Planes, Trains, Bots & Games (and a few gadgets too)

The Hobby Guy

November 5th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

New Workshop and Workbench – Finally!

Last year when we fixed up the basement, I created space in the boiler room for my workshop. Initially I just used an old Ikea table and some storage shelves to outfit my work area. Quickly my workshop became more of a storage area than a work area. My workbench, being only a 3×3 square, never had any room to work on. I found my self still working in other parts of the house on folding tables.  Needless to say, I was not happy, nor was my family.

A few weeks ago I decided that I could no longer function without a proper workshop and workbench.  I decided that this time, I should first plan out how and what my needs would be. My first realization was that I needed to deal with all the junk I had in the curent workshop. The cleaning began and a day later I had completely emptied the workshop.  It is amazing how much stuff you can accumulate.  I decided if I had not used it in the last six months and would not use it in the upcoming year, it was gone.

As I cleaned I mentally created my checklist for what I wanted in my workshop:

- Organized and useful storage that would not get filled with dust from my projects.

- At least 8 feet of straight, flat, workbench. The space I had would allow me to have  9.5 feet. Perfect!

- I mainly build models and wanted as flat and true a surface as possible, so I used 5/8 med density fiber board (mdf).

- I needed a computer in the workshop so I no longer would need to run upstaris to lookup somehting on the internet while working on a project.

Well, I think I achieved what I set out to create. I built a workbench with storage area below and I used coroplast to cover the front of the workbench.  A little velcro holds the coroplast in place and gives the workshop a nice clean look. This also functions to keep project dust out of the items stored underneath. The bench itself is 9.5 feet long and 30 inches deep and the height is perfect for me.  No more bending over a folding table.  I had a 30 inch wide piece of 1/8 luan that I placed on top of the MDF and this should help keep it clean for a while.

I recycled some peg board for the back of the workbench. I found some wire shelves from a defunct video store that work perfect for items I want at hand. From my cleanup, I had many empty containers that I was able to repurpose for better organization. For my lighting, I reaaranged the two florescent worklights and the lighting ismore than enough.

For the computer, I only need internet access and not much horsepower and my wifes old laptop is now in the workshop. I did not want the laptop sitting on the workbench as I know one day I would either drill through it or glue something to it for sure.  My solution, an old TV wall mount arm I had.  I mounted it so that when I am standing, the keyboard is right there for me. Since it is an arm based mount I can push it out of the way or pull it towards me to type and browse. Perfect.

I am defintly happy with my workshop now.  In fact I have already built two planes in record time.


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