Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm Ba-a-a-a-ck...with A Blog-worthy Update.

I's been wa-a-a-a-ay too long!  I never intended to stay quiet for so long and I promise everything's fine...I've been nesting!

It has come to my attention that I  haven't posted in awhile; and I've listened!

I can assure you I haven't been resting on my laurels.   I've been working like a madwoman trying to get my workshop buttoned up for winter.  I just didn't think that daily updates would be very interesting.

Here's a little look-see at the project.  It's not quite finished and not very pretty but I'm working on it.


To recap, this used to be the best way to get in and out of the workshop.  Hardly ideal, traversing a curb and then navigating the raised stepping stones.

This was the other access, from the driveway (not shown on the right) through the dirt to a second driveway, over more dirt and if I'm lucky and the path is clear, through the "often flooded in the winter" lawnmower port.


First, move the propane tank that sat next to the block wall and take down the ugly tarp.

Next, remove the gates and a portion of the always looks worse before it looks better.

Then, to keep the water out of the workshop, add a trench drain.

Dig out a new path connecting the driveways so that I can just wheel everything in on a traversing necessary!  Yeah!

With the framework in, we're ready to pour.

We also added concrete where the propane tank used to be.  This will give us a spot to add a little tool shed for shovels and rakes and such...The slope will send the water down the long driveway to another trench drain below.

It's a beautiful thing!  Now it's smooth sailing from the truck to the shop.  I'm a happy girl!

We enclosed the old mower port and added a sliding barn door.  Not only did this give me a new great entrance, but the perfect place to store all my wood, out of sight when I'm in the workshop but close at hand.

Since we used the existing posts to build the new exterior wall, I gained another foot on the inside.  This was the perfect spot for five gallon buckets to hold all my short pieces of wood and trim moldings with the taller pieces at the other end, corralled with wall brackets mounted at various heights.  The wall also holds a ladder and dolly.

On the opposite side, there's plenty of room to stack doors, shutters, windows and all the larger sheets of wood.  My husband had previously built a sort of "crib" that he used to hold extra pipe and long pieces of wood.  He offered to remove it but I decided I could use every inch of storage space and asked him to leave it up and I could use it for shorter items in the other direction.

Sweetheart that he is, he took scraps of plywood and built a platform on the "crib" so my stuff wouldn't fall through.  I had lots of "stuff" and wanted to use every inch of space but in a way that I could easily access my "stuff". 

 Here's what I came up with:  For longer pieces, I cut the bottom out of several five gallon buckets and left the bottom in for the shorter pieces.  Then I just screwed the buckets to the wood frame to hold them in place.  This way, I was able to stack the buckets two high and maximize storage.


How does the song go?  "Baby, it's cold outside."

This is what the east wall of the workshop used to look like.  The only thing between me and nature was a short block wall.

We removed the block header (which was cracked and did absolutely nothing).  Then, we enclosed the top of the block wall and installed a couple of windows to let the natural light in.  I would have really missed seeing the trees outside. Between enclosing this wall and the mower port, I gained storage and keep the cold out.

As if that wasn't enough, my wonderful husband installed a heater with a blower.  My hero!  The smart man even put it on a timer, sort of like a toaster oven, so that I don't have to worry about remembering to turn it off.  I just walk in and turn the timer to 10-15 minutes and with the blower it has the chill out of the shop in no-time.

THIRD ON THE WISH LIST:  Who needs power and lights when you have a drop down and construction lights?

Remember the old string of construction lights?  Gone.  Although, I did want to keep the pull down power cord-on-a-reel in the center of the shop.  It really is handy for sanding and buffing.

Every wall has power outlets now and we added new lighting over every workspace on a couple of different switches so they don't have to all be on at once.  The block wall turned out to be a great place for all the power tools.  I hung the ShopVac on the block wall for easy cleanup around the sawing/routing area.

I've recycled part of an old kitchen island to hold all my tools when not in use.  The doors help keep the dust out.  I put the island on casters so that I can keep it against the wall most of the time, but wheel it out to get at the tools or if I need to cut longer pieces of wood.  I find it quite handy.

NEXT REQUEST ON THE LIST:  Water.  Before, if I needed water I had to trek over the stepping stones, through a breezeway, through the main garage and up a few steps to the mudroom.  Inconvenient to say the least.  I used to keep a bottle of water in the shop just in case I needed to thin paint or something.  Yeah, there was always a hose bib but that meant mud.

Now, I have a great wash sink that's nice and deep.  My husband even installed a hot water pump so I have hot and cold running water!  I mounted a recycled upper cabinet on the wall to hold cleaning supplies, a first aid kit, garbage bags, etc.  I mounted a piece of peg board on the left side by the sink (not shown) to hold paint brushes so they can drip dry, scrub brushes, and a paint brush comb.  The tool cabinet below (found at a garage sale for $5) holds my milk paint mixing stuff.

The center section of this south wall used to be an open space covered by a tarp.  Originally, the entire wall was open because there are steps leading down to a small basketball court.  (Before, this was my shop, it was a sort for rec. room when my son was a teenager.  That was the first remodel.  Before we moved here, it was an indoor/outdoor kennel for a variety of animals, including a couple of tigers.....yes, I did say tigers.

Sometime in the near future, my husband plans to build me a sturdy workbench that goes from the wash basin all the way across the wall to another set of corner kitchen cabinets that I've already installed.

Well, this is about as far as got moving back in, cleaning and organizing before I had to work on a couple of can only keep a junker down for so long!  I have to say, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  Working in this new shop has been amazing!   I can't wait to get in there every chance I get and even enjoy cleaning up at the end of the day!

Stay tuned....I plan to post a couple of new projects in the very near future!

Here's a teaser.....

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