WoodLab, a new woodworking makerspace, has opened its doors in Jersey City. Located in The Heights at 195 New York Avenue Suite 1, WoodLab is a new business for anyone looking for a private space to build all kinds of things, and, at the same time, doubles as a social club for woodworkers of all levels — aka “the coolest woodworking makerspace on the East Coast,” according to the owners. Read on to learn more about WoodLab, a communal woodworking space that just opened in Jersey City.
^ Inside WoodLab at 195 New York Avenue, Jersey City
How the Idea Came About
WoodLab was founded by Rich and Christine Oldenburg, a married couple who have been residents of Hoboken for 8 years now. Rich was previously working out of a shop in the Chambord building until the building was destroyed in a massive fire in December 2021 and he, like many other people, were forced to relocate.
“Woodworking is a lifelong hobby,” Christine told Hoboken Girl about her husband’s favorite passion that started in Junior High. “He thought it would be great if there was a place where he could rent a space to continue his hobby, but nothing like he wanted currently exists. He envisioned a place where woodworkers could rent space for their hobby and socialize with other people who shared a common interest.”
Christine and Rich, who recently welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Grey, then scouted locations and found the perfect space in The Heights at 195 New York Avenue, Jersey City. Its convenient location is just up the hill from Hoboken, allowing “easy access” to both towns.
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“We think it will really resonate with so many people in both Hoboken and JC, especially as people start to plan out their summer and are looking for new hobbies and activities,” the Oldenburgs told HG. “We feel fortunate to be contributing in our small way to an additional activity other locals can enjoy.”
^ Miter saw station inside WoodLab
The founders of WoodLab have spent the past several months preparing the space to make it “upscale and inviting” for all members.
“When someone walks into our shop, we want it to feel different than anything they’ve experienced before,” Christine and Rich said to HG. “We’re a NextGen woodshop, maybe the first of its kind. Think of us like a WeWork for woodworkers.”
All members have their own private and permanent workspace, which includes a lockable storage cabinet for personal belongings (see below), wall rack for storing boards, sheet rack for storing plywood, and worktable.
“We have the most awesome machines most people have ever had the pleasure of working with. We also went top-of-the-line with our dust collection and clean air filtration systems,” the founders shared, while also adding that they’ve installed four air scrubbers in a separate room and also have a separate finishing area with a paint booth.
Check It Out
WoodLab officially opened on August 1st. Renters get exclusive 24/7 access to their own space, which is their own and won’t be shared or used by anyone else.
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Rent is on a month-to-month basis and there are no contracts or minimum stay requirements. The owners suggest securing space soon due to the limited number of workspaces available.
“Whether you’re a woodworking hobbyist or getting your Etsy side hustle on, WoodLab is the place,” the Oldenburgs said. “Our renters should have some previous experience in woodworking. We aren’t a teaching facility — we are a building facility — but we do give instruction on how to use each of our pieces of equipment safely. After they’ve been signed off on the equipment, they’re on their own and can start building projects.”
Christine and Rich, who especially enjoy building home furniture like nightstands and coffee tables, hope WoodLab will also be a social club where woodworkers alike can “hang out and chill with other members.” They joked, “Maybe we should have named ourselves ‘WeWoodWork.'”