Shop Organization!

Sunday, October 29th, 2017 @ 1:24 pm

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For the past few weeks I have really hunkered down to tackling each part of the studio, sifting through the remnants and debris of past projects and would-be-projects, and our earlier organizational methods, to streamline and consolidate and make cleaner the way we’ve set up and use our space.  First up was the paint/finish area shelving and the sanding supplies.  Huge moves, it took a whole weekend I believe, but with the full Indiana Jones trilogy playing in the background and some good music and shop coffee, I made great headway and got things to a much prettier and user-friendly state.

This past week I decided to tackle some of my desk space.  I built this funky winging monitor mount from baltic birch plywood scraps, metal bed frame casters for hinges and maple from an old roommate’s futon frame.  That got my monitor up off the desk, freeing up a bunch of space, and allowing me to fit another little project underneath it.  Plus, I  can now swivel the monitor around when I’ve got my background movies playing, and watch them from anywhere in the shop!

This weeks big tinker toy: articulating monitor mount. It hinges in 3 places, has two arms, and a chain with a turnbuckle to maintain some tension and height. Pretty wacky experiment but super fun. #mechanics #monitormount #tinker #woodworking #studio #experiment #shopupgrades

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Next, I needed somewhere to put a bunch of business cards, receipts from studio expenses and freelance gigs, and papers and my project notebooks and clipboards that I’ve been just piling on my desk and sometimes losing track of, yet only when they seem to matter most.  This way, that won’t happen anymore.  Using some scraps of 1/2″ plywood and poplar edge banding, I make this little unit with four drawers and three shelves which should hopefully be enough storage, in a more managed sort of way, at least for now.  Until I can build my twin tambour cubby office boxes!  But that’s for another day.

Making curved edge banding like this was a new thing for me, I’ve edge banded plenty of cabinets and other units before, but nothing quite like this.  Unfortunately I biscuited the two pieces of plywood into the L shape first, which meant that clamping anything around that radius became much more complicated, since I couldn’t just run a strap around the whole piece.  But, trying to figure it out, I tried out two methods of clamping which generally worked alright.  For something paint grade it would be great.  For this, I wanted it done and usable quickly, so after just one coat of poly and a lot of buffing with steel wool it looks almost unfinished, but has a nice smooth and sealed feel to it.

Anyways… I ended up using curved cauls to clamp on two parts of the bend, which got it basically tight enough to then sand with glue and hide any little gaps.  But next time I would cut the piece larger, edge band the whole front and the curve, and then cut it down and biscuit it right to the other piece.  It’s much easier to cut off edge banding where the seam is than it is to clamp around a complex L shape and get the pressure right on that radius where you need it.  Oh well.  Good thing for shop projects: they’re an opportunity to try things out and learn best practices.  And it came out real nice.

Done. This weeks organizational upgrades are ready for use by Saturday night. In time for a Sunday break. #organizing #studio #getorganized #cubbies #storage #woodworking #losethemess #shopupgrades

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