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Mark Rhodes Furniture & Kitchen Maker & Woodwork Courses - Norfolk

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>Workshop, a few improvements(well to me).

>Whilst most think that having a very old barn for a cabinet shop is very right and proper, romantic perhaps. Maybe when clients come to visit they feel that their cabinets are made in a nostalgic location, that harkens back to the good old days.  The reality is very different, when I decided to start this business a few years ago I had the space of a large single garage….I yearned for more. So my father gave me what I wanted, little did I know then of the true cost of conversion, or buying machinery.  Maybe with hindsight I should of spent my money on renting a modern workshop with the amenity’s that come with such a space.  But hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I have what I have.
 A new roof was the first part, duly followed with a new floor for the machine room, then electrics. My money soon got gobbled up quicker than I thought, so I called a halt to more improvements till such time as I could afford more. Now I don’t have the money for what I would really like to do, I must make the best of what I have, and I am very grateful for what space I do have. The machine room is OK, but could benefit from being insulated, and that’s about it really…oh and about another 500 sq-ft.  I have been looking at my assembly area the most, the first area that needed improvement was my assembly bench which measures 5’x2′, and just isn’t big enough for anything of size.  I took to laying a sheet of mdf over this, but this kept bending, and you can’t make decent work if what you are building it on isn’t level.  So I decided to make a new one with storage underneath…..

I now have level platform to work from, thank’s to the heavy duty lifting levellers.
As you can see my floor is…shall we just say out of level(read like a hill) by approximately 6″ over the width. 
But on with the assembly table, I have put a good extension lead on one end, and have moved all my planes to this end for the time being.

Now I’m not going to pretend that this is by any stretch of the imagination finished, where the festool is for example, will be a bank of drawers at some point. In the right-hand space will be where they are eventually, on pull-out trays  

On the backside of the table is where I decided to put all the tools I no longer use as much, and part of my grandfathers tools.  As you can see there are quite a few…
As much as I would like to have all of these on display, and use occasionally. Wall space is a premium, with future plans for shelving/cabinets.
Now back onto the hill floor issue, as I said it runs out about 6″, and not only that there are large holes that are again about 6 inch’s deep.  I had filled these with hardcore/broken tiles from the roof, but over time it was sinking and getting kicked about, it also made sweeping up a nightmare. Well I finally got round to filling these holes this week, why I didn’t before is beyond me, I really do question my brain sometimes!!!
I have also re-organised my most used tools to be in front of me, where they are easy to reach. I would love a large tool cabinet for these at some point.

I have had to be quite ruthless in this area, because this is going to soon make way for some shelving/cabinets.

So overall this is now much improved, at least to me.   I’m starting to forget the money I’ve spent, and enjoy the space I have.

Now with the large chest out from under my bench I could put my festool CTL 36 in  a better place out of the way. I thought I would also display some of my grandfathers wooden planes, for without him I wouldn’t of started on this journey. 

There will be more improvements soon, but I need to get back to making for a while, first is some oak fitted wardrobes, which I will document here. Thanks for looking, and have a great weekend guys.

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