Workshop

(Note: This is an ongoing story, last updated in January 2021.)

I love to tinker.

I alway have, I always will. Thus my father’s workshop corner always had a special appeal. However, only after I moved into the students’ residential home I had the opportunity to establish my own first workshop. It all began in a very humble way:

Stowed-away Workshop in students' residental home.
Stowed-away Workshop in students’ residental home.

Not much to see, is there? I didn’t have any room to spare, but a good friend of mine donated an old roll-fronted cabinet, used for computers at that time. Which I converted into a small model crafting workshop:

Workshop in residental home at work.
Workshop in residental home at work.

Along with a small balcony table serving as shelf space, I ruled my own small kingdom. The next big step came a few years later, when I moved with my future wife into our shared apartment:

First selfbuilt workbench claiming 2 m².
First selfbuilt workbench claiming 2 m².

The roll-fronted cabinet was replaced with a workbench, the kitchen plate and storage cabinet were recycled from some neighbour’s kerbside waste dumps and I scratch-built the substructure. On those two square metres within an eight square metre cellar, the first parts of my Dewey Bros. locomotive were created.

When we moved to the countryside, we suddenly had a storage room with approximately 16 square metres at our disposal and I was allowed to use a small part of it as my workshop:

A whole wall in the storage room.
A whole wall in the storage room.

Still, almost all the furnitures were recycled from our old neighbour’s discards. Here, a lot went going on: The Porter, the garden layout, my R/C sailplane. All these projects were supported from or realized in here. In the meantime two things slowly changed: My income gradually allowed my to make bigger purchases and my wife and I started to free our lives from superfluous belongings. The latter reduced our need for storage space and so I was allowed to convert the free space into a dedicated workshop with the help of a dry wall:

The workshop gets its own dry walls.
The workshop gets its own dry walls.

The construction is quite simple, but effective: I started with two old Billy shelves, securely screwed to the wall and attached slats of construction timber to those. On top of those, 12 mm thick sheets of OSB were fastened. In order to prevent any growth of mould, I ensured some rear ventilation by resting the sheets on small logs of wood. So there’s a continuous gap at the bottom.

The dry walls are finished, to the right the second workbench.
The dry walls are finished, to the right the second workbench.

Even with all these arrangements, the workshop was no pleasant place – too many things had been stored there “temporarily”, with all the clutter there was no room to work and no air to breathe. Thanks to my wife we got the job done properly and ordered a waste container with a capacity of ten cubic metres. Anything and really everything which didn’t have a concrete reason to keep it, got tossed in there.

Less is more: Free room for the workshop and the inner harmony.
Less is more: Free room for the workshop and the inner harmony.

As painful as some of those partings were, I only regretted one piece of not being around anymore. The rest I don’t miss at all, quite the opposite: Nowadays I’m entering an airy, tidy workshop and I’m motivated to get things done!

Among other things, that included the possibility to create more options for further tidiness in the workshop, for example my self-built storage shelf:

The board mountings and floorboards are fixated with screws.
The board mountings and floorboards are fixated with screws.

As of now, I have the original, high-mounted bench for fine works at my disposal and a second, bigger one. An old kitchen table with reinforced substructure joined the fray at which I sit down to do planning, write articles for this website… or to just enjoy the view.

My most important ambition right now is to get my work shop more organized and keep it clean and tidy. Over the years I came to realize that I was heading into the workshop with some creative idea in mind… only to find myself doing the clean-up for an hour. That tends to choke all good ideas. So during November 2020, a new tool cabinet was made from scrap wood and old fittings.

The new tool cabinet starts to fill.
The new tool cabinet starts to fill.

And naturally, that’s not the whole story, yet. After all, there’s always something left to do..