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Here's My Workshop!

Neil Yeager
Bangkok, Thailand

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I know this humble "shop" does not come close to matching the incredible ones featured previously in this online publication. At one point I had a basement palace filled to the brim with everything imaginable. Collected a few of those treasures along the way from Highland I might add. Now my current workspace is in Thailand. I work entirely by hand tools and over the course of a couple of years I brought over most of my hand tools and even some domestic USA hardwood in suitcases. 25 kilos at a time as that is the airline limit.

This "shop" was located in Chiang Mai (in the northern part of the country) and was under my carport. Here the weather is not an issue for working most of the year round outside. I would work in the mornings or late afternoons when it was not so hot. Could not work after dark in the rainy season as the mosquitoes would carry you away! But that was about the only limitation. My tool and wood storage was in a small room just around the side of the garage. I would bring out what I needed for the current project and work accordingly.

I call it a Zen Shop. Working with hand tools, I could completely get into the zone. I could hear the birds singing, insects buzzing, the sound of the rain, wind in the trees. I worked for hours at a time sometimes, not even aware of the time of day. A perfect experience for me.

Alas, recently I had to shift to Bangkok and have moved the shop back indoors to a more "traditional" set up. But when then time is right, I will be back out here to my Zen shop.

My kit now is quite basic, all hand tools, and all "users". All of which I imported by bringing them over here in a suitcase 25 kilos at a time. My only recent splurge was a set of Bad Axe saws that I ordered from the states.

The workbench as pictured was built entirely with hand tools. The wood is called Ha Num, which comes from Laos. Easy to work with and very stable. Quite inexpensive here at about US $2.00 a board foot. Teak is also readily available, although all of it comes from either Myanmar or Laos. A-B quality teak sells for about US $6.00 a board foot.

I spent a lot of time initially building a complete set of appliances, bench hook, shooting boards, saw vice, saw bench. I am now starting to work on a full sized tool chest. Mine will be made from Teak. I have always wanted to build semething really fancy and that is my goal now.

You can email Neil at

Want to see more shops? Check out our Shops Gallery , featuring many of the shops that we have featured in previous editions of Wood News.

Would you like for your shop to appear in this column? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking. (Email photos at 800x600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.

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