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Release your inner handyman at Burlington's Shop Time Studios

New venture offers a safe maker space for woodworking projects, skills of all levels

If the thought of woodworking hasn’t crossed your mind since that high school shop class, then you might be interested in a new venture that recently opened in Burlington.

Shop Time Studios, located at 3317 Mainway Blvd. offers a safe space for those with all levels of experience to finish that project on their "to do" list – build a bird house with the kids, make a nice charcuterie board as a gift, or repair that table with the broken leg – using a wide range of power tools, table saws, planers and the like available in the studio.

William Nelsen is the proprietor, teacher and skilled carpenter behind the community initiative that offers novices and pros the tools of the trade and the space to learn, work and share with others while operating in a controlled environment.

“Shop Time Studios is a maker-space/shared work space that hopes to fill a need for people to do woodworking and use equipment such as a CNC machine, laser engraving, as well as the usual woodworking equipment,” said Nelsen. “Basically it’s a community of like-minded individuals.”

Shop Time Studios owner William Nelsen works on a project at the Mainway facility. Lawson Hunter photo

For those who may have had a workshop of their own but now have downsized their home or had the tools passed on to others, the warehouse facility provides a shop away from home. For those who may have never had the space or thought to buy all the tools, Shop Time Studios gives them access to a wide array of power tools and machines.

Memberships allow access to the shop while classes are offered in basic woodworking safety, techniques and project planning. Variable rates and levels of access are available from "hobbyist" to "total shop nut". Custom services on or off-site are also available.

“One gentleman came in and wanted to build a desk. It took only three days,” explained Nelsen. “And last week, a group of ladies came in to try things out as a birthday party.”

Nelsen has been in the carpentry business for some 25 years, building sets for television productions, and working on custom houses and furniture projects. “I got tired of all the moving around that was required for those industries and thought I’d set up my own operation,” said Nelsen, a native of Michigan and now
a resident of Burlington. “Instead of the travelling I had to do, I now commute three minutes to work.”

Different grades and types of wood are available through Nelsen’s contacts in the area though he might suggest a lesser quality if the project is as simple as a bird feeder or if you’re a beginner.

Nelsen also sees the shop as a gathering spot for those who may want to share a project and socialize at the same time. Nelsen noted, “I wanted to get involved with veterans, for example, people that have suffered visible or non-visible injuries, who may have difficulties getting back into social settings. An organization called Soldier On contacted me and so we’re offering a course in July.”

Whether as an individual with a specific project, a group looking for a different team-building activity, or just someone curious about tools and building something out of wood, Shop Time Studios has the flexibility to operate to suit any schedule and project. For more information visit Shop Time Studios or call 647-825-9455.

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Lawson Hunter

About the Author: Lawson Hunter

Lawson Hunter has been a freelance writer for more than 30 years. His articles on technology, the environment, and business have been published in local and national newspapers, magazines and trade publications
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