Ren found a great space for me behind the local Whole Foods. It was set up as a storage space for a TV repair guy - an old-school tubes and cathode ray sort - who held the space for almost 30 years. Sadly, he died a few months ago, leaving behind a shop that worked perfectly for him, but not so well for me without some extensive modifications. The overall dimensions of the unit are pretty decent, but he had cordoned off several areas for his needs - where I am in need of one big space, with plenty of ceiling height, so I can have room to move around as I fabricate larger pieces. My landlords gave me the go-ahead to make any modifications I needed, so: Let the destruction begin!
Here's what I started with:
This whole "room inside the room" had to go. I wanted to try to salvage and reuse as much of the lumber and electrical as possible. It turned out that, in many cases, the carpenters who constructed the room had done >too< good a job; glue and ring-shank nails probably seem like a good idea if you want to "build it to last". But the reality is that nothing lasts forever, and planning for the guy who has to make alterations to your construction may be a wiser ecological move. I had to tear some of the framing members (especially the stair stringers and treads) literally to splinters to get them apart, forcing me to put them in the firewood pile instead of the build-something-else-with-this pile. I grew up with this "we build things right, to last" mindset, handed down from my Mom's dad (good ol' Otto Reimer, BTW) and from my father as well - and you can still drive around Loveland and see some of the houses we built, standing the test of time. Yet the fact of the matter is, there will come a time when those buildings will need to be altered or torn down, and the construction techniques we used will make reclaiming the materials WAY harder than had we planned for this eventuality. Lessons, always lessons.
3/4 inch plywood, stapled and glued down. Staples every 3"-4". Had they used screws and no glue, I could have re-used every sheet. Instead, Hageman's ground them into chips. Pity. ^
Yea! First sheet off. Only 9 more to go. ^
I'll save you most of the boring rest of the story. I did manage to hang some new lights before I tore out the nice platform for accessing the ceiling of the unit. Ooh, bright! ^
Some more dramatic progress shots:
And here's the space, modified to suit my demented needs. Note I left a small bit of the former room for a storage platform - we were able to move out of our storage unit, too. Bonus.
A bit cramped, but very workable. Now - to work!