The Big Project of which I speak of course is the overhaul of my hobby room.  I am salivating starting this project – yet I am not exactly done with my focused time with the Yurt.  But it is winter (nearly) and the time is here to do things like this.  Stuck inside big work – staying out of the rain and cold projects.  And I have been looking attempting at this project for well over a year.
Where do you start with a thing like this?  Well for me I start with long moments sitting and contemplating while sitting surrounded by the space I intend to work on. This is what I did with the yurt… just sat or stood around and did “nothing” as far as anyone watching me would say.  But I am always noodling around with ideas.  More ideas get tossed around and discarded before I ever start anything.  And, unlike the Bright Stallion build – this isn’t something that I can start half cocked, building willy-nilly until I like it.
No, building and spending money (more than I would like to spend I am sure) takes time and thought. Unless of course you have an endless supply of time and money (or both).  My big want for this project is to have a room to store my ongoing projects.  Also, to be comfortable to work in, and store all the crud I have gathered to become future projects.  The room needs to be as humidity and temperature controlled as I can make it without adding anything in my budget specifically for that (like and HVAC system).  I really need to add vents, and have insulation all around to stabilize the conditions as best I can.
After contemplating over things I nailed down a few ideas about what I don’t like about the current situation in my hobby area.  And if anything can be done to correct that issue with some simple modifications.
My basic list of grievances with the current space start with the lack of a good painting area that suits good / decent posture.  The next issue is the lack of usable space… especially for storage.  After that is poor heating, cooling and fresh air when needed.  Another would be that I find all the current benches (existing prior to me) are too darn low for work.  Not just to low for hobby stuff, but to low for working on anything as far as I can tell… not without back-aches.  Lastly, the floor is uneven cement … and not supportive of long standing positions.
All in all – everything I have listed (only to top issues of course) leave me with little to do to make minor fixes to the space as it exists.  The problem is fundamental and goes down to the studs in the walls, lack of insulation among other things.
Solving several of the issues would mean adding insulation.  The heating, cooling and fresh air all point to first adding insulation and stabilizing the environment as best as I can.  The ceiling of the shop is exposed 2×4’s and plywood sheathing of the roof base.  The walls all around do not have insulation in every area I have checked.  And the floor needs to be leveled – probably with some 2×2 and 2x4s with some ridged foam insulation and vapor barrier.
Doing just the insulation would force me to gut the room.  But it is the foundation of the project.  And it must be done.  I also picked up a couple cheap windows at a garage sale this past summer.  So I can put one in this room to allow for better ventilation as well.  While I have the walls exposed – I will run new air lines to the other parts of the shop – as well as give me a plug for my airbrush set up.  I have also need of good paint booth ventilation – so I can put in a place for that as well when the walls are exposed.
The gutting of the room is actually pretty straight forward.  My main concern is having a space to store the stuff I need to get out of the room.  As well as saving as much of the materials from the walls and benches as possible so I can reuse much of it as possible.  Saving 2x4s for redoing the benches, plywood to go back onto the walls, and anything else for plugs and wiring.  Although I may redo the main lines going into the room and replace some of the really old stuff just for safety sake.
I will feel better once I start this project – then I will have a since of direction on it as I go – and tackle each issue as I go.  I am already researching new bench heights and making the space more useful.
I found this online, so far it seems to be fairly accurate to how I feel about bench and working space heights.
The book can be found on Amazon if anyone is looking to pick the book up. There are lots of very usable dimensions within it.
This says 34”-36” hight for bench top “tall” workspaces…  but I have been working at my new job and we have a couple work tables which are about 38”-39” and I really find them nice to stand and work at. Even my sit/stand workstation desk (it is adjustable) is closer to 39”-40” high.  I am not sure what is optimal for ‘ME’… but I have a feeling I will try to go for around 38.5”.  Something I can sit at on a tall stool and be under the lip of the work surface.  Or that I can stand at and tinker on projects when I feel like it.
I will think about the bench heights a bit more.  I will have to find a good inexpensive stool or tall adjustable chair to suit the height.  That could be the deciding factor on the bench height I think.
Ok – back to think about more things I need to think about when I start to rebuild.  Spray painting booth, Airbrush station, painting mini station, more storage, shelving, ongoing project storage solutions (you know… the project that sits and gathers dust for a  few months or more while you have started something else lol).  I space to set up a 3D printer (power options as well as venting). Lighting I have already started collecting LED shop lighting to replace old florescent fixtures.  A space for storing armies that are ready to play, Game storage, and a space for my laptop so I can watch v–blogs while I hobby.  Dang, it is like a christmas list for a hobby geek lol.
lots to think about.