Operation : Workbench (Part II)

With the workbench done, I was left wondering what to do with that pile of lumber.  I woke up far to early (i.e., before noon) on Saturday, and decided that since we didn't really have anything going on that day, I might as well continue with building my workshop.  After doing a bit of research on line, and making a cup of coffee, I got to it.

I really wanted to reclaim that space (for the couch, for a desk, for shelves... really, for anything except a pile of lumber scraps!)  I already had an idea that I wanted to do an overhead lumber rack, and a friend in Texas suggested just the thing.  First step was moving the lumber out of the way, and moving the sawhorses up to the garage, where the lovely Mrs. Robb needed them in order to work on one of her projects.

No pictures of the assembly, unfortunately.  I blame myself for starting out before finishing my cup of coffee.  Longer wood sections are intended to go across the top of the 1x6's, shorter sections across the strips underneath.  Overall, it's pretty stable - I was able to do a quick chin-up on each of the U-sections after they were installed - but I'll probably get up there and put some 3" screws through just to make sure.

That would be more for peace of mind than anything, really.  As you can see, the finished overhead lumber rack is quite capable of doing the job!

Here's a picture from the side, showing the storage of the shorter sections of scrap lumber.

Now it's starting to look like a real work area.  Getting the desk in was a nice surprise.  When I measured, it was 46" long, but the space where I wanted to put it turned out to be 45" wide.  However!  The way I built the longer support box left a gap in the side of the box!  You can see that clearly here:

So I really had 46 1/2" to work with!  I had to pull the desk drawers and tilt the desk in sideways, but once I did that, it fit into the gap nicely.  There was even enough space to allow the drawer closest to the work bench to open fully. I honestly wish I could say that I planned it this way, but really, it was just dumb luck on my part.  I was originally planning to put the desk under the lumber rack, and just happened to notice that it would fit in the back corner.

Once the lumber rack was done, and the desk and couch placed, I realized that the workbench was looking kind of... plain.  It lacked a certain je ne sais quoi.  It needed something...

Pegboard.  I mean, what's a basement workbench without pegboard?

So, I made another trip to the hardware store to pick up some pegboard and supplies.  Only two trips?  Not bad at all for a weekend project, really.  I had them cut two sheets of pegboard down to 4'x4' sections, which (a) made it easy to load into the car, and (b) made it easy to mount.  I didn't want to mess around with having to drill into the cinderblock walls, so I dropped down a couple of furring strips where I wanted to mount each piece, and...

There we go!  Pegboard achieved and mounted.  The lower sections are screwed into the backboard of the counter, and help keep them nice and stable.

I put up a third section of pegboard on the back wall, because you can never have too much storage.   That leaves me with one extra section that I can mount elsewhere if it turns out that I can use some additional wall storage.  As a bonus, my workshop now smells right... the smell of sawdust, concrete, and pegboard is just right, exactly what I remember from being in my Dad's basement workshop when I was a kid.

The finished (for now) product!  The rug gives my pup a place to hang out when he doesn't want to climb up on the couch.  I am sure that I'll fiddle with the placement of tools and such on the pegboard until it feels right.  I've got a couple of boxes of tools that my father-in-law picked up from yard sales to help be rebuild my collection after the fire.  I need to sort through those, and figure out what's generally useful (and worth putting close at hand on the pegboard) vs. what can be chucked into a box and squirreled away out of sight.

Later this week, I'm going to take the time and put some shelves in the support boxes, turning them into something more like real cabinets.  That will let me have enough under-counter storage that I can get most of the power tools and larger items tucked away where they won't be cluttering up the work surface.  Maybe even get some hinges and latches, and put doors on them.

I also want to put a support in under the main length of the counter.  If you look closely, you can see that it's slightly bowed.  I'm thinking that I might build a long, narrow box to fit underneath - something that will support the counter, but set back a foot or so from the edge so that getting right up against the counter isn't uncomfortable.

All that's for the next phase, though.  For now, I'm a happy camper with my new workbench!

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