Friday, November 6, 2009

Bringing the projects back indoors

After a very productive season of outdoor projects, it's time to bring the projects back indoors. Having the right indoor space to work on projects is important to us. Last year I started the sizable project of dividing our 24x30 garage into two separate work areas: the wood workshop and a studio space.

The wood workshop portion of the project is moving along quite nicely. Last year I completed a design on paper that includes the basic layout of the equipment. Our layout consists of two zones; one for ripping and sizing lumber and the other for finishing and shaping. Last year, I completed a wood rack for wood storage and storage shelving, which are major components of the design.

Dust is a huge problem in the workshop and we discovered this the hard way. Within no time, everything was coated with lots of micro fine dust. To help alleviate this, I installed a dust collector that I purchased from Harbor Freight in a shed that's attached to the garage. I also installed an air filter to help cleanse the air and remove micro-fine dust particles which are particularly harmful to your health. Together, the two collectors have greatly reduced the problem. In addition, we installed a Reznor furnace to heat the space.

This winter, I'll be focusing on building a multi-purpose workbench that will be adjustable height, and will function as an in/out table feed surface. For this project, I've acquired a hard-maple counter top (think butcher block) from the local Second Use reusable building material store.

We've got big plans for the wood workshop this year. We'll be building a new mantle surround for our living room, refinishing recycled fir clap board for building box beams, and building kitchen cabinet faces. Should be a very productive year.

The studio portion of the workshop project is slowly starting to come together. This is a much more finished area that's to be designed as a multi-purpose fine-arts studio space. It is divided from the wood workshop by a wall I erected last year. I'm only just beginning to gather my thoughts on this space -- but know that it's a very versatile space with few built-in components. The studio is located in what was the front of the garage, so removing the 16 foot garage door and installing a wall is a big part of the project. Our long term vision is to add on an additional 8x16 space to the front of the space, and finish it with wall-to-wall windows, but that may not happen in the immediate future.

Together, these two separate spaces will allow for a lot of creative freedom. Stay tuned for more info on the projects coming through our own little micro Kelmscott Manor.

No comments: