Sub zero weather isn’t bad if you’re busy in the garage and for the past few weeks, I’ve been assembling and mounting new cabinets in the workshop, rearranging and sorting things and, in general trying to put everything in it’s proper place. There’s still a lot of work to do, but I’m making progress.
I built the workbench a long time ago with a pretty neat kit. The legs and screws come in the box, you buy your own lumber and cut to size. It’s been handy to have, but there’s a limit to what a bench alone can do.
If you haven’t set up or changed your workshop for a few years, you would be amazed at what’s available to make things easier and the price is right. The cabinets you see above are part of the Prepac Elite collection and there are a bunch of different pieces from storage units, that’s the tall cabinet you can see in the corner, toppers, which can sit on a storage unit or mount to the wall, I have them in both configurations, base units with a bench top, that’s the one on the right where the computer is and a number of others. They come in a knock down flat pack and they are packaged very well, but they’re really easy to assemble.
Some guys might want to build everything themselves from scratch, but I want to get the workshop setup without months of preparation and wood dust everywhere, so I went with these and I’m glad I did. Hanging the cabinets on the wall was a bit of a project since I was working alone, and after marking the studs and scribing a level line for height I was short a couple of arms. Looking around at what I had, I grabbed my Werner ladder, it’s one of those you can reconfigure as a step ladder or extension ladder, so I just set it up in it’s shortest step ladder form which gives you steps on both sides. The top two steps were about a foot from where the cabinets needed to be so I put some plywood across them with a old automotive screw jack on top. Then another piece of plywood and a bit of carpet padding gave me an adjustable lift. After lifting the cabinets on top of the jack and against the wall, I was able to precisely adjust the height, level them and drill into the studs. I think they look pretty good.
Then light on the bench
Once the cabinets were hung, I needed more light on the bench. In the old days, the go to light would have been some huge fluorescent fixture, but these days the thing you need are LEDs. I looked at dozens and chose this setup. When they showed up, I opened the box and couldn’t believe how small and thin they were. There were three strips of 42 LEDs, each one was a bit less than 17 inches long and they were about 1/8 inch from the mounting surface to the light side. Everything just plugs together. The hardest part, if you can call it that, was getting the connecting wires up out of the way and against the underside of the cabinet with the supplied cable clamps. I mounted a small trim piece to hide the lights from view. Lots of light, they last forever and use very little electricity. Isn’t technology great?
Well, that’s the update. Lots more to do, but I like the way it’s shaping up.