Friday, January 30, 2009

Creating A Plan

So I have the dimensions of everything in the garage area, so rather than moving things multiple times in RL (real life) I’m going to create a model of the garage space and what I have in there now and see what would work and what wouldn’t work. One of my concerns is to segment the garage a bit better for metal working versus wood working. The welder/air compressor/etc.. should be in the far back left corner nearest to the fuse panel, because I have a dedicated plug right there where I can power them from. I’m currently thinking of using the items I have now to create a walled peninsula to designate the two different areas. That way sparks/etc.. from the welder and cut-off saw won’t have the potential to land on wood or mar anything on that side of things. I’m not for sure how it’ll work out, but that’s why it’s fun to have the Google Sketchup model here. I can put stuff where I want it, measure, and see what would work and what wouldn’t work. I’m not opposed to booting anything out of the garage, so it’s all fair game.

We were originally thinking of getting a Storage PODS and having it placed to take everything out of the garage and start from scratch, but the economic reality snuffed that idea out (over $200!). Instead we’ll take things out from one half, move them to our semi-finished basement and then do the re-arranging and put back. Not ideal, but far more economical.

From My Old Garage

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Getting The Facts

GOk, so I have to know where I’m starting out from and what I have so I did a little inventory last night. Below is the items I have in the garage. Wow . . . that’s a lot of stuff. I’m thinking some items might just need a re-do to gain functionality. I have one item that is on spindly 2×2 legs, but I might be able to add some addition boards/bracing and put it on wheels for a rolling work table. My next course of action will be to plug all this into Sketchup and re-arrange things to get a better workflow and separation of areas between woodworking and metal working. You can kind of see my idea in the sketch—I used the sketch to get the dimensions. I figured I could Google the MG dimensions. I have some car rollerskates so I can swing it around wherever I need to.

From My Old Garage

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Before Pic (Caution: Graphic images -- LOL!)

Ok . . . this is just ugly I know. Part of the reason for that is it’s actually “in process” because I moved some stuff to get a work surface that I moved into the basement area. I have a 4 foot high table and a hutch type table area that I moved into the basement area for doing electronics and computer type work on. That freed up some area along the back wall, but left me with a lot of mess that was being stored on the table. Ugh.

You can see the variety in storage cabinets and their “era” from the paint colors. Oh that lovely avocado color . . . and then basic white and even a smattering of brown. The only thing missing is harvest gold. The purple one was only $10. They’re hanging lateral file drawers and I bought them to replace open faced shelving and keep dust off things.

The plastic storage units I got for free . . . and the irony is the one on the bottom is empty. In fact a lot of my storage facilities are empty . . . they’ve never been adequately designated and items moved into for storage.

Yep, below shows a waterbed framed tool bench . . . my only storage area for tools when I was first starting out. I stacked the drawers together, screwed 2×6’s to the sides, and then put a door on top. (Hollow-core unfortunately!) The drawers were way too deep and were not on very sturdy slides at all . . . but it served it’s purpose. Now I have at least a Waterloo top box for my tool storage.

That file cabinet is OLD . . . very old . . . it might be 60+ years old if I was to take a guess . . . it has served as my catch-all for some things. Again . . . love the avocado.

Doesn’t everyone have an old console radio? That’s one of those things (under the window there and on a stand made from more waterbed parts holding it above the air compressor) that I’m happy to give up. It has great sound, and it’s plenty loud, but it takes up a lot of room in the process. I can find a surround sound stereo system and run a lot of wire instead.

Sniffle . . . the MG buried in dust. The back wall has some shelving that might be better for wood storage than it’s current purposes. I’d like to get pool chemicals out of the garage and under the deck or in the shed outside. Likewise the bikes should head that direction too. The storage shed needs to lose some mowers (inoperable . . . of course) and other items and be back to storing items just for the outside.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stopping The Madness

Where did I lay that down at? Oh yea . . . there’s the pencil. No wait . . . I was looking for the drill chuck . . . it was . . . wait . . . is it here? No . . . hmm . . . oh look, there’s that thing I was looking for last week. Now what was I looking for again? Oh yea . . . wow . . . this would be great for something else I was doing . . . it would just take a minute to do. (Four hours later) Now what was I doing again?

Yea . . . that’s my garage experience in a nut shell. I got a Shopsmith from my dad (that was my grandfather’s) and suddenly I joined the rank of “woodworker”. I’ve had a motley mix of projects in my garage from time to time . . . from car things, to bicycles, and now wood things. I have a welder and cut-off saw, but not enough metal working stuff to quite get started on my (newest) project car—a 1974 MGB convertible (chrome bumper). The Shopsmith gave me a plethora of new gizmos and gadgets to keep track of, and I don’t quite have the feel for how the workflow should be. BUT, the biggest problem is my garage is a complete shambles with half started projects, bits and pieces, and things shoved where they can fit.

I made a modest attempt at taming the craziness a year+ ago, when I went to a local office surplus place and purchased some hanging file cabinets. They were replacing my open faced shelving that I had transplanted from my “dream garage” that I had at the lake house. (3 car garage—10+ foot ceilings) The problem now is I have a wide variety of storage devices and things spread all over the place. I also have an “eclectic” (at best) variety of do it yourself type work benches and tool storage places. Add a liberal amount of clutter/junk/accumulation from the past 10 years of home ownership and you can pretty well imagine what I’m dealing with.

The new plan is to get a storage pod of some type and simply empty the garage out entirely and start from scratch. We’ve been thinking on when our schedule would allow this to happen, but sometimes you just have to draw a line in the sand and say “ok, here’s when it’s happening” and go from there. We know March/April/May will just be a blur, and then we’re into the summer months, so right now we’re seeing how quickly we can get a storage pod and start from there. The only thing we probably can’t work around is the MG, as it’s garage bound for now. Someday it will be weather tight again, but in the mean time it’ll have to be a item we plan around. We’re going to question each piece of storage and/or item going back in to see what use it really has and if it’s not necessary, it’s getting the boot.

This will definitely be an adventure. I’m already planning out things that I can see going away. My old cabinet stereo has been one of those “oh, I can’t give that up” type things, but in the interest of space efficiency, I can see ditching it for a better solution. I’m not ruling out anything from the chopping block—well, besides the Shopsmith for example. I’m trying to eliminate frustrations where ever possible. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bird Feeders - December 2008

This is the very first project actually completed . . . it was a warm-up for the coaster building idea. We made two matching ones for our parents. We did some stencils on the side to dress them up a bit and just hit them with a little Thompson’s water seal.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Drink Coasters - December 2008

These are some drink coasters that I made for my sister and her fiance for Christmas 2008. We guestimated the size of a beer bottle holder, and decided 8 would be enough to tame most of the drinking duties. They loved the gift, and were just thinking about getting some, but lamented the number you typically get in a store bought set. It was a great first project, and I had a chance to refine my cutting techniques to minimize tear-out and to drill holes with my ShopSmith. The 12” disc sander was a great thing for this project in particular