Saturday, April 4, 2009

Base of Operations

For most DIYers, there is a central hub that acts as the command center for all projects. This is usually a shop, garage, or workroom. Often times the DIYer has to compete for valuable space in the garage with the family car, or figure out how to organize all the tools and workstations in a woefully undersized space.
In my case, we have an unattached single car garage that fills the multiple roles of woodworking shop, mechanic's shop, and storage.
Balancing the many roles the small space needs to accommodate can be a challenge in itself, and I plan on delving deeper into that in a later blog.

When we moved into the house, one of the very first things I wanted to do was to convert the garage from a dirty storage place into a workshop. It took over a week to accomplish that goal because there was a lot of cleaning to do.
The first task at hand was removing the cardboard that covered the walls and ceiling. Large cardboard sheets had been
nailed over the wall studs, but some of it had gotten wet and was facilitating wood rot underneath it. All the cardboard and other garbage left over in the garage took more than four truckloads to dispose of. After everything remaining had been swept up we started to paint the walls. I decided to leave the wall studs exposed so I could integrate storage solutions with them.
Before long the walls were painted and I could start making "stud shelves."
Here is a photo of some early progress I made:

What I love about building storage space between wall studs is that you're not using any floor space! Plus, there are many creative storage solutions you could come up with, like tables that fold out of the wall, shovel and rake stand, and of course, shelves!

I'll show you just some of the things I've done to maximize storage and space efficiency.

Here is a lumber rack built into the wall. It is made by simply sandwiching the rack limbs between a 2x4 and the wall stud. Use lengths of 2x4s as spacers between the rack limbs. It's very sturdy and simple, now that's my kind of project!

Organizing and laying out your work area seems to be a never ending task. I am constantly revising and improving things to make the most use of space and ergonomics. Just remember to take a little time out of working on your shop area to complete a project or two!

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