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rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/23/14 4:45 p.m.

I ready to start working on my garage to get it ready for real workshop duty. Its a detached 2-car unit built in the late 50's. 2x4 walls, no drywall or insulation, concrete floor (but broken and cracked pretty badly), some area for storage in the 'attic' area, good 110v serivce, no heat or air. It is located behind the house so there is a good long driveway and some space just outside the garage door that would be good flexible overflow work area.

Goals:

  1. Needs to be a flexible space - I do car work, wood work, home improvements, etc.
  2. Needs to fit one car as a working/parking space.
  3. Needs to store all my stuff to do said work in an organized fashion.

I hope to document the process with photos as much as possible. Starting point:

First I re-purposed this wire shelf to store all my lumber. Attached it to the wall so it does not fall over on me.

Then I grabbed some big cabinets and shelves and moved them into position and screwed them to the wall (these were in my basement when we moved in but they had to go anyway, so I took them to the garage).

Since we re-did our kitchen this summer, I kept some of the old cabinets. This one used to be above the fridge. Put it up and put the lawn mower gas and oil/parts etc. in there. Also found a great spot for our deck umbrella for the winters. Bike hangars were already there.

Found these temporary saw horse stands in the garage, use a piece of scrap wood to store them in the ceiling. Score!

Nabbed a good spot to shelter my ramps, and used another few pieces of scrap wood to make an easily movable bar that prevents the long metal ones from falling on my head.

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/23/14 4:52 p.m.

Next I started going crazy with wheeled things. I found a deal at HF for 1000lb moving dollies ($8 each I think). This is easily the cheapest way I have found to buy caster wheels, so I bought 3 dollies (12 wheels).

Adding wheels to the bottom of some more old cabinetry:

Re-attaching the countertop, plus its about 6 inches higher now from the 2x4s and the wheels, which makes it actually more comfortable as a work surface.

Notched the shelves from inside the cabinets and put them underneath to serve as more storage for my short pieces:

Added a big power strip (another HF score) to the back of the top. Now I have a sweet rolling storage/work surface. I used this to store all my woodworking tools. I will likely add a vice to one side and a small vertical board to mount the two battery chargers more permanently.

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/23/14 4:57 p.m.

Cutting up more dollies to add wheels to my two identical shelves:

These are a bit tippy to more around with the wheels since they are so skinny, so I plan to grab some door hinges and hinge the two shelves together like so. This should allow me to close up the two halves, reduce the tippy-ness, and give me another work surface to use in a pinch.

That's as far as I am now, will continue to update as I move along!

nepa03focus
nepa03focus HalfDork
11/23/14 6:03 p.m.

Very cool, keep the pictures coming please! I need to get motivated and get my basement organized. What kind of woodworking do you do?

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UberDork
11/23/14 6:35 p.m.

I love garage threads. I always learn something. Keep it coming.

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/23/14 8:37 p.m.

In terms of woodworking, I'm still a beginner. But mostly I make stuff to use, like furniture. I made our ottoman, a headboard, and our sons crib. Lots of other stuff before but those are the best I have done so far.

I would like to make a big built in entertainment center in our house next, but that might be a few years out. I would also like to start making picture frames, but other than frames I'm not huge on trinket-y stuff like display boxes and whatnot. Might try to make a matched wooden steering wheel and shift knob. That would be cool.

nepa03focus
nepa03focus HalfDork
11/23/14 9:42 p.m.

nice, I am trying to get into woodworking like you. I just picked up a used router and table and an old craftsman table saw, I can't wait to start making stuff. I think my first big project will be a cat tree lol

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/27/14 7:49 p.m.

No pics today, but I did do some organizing. My theory for organizing tools right now is to put stuff in clear plastic totes, but to fill the totes based on the jobs rather than the tools. I hope to reduce going out to get tools 16 times for each stupid little job. If I could grab one or two totes and have everything i need, that will be a success.

Today i put my painting box together (rollers, putty knives, caulk guns, tape, respirator, drop cloths, etc) and my plumbing box and my home electrical box.

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/29/14 9:28 a.m.

Put up some more old used cabinets from our old kitchen. For the uninitiated, the easy way to put up upper cabinets by yourself is as follows (in a kitchen you might have to find the low spot on the ceiling and measure from there, but I didn't have to do that).

  1. Measure the cabinet height, and find where the bottom of the cabinet will hit your wall. Level a scrap board underneath and screw it to the wall:

  2. Then you have this:

  3. Finally, you can lift the cabinet up and set it on the board. Sliding it side to side to get er lined up is no problem. Then you can easily hold the cabinet against the wall with one hand because the board underneath is taking all the weight (you're just keeping it from tipping toward yourself). With your free hand, screw the cabinet to the studs behind it. Get 4 screws in it and you can remove the bottom board! Done!

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/29/14 9:35 a.m.

I used this technique to put up two cabinets (one for hardware - nails, screws, etc, the other for fluids, oil, cleaners, etc). couldn't do the same height because of the garage door rails, oh well.

Next, this firepit. Firepits are awesome, but they take up a TON of floorspace. I grabbed some old chain and hung mine up. Its light enough that I can lift it up and down myself, but I might make a pulley system later on to reduce the time I spend precariously balancing on a folding chair....

Another shot:

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/29/14 9:43 a.m.

Finally, I finished hinging my shelves together. My mother in law was braving the black friday nightmare, so she stopped at home depot and grabbed two door hinges and a 'clasp' for me (THANKS!).

Two hinges on the back:

Clasp on the front:

Done! Closed position:

And the open position as well:

That's all for now.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair UltimaDork
11/29/14 6:28 p.m.

shelves hinged to each other = clever use of common stuff to make something awesome.

VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce HalfDork
11/29/14 7:57 p.m.

Wheeled cabinets are the new standard in my new garage. Not sure why I waited so long. Your folding shelves are very cool, good thinking.

XLR99
XLR99 New Reader
11/30/14 3:22 p.m.

I'm liking those shelves! Easy storage up against the wall or between cars, with a workspace on top. Great idea. I work in an OR, and everything is on wheels, both for cleaning purposes and for flexibility in setting the room up. Same ideas work well in a garage/shop. I'm slowly moving in that direction with my garage as well.

Nick_Comstock
Nick_Comstock PowerDork
11/30/14 4:21 p.m.

I have a small one car garage/laundry room. Space is at a premium. Definitely using some of these ideas.

Beagle
Beagle New Reader
12/2/14 9:13 a.m.

Nice repurposing! You may have already discovered this, but the HF casters are in desperate need of lube. All the ones I have would seize with any load on them until I pretty much dipped them in a coffee can of oil. They'll roll at rated weight now.

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/2/14 11:21 a.m.
Beagle wrote: Nice repurposing! You may have already discovered this, but the HF casters are in desperate need of lube. All the ones I have would seize with any load on them until I pretty much dipped them in a coffee can of oil. They'll roll at rated weight now.

Good tip! I haven't had problems (yet), but maybe I will try to get some spray lube in them for good measure.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
12/2/14 11:33 a.m.

Nothing to add except that threads like this are always a lot of fun. Got any updated shots of the whole garage (like the first pic in the thread)?

Also, just a reminder - as the quality of the workspace increases, so must the quality of projects. Luckily, you only get inspected by the project police once a year. Hopefully your inspector will take off their rings and watch first

Petrolburner
Petrolburner Reader
12/2/14 11:54 a.m.

I love the hinged shelf idea, looks like it makes a good table and is much more stable with the two attached to each other.

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/3/14 8:40 p.m.
4cylndrfury wrote: Nothing to add except that threads like this are always a lot of fun. Got any updated shots of the whole garage (like the first pic in the thread)? Also, just a reminder - as the quality of the workspace increases, so must the quality of projects. Luckily, you only get inspected by the project police once a year. Hopefully your inspector will take off their rings and watch first

My goal is certainly to start having some higher quality projects! No full pic just yet, it actually looks worse than when I started because its spread out as I am going through and organizing things... Gotta get worse to get better I suppose. I will work on one.

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/3/14 8:47 p.m.

Did get a couple more things done though: First was I cut out the middle bar of a cabinet so that I can get big stuff in and out more easily:

Cut top and bottom with sawzall:

Put it back in position for a moment:

Shut one door and clamp the bar to the door:

Screw it on from the back, remove clamp:

Voila! Still looks halfway normal closed, but has oh so much more room when open to get big stuff in and out:

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/3/14 9:16 p.m.

Next I went for a sweet radio shelf:

Its pretty ghetto, not my best work. I think I'm going to redo it a bit. That is a support wire hanging from a nail in the rafter. I was kinda thinking to make something that could swing down flat against the wall when not in use... not executed well. Oh well.

Then I tried to plug it in and hear my good work, but turning it on popped the GFCI... weird. Did some testing with a simple drop light and looking inside the junction boxes, here's what I have (the GFCI has 1,2,3,4 around it):

OK, who knows what is wrong with this circuit?

Well let's start by learning what a GFCI actually does. The GFCI has 4 (ok 5) terminals. 1 hot in, 2 neutral in, 3 hot out (protected) and 4 neutral out (protected). 5 is ground.

The idea is that the GFCI wants to know when current is going into the circuit, but not coming back out (this would mean the electricity is escaping through something other than the circuit - like your arm). not good. So, all it does is compare the current going past 1 to the current going past 2. if they are the same, GREAT! if they are different, the GCFI 'pops' and disconnects 1 from 3 so that the hot leads of any downstream outlets are no longer energized.

With that knowledge, now we know why the circuit I have in my garage doesn't work. (By the way, I have no idea who put it together like this, like, "well, those outlets don't work - oh well"). When any of the outlets on the left draw current, the hot comes in from 1 to 3 then to the outlet, but the neutral is NOT forced to go back through 2. Therefore the current at 1 is different than the current at 2, and the GFCI pops and cuts power to terminal 3. The solution?

Simple! Just need to connect the neutral lead from the three outlets on the left back to terminal 4, rather than to terminal 2. Haven't had time to run the wire yet, but should be easy to fix. Woohoo!

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/12/14 10:38 p.m.

Well, adding the extra neutral wire to go back through the GFCI did the trick fixing that circuit. Today I was able to get a lot of other work done.

First I took the middle bar out of this table:

To get this:

To stash this:

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/12/14 10:56 p.m.

Next I got everything up off the floor to clean er out:

To (sweep + vacuum):

There were a few carpets that needed to be cleaned pretty badly (halfway):

Done:

I'll put the green carpet under the car so I don't have to lay on cold concrete...

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/12/14 11:00 p.m.

Next I turned my attention to this corner. I want to still keep access through the side door there, but also like having the air compressor near the overhead door. This space is big enough, but the weird level of the framing and the floor make it inefficient to use.

So I built a simple platform and screwed it together:

Done!

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