The day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of present-making season for a lot of woodworkers (myself included). And with that in mind, here are a few spots you can turn to when you need some help or inspiration (or access to a wide-belt sander). Plus, classes make great gifts, and your local community workshop most likely offers opportunities for both beginner and experienced makers alike.
Allied Woodshop in Los Angeles, CA is a community workshop build around woodworking and furniture making. You can rent bench space or sign up for a class. It’s an inspiring, bright space with a lot of opportunities to learn from some excellent furniture makers.
Mpls Make in Minneapolis, MN continues to grow and add new tools to their arsenal. Most recently, they put in a metalworking room and added a sawmill to their space. Alongside all of the woodworking machines you’d ever want, there are classes in turning, woodworking basics, welding and a big community of makers happy to share their expertise.
The Bodgery in Madison, WI offers free open shop times on Mondays and Fridays, and members get access to the space 24/7. In addition to a kitted-out woodshop, they have a machine shop, blacksmithing equipment, 3D printers and CNC machines, and a group of helpful volunteers skilled in making everything and anything.
These are just a few of the many shared woodshops and makerspaces that continue to sprout up around the country. Being able to share access to big tools and have others to share their techniques and experiences can really kickstart your woodworking. Plus, taking classes in new techniques or materials is a great way to spend some free time, especially with friends and family. Get out there and make some great stuff!