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Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
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Hi Martin,
I have to travel 7 miles to get to my workshop. Not that far really other than the fact that I don't have motorised transport and consequently have to use the bus. The travel can be a pain in the buttocks at times especially if i have wood to take or bring back from the workshop., Longest bit I can get on the bus with is 2m (depending on the driver's mood). I am happy to do this or when at times, I've walked, when wood has been delivered to the flat in error. The reason I am happy enough to put up with this is that my workshop is in a shared space. The guys i rent from have an SCM 4 axis CNC, wakdin planer/thicknesser, the biggest panel saw I've ever seen and all the other big toys that they are happy for me to use as I need (providing it doesn't stop their jobs obviously).
If the space you are looking at is able to provide what you need in terms of space and even better shared kit then I say go for it, if you are able to cover getting there in a reasonable time/cost way.
 

skipdiver

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My workshop is the building regs mandatory distance of 5 mts from my house and it's great. It's also the smallest workshop i have ever had (5mts x 3mts) but the one i've used the most in my working life. The size forces a strict regime of organisation and keeping the place tidy but i manage to run my business from it with a bit of compromise. I once travelled 100 miles a day to a building site, for a year, up and down a fairly lightly used dual carriageway and motorway, so the journey was fairly plain sailing, but it quickly became tedious, especially in the winter when i'd had a hard day and then had to drive home for over an hour.
 

Scoffy

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Hi, Have you considered approaching a local farmer to rent an unused barn or building. I used to rent such a building when I was in business, the rent was nominal, a pleasant environment to work in and customers seemed to like it as it seemed right for what I made, which was mostly country furniture.
 

Friedrich

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I manage with about 25m2 space - However... I have another room where to store things like materials and stuff I rarely use so they don't get in a way.
Build your workshop as smart as possible, combine things and you can manage with way less space.. Make wall racks where you can store some stuff as well etc. make stuff multi-purpose etc.

Is your business fully running already and bringing you steady income? Do you want to upgrade your space just because you have too much business and actually need the space or just Want the extra space?
Think of it as 12k a year you are flushing down the drain in rent...can you get a mortgage perhaps with that money and get some land/build your own workshop? That way you are not loosing anything from that money but growing your net worth only..

Can you build a workshop yourself near your house? or the house you plan to move to?

If you don't have an actual successful business yet, you are just shooting yourself in foot.
I know it's tough with a small space but still...There are much more important things to get ready first.
 

tomatwark

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Taking a mortgage on a business not really going is risky.
Firstly you will need at least 3 years of profitable accounts and also you will need a large deposit.
Secondly what happens in say 5 years time when you need more space.
Yes renting is not ideal but it does give you room to expand.
Just make sure you have proper lease and get a solicitor who has experience of commercial leases to look over it.
You need to make sure the term works for you what the rent increases are likely to be and what notice period you need to give if you have to move out.
 

petermillard

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YorkshireMartin":31voia19 said:
Thanks Peter. I'm only managing because I have my machines elsewhere, so I have a massively inconvenient setup already. lol

I like your videos on youtube by the way, I was watching some a few days ago :)
Ah, OK, got it. And thanks! [SMILING FACE WITH OPEN MOUTH AND SMILING EYES]
 

sawdust1

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Depends on what the chap is making, if its web based sales only then it does not matter where the workshop is, or what it looks like.
All you need is access for the couriers.
100 ft is my commute !
 

YorkshireMartin

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A lot of really pertinent points made guys, thank you.

It's a difficult situation. I did consider a farm building and went to view one, but it would have been very hard to secure and given the nature of what i'd be storing, the farmer felt that it would be a prime target. He gets burgled regularly despite having CCTV and several dogs. Of course, not all farm buildings are alike, but the ones I looked at weren't really what I'd consider suitable, being proper old fashioned barns. The other farmers I called didnt want to know.

Buying premises isn't on the cards but we are looking to move house, so any work shop arrangement I can get into now, would hopefully only last 2 years, until such time as I can build on my own land. We don't have anywhere suitable for me to build a workshop on at the moment.

At the moment, even the simplest of tasks is a major "hassle" and it's due to lack of space. If you lack space, you have to pack everything away every single time, you can't just put it into a tool cupboard. Everything has to be in boxes, cables wound up, stock stored, in my case machines too. You can't leave anything out to dry of any significant size, I also don't want off gassing of finishes whilst you're working on other things etc etc etc. If you work on smaller projects, it might be doable, but when you're trying to make furniture (for my own house, for example), it's very difficult.

For example. Once I've got stock it needs to be acclimated so it has to sit somewhere in the house for 6 months generally, preferably longer depending on species. I have to work around it, constantly shuffling it about rather than it just being on a rack. To plane it I need to disconnect my extractor, take the stock, drive 5 miles, reconnect it to my planer, set the planer up (moving it out to get floor space) and plane it and clean up. Then reverse the entire process. Planing a 10ft board might take me 2 hours all told, for a job that should be taking 2 minutes. Thats not including the time to go through the boxes to find things I need for the planing task itself, such as straight edges and so on, then putting it all safely away again. It's an absolutely enormous pain. I've got it all organised, but theres only so much you can do when you need to lift out 10 boxes from an understairs just to get a specific tool for a specific job that you might only need once every 3 months.

As a result of all this, I spend more time shuffling equipment, tools and stock than I actually do working.

I'm not complaining, I chose to take this on, but thats the reason why I want to get somewhere to work where my tools and machines are accessible and usable at all times. Like the other day when I wanted to quickly run a bit of maple through the planer. It took about 2 hours (including a cup of tea with mum). Should take 10 seconds, half of that waiting for the planer to get to speed. lol.

Business is always a risk, but until I get into a situation thats at least partly workable, I've no idea whether or not I can be as efficient as is needed to produce things for sale, let alone if I have the potential to develop the skills. Right now, theres absolutely no way of being time efficient at all. I'm scuppered from the start by the work environment and the frustration from that is hampering my progress.

You could ask why the hell I chose furniture and not smaller projects, but when I started I didnt really know what I'd like to do, nor exactly what equipment and tools were involved. A set of shelves turned into a dining bench, turned into a coffee table and then....a dining table (in progress). I went in blind but in some ways that has proved to be a good thing as I had no set opinions on how to do things and still dont.

It's all good fun though and I've still learned a fair bit since I started this lark.

Blimey, I've written a novel. Sorry guys.
 
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petermillard":7sy6c9e3 said:
I'd take 300sq ft on my doorstep over 1000sq 30 miles away, personally. And not to be flippant, but it sounds like you're 'just about' managing with 200sq ft at the moment?? We'd all like more space than we have I'm sure, but we have to cut our clothes to match the cloth (must be a woodworking version of that...) and I simply don't take in jobs that I can't handle.

Now, if you regularly need 15 full sheets of Ply in various stages, then sure, go big if you can find it/fund it, but I opted for convenience over size; a 60-mile round trip would drive me nuts.

Good luck [THUMBS UP SIGN]

Oh really? and I suppose your workshop is right across the street from your house isn't it? :p

[Yes yes - I have watched your videos]
 
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