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    My Unpowered Workshop

    Hi all. It's really nice to see the creation of this "Start Woodworking" website from Fine Woodworking. While not a rank beginner, I am still in the learning stage so this will hopefully be right up my alley and I look forward to guidance about many of the unknowns I seem to encounter, but more especially, hearing about everyone else's experiences.

    I live in a high rise condo, and so cannot have any power tools except for a rechargeable drill as noise and dust just don't seem to go over too well with my fellow denizens in this building, understandably so I should add. Which leads me on to the point of this email, and that is that I really hope that some of the content of this site, including project plans, etc., will be geared to the unpowered workshop such as mine, and that those that will be easily identifiable as such. I have found in the past that when I buy project plans, they are usually designed for the powered shop, and while it can be argued that we should be able to rework these for the unpowered shop, this is not an easy exercise for relative beginners such as myself.

    FYI, I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where the winters are cold and long, and nothing warms the cockles of my heart more that crafting something out of wood. Despite our relative isolation up north here, we are blessed with excellent resources for the hobbyist woodworker, not the least of which is the fact that I live a 15 minute drive away from an excellent Lee Valley store, where I have spent enough money to put my retirement plans back a decade or two. We also have a superb trade college with excellent instructors,  that offers a great selection of woodworking courses, from basic and advanced carving, to chair, cabinet, and table construction. And besides winter lasts, after all, only 7 months a year!

    My workshop is a whopping 60 square feet and actually used to be my wife's walk-in closet - how I sweet talked her into letting me have it for a workshop will become the stuff of legend one day and goes to prove the miracles really do still occur. I have attached a photo of it to prove that you don't need a lot of space to get things done, though in reality, a small shop will restrict the projects to a certain maximum size but as I don't really intend to create anything huge, so far this hasn't been a big issue for me.

    Anyway, it's great to see this website, and I look forward to hearing about everyone's experiences and picking your brains.

    Wishing you all sharp blades!

    Roger Adams