DIY French Cleat Storage System

Recently, I wrote a quick post about how important it is to appreciate the little things like an organized workshop. This week I get to write about one of the keys to my newfound organization: the french cleat. It’s a simple build and allows for lots of flexibility in storing almost anything in my shop. My workshop is tiny (10’x12’), so using wall space for storage is critical to keeping my tools organized. A french cleat consists of a 45°-angled wood strip mounted to the wall. A corresponding 45°-angled wood strip is attached to the back of a tool hanger or bin. Then the hanger cleat slots into the cleat on the wall. French cleats sometimes come installed on the backs of picture frames or mirrors. For a workshop, french cleats provide a lot of weight capacity and allow for custom tool hangers, bins, and more. They are similar to…

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Faux Beams

Allyson likes to call this project the “faux beams” project because it sounds better than fake beams. Whatever you want to call it, the same goal exists. Cover old, ugly 2x4 cross beams from the roof trusses with pine made to look like a fancy thick beam. I think Allyson was talking about the messy parts of the shiplap ceiling in this picture. But the exposed 2x4s are also pretty messy. The plan to cover these 2x4s was to build a 5 ½”x5 ½” box made of pine as a shell around the beams. To start, I have to decide what sort of joint I would make on the corners of the box. Option one would be to have the sides butt up to one another. This would be a really quick and easy way of building the boxes, since the joint wouldn’t require any angles to be cut. It…

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New Laminate Flooring

Several months ago, I was finally able to complete a key component of the new workshop: installing the laminate flooring.  There are quite a few options for workshop flooring, none of which are perfect. Wood, engineered wood, vinyl, laminate, OSB/plywood, and epoxy just to mention a few. All of them had their own drawbacks. Wood or engineered hardwood would (solid tongue twister) most likely run into issues in an unconditioned workspace such as mine. Epoxy is harder to install than the click-and-lock vinyl or laminate options. OSB/plywood doesn’t look great and would likely require a sealant of some sort to prevent tear out. I took the pros and cons into consideration for all of the options and ended up deciding between vinyl and laminate. Both options would work for my needs in the small workshop. Both would be decently appealing if we sold the house, as they are decent looking…

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Shiplap Ceiling

Joanna Gaines would be so proud of us. I didn’t even know what shiplap was until I got hooked on watching Fixer Upper and now I have spent several weekends installing it in the new workshop. For those of you who don’t know what it is, I’m proud of you for never seeing HGTV, and also, here’s a great example of it. Photo Credit: https://abeautifulmess.com/2016/02/so-you-want-to-diy-a-shiplap-wall.html Shiplap was commonly used as exterior siding for barns and similar structures in harsh climates, as the overlap on the edges allowed for good weather proofing and movement in temperature extremes. Now, everybody and their mom is putting it in their house for a farmhouse look. Allyson and I are jumping on this train with the workshop ceiling, as it is a perfect fit for the modern farmhouse design Allyson is putting together for the workshop. Our workshop during the summer. It's missing some trim,…

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Workshop Drywall

On the path towards reaching my workshop goals, I needed to make some serious progress on the interior of the shop. As I’ve said before, this will be used year round (if it is ever finished), and so I have taken care to insulate it appropriately. I started by insulating in between the floor joists before installing the sub-floor, and recently I finished insulating the walls with standard fiberglass insulation. Hanging insulation is a technically easy task, just cut the insulation to size using a razor blade and then use a staple gun to attach the edges of the insulation to the studs. However, that sentence does not truly capture how hot and itchy the task was, even when wearing long sleeves/pants and a face mask.  Insulating in progress After stapling everything in place I was able to appreciate the accomplishment, and I know I’ll appreciate it in the upcoming…

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It’s Electric: Return of the Electric

Alright alright, I get it, the title sucks. But this is the third and (hopefully) final chapter in the workshop electrical series (part 1 and part 2). The workshop electrical has been run and is ready to be hooked up, all that was left to do was install the exterior plugs on our house from which I will run the power. This meant putting three new circuits in the electrical box and installing multiple exterior outlets in the area of the recently fixed stucco. As always, with my electrical work I tried to plan out exactly what I wanted to do ahead of time. This meant I spent a decent amount of time in Home Depot looking at the different conduit connectors and eventually building a contraption that would fit right next to my electrical box.  I put the tape in place to protect against debris while drilling through the…

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It’s Electric Remix

Last week I discussed running the electrical for my workshop. At the end of the post I alluded to the fact that I am running the power to the workshop in a slightly unconventional manner. The easiest way to think about it is that the power will be supplied to the workshop as if it is an RV. When an RV comes to a park, it hooks up to the park power using an extension cord connected to an exterior plug on the RV. In the same way, when I want power inside the workshop, I will hook up via an extension cord to my house power.  This strategy has one big advantage, and it is that I do not have to dig a trench or run aerial lines from the house to the workshop for power. Digging a 2 foot deep trench all the way to the workshop seems…

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It’s Electric

Well, now that the greenhouse is fully built, our vegetables are growing like crazy, and it’s as hot as it gets in Colorado, it is time to get back to my workshop build. I haven’t been able to get that much done since my last post, but I was able to tackle a majority of the electrical work this weekend. Because this is going to end up as a finished workshop, I knew I wanted to have plenty of outlets and lighting for the shed. After a bit of research and planning based on my needs, I decided to go with 2 outlet circuits, one 20 amp and one 30 amp. These two circuits will allow me to have multiple tools running simultaneously, i.e. a dust collector and a miter saw, and having the 30 amp circuit will allow for some higher power tools in the future if necessary. You…

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Window to Your Soul

Freshly installed windows with shims in place to help force the window square over time. Another week has flown by and I’m back to discussing my workshop build with the internet. Today’s topic, windows. The workshop design called for 6 windows (after some adjustments). For these windows, we used barn sash windows and then built the window box for each window. Remember the windows we installed in the door? Those were the exact windows installed elsewhere on the shed. The only difference in this case was the painstaking process of unscrewing the barn sash, painting the windows black, and then the painstaking process of putting the windows back together. In this case I truly mean painstaking..did you know that glass is sharp? Unfortunately, or maybe luckily for the lack of finger cut photos, I completely forgot to take photos of this entire process. After getting the windows painted and ready…

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Knock Knock…

Knock Knock…. These jokes are typically pretty lame, but as a big office fan here is my favorite sequence of Knock Knock jokes. “We will ask the questions!” Anyways, recently I finished building the doors to the new workshop and I am prettttty pleased with how they turned out. These doors ended up looking fantastic and we were able to make them for a fraction of the price of buying them. Again following the plans from Family Handyman, we were able to build the doors in a series of steps, stain them to enrich the natural color of the cedar we used, and then get them installed onto the workshop. Step 1: Build 4 doors Now, if you are extremely observant, think Sherlock Holmes, you may have noticed that we only have 2 doors, and yet this step is to build 4 doors. I haven’t lost my mind This is…

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