Basement Workspace / V8 Mini Workbench #1: Moving South for the winter....

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Blog entry by rhybeka posted 01-11-2014 02:42 AM 1853 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Basement Workspace / V8 Mini Workbench series Part 2: slow starts »

Admittedly I have lived in Ohio my entire life….and there are much colder places to live. Experiencing temps in the single digits with wind chills between -30 and -40 listening to the furnace barely kick off and being extremely thankful that the windows had been replaced so the majority of the heat would stay inside instead of escaping – showed me how much of a pipe dream it was that my little heater would be able to warm half of the garage well enough for me to work even on warmer days. Heating my workshop will not happen until I have a space of my own instead of the garage, so it will be a few more years.

I began mulling over the possibility of there being room in the unfinished side of our basement that I might be able to have a small work area for DIY projects, hand tool practice. I began muling over what kind of bench would meet all of my needs, be cheap enough to put together, fit my skill level, and hopefully not frustrate me too much. Enter Paul/SW with his mini V8 Bench. I’m getting ahead of myself though.

Last weekend I was able to get approval for the space to use to set up my area. It’s about 5 feet from the water heater and furnace so it will be toasty warm in the winter and cooler months. The wall the bench will be on is about 64 inches long – so plenty long and wide enough. My plan currently is to install blocking on the metal studs and possibly some drywall (if I must), but I already have pegboard hanging across from the space that can be used. I’ll need to run an extension cord for light and/or power. There is a small ceramic one bulb fixture near the pegboard (not even sure what you call them), but it doesn’t throw enough light far enough. Any constructive input on the space/journey appreciated. Working through this from a newbie perspective so we’ll see how this goes!

Before :

After :

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

7 comments so far

View NormG's profile


6141 posts in 3031 days

#1 posted 01-11-2014 05:51 AM

It’s a start, you will need light though first thing

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2826 days

#2 posted 01-11-2014 05:57 AM

I have a small laundry room share /marquetry shop with bad lighting. I got a couple of magnetic base work lights from HF and then screwed metal electrical box cover plates to the walls and ceiling here and there to stock them on. It’s not big general lighting but I can get adequate light wherever I need it. Cheap and simple.
Good luck with the bench.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View rhybeka's profile


4045 posts in 3149 days

#3 posted 01-11-2014 12:33 PM

Well crud – the pics were right side up when I posted them! Yeesh :)

I have an extra one of those hanging fluorescent 2 footers out in the garage I believe I will be using – it just won’t need to hang very low on a 7ft ceiling. I also have one of those retractable shop lights I could hang up to store it and use occasionally for more direct light. I think that should suffice mulling over mounting a power strip to the joist overhead or something but not that far yet.

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2300 days

#4 posted 01-11-2014 05:20 PM

There are some fantastic LED strip lights and puck lights on the market now and are quite reasonably priced.
The puck lights over your work area would hardly affect your overhead clearence issues, and provide you with alot of light for there size.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3113 days

#5 posted 01-11-2014 05:27 PM

From the title, I thought you were going to migrate south with everything, but I see you are just going
a little distance towards a warmer climate. If your budget will allow it, one of those 4 ft T5 fluorescent
fixtures could easily light up that area. I would run a circuit or two from the breaker box if it was me, but
you might have to settle for a good extension cord and a power strip. Not that it is kosher, but they have
those plug things you can screw into your porcelain light fixture to plug in the fluorescent light. Have fun
and enjoy your new shop.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View socrbent's profile


613 posts in 2297 days

#6 posted 01-11-2014 05:54 PM

I would suggest you consider one or more twin t-8 florescent bulb fixtures from your local big box. The ones I use were inexpensive, put out lots of light, have standard plugs making it simple to connect to your extension cord or to put a plug receptacle in your light fixture (or replace the fixture with one that has an outlet with light fixture), and simple to hang with provided chains.
Next would be a work bench. To keep cost down, you might find an used desk in a local garage sale or auction, use 2×4’s to raise to a height that works for you and a sheet of mdf for a top. Then desk could provide a sturdy support and some storage.
Since your circuit breaker box is likely to also be in the basement then it would be a good step to add a 20 amp circuit with some outlets in your new work area. While this could be a diy project, if you don’t have experience or understand wiring regulations then it would best be done by an electrician. Shouldn’t be too costly either way. When they do this you might find adding a switch for the lighting very useful.

-- socrbent Ohio

View rhybeka's profile


4045 posts in 3149 days

#7 posted 01-12-2014 09:46 PM

Thanks for the advice guys! I was going to take another look at our electrical box to see if we have any room to spare. I don’t think we do. After our basement remodel, the electrician said we would most likely need another box when we were ready to do more electric. Shame since it is tight next to the pegboard. I think I would be okay with just one light, and an outlet to charge batteries for my drill or run the shop vac. Not looking to have to do any cutting downstairs since I’m right close to the furnace. I’ll still have to manage that outside unless it’s handsaw and not too dusty. I can also run an extension cord from the gcfi outlet in the bathroom that’s ~15 ft away if I must. @socrbent- going to give shipwrights mini v8 bench a shot. Already have the majority of the ply for it and it will fit my need. Thinking the height may be good – just need to make sure it’ll be comfy for me to do hand work on

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

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