Converting a Garage into a Wood Shop + #5: Still trying to clear space in shop for room to work

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Blog entry by CaptainKlutz posted 01-24-2020 07:57 AM 562 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Power! for Woodworking Tools in Garage Part 5 of Converting a Garage into a Wood Shop + series no next part

Sorry it’s been awhile since last post.

Between holiday events, stubborn head cold, reoccurring migraine issues, and general family fun; nothing exciting has happened in last month, although there has been slow progress?

Sorted through ~ton of old paper files, and books taking space in garage due to downsized office. Recycled 80% not needed in today’s digital age. Found project files dating from late 70’s when Dec PDP11/70 computer was considered a super computer. Yes, I was a computer nerd before it was popular title.
Was an interesting trip down memory lane reading the old stuff.

Un-packed boxes with all my chemicals, and remaining boxes of odds/ends.
Metal storage cabinet is set up for chemical storage.

Work bench is still covered with tools/bits that don’t have a home in new shop yet.
Didn’t help that Santa bought me new 20v DeWalt compact series drill/driver set. The compact size is supper handy, but now have more stuff to store!

Cleared some space by selling a 32 yr old 36×80 solid core door work bench on CL:

Didn’t get much, but it went to middle age metal worker that bought a new home and needed sturdy bench.

May it serve him as well as it did me the last THREE DECADES. Built 3 just like it for my one/only basement shop long ago. Felt like losing a part of me, as I watched it drive away. :-(
At least my BIL still has one in his garage I can visit if I miss the trio. lol

Also repaired the broken casters on a rolling assembly bench.
May or may not remember that the 4” castors didn’t like being overloaded with 400bdft of lumber (~2000lb) for the move?
Replaced the caster wood support plates as the lag bolts ripped out and shredded the wood.

Made the ‘bench’ ~15 years, before I joined LJ and never thought to post a project on it?
Here is front view:

May regret admitting this, but I didn’t really ‘make’ the rolling bench?
If it looks familiar, it’s because I hacked ~6” off the bottom of 3 IKEA (OMG!) base cabinet boxes, mounted them to plywood base, and added a 3/4 trim panel to back. Has IKEA 1.25” thick 60” long maple butcher block counter top slab, finished in polyurethane. The doors I made from MDF, and painted with rattle can enamel. Has a couple of fancy roll out baskets in one side.

Why IKEA and why build a small short mobile bench is long story for another time?

Funny ending for this bench:
Was getting ready to post the repaired bench for sale on CL on my quest to clear space, and was forced to stop. SWMBO wants to keep it as her ‘craft’ bench. We don’t really have room in house for it, but have to obey. My only stipulation was it’s not coming back to garage. lol

Now that several large space hogs are gone, can actually function in the garage, .vs. previous rat maze in last blog entry:

Sorry no new picture, just imagine a 6×9 hole in middle of previous pic. :)
Can almost fit a micro sized car in garage now?

In other news this week:
Santa Claus finally delivered several new Veritas PM11 Stanley replacement blade/cap iron sets back ordered since early December. Also received a high angle blade for my LA Jack. :-)

Will have a 603, 605, and 604-1/2 that will be much more enjoyable to use, assuming they will tolerate fitting thicker blades.

Last but not least:
Here is a teaser pic of another space solution started this week:

Extra credit to anyone who can guess why I have a 6’x12’ 2×3 metal frame prepped for welding?
Doesn’t count if you cheat and read the weather report thread. :-)

For those keeping track, still have to:
- Hang some 4’ LED lights.
- Build smaller footprint for storing my usable scrap wood (bought some angle iron for rack last week!)
- Deal with two extra Unisaw sucking up valuable space.

That is all for now.
Thanks for reading.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

3 comments so far

View grantd's profile


110 posts in 2113 days

#1 posted 01-24-2020 04:56 PM

Looks like you’ve been busy and I like that ikea solution. As woodworkers we like to believe there is some honor to be had in making everything in the shop but it’s silly, especially when it can be bought for similar or sometimes a lot less money used.

I’m surprised hanging lights, even temporarily, wasn’t the first item on your list. I know I work a lot better when I can see better.

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)


2395 posts in 2125 days

#2 posted 01-24-2020 07:24 PM

Thanks for comment. I agree, more light please!

Have hung one 4’ double bulb florescent light fixture from the bottom of my ceiling racks that extend past the garage door when open. There is the single light fixture on ceiling. It’s enough to enable seeing what I am bumping into as I walk around. LOL
Plus I work during day with garage door open 99% of time, so lights are not as critical up front.

For the record, only had ~3 weeks between SWMBO saying ‘we are looking at new rental house tomorrow’ and move out. Didn’t have time to properly consolidate for the move. Had there been time to sell extra stuff first, maybe finish a project or two; it would have made this easier.

My previous 2 shop moves gave me about same space. Setting up this shop after downsizing from oversize 3-car garage to 2-car has been much more challenging than I thought.

It’s classic chicken-egg joke: Need space to work, but need to move stuff to make space; but wait there isn’t any place to put anything (except the driveway for couple hours).

In hind sight; should have moved all the large power tools, three unfinished piles of project wood, and my ‘not down sized enough’ collection of wood scraps, as well my lumber stock; into storage for couple months. At a minimum, would have not spent as much time playing ‘musical chairs’, moving stuff around as I got the place organized. Live and learn. Downsizing a shop needs better planning.


-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View grantd's profile


110 posts in 2113 days

#3 posted 01-27-2020 03:12 PM

It s classic chicken-egg joke: Need space to work, but need to move stuff to make space; but wait there isn t any place to put anything (except the driveway for couple hours).

- CaptainKlutz

I remember that problem vividly when making my 8’ bank of 16 drawers which also serves as my primary workbench/assembly place. I still had stuff in boxes from the move 2 years prior (2 kids younger than 3 at the time) that I couldn’t find because it wasn’t organized in drawers. Worse yet my time would be in blocks of an hour or two and I’d often need to stop abruptly meaning nothing was even remotely put away.

Read through your wiring post too and I’m amazed you’re going through all of that in a rental and perhaps even more amazed that your landlord is ok with it. Your space set up better for power than my garage shop after 3 years of living there.

Moving is a lot of work but I’ll bet your space is better for it. Reduced collections of “might use this someday” materials and tools is almost always a good thing.

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