Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The best part of my vacation

Although it was indeed good to go off an a (short!) road-trip with my family -- I gotta admit, the best part was getting to spend three full days whipping the shed into shape.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday -- July 2nd through July 4th.

By ''shed'', I mean the three-car garage-sized outbuilding, which will never house a car.  Here in Aussie-land, we call that a shed.  About one-third of it is my workshop, and two-thirds of it are storage (bikes, suitcases, etc.).  We don't have a functional attic, nor a basement, so all the misc. ''guff'' deserves to be out there.

The problem is that I've been busy for the last few months -- with the chicken coop, plus other things -- so items have just been shoved into the shed around nightfall, then never properly placed.

My main goal was to put my workshop area into functional shape -- and I achieved this.  Photos below.  My secondary goal was to tidy and organize the ''storage'' area.  I improved the order -- but I simply ran out of time.  So, it's better -- but not how I'd like it.

Here's a few ''Before'' and ''After'' photos.

The main entrance -- Before...

 ... and After!

The difficulty was that this main entrance to the shed was where I'd stash all my frequently-used tools while I was building the chicken coop.  But they needed to be put away.  So, I did!

The nuts 'n' bolts shelf -- Before...

...and After!

The main problem with this area is that the blue ''bloodletting chair'' (long story; had for years but no place for it in the house) was in the way -- I always had to lean over it to reach these shelves.  The green up-ended table sitting on it was also in the way.  I moved the blue chair from this ''prime location'' into the deeper reaches of the shed (i.e. against a back wall), and moved the green table into a less-intrusive location.  (It has a bad leg: I'm going to repair it, and The Girl will use it as an art desk.)

I also was able to use up a fair bit of my stash of jars and containers in the process of sorting my nails, nuts 'n' bolts, and etcetra.  If the photo was less blurry you'd be able to see that all the boxes, tubs, and jars are labeled clearly.

My workbench -- Before...

...and After!

Woo-hoo!!!  Actual cleared **benchtop** **space**!!!

A lot of people hang tools off the wall behind their workbench.  I don't want to permanently attach anything to the wall -- it's just sheet metal -- so for the moment I'm using a small shelf which I (of course!) rescued from the side of the road.  Instead of hooks on the wall, I just lay my tools on the shelf.  Works well.

BONUS:  Working at night.

Here's the view -- post-tidy -- from near our back door:

And, standing in the shed doorway...

Because the shed doesn't have power running to it, I could only really work on things during the day -- which meant ''weekends only''.  Occasionally I'd try to do work at night -- but I'd have to hold a flashlight or wear a headlamp. 

BUT!!! -- I've now set things up so that I have two lamps permanently plugged in to a power strip, and an extension cord permanently coiled up near the other door.  Now when I want to do work at night, I just throw the cord out the door and plug it in to the nearby outlet on the side of the house.  Takes me about 60 seconds.

UPDATE:  Yep!  Have made use of being able to things at night about twice a week during the following four weeks.  Good stuff.

(Pre-emptive note:  Because we use 220 Volts here in Aussie-land, it's illegal to do your own home wiring, unless you're a licensed electrician.)

So:  I didn't accomplish **all** that I wanted to do.  But, by the end of this process, I could actually walk between each of the three doors without stepping over things!!!  And, I had a useable workbench.  And can actually find nuts and bolts, screws, and nails.

So, mission accomplished, really.


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