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The Make blog reports on Steve Roberts’ outfitting of a 24′ utility trailer as a mobile electronics lab and workshop. Steve’s the guy who has spent the last three decades exploring high-tech bike projects (e.g., Winnebiko and BEHEMOTH; a total of 17,000 miles biking around the U.S.), and a variety of high-tech amphibious and watercraft vehicles.

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The Make blog used the above picture to point to mtneer_man’s Flickr page with 47 photos of the different workbenches he’s had. It’s quite an assortment, and very nicely organized (although I do wonder about that little bench or desk elevated by concrete blocks on the right). A geo-physicist, he lives in rural Oklahoma, has four — !!! — workshops, several workbenches (“…dirty work, clean work, electronics work, photography, automotive…”), and even sub-workbenches — would those be sous-benches? — for “sharpening, grinding, glueing…” There are many more picture sets on his Flikr page documenting some of his other projects (e.g., workshop building, shelves, tools…) and travels.

Time for a little workshop and workbench envy?

Workbench [Flickr: mtneer_man]

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A friend sent me a link to a Russian shooting blog that had an entry on a visit to Master Nijazi Ibragimov’s workshop in Lviv, Ukraine. The Picasa album shows many things of interest to the Toolmonger, notably the disarray on the floor, the lack of many power tools (check out the D-handle drill in the drill press fixture), and the techniques he uses with wood chisels. Many of the tools are recognizable but slightly different from what we’re used to, like the large aluminum c-clamps, the buffer (with bolts proud of the body that hold the end caps on) and the small vise on one bench. It seems that most of the work he does involves pistol grips which are a mixture of sculpture and precision. It’s an interesting trip to the other side of the world!

See all the pictures here: Master Nijazi Bilyalovich Ibragimov’s Shop


This month’s shop tour on the Fine Woodworking site features FWW contributor Chris Gochnour’s shop. This is definitely a case of gear you can’t afford laid out in space you don’t have with cash you can’t get your hands on –- but it is a nice shop.

Chris worked in his two-car garage with 7-1/2’ ceilings for ten years until he decided to “upgrade” his place to a 20’x30′ dream shop.  I don’t begrudge him his new place, since he did build it himself and shops are cool anyway.  But now that he’s got more floor space than I ever will, and it’s stuffed to the gills with cool gear, I won’t cry too many tears of sorrow over his previous arrangement either.

It’s a nice video that basically classifies as tool pr0n.

Chris Gochnour’s Shop Tour [Fine Woodworking]


If you want to see what efficient shop layout looks like in practice, check out this tour of Anatole Burkin’s 20’x20′ shop.  The sweet eight-minute video shows how the Fine Woodworking publisher turned a two-car garage into a four-season shop.

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unique-headerpic.jpgEven if you haven’t heard of Unique Performance, we’ll bet you have seen some of the incredibly sexy vehicles they produce, including the Foose ’69 Camaro, and most significantly the G.T.500E of “Gone In 60 Seconds” movie fame.  And, while some custom shops produce incredible one-offs, Unique is in the, well, unique position of manufacturing as many as eight of these highly-customized vehicles a month.

We stopped by their Farmers Branch, TX shops to give you an idea of what’s involved in the process, and to introduce you some of the people and the tools they use to convert rusted junkers to $150,000+ supercars en masse.

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