either you make things with wood or you don’t. If you make things in wood, then I am on your side – whether you use a flint-knapped piece of shale or a CNC router.
Any person’s attempts to divide us – by the tools we use, the styles we work in or the gurus we worship – are false and destructive. And that person is likely selling something.
And yeah, I’m selling something, too. But I don’t give a flying fart what tools you use.
We call our machine room the “Electric Horse Garage” because it shows up on an old insurance map about 1906 and is labeled as “stables,” though there’s no evidence any horses lived there. The building has had many uses during its lifetime. Neighbors said that two delivery trucks used to be housed there. Another said that someone tried to open a neighborhood bank there? And we know for certain that someone tried to transform the building into a single-family home until the city shut it down.
When I bought the place, the building had a gable roof that I tore off, and the interior was covered in layers of paneling, drywall, plywood, bathroom tile (no lie) and probably some asbestos. There had been a fire that damaged the main beam of the building, and so Jeremy Hanson and I rebuilt it one Saturday. And when we got the electricity working to the building, we were so happy that we called it the Electric Horse Garage.
In any case, prepare to be underwhelmed. I know many readers who have nicer shops. But I couldn’t be happier with ours. It is my first above-ground workshop. It has natural light, a mini-split for HVAC and is only steps away from where I live.
— Christopher Schwarz