When we moved into this house seven and a bit years ago, I immediately commandeered one of the biggest sheds as a workshop. It’s had constant use since as a base for renovating the house, building an office, building a studio, building a bike shed, moving a greenhouse and fixing everything from bikes to kids toys, but you certainly can’t say it’s very tidy or organised any more:
We’re about to embark on a major extension project so we’ll soon need to make it easy to find all the plumbing, electrical and woodworking stuff (I’m going to be installing the new kitchen and bathrooms) plus we’ll need to rationalise our collection of old paints, glues, oils & greases:
hopefully without adding too many more. So we’re overdue for a general tidy-up and reorganisation of the workshop. I’m also having a new power supply fitted which will extend the supply to the office – I’ve dug a trench ready for the electrician to come this week:
The old supply comes from the back of a socket in the kitchen using standard 13A twin and earth cable, and is dodgily strung above head-height on wire (this isn’t very safe), and even has its own meter and notebook where the previous owner of our house would record his consumption:
Once this is sorted out I should be able to add a few more sockets and lights because my long term plan is to stop using the workshop mainly for renovations and building work, and create space for some more creative use.
I was lucky enough at school to have a chance to learn how to operate both wood and metal lathes – the latter not so much, as I tended to leave the chuck key in before starting them up (which led to an impressive test of the toughened glass windows on one side of the D&T centre) – but I made several really nice pieces of turned wood. My friend Duncan gave me an old lathe in pieces some years ago (he’s a serious woodturner and has already created some wonderful things for us) and I’ve been waiting for the right time to restore and reassemble it: there’s some work to do to fit a motor and figure out how it goes back together:
I’d also like a bench grinder and bandsaw, plus I may inherit some tools from my father’s workshop at some point, including a lot of specialised equipment for casting pewter (a family trade since at least the 1400s). I find it easier to think about planning how to build things by drawing on paper (at the aforementioned school I was taught technical drawing and I’ve never really got on with CAD systems apart from a brief period using them for circuit designs at a previous job). Here’s my first attempt:
The bench is already there (I fitted it when we moved in), the woodstore (a shelving unit piled with random and sometimes usable scraps of timber) needs moving along a bit and all except the wall at the bottom need insulating in some way, plus I need a better system for hanging up tools – as in the intervening years most of the handy nails now have three or four things hung on them. Still, it’s a start, and at least the workshop is now dry with its brand new roof, so my tools shouldn’t get quite so rusty.