Since we live in an apartment the only viable place for a workshop was on of our basement rooms (yep, we have 2 :) ) each of which is about 2x4 m large. Since we collected quite a collection of cardboard boxes that while taking a lot of space proved very helpful when moving from place to place (something we did several times in past 10 years) , so we decided to keep them. That also means that the space I was able to claim is only about 2x2 m for the knifemaking activities.
Here is a short video just to give you an idea how small a 4 m2 workshop is.
When I decided to start making knives I only had a small box of common tools (hammer, a few low quality files, set of screwdrivers, some allen keys, etc.), Lio-ion powered Metabo hand drill (which is surprisingly powerful) and a smaller (100mm jaws) vise which I originally bought for some smaller/lighter woodworking (activity that did not quite take off) and had it mounted on a piece of wooden board so that I could attach it to a counter in our kitchen (yes, my wife did allow me to do that with some smaller reservations). That basically meant that I had to buy all tools I was going to need for the knifemaking. This proved a little more expensive than I though it will, but hey, that is the case with every hobby :)
|This is where it all happens.|
|The workshop is located inside out basement among with all others.|
|Lot's of stuff, but you can see the crossed stabilisation bars on the far side of the workbench.|
I have then got all the parts for the bevel grinding jig (see my article on that topic for more details), a hack saw, some more files and needle files, safety equipment (3M half mask, gloves, googles).
I soon realised that while not a complete must, a drill press is going to be VERY helpful - what proved to be 100% true. After long consideration I took the plunge for Bosch PBD 40 which turned out to be a great machine for this purpose. It is stable enough to stand without moving around, but still lightweight enough to move aside if necessary.
|The most essential power tool in a knifemaking workshop - the drill press.|
What followed was a cutting pad, French curves, small wise for the drill press, rotating base for the bench vise, workshop scissors (robust), drill bits, a log book (a VERY important tool - I find that keeping notes is essential to the process of learning), aluminium jaws (inlays) for the vise so that I do not scratch or damage some materials I will be working on.
|Bevel grinding jig made according to the design by Aaron Gough.|
The amount of larger and smaller tools kept growing (and I did not even mention materials yet) my workbench was covered with stuff and the amount of cardboard boxes used for storage was growing and I was never able to find what I was looking for.
To at least partially solve this situation I got some small perforated wall whith attachable hooks and holders for some of the tools (files, saws, hammer, grinding belts, etc) and a set of small 'drawers' attached to a wall to keep the smaller items sorted and findable.
|The tool wall - facing the workbench.|
I also got a metal multi-case (that is mostly used for tools) where I keep my stock of wood for handles, smaller blades and smaller pieces of steel, together with leather working tools. (which are still waiting to be used)
|Large metal toolbox that I mostly use to keep handle material, steel and ready-made blades.|
Still - large tools and cases are stored under the bench - together with that large vacuum cleaner that helps a LOT to keep the dust from sanding (in particular from wood) to spread across the whole workshop.
Part of the boxes are kept on a small 4 wheel cart which stands outside the cellar when I am working (I store there also all my stuff for my darkroom activities as my other hobby is analogue photograpy). That 3 gren flat plastic cases are used to store metal material for pins and bolsters, fibre mats and leader for sheaths and finally, the sanding paper.
|The cart occupies the only free space in the workshop and thus must be removed if one wants to enter :)|
As a proper beginner I have quickly collected a lot more material that I can use in a year. Without the intention to become a steel junkie I have some O1, D2, A2, 80CrV2, 52100, 1.2519, 1.2442 and SC125. But I just want to play and test. For the future I will probably settle on 2-4 different steels for different purposes.
|My 1.2442 steel stock in 3.3 x 60 x 660 mm. I keep it for when I get better in grinding.|
It would be a waste to start to use it now.
|Just a part of my handle material collection.|
And of course than there are fibre spacer sheets in different colors, brass and nickel silver for bolsters and pins, leather for sheaths, etc.
I hope to manage to claim the whole room of 8m2 and get more workbench and storage space, so that basic tools have their fixed position and are ready to use. I would also like to get some more tools - in particular a full size belt grinder and full size disc grinder and maybe a buffer - and as of now I have no place for them.
Ideally - a workshop with size of some 20+ m2 would be ideal, but it is not a must.
|The king of the workshop :)|
Questions ? :)