Sunday, March 29, 2009

My New Shop, Episode 2: It's Still Purple...

But it's framed in!

Mike and Jimmy showed up right on time Saturday morning to get my workshop framed up and work on the electrical bits. I'd spent several hours on Friday night (just before I took pictures for the last blog entry), cleaning the area up in preparation for their arrival. Mike had a shopping list and a cost estimate, so I grabbed the money I'd set aside for materials and we headed to the closest Orange Box store (just five short minutes away, if that).

Jimmy and I started on lumber while Mike went to pick out electrical supplies. We were amazed at the quality of 8' long 2x4's we could pick from! It didn't take us 5 minutes to come up with the 30 boards we needed. Picking out the five 16' boards took a little more time, but not as much as it took us to find the one straight 12' pressure treated board we needed! By the time we found Mike, he was pretty much done, as well. Ten minutes later, we were in the checkout lane. I was pleasantly surprised when the total amount came in at just under $325 (plus I was able to return $27 worth of unused materials this afternoon).

After we got it home and unloaded, I was only able to help out for an hour or so before I had to take off for a few hours. I had to go to a shop tour of Quinn Saw Blades, something put together by the St. Louis Woodworkers Guild. I'm the newsletter editor, so I wanted to be there to better write an article for the next issue. I didn't get back from the tour until almost 1:00 PM, at which time most of the framing was done and Mike was already started on electrical. They had to frame in a steel beam and some duct work and plumbing, so I'll lose a little ceiling height in a few areas, but that can't be helped. It is the cost of building a shop in a basement.

Much of the existing wiring was a hodge podge of sorts, so we took it all out and pretty much started over from scratch. It is now wired to use five shop lights in the main part of the room and three more on the left-hand side over by the windows where the bench will be (I only have two lights up right now; I'll hang the rest after the drywall is up). I went a little "green" at this point, re-using three cam lights behind the steel beam in the back of the room that were pulled out of a room upstairs earlier this year.

I wanted to save as much space as possible while keeping my costs down, so I didn't frame out the concrete walls; I'll just paint those white with semi-gloss paint. The outlets on these walls are high enough that I can put a bank of cabinets along the back wall and have these sit a foot or so above the counter top. The wall on the right is drywalled and we had access to the other side (via the tearing down of the really cheap peg board), so that's why you just see outlets and no PVC conduit there.

That's where we stand right now. I called my little brother the other day and he said he would be happy to come up and help me hang drywall. Before he does that, I need to insulate the ceiling and walls. That's something I can do on my own, of course. Hopefully I'll be able to get it taken care of this week or next.

Unfortunately, the same weekend I decided to make my temporary shop a hectic mess, I got a box commission! And a rush job, at that! So I might have to hang one or two more temporary lights, drag my small bench into the shop space, and make do for a few weeks to try and get this order done.

I was tempted to not accept the order, partly because of the lack of a shop and partly because the time frame is so short (the wedding is on May 2nd, which also happens to be my birthday), but I'm always up for a challenge.

Yeah, I know. My shop is still purple. I'll just have to deal with it for a few weeks, mostly by not looking up from my work if I can help it.

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