Friday, March 27, 2009

My New Shop, Episode 1: It's Purple!

Ok, let's get this out of the way. Yes, I have a purple room in my house. Horrible, innit? In its previous life, it was apparently used as an exercise room. I don't know about you, but it makes me want to high jog in place, singing, "I want to live forever."

Can you see past the purple (it's really more of a lilac, I believe...), though? Can you see the potential? A bank of cabinets against the back wall, pegboard storage above, a nice bench in the middle of the room and a few select power tools along the sides (bandsaw, drill press, scroll saw, and my latest acquisition, an old Delta/Homecraft disc sander). Tomorrow morning, I'll have a small crew of two over, helping me with Part One of turning this purple room into my new workshop!

"Exciting" is not a descriptive-enough word.

The short wall, over by the utility sink, is going to come out. The new wall will be about a foot closer to the sink and will meet up with an extension of the existing wall between the two support poles on the right. It might look tempting to just continue the short wall all the way over, but the steel beam above causes problems if we do that. I can't put a standard-sized door in a wall under the beam, you see. So we'll bring it out a foot and make the door open into the rest of the basement.

We'll just frame it up for a door for now, because I don't yet have it. I have three door requirements causing me issues at the moment. Call it green or call me cheap, but the first is that I fully plan on getting the door I'm going to use off of Craig's List or some place like the Habitat For Humanity store just a few miles from my house. The second challenge is that I need the door to be mostly glass. Because I need a mostly-glass door, it should be an exterior insulated-and-thermal-pane door. The third is that I want the widest door I can get, so it has to be a 36"-er. That makes finding a door from Craig's List or HFH a little more difficult...

Why does it need to be mostly glass, you ask? To be honest, it's for my cat, Petite Chaton Noir (Teeters, for short), as much as it is for me. Teeters is my shop cat, my work partner, my apprentice, and my mentor. Any time I'm doing a project around the house, whether it is hanging curtain rods or hanging a banister, assembling a wall cabinet or working on a box in my make-shift shop, she is there, watching me intensely with her big green eyes and fully-dilated pupils.

Anyone who has ever had a black cat knows just how difficult it can be to photograph one. I think this is a pretty good image of her. Honestly, it's a challenge just trying to catch her sitting still for 20 seconds. She's a bit of a racer...

I'm not yet decided on whether or not I'll be letting her in the work shop with me; she tends to pick up dust easily with her bottle brush tail. But she would be absolutely devastated if she couldn't at least watch me while I was working. So, for her, I will close off my room with a glass door.

Hopefully, tomorrow afternoon will find us with the framing and electrical done. That is pretty much it for the hired help. After that, it will be up to me and my brothers to insulate, hang drywall, tape and mud, paint, and put down the floor. A great friend of mine (the same one who put in the wood floor Teeters is lounging on) owns a carpet and tile store, so he's going to supply me with click-install cork flooring. Once I have everything else done, I'll finish off with that. It should make for an easy-to-stand-on floor that is also tool edge friendly for my more clumsy moments.

I can't really start moving things back in at that point, though. I don't yet have the cabinets for the back wall, so again, I'll be hunting Craig's List or the local papers or the HFH store to find what I need. There is a small section of ceiling behind the beam along the back wall. I recently took out four recessed lights from my living room (replacing them with airtight insulation-rated recessed lights); I'll be adding those back in behind the beam to supply lighting for the cabinet workspace. The rest of the room will be lit with a re-arrangement of the large amount of florescent lights found throughout the basement. I will try to achieve a natural lighting effect with a combination of cool and daylight bulbs.

I have other ideas for storing lumber and things I don't use all the time, like clamps and jigs, but I'll go over that some other time.

For now, I'm going to get some rest. I have a big day ahead of me tomorrow!

In case you're wondering... I have the paint picked out already, and it is "sailcloth white". Goodbye purple walls.

1 comment:

mdx3mom said...

Mike Said he would have never said he had a purple room, he would have painted it first before putting it on the net. (nut sure of his man-ness?)


Thanks for letting him get home at a decent hour! We have party plans tonight.