The Shop Area

I had some thinking to do regarding where I was going to set up my “shop.” All I knew for certain was that it was going to be out my back door and be based under the metal awning, so as to keep the rain off the old noggin.

However, we have steps going down to the yard, so everything had to work around that. Plus, the steps are off-center to the awning. On one side, I had 5’8″x7′ worth of space. While you can make do with very little space for a hand tool workshop, you still want something a little bigger. After all, I didn’t want to be relegated to small projects simply because I couldn’t fit the larger ones in my shop space.

The other side, while much larger, was junked.


I spent a bit of time cleaning out that area, which was good and thoroughly trashed and took it mostly down to bare dirt.

That’s right, dirt. I can’t really call it a porch because it’s just dirt.

<Insert Jack Sparrow saying he has a jar of dirt here>

Anyway, this is the newly cleaned out (more or less) area:

This spot runs 13’3″ by 11’8″. That’s a lot more space to work with.

Plus, I can decide to set up the bench next to the steps and just use the rest of the yard as the back of my shop.

As you may be able to see, there’s a bit of stuff next to the steps right now. One is this monstrosity:

It’s a lot cleaner around this sucker now.

Also next to it is an old cedar chest that belonged to my grandmother. It’s a refinishing project I’ve just never gotten around to doing. In part because the veneer on the top of it is coming off and I’m just not ready to fool with veneer. That said, I may just pop it off and see what’s under it. It might not need anything except smoothing since we’re probably just going to repaint it anyway (yes, I know it’s a heresy, but after all the paint that’s already on this thing, it’s the only merciful option).

Back to the shop area itself, though…

This setup gives me somewhere in the neighborhood of 155 or so square feet of sheltered space. Couple that with fact that I do actually have the rest of the yard if needed, and I’ve got plenty of room.

I’d also like to add that while digging through the junk, I found the router I’d mentioned was missing previously. I didn’t get a chance to fire it up and make sure it works, but Iat least feel better that it wasn’t stolen.

Back to the shop space…


The big plan now is to first decide on the bench I want to build and just how I want to lay everything out.

My plan does include that monstrosity shown above, though. I’m thinking about using it to store all my handheld power tools in there, like the aforementioned router. It can easily hold that, the jigsaw I have, plus the circular saw I’ll be getting rather soonish. It won’t hold the drill press or table saw, but that’s another challenge for another day.

The downside to all this moving is that the other side of the steps is now rather cluttered. Part of that is due to my daughter’s wagon, but I’ll figure something out on that front.

Now, some might be wondering why I don’t plan on getting some kind of building to use as a shop or, at worst, a storage building. The reason is that my wife and I are hoping to buy a house sometime after the first of the year. In theory, at least.

That’s a topic still for discussion, but now I have the space to build something like an 8′ bench, which is probably more bench than I need. But, since Christopher Schwarz argues that a bench can’t be too long (and I’m inclined to listen to him), I see no reason not to build it that way.

And while I’m kind of stuck with the Rubbermaid bench, for the time being, I might as well put it to some use by holding the tool chest I have in mind to build.

All in all, it’s coming along.

Now to finish with my planning on the bench (more on that later) and restoring tools. With some luck, I’ll get started on that one tomorrow morning.



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