New office and Estrogen Free Zone Mancave.

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Project by Mike Robinson posted 11-27-2010 11:17 PM 5573 views 12 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After several projects for the wife, new kitchen, bathroom and a few odd pieces of furniture, I was the given the green light for a hangout and place of my own (Yay finally!) Because I have several interests and hobbies besides woodworking; modeling, die-cast cars, and aviation related art, I wanted a place where I could put my stuff on display and not have it all packed away in boxes, plus a place where I can work from home on days when the weather is inclement or I just don’t feel like driving into the office. The only room in the house that was available was the basement, which was totally unfinished and served as a combination junk accumulation point, storage, modeling area and all around dust catcher. My goal was to take what you see in the last picture, and turn it into the first. I had 14 by 28 feet to work with, and She Who Must Be Obeyed gave her blessing that the entire basement was mine to do with as I please.

First order of business was to pack up stuff and do a major clean out, then work began. Because it’s all below grade, I wanted to make sure it was as waterproof as possible. The entire floor and cement block walls received three coats of Dry-Lok, and I installed a bigger sump pump with a battery back up just in case. Once the Dry-Lok was cured, I framed out the outter walls with 2×6 studs, because I wanted built-in cabinets for my die cast collection, and for additional insulation to keep the room comfortable. I prewired the room for audio and visual equipment and because my existing service panel was full, installed a 100 amp sub panel and ran new circuits for electric and lights, all under the watchful eye of my local neighborhood electrical inspector. Once the wiring was done, I used 3/4 MDF and my raised panel bit set to create the raised panel lower walls, and 1/2 drywall above. The MDF worked well, as my plan was to paint the walls rather than stain them, and it was far more economical to do that than glue up planks for the panels, as it took only 4 sheets to do the lower walls. I then installed the raised ceiling in the center, with recessed rope lighting going all the way around, concealed my mahogany trim. All the trim in the room is 3/4 mahogany, clear satin lacquered with no stain. the rest of the ceiling is a drop ceiling, which I was forced to use because of plumbing that ran below the level of the upstairs floor joists. The floor is a marvelous product called Allure Traffic Master, a vinyl plank flooring system that is easy to lay, requires no preinstall work and looks the real deal. I used Teak, but they also have it in lighter shades, as well as tile and stone effects. It can be found at Home Depot, and is in my opinion, the best flooring to install over concrete below grade, or above grade for that matter.

The display cabinets are constructed of 3/4 black melamine, edged in mahogany, with all the glass and mirrors cut to order. Lighting was installed, both LED for the main lights, then incandescent tube lights in housings made such that the light illuminates just the edge of the glass in the back giving an greenish glow to the rest of the glass shelf. The built in wall cabinets were constructed the same way using 3/4 black melamine with a mirror back, and glass shelves. A mahogany center support was installed after because the weight of the cars was bowing the glass shelves quite a bit. I have glass cut for the doors, but they have to be built yet. I opted to illuminate these with track lighting from the ceiling, rather than built in lighting. Mahogany credenzas provide more storage along the walls, and these can be moved around at whim to change the room layout if I need a change. Future additions will be red or maroon leather love-seat and recliner, as well as some end or coffee tables. A 40 inch Sony HD LCD TV along with my Old School stereo receiver and amplifier and I am as close to heaven as one can get.

I am very pleased with the end results, and I now have an escape from the estrogen permeated fog that envelopes this house at times. The only drawback is perhaps I did a TOO nice of a job on it, as I often have to shoo out teenagers because they like sitting down here and watching TV.

Thanks for looking,


27 comments so far

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3968 days

#1 posted 11-27-2010 11:25 PM

Congrats on the great looking mancave! SWMBO must be happy with the other projects. As the comedian Jeff Allen says, Happy wife, happy life!
Edit: I am impressed with the indirect ceiling lighting. Used to work for a lighting gallery and like the effect.

View Dustin's profile


393 posts in 4456 days

#2 posted 11-27-2010 11:38 PM

So freaking awesome. Just put a girls not allowed sign on the door.

View tonøsa's profile


13 posts in 3779 days

#3 posted 11-27-2010 11:49 PM


-- Tom, Odense

View Uamsclay's profile


29 posts in 3874 days

#4 posted 11-28-2010 12:13 AM

I hope to have a zone like that someday

-- Clay - I love free tools

View Claymation's profile


165 posts in 3823 days

#5 posted 11-28-2010 12:14 AM

looks like you boxed up your tools! ;-)

-- Clay (Master Kindler) ~ Central VA

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3863 days

#6 posted 11-28-2010 12:32 AM

An amazing Retreat.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4533 days

#7 posted 11-28-2010 12:37 AM

WOW! Something that almost every man thinks of. ...and looks like we have the same Yeager print!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4122 days

#8 posted 11-28-2010 01:13 AM

thats a mancave alright , but where is the work shop, in the kitchen…LOL

congrat´s sofare

View StumpyNubs's profile


7851 posts in 3807 days

#9 posted 11-28-2010 01:24 AM

WHAT A DUMP! I don’t see a table saw or a jointer ANYWHERE! How can you relax in a place like that! :)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View abie's profile


920 posts in 4777 days

#10 posted 11-28-2010 01:50 AM

I agree with Jim..
what happened to the table saw etc.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4780 days

#11 posted 11-28-2010 03:17 AM

Very impressive. Beautifully done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View dpow's profile


504 posts in 3851 days

#12 posted 11-28-2010 04:41 AM

Great space for some interesting hobbies. The prints on the wall of the planes are nice. Thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4582 days

#13 posted 11-28-2010 04:44 AM

“Tim Taylor” would be right at home there !!!
grunt, grunt, grunt…..
(beautiful project)

View bigfish_95008's profile


250 posts in 4110 days

#14 posted 11-28-2010 04:59 AM

OK, I was cool with the hole estrogen free zone thing until panning to the old school speakers and seeing the stuffed animals. LOL

-- bigfish "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." Vincent Van Gogh

View misslolly's profile


52 posts in 3807 days

#15 posted 11-28-2010 05:17 AM

Very very nice
I want to see a photo of it in a year from now without the benefit of oestrogen cleaners!

-- wishIstillhadaclydesdaleinmyfrontyard

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