It is that time of year again. I guess.
I didn’t get the workshop completely done in 2014. Fabric cabinets, sewing top, ironing board, badge press case, and about halfway on the computer desk. The fabric shelf/cabinets could use a touch up of paint here and there, but I’m happily using them and spent a number of spread out days filling them. I’ll show another picture when they’re completely full, which will be soon. The sewing table top you saw and you know I had to rip it all out, since it didn’t work out. Sad. The ironing board you saw, and it has been excellent. I have used it heavily; in fact, I might need to recover it around the end of the year – I didn’t smooth out the corner of the board and the sharpness is wearing through the fabrics where they are brushed past often. I didn’t post about the badge press case, but you can see the boy cats sleeping on it. The desk, well I have no posts or pictures of the desk, which I’ll get into in a minute. So, those five things. Actually, five workshop projects is not bad at all, for a workshop I’m still actively creating in. It was faster and more productive when the room was a raw shell. Any and all progress looks amazing when you’re starting from dirt and rubble. I also did make a metal working station, but I’m going to be taking it out and redesigning that area, so I’m not counting it. Plus, I didn’t photograph it, so you can’t even see what I’m talking about.
For 2015, I have so far done NOTHING on the workshop. Hard to believe, but nothing at all. I even went back and checked the blog in case I forgot something, but no. I’ve made quilts, done lots of crafty things, experimentation projects, many walks, a handful of hikes, no workshop work. Huh. That is all changing now.
The computer desk was one of four projects that had me stuck. I built the body of the desk and the top. That gave me a place to sit with my laptop, and do some painting (art, not furniture) while I built the drawers for the desk. So, I built the drawers. And I hated them. They were stupid and bad. So, I rebuilt the drawers. And I did not like them. They were less stupid and less bad, but they were not good. The second set of drawers lay piled inside the desk body shell for months. Many moons passed and dust gathered. I could not bring myself to rebuild the drawers again. Three tries was more than I could bear for a project I didn’t want to do to begin with. That was project wall number one.
The above-sink wall cabinet was project two I was stuck on. Because of the pipe fuckery that had to happen behind the wall (since the plumber did NOT put the pipes out far enough, as we patiently explained to him, with measurements) there are non-standard studs in that area. I had to essentially create an external support based on the studs that were there. Once that tragedy was complete, I found that the repurposed cabinets I had planned for there were now a teensy bit too protruding due to the support structure. DAMMIT!!!! I really, really like those cabinets, too. They are sentimental to me due to the way Slick and I acquired them. Instead, I tossed up a couple basic shelves to hold the chemicals, soaps, salts, and dyes that I use in that area. The whole thing saddened me and I put coming up with a better solution to the side for a while. Many moons, in fact.
The third progress-defiant project was the wall cabinet area in the middle of the north wall. My sentimental repurposed cabinets wouldn’t fit there and all the other cabinets and cabinet pieces I have hanging around wouldn’t work the way I wanted them to. I wanted half depth glass fronted cabinets and was faced with the conclusion that I was going to have to build them myself. My standard form of construction is to use .75″ MDF and pocket hole joins, which is efficient, fast, cheap and sturdy. It isn’t exactly pretty, and it ends up being quite heavy. While I do have standard studs in this wall area, I was concerned about my creation of significant weight with glass doors on it living above my head at that workstation. Again, I put it off and threw some temporary shelves up to hold things in the meantime. Many moons passed.
The last project block was the spandrel. Last year we had the electrical system to the house upgraded, which included new circuits for the workshop. All the work was done, excepting the actual connection of the circuits to the new, upgraded box, so the new circuits pulled their power from the old, existing circuits and left wires and temporary cabling hanging precariously in the spandrel area. You can’t repair wall holes or build out spandrel finish walls with open wiring hanging around, so the area waited as many moons passed.
Thus, I was mired, if you will, in the mud of project difficulties. It is now fully summer in Cheyenne and the thought of cutting wood, covered in sawdust and sweat, in the evenings for these remaining projects was like a … well, no. I don’t need a comparison. I simply did NOT want to do that, at all. I’m tired of building, trying to solve these problems, tired of cutting and painting wood, tired of sore muscles and sitting on the floor assembling things with my admittedly excellent drill. Tired of cleaning up workshop sawdust and recovering projects from being moved, stored, moved, stored, dusted off, forgotten, lost, moved, stored, and found again. I don’t want to fucking do it anymore. I want to be a lot more done than I am now. I don’t mind waiting around until I feel like hanging paintings and cat luxuries, but I do mind not having a desk or proper storage.
The solution was Ikea. I went online to their store, picked out some base cabinets with varying drawer sizes, a few glass-fronted wall cabinets, and clicked ORDER NOW. That was it. Well, almost. It took a few days for the items to be shipped from the warehouse, then a few more for a delivery to be scheduled. That happened last weekend, then I spent the rest of the weekend assembling the desk and tossing out the original, desk body shell I built. The new drawers are wonderful. Better than mine, easy. Once I get the desk and the accessory pieces in place (monitor mounts, computer moved, drawer items, cables ran, catwalk installed so the furry monsters don’t climb on my monitors, speakers, keyboard tray, etc. etc.) I can move on to taking down all those temporary shelves, and assembling and hanging wall cabinets. Beautiful, already made and partly assembled glass fronted cabinets just like I wanted. Also, Slick took some time to connect the spandrel wiring, so now I can go forward with enclosing walls, some sound insulation, and all the niceties planned for that area.
Once more, creative work in the workshop has stopped. All my temporary desk items are on the ironing board and my laptop is sitting atop Gretchen’s case. The desk base is done, the desk top has been sanded and refinished (I gave it a vicious scratch a couple weeks back!). The rest of the work for the desk should be complete this week, if I can keep my motivation up. Work is trying very hard to kick my ass lately and next week will be a true trial of my inner reserves. If I can get my desk area done before next week, I can hold that happy knowledge in my head as a source of respite while playing Work.
I hope to have some workshop progress pictures to share soon, if for no other reason than to show myself that I am doing something!