Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Building Out the Workspace

I love tools, and there was only one thing that could make me rip out the six-foot double-door tool cabinet I'd built some years ago: I needed more space to work on the Singers. After a while, tearing down 15-91s on your desk or kitchen table just doesn't cut it anymore. So I compressed my tools into denser storage and got to work.

  I salvaged some 2x3s left over in the photo studio from a shoot and ordered a couple more from a local lumberyard. Did some quick calculations and hit 'em with the chopsaw. Ripped a sheet of 3/4" birch plywood and rounded off the edges with a router. Nothing fancy, no trim necessary.

  Also routed a little half-circle in the back consistent with an electrical conduit running up the wall of my place. Plywood's eight feet long but I had nine feet of space, so I cut an extra piece, seen here at right. Then I polyurethaned the surfaces and edges, three quick coats with sanding in between.

  I scored six black Steelcase file cabinets for free off of Freecycle. Placed 'em side-by-side with space in the middle for my legs. The toughest part was shimming and leveling them all, the floors in my place are six kinds of crooked.

Then I laid the simple 2x3 lattice on top, screwing it into the cabinets from the bottom.

Dropped the plywood sheets on top of that with a couple of pocket screws to keep it in place.Next I just needed to populate it with machines.

That last part wasn't a problem.


  1. Sweet! Now it looks like you need shelving/storage because there's no place to work on that there workspace. You do have the fever.

  2. Wonderful!! Can't wait to read more and see more pics of your beautiful machines.

  3. Good show, Rain. Your new workspace became a storage space, so I look forward to seeing where you do your work.
    -- Bill in Maryland

  4. Rain, I really love your blog. I so wish I could come and visit. Too bad I live in No. CA.