Remember Ron Paulk's Mobile Super Workshop? The Washington-based builder crammed a highly functional production shop into the back of a box truck, exhibiting the kind of clever design thinking that only comes from a lifetime of building things.
Paulk, of course, is not alone in his mobile woodworking needs; across the country in Connecticut, Brian P. Way has his own woodshop-on-wheels. Way is the founder of Precision Woodworking LLC, a high-end millwork shop, and he opened his "Lean Truck" to a camera crew at the JLC (Journal of Light Construction) Live exhibit in Providence last weekend.
I'll never tire of seeing how makers solve problems using design. A truck is one of the more fascinating vessels for a shop in that things have to be designed 1.) for easy access and removal, 2.) so that they don't roll around in transit, and 3.) to fit within tight space constraints. Everything from Way's pull-out drill press table, to the extendable material support arms, to the portable-drill-holding rails, to that clever little diamond-plate lip he added so one person could load the table saw, all speak of careful thought and high efficiency.
Paulk and Way are both builders, but too often, I feel, guys like this don't get credit for their design skills. I'd love to see what these two would do if, say, entered in a competition to design one of Manhattan's tiny apartments. The interviewer nails it when he assesses Way's overall scheme and says "Nobody should complain about not having enough room."