A Five Year Plan – 2021

A lot of times when you are interviewing, or talking with professionals they ask you where you see yourself in three, five or ten years. Since Thanksgiving is this week, and I don’t really plan on writing Thursday for a look back, I thought I’d take a look both forward and back.


Five years ago I barely had a shop. I had a physical space, and I had tools, but I don’t think I could really call it a shop yet. The old planer and table saw were there, the jointer was there, the drill press was there, but it wasn’t a cohesive space. I was still using 2×4 benches as work tables. I had an immobile router table (I think, pictures are scarce…could have been on casters then, but it was an early design). Only the back wall had been replaced, and the ceiling was still intact. I had no lighting to speak of. I hadn’t yet made the workbench, I just finished the trash can/microwave cabinet for the house and I was still on the Blogger platform.

To say that I’ve come far in five years would be a massive understatement. Really and truly I have turned this little shed into a legitimate workshop. I’m not sure I could use it as a benchmark to determine what things might be in the next five years. It might be too outlandish to take seriously.

Some of the reason things have changed so much is because they could. There was massive room for improvement that isn’t there anymore. Yeah, I’m sure I will find small improvements, but it just can’t be anywhere near what it has been. It’s much more about tweaks than it is overhauls at this point.

I can’t predict what will happen, but what do I want to see happen?

Well, I hope I am either in, or am going into a new shop by 2021. The outside of the shop now is deteriorating, and I’m about over having a shop that is this air leaky and unlevel. It might just be a new shop in the same size, but it would be a worthy project. Even at keeping with a 12×12 footprint, I’d add attic and porch space, plus a space to cut sheet goods outside. 12×16 would be even better, and 14×20 would be a shop that would probably only happen in a new house.

As far as smaller things go, I am an Incra top and cleansweep plate away from my router table being 100% done. I’d like to address my miter saw dust collection, be it with a hood or perhaps an upgrade to the Festool Kapex. I’d like, space willing, to be considering a workbench upgrade. The Roubo is nice, but I could do with a nice shaker. I might upgrade my bandsaw, and I might downgrade my lathe. With a new shop I would definitely be looking at true dust extraction and a bigger air compressor and a piped system. I’d like to add a filter and a regulator regardless.

My hand tools will be upgraded, primarily the planes. Maybe another Festool or two. Other than that, I’m in a really good spot right now. My space is the primary concern, as the shop structure is nearing the end of it’s run. It’s been a good run to this point though.

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