So the company who built and installed my garden building have done their bit. Now it’s time for me to turn a lovely garden office into a proper workshop / man cave. The included options of wood flooring or carpet tiles didn’t really suit me. I decided on a single piece of grey vinyl flooring from Factory Flooring Direct. I wanted something fairly hard wearing that could stand up to the abuse of a workshop and cope with any spills. The ply that the installers put down was a rather pointless 6mm, so that was ripped up and a sturdy 18mm ply base put down. My brother gave me a hand cutting the vinyl to fit as it wasn’t an easy job – especially with my attention for detail and the fact that I didn’t want skirting board to hide any gaps. It was hard for a number of reasons. Firstly, the roll was too heavy for one person to lift. Secondly, as it was one piece it was bigger than the room and hence hard to manhandle. We did it though. I now had a nice tough grey vinyl floor.
Next was the workbench and shelving underneath. Being spoiled for space somehow made it harder to work out what I wanted and how I would lay it out. I settled on using some solid beech Hammarp kitchen worktop from Ikea. I intended to use oak but when I actually saw it the beech looked better and was cheaper too. The walls only really have decent support at the joins between the prefabricated panels so I used some steel angle iron along the walls and 30mm stainless steel legs to support it. All the metal is from Metals4U. The desk drawers are Ikea Alex and the kitchen units Ikea Metod / Maximera. Basically – it’s mostly an Ikea kitchen! That gives me some desk height (73cm) and mostly workbench height (93cm) space. All of this was meticulously fitted to the not-quite-straight walls so there was no gap. I borrowed a kitchen worktop jig to mitre and biscuit joint the worktop. Lots of work but worth it to get a good fit in the end. The under-bench shelves are just melamine panels – some 30cm and some 45cm deep. You may notice there are lots of sockets. You can never have enough sockets. There are 11 double sockets – some above and some below the worktop. There will also be one on the outside for garden power (hedge trimmer, etc.). The ones by the desk are always powered, but I carried over an idea from my previous workshop. The ones at the workbench can be isolated using an emergency stop button. It’s not just used as an emergency stop. I mainly to make sure that if the kids wander inside all the dangerous stuff and power tools can’t be switched on. I trigger it as I leave.
This is how the workshop looks after I’ve moved some of the equipment in. From the left you’ll see:
- My desk for coding and microcontroller work (where I’m typing this right now)
- Oscilloscope and solder station
- An Up Plus 3D printer
- The red emergency stop button on the wall
- My small Proxxon MF70 CNC mill
- A 40W CO2 laser cutter
- A small metalworking lathe
- A mitre saw
- The kid’s workbench. They want to be like their dad!
- The keen-eyed will have spotted 2 fire extinguishers (powder and CO2). I’ll be burning things with a laser in a primarily wooden building so a sensible precaution.
All this stuff only really takes up half of the workshop – the mostly hidden half. The right hand side should soon be getting a sofa bed (for the occasional brave visitor), fridge, etc. It’ll be a family space and my wife will have her input. However, I have said that if a scatter cushion appears it’ll have an accident with the mitre saw.
There’s still workshop stuff to do. There’s plenty of storage space under the bench but shelves and wall-mounted tool boards are coming soon. The laser isn’t usable yet as it has no exhaust venting. I’m also planning to put a sink in there to allow making a cup of tea and washing hands. It’ll drain onto the ground rather than have any plumbing back into the drains so it’ll be fairly limited. I’ll let the rest evolve as needed. Maybe it’ll never happen but the plumbing is there.