Sunday, 2021 February 28

Everyone who knows me well is aware that I've spent a lot of time, money, and effort fixing up part of the garage into a shop space. I've shared a few pictures on social media, but I thought I should post a more comprehensive look here for the curious.

As with pretty much everything in my life, this space is a work in progress. I'll call out a couple upcoming projects specifically below.

We'll start with the workbench. This probably represents as much time invested as the rest of the shop corner put together. It's a relatively true interpretation of this ShopNotes workbench. I believe I started on it soon after we moved into our house and I just finished it in mid-2020, so it took me probably five years to finish it (the bulk of that work came in 2020 - it was my major COVID-19 project for a lot of weekends).

Visible in the right foreground is my scrap wood cart; more on that below. Behind the workbench in the corner is my air compressor cabinet; the interior is lined with acoustic tile and it does a great job of keeping my large air compressor's volume down to a reasonable level. You can see the main air filter and manifold on the back wall.

On top of the workbench is a garbage/recycling station for our kitchen. The front is made out of cherry and is probably my nicest work so far. I've been promising Krista that I'll get this installed for a few years, so I really need to make it happen this year.

Above the workbench is a set of cabinets I built. One cabinet contains the shop PC; I have a couple of fans (with fine filters) built in to the cabinet to provide ventilation. There are also super-bright LED lights mounted under the cabinet that you can't really see.

On the top left you can see my air filter - this is a relatively recent addition, but it's been great for helping to keep the overall dust level down.

Barely visible in the left foreground is my work cart. I built this when I was still living in Michigan; it represents my first major attempt at making something "nice". In fact, I built two of these - I gave the nicer one to my Dad, who still uses it as well.

The cedar stacked on top of the work cart is intended for some outdoor furniture; I'm hoping to post the details when I finish it.

Moving back, the table saw cart is next. This was also based on third-party plans - again, probably from ShopNotes, but I don't remember for sure. Yes, I did build the drawer box one inch too short, because I'm an idiot. But I made up for it by making the box approximately 1/8 of an inch too wide, which meant I had a hell of a time forcing it into the frame. I did get everything to work out eventually, though.

Next is the back wall. This is a simple storage base, upon which rests my grandfather's CCC chest. He passed it down to my Dad, who passed it on to me. My Dad did the visible restoration work; there is still work to be done, but I haven't managed to make the time yet.

Next to the CCC chest is my mechanic's toolbox and small part storage. Above the CCC chest is one of the sets of cabinets that I built. These contain miscellaneous electrical and plumbing parts, as well as random stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else. Below the cabinet is a built-in charging shelf. You can also see the top of my shop-vac here.

I've built a series of similar mobile storage carts to go under the rest of my major power tools. Here you can see my planer and miter saw in one picture, and my drill press and router in the other. The drill press features a homemade enlarged table. All of these carts are on casters so I can just wheel them out of the way when I'm not using them.

Finally there's the storage wall - there is lumber storage above, and a french cleat system below (that you can't really see). I also have a scrap lumber cart that I built; I think it's my most recent major build and, ironically, about the worst. You can't tell from these shots, but it doesn't have a right angle on it. I got overconfident, made the design too complicated (in fact, it was impossible to build it as I originally designed it), and I ended up getting frustrated and just forced and hacked stuff until it sorta-kinda worked. Not my proudest moment, but a good learning experience.

Visible on top of the scrap cart is my original storage unit for my pipe clamps. This has seen been replaced by the french cleat storage system, but I haven't broken down the old rack yet.

What's next? I'm actually working on plans right now to replace the router cart and the table saw cart with a single combined unit, much larger than either of them. I've already purchased a very large rip fence that can be shared between the two tools. I expect it'll take me many weekends to build it, and I haven't even started acquiring the wood yet, but hopefully I'll get it done this summer and will be able to provide an update.

Wednesday, 2020 May 20 Sunday, 2021 April 04