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Miter Saw Table and Garage Shelves

Dave took the momentum from building the shed and is totally running with it to make the garage much more organized and useable.

I looove our miter saw because it is compound, meaning it can cut really wide boards. Unfortunately it also needs a really deep worktop to sit on. The existing counter top that I assume was from our kitchen pre-remodel wasn’t really deep enough. So I found some plans that are technically for a portable worktop, (that one could take to construction sites and such) complete with an inset area for the miter saw so that any boards being cut are supported all along their length. Dave modified the plans to fit our space and….

Miter saw table

Tada! Super secure miter saw setup, bolted into the original counter top.

Miter saw

I’m not sure what I want to put in the little cubbies, maybe scrap wood? If nothing else they’re a convenient place to clamp things…

Dave also set up some deep shelves on the other side of the garage above the chest freezer and sink. It used to look like this:

Empty garage wall

And now it looks like this!

Deep shelves

He got all fancy and hung them using aircraft cable in the front, so he didn’t have to put legs underneath them. The cables connect to the rafters up top:

Aircraft cable

And the shelves are also screwed into horizontal cleats in the back:

Setting up the shelves

I immediately threw all our camping stuff up there. It feels so nice to get that up and out of the way! We still need to figure out more efficient storage for some of our bigger construction stuff, like the air compressor and the shop vac. But we’re making a lot of progress!



Garage Update!

It’s funny, we had started out the weekend with plans to build this miter saw table thing, and instead we ended up doing a bunch of other garage updates that we talked about doing months ago and then forgot about. Not that I mind… These were all relatively low-hanging fruit: easy fixes with big impacts.

First up, the big ladder now hangs from the rafters!

ladder hook

Dave found some solid hooks, and then he came up with this ingenious idea of attaching one of the hooks to a strap hinge to make it super easy to get the ladder down…

Ladder hinge hook

If you’re tall like him and not too short like me. 🙂

ladder access

Next… Peg boards! Dave put up some leftover drywall behind the miter saw to hopefully reduce the amount of sawdust getting behind/under the counter, and then he put pegboards up on either side. For the moment I pretty much just threw tools up there without too much planning. Hopefully now that I can actually see what we own I can come up with a better organizing scheme and buy more hanging hooks.

Peg board

Lastly… Utility sink!

Sink setup

Clearly a previous owner had a sink in here at some point, we even made sure the hookups were all functional when we got the whole house re-piped.

Sink hookups

However, the placement of the drain pipe in the wall is quite high and can’t really be lowered (just take my word for it) so we would have had to get a really shallow sink. Orrrr Dave could build a platform for the deep-basin utility sink that we wanted!

Utility sink

Yessss… No more rinsing paint brushes in the kitchen sink! Now I need to decide what I want to store in that little cubby underneath. Maybe mason jars would fit?

Organized Garage

We still want to add a lot more in the way of shelving in here, and of course that miter saw table is still in the works.  Oh and we’ll hopefully be setting up a shed on the side of the house soon, so that should get the lawn mower and other random stuff out of the garage. But for now I’m already loving these changes!

Weekend Painting

You can file this one under “unexciting weekend”… I actually managed to get some painting done! Painting isn’t generally an activity that allows lots of easy stopping and starting (though I did manage it with the fireplace…) but the baby seemed relatively content to hang out in the play pen:

Play Pen BabyAnd I had actually managed to clean up a portion of the garage, meaning I knew where a fair amount of our painting supplies were to be found. So I finally (FINALLY!) painted the ceiling in the master bathroom, which had only been primed:

ceiling paint

I actually painted the ceiling with the exact same paint we used on the walls. I’ll pretend it’s because I’m keeping up with the latest design trends, but really it’s just way easier to cut in and not worry about wall drips if everything is the same color, and I already had that paint on hand anyway. It’s a taupe-y gray, something you don’t really even notice is not white unless you’re really looking for it, or say the walls are one color and the ceiling is a different color. 😛 So basically the purpose of this paint is to just be not very noticeable. Mission accomplished!

I’m also working on making a storage bench for the foot of our bed, and I actually painted the pieces of plywood before the assembling step, which will hopefully happen this week:

plywood painting

It was super quick to go over everything with a roller, no paint brushing of awkward corners required. I’m planning on trying to do this project with the nail gun, so there will still be holes to cover and paint, but I still think overall the job will be much easier with the pieces pre-painted.

And the above picture is proof that the garage has a floor! Well, there’s a floor under the pieces of plywood anyway. I managed to get all of the paint, plumbing, tiling, and electrical supplies grouped in a logical fashion and stowed away in the cabinets along the far wall. Hopefully it will be easier to get more small projects done now that I know where everything is…

Just some lights for the garage

The garage did have some lights when we moved in. They were two big tube-lights hung with chain from the rafters. Some enterprising person had run an extension cord from the wall outlet up along the rafters, cut the end off, and spliced the exposed wires to the wires for the tube lights. The home inspector informed us this wasn’t to code. (We weren’t at all surprised.)

Old Garage Lights

There was also a bare bulb on the wall above the laundry area. This one was to code, but pretty ugly:

Old Garage Bulb

We figured we had 4ish areas of the garage that needed light: the work bench, the workout area, the laundry, and the chest freezer. So we got an inexpensive strip light with 4 spots that we could point where we wanted. Then we shelled out for nice LED bulbs that will hopefully last forever:

New Garage Lights

Much better. And instead of an extension cord, we removed the bare bulb light from the wall and ran electrical cable from that up to the new strip lights. Here’s what remains on that wall:

Junction Box

We’re thinking we still will want one more light on the far wall over the work bench though. When we’re using the miter saw it ends up completely in shadow due to the angle at which the light hits it. We do almost all of our mitering during the day so it hasn’t been an issue, but then it wouldn’t be very hard to install a light on that wall, whenever we get around to it.

This all happened back in November actually, but it’s not particularly exciting to write about utility lights. Up next: our toilet! The sad part is I’m not joking about that. Hopefully there will be more exciting things to post about soon though, as we’re finally making some real headway on the master bathroom remodel, and the baby is due in 2 months.

Worst “Before and After” Ever?

Our garage has been full of random stuff–pretty much the last few loads we brought after finally cleaning out the old place–for a month now. We’ve finally reached an organizational point on the inside of the house that I felt comfortable taking a swat at organizing the garage. Here’s how it looked when we started:

There’s still a ton of stuff without a permanent place to live, but we made a lot of progress. We made a decent pile of stuff to donate and recycle. We cleared a path to the stack of plywood on the righthand side, and we organized most of the tools onto the shelf on the left. There’s even room on the left to actually start working on making our bed frame, and I’m really hoping to at least start cutting the plywood sometime this month. (Shooting for the stars, that’s me…)

but then I went to take the “after” picture.

Yes, that’s really the “after” shot. In my defense, that pile of stuff front and center is the donate/recycle pile. And we didn’t bother to move the mattress, washer/dryer, or table since we’re going to be craigslisting those things. And we cleaned a lot of stuff out of the back of the garage, which you can’t really tell from the pictures. But in the end, yes, the garage is still a mess.