Tools for Working Wood

 Joel's Blog at Tools for Working Wood

We Are Movin' On Up - Out To Brooklyn!!  

07/18/2007 Our lease is up and we need more space...

From a catalogue retailer's viewpoint, New York City is a disaster. Sure, we've got great food, great museums, and great stores, but what New York doesn't have is affordable warehouse space. Our lease is up in Manhattan in a few weeks and we are moving to Brooklyn. It's still New York City (if Brooklyn were its own city, it would be the 4th or 5th biggest in the country) but we're going to be in an industrial area. No more models and actors heading to auditions and portfolio reviews in sharing our elevators. Oh well. But overall we're really excited. At the end of our new subway commute is a century-old warehouse area with buildings much larger than football fields. The new space, located at 32 33rd Street, 5th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11232, is 5 times larger than our old space, so we will finally have room to do more manufacturing, offer more inventory, and expand the showroom.

The building complex, Bush Terminal Market, was built in 1907 as a warehouse for unloading ships in the busy Brooklyn docks. This was before containerized shipping. We share two giant freight elevators and a big loading dock with only a few neighbors. If we ever have the urge to receive some giant bails of cotton or grain, a jib crane is conveniently located on the roof above us, and we have a set of huge dutch doors that will swing out to open the side of the building. We are in the back of the building, the courtyard, which overlooks now-unused railroad sidings. So (theoretically) if you want to ship something by train, we can unload it just as easily.

The buildings themselves are solid concrete, and we are on the fifth floor. Since the complex was built for work, there are no passenger elevators. When you visit, go up the front door, go out to the loading dock and the freight elevator guys will take you on up. They take a lunch break from 12 - 1 p.m., so don't come then unless you want to walk up the stairs. We will be changing our walk-in hours to 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.

We hope to see you there. We're about a 5-10 minute walk from the subway, and about 35 minutes door to door from Union Square in Manhattan. Directions and maps will be posted on the website. By car, we are less than a block from the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) and a few blocks from Costco. We'll find out more about our neighbors and other interesting stuff about the neighborhood once we move in.
Comments: 12
Hi Joel,
sorry to see you move. How do I get there from Grand Central Station.
I have been playing with my second shot at the Bow Saw. Part of the plans don't seem to make sense. If you look at the measurments for the tenon and compare it with the numerical demisions on the plans they are not the same. I don't have the plans in front of me, but my recollection is that there is about a 1/16 inch difference in the thickness of the tenon. Which is correct?

I will visit as soon as I have some spare funds to enrich your son's trust funds with.

Best of luck & regards,

Thanks for your good wishes and I hope you visit.

I would take the 4 or 5 express to Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn, then change for the D or N for 1 express stop to 36th street. Then walk to 32 33rd street which is where we are. Take the freight elevator to the 5th floor. (you can walk up but why bother). It's actually a pretty quick trip.

On the bowsaw I am pretty sure you are referring to the length of the curved mortises. The mortises are a little longer than the tenon so that as you tighten the saw up the curved mortises will slip and take up any slack in the blade length without opening up the joint. If the joint is tight then tightening the bow would only tension the wood and not cause the cheeks to splay out - tightening the blade. You need the extra play so that the cheeks move - unlight furniture where everything needs to be tight. Laterally, the width of the mortise and tenons are the same for a snug fit.
08/14/2007Preston Norris 
Good luck with your move. May your lease be long and the real estate developers never know of your location.
08/15/2007Ken Kennedy 
Live on the Left Coast but formally NJ.
Been looking forward to a NYC visit to you and Garret Wade.
Now they're in Cincinatti and you've moved to Brooklyn.
Probably the Xochitl Mex Restaurant ,the Smorgasbord at the Stockholm and the Metropole jazz gaff are nada also.
Anyway I'll keep the catalog handy for your fine selection of REAL tools and Good Luck.
Ken Kennedy
KK Classic Yacht Joinery
Brooklyn is in NYC and we are just about 40 minutes by subway from midtown. Even in our first week of showroom hours I am pleased to say that walk-in traffic is about the same as in the old place - and when we get fully set up I think there will be a lot more for a visitor to see.
while I don't know about Xochitl Mex we are at the edge of a great Mexican neighborhood with some really great food.

So come visit!!!
I hope Brooklyn real estate is better than NJ. They're killing us over here. Good luck.
11/05/2007john wilson 

Was that Bob who did the cover of your new catalog? I seem to recall an upsidedown plane tote (and just a bit of it at that) is the international distress symbol for something, but I can't recall what.
Lot's of luck finding food at the new location. I'd bring enough to last at least until spring.

12/02/2007John Tarbutton 
Hi Joel, Glad to see your new found space, real space for real work. Likewise this past summer I did the same. I also am recreating "new" space on concrete, the basement of a new house. While hardly a classic NY warehouse, it is much larger than my old log cabin. I wish the best for you in what is a very fine and thoughtful choice. Soon I will send some fresh roast coffee beans to help warm toes working on those concrete floors. My concrete may get a cover of Keruing, if I dont spend it all on new tools. I think its easier on feet and legs than concrete. The stuff is used as flooring in highway trucks so should endure workbenches, joiners, and the table saws with ease. Hope the "new" location makes everything better for you. Best wishes, John
12/10/2007Chaim Weiss
Itís a pleasure being your neighbor. We couldnít of wished for better neighbors. Lots of luck to your business, may you make tons of money, you should need the cranes for your cash. Just 1 comment I would like to add is that you should change your hours to 11:45 since our elevator man likes big breaks.

12/20/2007Paulette L. 

Congratulations on the new warehouse space! You were always a pleasure to work with when I was with Robert Larson. And you remain a great friend too!
Enjoy the extra elbow room.

--Paulette :-)))
Good luck in Brooklyn!

-- From your friends on the West Coast.

It's always great to see quality businesses and individuals come to Brooklyn. I wish you nothing but the best.

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