A walk through Jacques’s workshop

“Walking around Jacques Jodoin’s amazing basement workshop. An amazing sight, really!”

Jacques Jodoin’s amazing workshop
Owen: He’s a hobbyist and so the shop looks unrealistically clean and organized. I’ve never seen a shop look anything remotely like this. The number of tools is mind boggling. Even shops that produce $1 million/year volume have 1/10th the tools. In a typical shop machines and work benches are spread out with lots of room to work.

11 thoughts on “A walk through Jacques’s workshop”

  1. I am the owner of that award winning shop. This is the first time that I write to answer comments. Although I am financially indépendant because I had a well paying job and substantial pension,I am not rich. I started buying machinery and equipment when I was 14 years old. I am now 85 years old and I still spend 50 hours a week making furniture for my children and grandchildren as a hobbyist. You can accumulate a lot of tools in 71 years, especially when you do not like selling tools that have a nostalgic value. Many people said that I must be only a collecter. Somewhat, but does having made $250,000.00 worth of furniture during those 71 years not make me a serious cabinet maker? Finally, a lot of people worried that I had no space to do real work. The trick is that every machine is on casters. And as far as cleanliness is concerned, it is a safety concernen, not an indication of little activities.

    • I’m envious of your shop, Jacques. I also make some of my living through my woodwork, as a sculptor, but my shop is only the size of a small garage. I am 78 and plan to keep working until the end!

  2. Yeah, I knew you were joking Owen.

    It’s just that your joke kinda touched a sensitive nerve, and that rant just kinda wanted to burst out of me. Sometimes the warped culture of safety really pisses me off. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for safety. I just think that the most important piece of safety equipment is your own brain, and it is more important than any piece of safety gear. Too many people think they are safe because they wear a hard hat and safety glasses (or some other piece of safety gear.) Yet they put themselves at massive risk by not thinking through what they are doing. No amount of safety gear can protect an idiot from himself/herself.

    I feel better now that I got that off my chest. Thanks for giving me the internet space to vent. Call it “Natural Building Blog therapy.”

    ahhhh. Such a relief to get that load off. I think I just centered myself and found some inner peace.

    or did I just find nirvana?

    • Your basic point is well taken. Kids raised in the right environment like you’re describing could safely handle tools, guns, driving a tractor, etc. way earlier than most kids. This isn’t the norm nowadays unfortunately.

      And as far as that Nirvana energy system, I still believe it has some merit. The energy market is HUGE obviously. Only a small percent will build their own solar water heater, buy solar, etc. (Those are our type of readers.) A lot of people want something simple that doesn’t take a lot of extra time and effort. It’s good to know what’s available or will be coming available before too long even if you don’t buy this particular device.

  3. I’m not really picking on Owen’s comment. This rant is more about society in general and how safety has been completely dumbed down over the years.

    /begin rant.

    I’m certain a kid could be supervised in that shop.

    I know because I grew up helping my Dad and my Grandfather in their shops.

    It’s about teaching the kid to respect the tools and respect the work. It’s not about putting every sharp edge out of the reach of the kid. Teach the kid what is sharp. Teach the kid what is okay to touch and what isn’t. Teach the right way to do things instead of trying to put hazard tape around every possible hazard.

    If I didn’t do as I was told, I faced a worse fate than a severed finger!!! I faced the horror of the wrath of my Dad or Grandfather.

    Step by step I was carefully taught about every tool in the shop. Every danger. Every use. Exactly how to handle each one. Every way to take care of it. How to sharpen it. How to clean it. How to clean up after it. Even how to repair it.

    Those lessons have been invaluable, and I’ve done my best to pass them along to my daughter. Yes… I taught my DAUGHTER how to use all my tools the same way I was taught. She’s no Tom-Boy either. She can be as prissy and dolled up as the next girl, but she also knows how to use tools to make things she wants to make.

    Those lessons went beyond building things in the shop. I taught her how to change the oil in the car. I taught her how to gap the sparkplugs. Rotate the tires. She even helped me do a brake job. The works. A car is just another tool, and if you’re going to use a tool, you first need to know how to take care of the tool. She knew that I expected her to know how to take care of a car before I’d ever let her drive one.

    As she was growing up, I also taught her about taking care of a house. She learned how to fix plumbing, electrical, flooring, and anything else that got worked on. I taught her that some day she would have her own house, and that she needed to know how to take care of it.

    I didn’t care if she was a boy or a girl when it came to tools or safety. Her gender only came into play when she decided what projects she wanted to build, and what colors to paint them.

    I pitied any boy she dated that tried to pull the old, “car broke down in the middle of no-where, so let’s make-out until help arrives” gag.” She’d FIX the thing and drive HIM home!!

    Now that she’s grown, if my daughter wants to pay someone else to change the oil in her car instead of getting her fingernails dirty, that’s fine with me, but I’m certain she knows when it needs to be done, how it should be done, and whether someone she pays is doing it correctly or trying to rip her off.

    Safety begins with education, not special glasses or gloves.

    Guys… teach your Daughters and your Sons. Trust me. They’ll love you for it.

    (…and for the record… Boys should be taught how to cook and do laundry as well, but that’s a whole different discussion.)

    My daughter and I worked together and built her desk, bed, and bookshelves to take with her to college. She’s graduated now, but when she comes home for a visit, she still wants to go to the shop to build things together. How great is that?

    Some of our favorite memories together are times spent in the shop.

    /rant off

    • Sure, I’m all for what you’re describing. That’s great. I was joking about have a little kid wander about with a power switch every few inches. Be smart about it.

  4. ohh la la…

    “Tool Porn.”

    This is what happens when a guy turns off the TV and needs a productive way to occupy his time.

    Woodgears.ca is one of the most outstanding sites on the internet. Matthias Wandel is very talented.

    Note that is only page 1 of 3. There is a link at the bottom of the page to go to the next one.

  5. WOW! This guy must be VERY rich from the size of his basement PLUS all of the tools he has. Un-friggin’ believable! I’ve seen companies that didn’t have this much. Whew! It’s a place you wouldn’t want to bring a small child into. They’d be lost and never found. He’s got the shop any man would love to have. I could have one like his. That’s if I won the Powerball for at least 250 million. MAYBE I’d have enough money. Thanks for posting this. Now, excuse me while I go get a cloth to clean up all the drool I’ve got all over my computer.

  6. Lots of tools and no room to use them. Kind of a waste. I mean how many table saws, joiners and radial arm saws does one person need and use? I am guessing he is just a collector.


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