Saturday, September 24, 2011

Work Bench

I figured I'd better blog about my work bench now before I have to work on the multitude of papers I have due this week :)

So you've already seen the peg board. But what's peg board without a space to work? I have been completely and totally spoiled by the house I grew up in. Our garage took up half of our house's total footprint. In my mind, a 2 car garage should have room to comfortably park 2 cars (or SUVs...or vans), have plenty of space for storage, and still have room for a workshop.

Unfortunately, that's not reality in newer houses here in Lexington. My mom stumbled upon this plan for a work bench from Family Handyman online. What I love is that it utilizes the space between the wall and garage door track. I also love the fold-out work space option. I haven't done this part just yet, but plan to. There's plenty of ways to customize it. Since I don't have a table saw, I didn't need that part. I also didn't build the roll out drawers (yet) or the slide panel. I also shortened the entire thing by about 2 feet as that entire length would have taken up most of my garage wall.

Here's my bottom shelf. This measures 8 ft x 17 inches.

Here are the two work tops. The larger one (on the left) measures 6 ft x 20 in. and the smaller one (on the right) measures 4 ft x 20 in. The gap is 24 in. I chose to leave the large space under the longer top in case I ever did get a table saw and I can build the roll out section. Or if I ever get a shop vac, that can easily fit under there as well.

Here it is assembled, minus the actual top.

And the finished product (you can't tell, but there is actually plywood on top now. I have hooks to actually hang the saw horses. Also, I plan on selling the cabinet on the far right.

This section is mostly to support lumber being cut by the miter saw. I also hung my clamp collection, hammers, hand saw, and other miscellaneous stuff. I plan on building a shelf for the air compressor, so that space will eventually open up. I'm not sold on keeping the drawers, but they're kind of handy right now for loose screws, pencils, and other small things that wouldn't stay in the basket on the peg board.

This is the miter saw bay. It's not totally level (which I'm not sure how that happened since both tops are level themselves and to each other), but it's nothing a short trip to Lowe's for shims can't solve. Underneath is the lower shelf with my other power tools (nail guns, drill, circular saw, sander). On the garage floor are all of my small wood scraps (i.e. not the large pieces of ply wood).

And this is the main work area. This is where the fold-out table will go. The peg board holds my basic building tools and a magnetic strip for the screw drivers. I've also got all of my painting supplies around here.

So that's what I've been up to. Now that this is finished, I'm anxious to get to some of my other projects like a sewing table (so I can start on sewing projects like a new crate cover for Mister), a bench and/or console table for our entry way, and a laundry basket dresser so we can pre-sort laundry. I also need to do some re-tooling on the wood box I had built for the patio. This is, of course, as we enter life's busy season with football, work, school, fall trips, and the holidays will be here before you know it! Where's the slo-mo button on this thing?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pinterest Peg Board

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack :D
Whew. Life has been kicking my butt lately. Over the summer I worked four afternoons a week, attended class two mornings a week, and answered the phones at work the other two mornings. Things have sort of slowed down. I feel like I'm finally hitting my stride with getting things done on the mornings I don't work. If only I could get motivated to do school-work :)
I just have a small project to share with you. I've been ruminating over this for several months and finally got motivated to buy the wood in August. Yeah. It's mid-late September. Anyway, I've been building a work bench for the garage. It's not totally done yet, since the saw at Lowe's was broken the day I went, so it's missing the know, the work bench. However, that's not the project. This project is prettier, funner.

So, it didn't really start very pretty. This is just basic peg board from Lowe's. It's a 4'x2' piece. However, thanks to my new BFF, Pinterest (if you're not on Pinterest, you are missing. Out), I got the idea to paint it!
(Source: BGH)
I loved how this picture is so much brighter because of the paint. Plus, garages are typically plain, boy spaces. I'm not.

I started by painting the brown white. The white is just Sherwin-Williams un-tinted white base. We bought it when I got a little over-zealous painting and got some on the ceiling. Our ceilings are tinted from the base, but I didn't try to figure out what. It's much less noticeable than blue on white ceilings.

A few coats later and both pieces are as evenly white as they're going to get.

Next, I measured out squares and got to painting.

There's a right way and a quicker way for this step. The right way is to tape the squares off, wait for each color to dry, retape, rinse repeat. The "quicker" way is to try to keep a steady hand, waiting just long enough for the next-door neighbor color to dry enough to not smear. However, I'm not convinced the "quicker" way is actually quicker. Yes, you have to wait for the paint to dry to tape over it, but honestly, it didn't take long. Plus, it takes more time to edge, whereas I could paint in my messy way and the tape would still leave crisp lines.

Here's after 2 colors

And after 3. I painted a total of 4 colors, all using either left-over gallons from painting rooms or using the samples I got when deciding between colors. In short, this project cost only 2 pieces of peg board (Grand total, like, $15). I also left the white stripe in the middle...mostly because I was lazy and didn't feel like painting it. Luckily, it provided me the perfect space to hang my next Pinterest idea :) But you'll have to wait for that.

If you decide to do something like this, quick reminder: Peg board has holes. Paint is wet. Wet paint fall through holes. This is definitely a garage floor project (not necessarily in the driveway, unless you want a polka-dotted driveway). If you're particular about no polka dots, then cover anything under it with newspaper. I've got a slightly polka dotted garage floor (it matches my other painting projects) and very polka dotted saw horses. I think it just adds character :)

I plan on hitting Lowe's tomorrow for my plywood top and can finish the work bench then. Hopefully I can tell you all about it over the weekend!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today, the world was very different.

Ten years ago today, I was a senior in high school.

Ten years ago today, "terror" was what you felt when you forgot about a test in class.

Ten years ago today, I could walk up to the gate at an airport without any proof I intended to get on a plane.

Ten years ago today, security barely watched as you walked through metal detectors (with your shoes on).

Ten years ago today, we didn't define safety as red, orange, or yellow (although has it ever been green or blue?).

Ten years ago tomorrow, everything changed.

Ten years ago tomorrow, I sat in Pre-Calculus, working with some friends on problems. Our class president arrived late because he had dropped off the Senior Play t-shirt design to the print shop. He reported the radio was doing some dumb prank, saying a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. We all thought no one would believe that. Even if it was true, what chain of errors would lead to a plane actually crashing into such an obviously visible building? We went back to work.

A little while later, a teacher came in and said "Turn on the TV." Coach Brewer obliged and we all sat in shock. Both towers had been hit as well as the Pentagon with terrorist-hijacked planes. At first, I didn't realize the Pentagon had been hit as well. The news station had a split screen and all D.C. showed was a cloud of smoke from a huge distance. I thought the smoke from the World Trade Center was so massive, it could be seen as far away as D.C. As I listened to the few and fuzzy details, I realized there were three separate crashes. I turned to discuss what has happening to a friend and a classmates says, "It's falling!" Sure enough, one tower began to crumble. My class has never been as quiet as it was in that moment. Some time later, the other tower fell. And then the bell rang.

Everyone sat frozen, looking at each other, afraid to move. Finally, we did begin moving to our next class. Mine was Ecology. At this point we realized the crashes weren't just massive equipment failure. This was intentional. We talked about who could be motivated to do such a thing. Why could someone have so much hate in their heart that they would actually take the lives of thousands? I cried. We learned there was now a fourth crash, in a field in Pennsylvania. All flights were now grounded, a first in aviation history. Who knows how many lives were saved by that decision?

I called my dad. He couldn't talk long because he worked at a chemical plant, so they were on high alert. I needed to hear a voice of comfort though. We decided I'd stay at school as long as there was school. At some point in Ecology, I realized this was my generation's Kennedy assassination. I had heard my parents recount every detail of where they were and what they were doing when they heard the president had been shot. Now, I was living history.

We continued to move about our day; next for me was Bible. We talked more about what was happening before the bell rang for chapel. We prayed. We prayed for the victims, we prayed for their families, we prayed for those helping others. By this point, everyone was exhausted. We didn't know what to do or how to feel. Continuing to talk about it seemed like beating a dead horse, but some people still did need to sort out their feelings. Lunch was a relief. We could be with our friends, decide what and to what extent we debrief with each other.

I came into Yearbook. Nothing new had happened. Everyone tried to resume a sense of normalcy, knowing things were anything but normal. After Honors English, I went home. I don't remember the details of what my mom and I did when I got home. I do remember her saying that our church had announced it would be open for anyone who wanted to come and pray. When my dad got home, we all went. We sat in our pew, bowed our heads, and prayed. And cried. And prayed.

A lot can change in ten years.