Monday, July 22, 2013

0 Everything In Its Place

Renovating a house is a huge undertaking, there's no doubt, especially when you're a novice.  But what I've found is that with the right tools, everything is possible.  There are so many things in this house that I thought were going to be impossible, but turned out to be fairly simple once I purchased the right tools.  There were also several occasions where once I purchased a saw or clamp or scraper I realized how easy a past project could have been.

The downside to all this tool expansion, aside from the cost (though if you can spread it over time, it's not that bad), is that you run out of room quickly if you're not set up to have a decent workshop.  Luckily, without even knowing it, I'd set myself up to have the perfect space, adding shelving and storage as the inventory expanded.  The best part?  Most of the workshop was built with materials and shelving recycled from the house.

Here's how it started:

This is our second garage.  Without a basement, the plan was always to create a music room out of this space, and it has worked out well.  The space on the right quickly became the workshop, once we did the kitchen.

Once we ripped the kitchen out, I took the doors off the cabinets we managed to salvage most were trashed and had to be scrapped) and hung them out here for storage.  Then I created a bench out of the old countertop, propped up by a couple old PA speakers I had laying around.  Then I got a beer fridge on Craigslist - totally necessary.

Next, I had an old steel caged fluorescent worklight that happened to be the exact distance between the joists above the workspace, and an additional smaller plastic fluorescent light that I hung under the cabinets. I also purchased a couple of short file cabinets on castors, one of which I used as tool storage under the workbench.  You can see already how the shelves are starting to fill up.

As the painting went on, we needed storage for all the brushes, rollers, leftover cans, etc, so these marble-topped shelves were stolen from the built-in desk that we ripped out. Another kitchen cabinet above it held all the random car stuff we brought from the old house - oil, trans fluid, etc.

I don't have any pics between what you see above and what I have next (about a 9-month gap in time) because this literally became a dumping ground with no real organization. As we started running out of unfinished rooms to keep tools in, they started just getting dumped out here in no particular order.  So, this last week, I set out to change all that.

I started by adding my dad's old vinyl crates up between this crossbeam and the loft above the workshop.  I then took some scrap 3/4" birch that I had leftover from the entertainment center project and built some shelving between them.  The board with all the keys on it is from an abandoned asylum in Kalamazoo - I took a few random pieces when a friend and I "visited" there, this being one of the cooler pieces.  The keys were a gift from someone, who I can't remember, but I found a 45RPM record storage box with all these old keys in it, and remember getting it as a gift, but not who got it for us!  The extension cords are hanging on coat hooks that were taken out of the back hallway behind the kitchen.

One of the hardest things to store in an organized fashion are caulk tubes.  I thought about creating something to store them horizontally, but then you couldn't see what each tube was, so I used a bungee and a couple of eye hooks and they sit up just below the big fluorescent now.

More recycling - this is a tall cabinet that was originally in the back hallway off the kitchen, and these little shelves attached to the side are from one of the cabinets used in the entertainment center.  I drilled holes in the side of the tall cabinet for the tape holders, which are just 1" dowels cut into 4.5" pieces.

I moved the fridge to the other side of this space, closer to the door to the laundry room, for easier access.  At one point, I'd raised this kitchen cabinet up to accommodate the tool box being on top of the fridge, but now that it was on the other side, I had a big gap, so I took some more scrap 3/4" birch and made another shelf above the toolbox.

Moving the marble-topped shelves allowed for a space to keep the miter saw, which I had yet to have a good spot for.  I raised up the carstuffs cabinet and slid the miter table in that spot. Still need to find a good spot to store the table saw...eventually!

Along with all this organization, I needed to get the rest of the garage in working order to start playing music again.  One of the problems with the room is that it floods when it rains really hard - we've had up to 2" of standing water at one time.  After pondering all the possible scenarios of how to prevent it, I came up with the best and cheapest option.

I took an 8' piece of 4"x4" treated lumber, cut it into a triangle, glued it down to the concrete with Loctite PL construction adhesive - it's waterproof and bonds all sorts of materials. once it dried (with the help of all the random weights I put on it, seen above), I sealed all the edges with a bead of clear caulk.  We have yet to get a heavy rain again to see if there are any weaknesses, but unless the water collects to above 2.5" inches, we should be golden.

Still have to get a lot of stuff put away, but made quite a bit of progress, and by eliminating the danger of water, I can set stuff up closer to the door, which adds a lot of space!


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