Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Putting 10 Pounds of $%&* Into a 5 Pound Bag
Being a Do It Yourself kind of guy, I guess I have a lot of tools. Being someone who likes to take care of things that I spend lots of money on, I also like to park my vehicles inside a garage out of the weather, especially when I have an attached garage. There in lies the problem. How to you fit two vehicles and all your stuff into a garage and have room to access said tools and vehicles easily. This is my fourth or fifth garage that I've done over the years and each time I get a little bit better at organizing and arranging stuff. This time, I ditched some things and tried some new things that I think will work pretty good.
Above is a picture showing my new and improved bicycle system. We don't ride our bicycles very often these days but I imagine when both girls are a bit bigger, they will get more use. Until then, I need a way to store them where they are accessible but out of the way. Two garages ago, I bought some bike hooks that hang single bikes up parallel to the road. It didn't take up much floor space but took up lots of wall space. As we got more bicycles, it became a problem. When I first moved into this house, I bought hooks that allowed you to hook one tire into it and stored the bikes vertical to the wall. This used up less wall space but more floor space. This time around, I looked up to the ceiling. All the bikes can be raised and lowered individually by rope and pulley. The wall behind can still be used to store some tools and the floor underneath is also free. As you can see, I store my snow blower, hose reel, air compressor and numerous kids bikes, scooters and strollers. I really love how much better this area of the garage now functions.
This corner is still a work in process but it too is much improved. Before this was where my workbench and cabinet storage was. My problem with it was that when the vehicle was parked inside the garage like it was when I took this picture, it really limited the amount of space to actually do work at the bench. So I moved the workbench to the other wall and this wall became my work in process area. The table is the one I built and wrote about on this blog last winter. It can be moved out to the middle of the floor when building larger projects and is a nice solid surface that I can walk around and clamp all the way around. When not being used for that, I push it up against the wall and as you can see, it is a horizontal storage system for my current projects. Actually right now it is storing stuff that doesn't yet have a home.
In the corner is my scrap wood storage area. I can store a couple full sheets of plywood, an assortment of two-by material and scraps of hardwood from past projects. It comes in handy though I may move it sometime in the future to a rack built between the open garage door and the ceiling. I did that two garages ago and it worked well though I have to pull the car out to access the rack with a step ladder from time to time.
Finally I decided it was time to get rid of the old screw-a-2x4-to-the-wall-with-a-bunch-of-nails-to-hang-tools method. It wasn't very efficient and hard to change up if necessary. While walking through the home improvement store, I saw that you could buy a sheet of pegboard for $7 and the hooks for about the same price so I switched to the pegboard system. I bought two sheets and put one above this table and the other between my workbench and cabinets. I't still in the process of finding things to hang up on it so they look a bit under utilized right now but I assure you that will change.
Finally this mess is my new workbench. It is about 75% longer than my last work bench and I added two more overhead cabinets to the three I already own. Gone (actually recycled) was my old stand alone workbench that was completely open and didn't have a lot of room underneath to store things. This time around I had several things that I wanted to accomplish with this bench that my last bench didn't do. The first thing is that I wanted to build this bench around my large tools. So if you look closely to the left side of the bench, you can see that I built it around my tablesaw (it slides out when needed) and I built two large bays on the bottom to hold my planer and router table when not in used. The tall center bay hidden behind my chair holds my mortising jig when not in use. The two upper bays on the left side and all four bays on the right side will hold pullout drawers on full extension drawer slides which are whats in the two cardboard boxes on the left side of my bench. The one-by material on the floor is what I'm going to build the drawers with along with the sheet of plywood seen in the corner of the first picture. These drawers will replace the huge metal shelving unit that I nabbed from the scrap heap at work a decade ago. It had many deep bins but I was forever loosing things in the back recesses of them because they didn't pull out and they were always full of sawdust and dirt. One of my goals this time around was to reduce the open areas that can get filled with all the sawdust I create. All the openings underneath the workbench will be fully enclosed when I'm done and all the cabinetry will allow for dust free storage as well. Up above the cabinets I use that for stuff that I occasionally need and want within arms reach (if I stretch) without needing to go get a ladder. Because I had quite a bit of stuff that I use even less often but really don't want to get rid of just yet, I built the long shelf up near the ceiling for those things.
Right now I am doing some finish work on the garage door which we replaced and which I will do a post on later. I rewired it and have to do some touch up painting before I can grab pictures of it. Then I will get started on the workbench drawers next and hopefully get the workbench project wrapped up. Soon I promised to make some built in shelves for my parent's house and I need to get my tool organized before then.