The Chronicles of Woodworking in a Can #1: The Chronicles of Woodworking in a Can

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Blog entry by cmckerliesr posted 01-05-2009 06:22 AM 1489 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The Chronicles of Woodworking in a Can series Part 2: The Chronicles of Woodworking in a Can (continues 2/27/2009) »

Well first I must thank Todd A. Clipper for the new title. After reading his comments I just could not resist using the suggested title for my blog. Along with the new title I will do my best to try to do things like record temperature differences between the outside air and that inside the can.

As I said in an email to Todd, I think I may call it “the Can”, now. I think it is funny and it fits. At least till I buy the planned second can, then I do not know what I will call it. But for now the can is fine.

I will address the issue that some have mentioned of mounting things on the walls as I have a couple of ideas, that I would like to try and as I do them, I will share them with you here. It may surprise some of you to know that the lights are actually held up by gluing 1 X 3 stock to the ceiling with construction adhesive. Then I screwed the light fixtures to the wood once the adhesive had set. I gave it 24 hours. If I remember I use that Locktite Grapit all purpose construction adhesive. I will verify that and post it when I do.

I was also asked about wood storage. Currently what wood I do have is stored in my mother-in-laws barn till I build something suitable. I am hoping to get the go ahead to demolish an old barn up the road and use that lumber to build a suitable storage area off the one side of the can. (Damn, I just laugh every time, I type or say “the can”.)

So, from now on, this blog will be “The Chronicles of Woodworking in a Can”. I will include information and updates about my changes to the can. With that I will also tell you about what it is like to work in the can and how I solve any problems that come up. Along the way. Feel free to offer advice or ask any questions you may have.

I will leave it at that for now.

Best wishes from the man in the can.

Update 01/09/09
Life in the can continues. I have been busy doing work to the bench and some other things. I will be posting an update in the next few days and hopefully will change some of the pictures on the workshop page to show the work done to date. I will include some working condition information then too.
That is all from the man in the can for now. Let the sawdust fly!

Craig McKerlie

OK! First thing first. If you looked my workshop page then you have seen the new pictures. I will take some more later to show even more of what I am describing below.

What have I done?

Well I replaced the counter top with 16 feet of 3/4 MDF and added a tool caddy cabinet to the end nearest the doors. Yes this did cut into the overall access of the the doors. But with both doors open I still have a 7 foot opening to get materials in and out of the shop. I kept the depth of the bench top and the caddy cabinet to about 24 inches.

I have made the shelves or caddy platforms for the power tools that I plan to interchange in the bench. But I have yet to actually attach the tools to the platforms yet.

For those who may not see what all I am talking about in the pictures. The base units are base cabinets that I got from a kitchen remodel that was being done up the road. After leveling them, I installed 3/4” MDF on top of the cabinets. Before securing anything, I made some decisions about how much work surface I wanted, and where I wanted to place my air compressor. I also had to look at some other storage issues and formulated a plan for the use of tool caddies including using them to interchange certain tools in the bench top. ( I have yet to finalize this, but will photograph and describe it at a later date.)

After installing the MDF and using biscuit, joining the two 8 foot lengths together. I attached them to the base cabinets. I then using 2 X 4’s that were recycled from the kitchen remodel mentioned before, I was able to construct the tool caddy cabinet. The beginnings of which you can see in the pictures on the workshop page. I covered the sides of the cabinet with 1/8 inch plywood. For no other reason then to clean up the look a little better.

I then took a peg board starter kit from Bulldog Hardware ($25.88 at Wal-Mart) and installed it on the left side of cabinet. You can see it in the pictures. What I got was 4 plastic peg board panels and about 30 or so peg board hooks. Each panel was 12” X 24” which of course when put together gave me a panel 24” X 48”. I turned the panel on its side to fit on the side of my tool caddy cabinet. I really wanted to use real peg board or even some of the slat wall stuff. But two things worked against me. One being the local Lowe’s only stocks 2 feet X 4 feet sheets at $7.52 a sheet, Home Depot is quite a distance away and they were out of peg board. The second thing was HAVE YOU SEEN THE PRICE of the slat wall stuff?!

Temperature information. Today it was about 50 degrees outside. I worked inside all day comfortably, with an inside temperature of about 55 degrees. These are not accurate measurements. I know the outside temperature by using, and based on the feeling, I have estimated the inside temp. When I can I will do more to give measured results.

Well I have stop here for now, my dog needs to go out.

That is all for now from the man in the can…..

-- The Man in the Can, Craig M. North Carolina

2 comments so far

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4055 days

#1 posted 01-05-2009 02:28 PM

Ahhh. Now I understand.

When my uncle sold his house and moved to a retirement community he and my cousin got one of those “cans” and made it into their shop.

Unfortunately, I did not get to see it when I was last up there (Maryland).


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4067 days

#2 posted 01-05-2009 07:38 PM


It certainly is catchy and radiates a good sense of humor!

“Where’s Craig?”
“Oh, he’s out woodworking in the can.”

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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