LumberJocks

Shop reorg #1: A new toolbench

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by GeBeWubya posted 01-10-2013 01:45 AM 1544 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop reorg series Part 2: Mortising an 8' 4x4 »

When I retired from 25 years of software and systems engineering for a major defense contractor, I wanted to do something different with my time. Woodworking is something I’d always wanted to learn, but never had time. I started accumulating some tools and quickly discovered that without a garage (My lovely wife absolutely refused to consider converting the family room into a garage/workshop. Go figure.) getting tools out and back into a small storage room and setting up in the back yard was a major impediment to doing anything useful. We decided to lease an office/warehouse in a nearby office park to set up shop. I get the 640 sq ft warehouse for my wood shop and she gets the 160 sq ft office area for her artwork and crafts.

I was amazed at how quickly the whole shop filled up. In the middle of some projects it got so crowded with tools, materials, messes, and me, that I had to go outside to have enough room to change my mind! Remember that 25 year career doing engineering? I figured out eventually that in addition to floor space, a warehouse has volume! If I went vertical, I could effectively increase the amount of usable floor space. However I have a small problem—I don’t own the walls. Moreover, the metal stud and sheetrock construction makes it difficult to attach shelving or cabinets to the walls. So I started thinking about free standing structures for adding vertical storage.

The first project was going to be a Lumber Loft. I got busy with SketchUp and designed a cool stand 8’ x 4’ x 8’ to stack lumber on top and house tool storage below.

Of course, to have room to put in the Loft, I had to move the 11’ tool bench I had cobbled together from 3 salvaged bleachers seats, 6 cinder blocks, a folding table, and some 2×2 battens. I wanted the benchtop to be a little taller so I could park some utility carts under the bench (and so I could use the mini-lathe without bending over so much.) If I were going to build platforms to support the bench, why not add some cabinets above. Oops! I still don’t own the walls. Back to SketchUp.

When I was at the register at Lowe’s, the clerk asked what I was building with 4 8’ 4×4s, a dozen 2×4s, and a sheet of 3/4” plywood. I told him it was a birdhouse. Here’s the birdhouse, sans top, sans tools.

-- (- |: \,/



0 comments so far

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase