It has only been four short years since I bought my first house. At the time I had no handyman skills to speak of; heck I didn’t even know how to use a drill without obliterating the screw heads. What can I say, I’ve been a bit sheltered, but life is good, and I have been learning more and more since moving in. At any rate, as far as I was concerned a garage was where the cars and outdoor tools lived. No more, no less.
Nearly a year ago, I decided to take up woodworking as a hobby. After spending way too much money on tools I had never even considered before, I found myself with stuff scattered all over the place. Soon after I realized how important and beneficial intelligent storage systems are. Unfortunately, winter was closing in by this time. The garage is insulated but not heated, which isn’t good enough for South Dakota winters, so everything got put on hold. When spring finally came I picked up where I left off, and my current focus is on figuring out just what the heck to do with the garage. Only now am I beginning to pursue the endless possibilities.
Task #1 is removing the old work bench a previous owner left. When I bought the house I thought to myself that a workbench would be a nice thing to have, even though I had no idea how to use one. As it turns out, this particular bench wound up being something of a white elephant. It is approximately 3.5 feet tall, with a work surface 2’ by 8’. The work surface is sound enough (if a bit nasty looking), though it has no place to attach clamps, no holes for bench dogs, no place for a vice, etc. Below the work surface are two simple drawers (think kitchen silverware drawers only not as nice), and four MDF flat doors that serve no real purpose. That’s roughly 56 cubic feet of garage space for one measely work surface and two drawers. What a waste.
So, tonight I spent about three hours ripping this abomination out. It was completely covered in all manner of odds and ends (sprinklers, tools, fertilizer, hub caps, license plates, pegboard clips, deck brightener, empty containers, etc.), so first I needed to find a place to put all that junk. That’s a lot of clutter I hope to never see again!!!
Once it was all cleared off, I got to work on the demolition. I’m not sure how many screws I extracted, but it was several dozen to be sure. No doubt my drill, which is “resting” at the moment, absolutely hates me right now. A few of the screw heads actually popped right off (I suspect the screws were already broken), but I only had to pry two pieces apart. Since I plan to reuse the lumber, I went ahead and removed the broken screws by clamping the empty drill chuck over the exposed shanks. They screwed right out, but I’m not sure that’s very good for my drill. :-)
After all that work I ended up recovering the following:
-6 or 7 eight foot 2×4’s
-several shorter 2×4 segments
-6 three and a half foot 4×4’s
-5 eight foot 2×6’s
-16 square feet of nasty-looking OSB
-4 MDF door panels with hinges
-2 drawers with hardware glides
-dozens of screws, which I will probably not reuse
Almost all of the lumber is in perfectly fine shape, though it could use a good cleaning and maybe some paint or stain for aesthetics. To think, that much wood went into such a pitiful work bench! I intend to use most of the 2×4’s for an upcoming shelving project, but first things first. I have a lot of prep work and painting to do before I build anything onto the walls.
-- "How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?"