For the founders Scott and Bob Stevens, what began as an idea to create beautiful, natural wooden toys has turned into an entirely different venture for two brothers – a fully equipped woodshop open to the public in the Los Angeles area called Community Woodshop. “My brother and I looked all over the LA area for a woodshop where we could work on prototypes, but found absolutely no woodworking facilities that were open to the public,” said Scott Stevens, who has a background in architecture and a passion for teaching and sharing woodworking skills. “And then it hit us… why not open our own woodworking shop and fill this obvious void. We honestly thought if we created the right environment for woodworkers, they would come. And fortunately for us – they have!” And so in 2012, Community Woodshop became a reality in Los Angeles. “We attract a full spectrum of woodworkers,” said Stevens, “from accomplished artists who create sculptures out of exotic hardwoods to an entertainer who makes props for his magic act to people who simply want to learn more about woodworking and create beautiful, useful products.” According to Stevens, what makes Community Woodshop so special is the energy of working with fellow woodworking aficionados. “There’s lots of energy in our shop,” he said. “Whether it’s a new cutting board or a complete cabinet, people who come here find themselves surrounded by kindred spirits with one goal in mind – to bring their ideas into reality – and everybody has a great time in the process.” Community Woodshop, where woodworking classes began in February, features a fully stocked shop with the latest tools and machines.
“Most of our equipment came from Laguna Tools in Irvine. It’s a great local company to work with, offering affordable, leading-edge equipment. In fact, our shop almost looks like a Laguna Tools Showroom, we have so much of their equipment for our woodworkers to use.”
The Laguna Tools equipment available at Community Woodshop includes the 1400 Air Circulator, 2HP Mobile Cyclone Dust Collector, 14″ x 14″ Oscillating Spindle Sander, Platinum Series Hollow Chisel Tilting Mortiser, LT14 x 14 SUV Bandsaw, 16″ Planer with ShearTec ll, 8″ Parallelogram Jointer with ShearTec II, Platinum Series 18-47 Lathe, Platinum Series 17″ Variable Speed Drill Press, and Pro Shaper 5Hp 220V 1 Phase. “Suffice it to say, we have everything an aspiring or accomplished woodworker needs in the way of tools, space and now, classes,” he added. Stevens said he visited shared workshops across the country, creating a list of things he particularly liked and what he felt needed tweaking so they could create the very best woodshop and learning environment for their clients. “What makes Community Woodshop so popular for members is that they not only have access to classes like basic cabinetry and wood joinery – but they have access to the finest tools in the industry from Laguna Tools,” he said. “They don’t have to work alone or use space in their garage or buy tools all they have to do is come to Community Woodshop and everything they need is right here under one roof.” Located in the Glassell Park area near Dodger Stadium, Community Woodshop is situated within the Keystone Arts Space – home to over 40 artisans.“People who come here feel as though they are part of an artistic community – and it’s very inspiring.” Community Woodshop is available for monthly memberships and classes, but they also offer day passes, too. As for the toy prototype, Stevens and his brother Bob were planning to build? That has been put on the back burner for now. “We’re having too much fun helping others be creative.” For more information on Community Woodshop and new classes forming, go to communitywoodshopla.com. All Photos by Micke Tong | Micketong.com Products: • 1400 Air Circulator • 2HP Mobile Cyclone Dust Collector • 14″ x 14″ Oscillating Spindle Sander • Platinum Series Hollow Chisel Tilting Mortiser • LT14 x 14 SUV Bandsaw • 16″ Planer with ShearTec ll • Parallelogram Jointer with ShearTec II • Platinum Series 18-47 Lathe • Platinum Series 17″ Variable Speed Drill Press • Pro Shaper 5Hp 220V 1 Phase