Like many woodworkers, I spend as much time working on my workshop and on my tools as I do working on actual projects. Actually, sometimes I think that my real project is building and refining the workshop.
As the workshop progresses it becomes like a single giant tool, enabling me to do progressively more complicated projects. Knowing that my workshop is always available to me is a very empowering feeling…and adding a new capability to the shop feels like an investment in the future (no accountant would buy that!). I imagine that as my woodshop becomes more complete the shop-time to project-time ratio will decline, but maybe it won’t. I think I enjoy it too much.
Very few places are as personal as a woodworker’s shop. After he has tuned every tool, built every jig, sharpened every blade, researched every purchase, and refined the layout (over and over) the woodshop becomes a customized tool configured to fit him better than it would fit anyone else. Working in someone else’s shop would just not be the same.
Sometimes its hard to drag myself away from working on “shop” project to work on “real” projects! I wonder if most hobby woodworkers feel this way, or if working on the “shop” is a hassle to them?
My shop is my “ultimate” project…the other projects will come and go as they are completed. The workshop will be the common thread that helps to produce all the rest, and it will improve with each one. It will never be totally completed.
I guess this is one more reason that this is a hobby for me and not a profession. A professional would not have this luxury.