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A Workbench for the Basement

I’ve been hold-up in the basement for the last few days, working on a project that reminds me of the time I decided to teach myself to knit. It went something like this:

Gee, I think I’d like to learn to knit. Ummm, what should I knit first? I know…gloves!

Yeah, you can imagine how that turned out! Later on, an experienced knitter told me that a glove is one of the hardest things you can ever knit. Duhhh. Leave it to me to choose that for a first project. That was one sad-looking glove.

Well, my current project may be the glove of woodworking. It’s kicking my butté! I’ve learned so much though that I’ll share if/when I ever get it finished, just in case you want to make one, too. Consider me your crash-test dummy. Umm, maybe I should reword that. 😉

Just before I began pulling my hair out working on this latest woodworking project, I decided to upgrade my fancy workbench in the basement. Do you remember the workbench I used to build my potting table? (See the Potting Table Bulding Tutorial here: Build a Potting Table)

Build a Potting Bench DIY Tutorial

 

There it is…over there in the corner. Do you see it? As you can see, it’s a little low to the ground and very hard to keep clean 😉 but it got me through the potting table project.

I’ve been thinking about building a workbench but I found a solution that was quick and probably even cheaper than building it myself.

Building-a-Potting-Table-or-Buffet-Server-for-Parties

 

Ta-da! I found this workbench in Home Depot recently for $69.97. After my military discount, it was $62.97 + tax. The cool thing about it, there was no real assembly required. Seriously!

Worktable for Basement_wm

 

If you follow BNOTP on Instagram, you already know about this bench. I shared this pic on Instagram the day I bought it. I love Instagram, such an easy way to share good stuff right on the spot.

As you can see, the box says you can set it up in three minutes. And guess what? You can! Of course, I had to get it out of my SUV and down to the basement first. I dragged the box out of my SUV, into the kitchen and down the basement stairs on a blanket, my favorite device for moving heavy objects. (Remember THIS post.)

Workbench

 

Once in the basement, it was a cinch to set up. You lay it over on its top, open up the legs, fold them out, stand it up, insert the long shelf and you’re done. It’s really sturdy, too. I told the guy in the store I’d be hammering and building on it and it couldn’t be wobbly. He said if I had any issues, to screw the back of it into some studs in the wall. So far, that hasn’t been necessary. I especially liked that it had a back lip since it comes in handy for bracing stuff that you’re trying to nail/screw.

Worktable for Basement_wm

 

They weren’t super careful when building it, though. I think this is glue running down the front. I can probably sand that off. Update: It sanded right off…all gone! Maybe I’ll even get ambitious and paint it. I’d leave the top natural, as is…it’s some kind of super durable, man-made surface. But I could paint the rest of it. What color should I paint it?

Workbench

 

My work table is several feet higher these days, although I’m still finding it a challenge to keep it clean. Is there any place sawdust won’t go?!

Basement Work Bench_wm

 

Remember when I replaced this lamp on the porch? (Porch decorated for the 4th of July can be seen in this post: 4th of July Porch)

Porch Decorated for the 4th of July

 

Here’s the lamp I added to the porch.

Green Porch Lamp

 

The lighting in the finished side of the basement is fine for every day use, but it’s not so great for building stuff. So the lamp has found a new home in the basement…more on that in a sec.

Since my home was built before folks were really big into finishing basements, the ceilings are just over 7 feet tall in some areas. When I had the basement re-finished (previous homeowner finished it in before and it was not good) I had them tray up the areas they could. So there’s a tray ceiling on one side with recessed lighting…

Lighting in Basement_wm

 

…and a wider tray ceiling on the other side with more recessed lighting.

Lighting in Basement (2)_wm

 

It’s kind of dim in the area where I set up my workbench, so for now I have the lamp from the porch here. I like the extra light but the shade is too big and sticks out too far. I find myself bumping into it as I work. Also, the shade is fabric and I noticed today it’s covered in sanding dust. I need to look for something more functional if I’m going to keep working down here on  a regular basis.

Basement Work Bench_wm

 

I forgot to take a picture but I bought this awesome little headlamp work-light on Amazon and it works great! I wear it when I’m using my circular saw or jig saw and I can see the line I’m following a lot better. You’ll find it here: DEWALT DWHT70440 Jobsite Touch Headlamp (Note: that’s an affiliate link.)

 

Dewalt Work Light

Over the last few months I’ve collected some basic tools. I made the decision to go with the DeWalt brand because I liked the reviews I was reading online. Plus, I like their black and yellow color scheme. Is that just wrong to be influenced by color when buying tools? 😉

Over the last few months I’ve purchased a circular saw, a brad nailer, a drill and a jigsaw. I used the drill, circular saw and jigsaw on my last project, the potting table. The project I’ve been working on recently requires a brad nailer, so it’s the latest addition to my tool arsenal.

Dewalt Tools_wm

 

I’ve been buying cordless tools because I love the freedom I have when I’m not tethered to a wall. Also, knowing me, I’d probably end up sawing a cord in half.

I’ve been consistently buying 20v tools that use a lithium-ion battery because they last a long time and when you aren’t using them, they keep their charge while on the shelf. Unfortunately, DeWalt doesn’t make a 20v cordless brad nailer or a brad nailer that uses a lithium-ion battery. They make a 20v lithium-ion frame nailer but not a brad nailer. Boo-Hiss!

So I was stuck buying their 18v brad nailer and of course it takes the old style battery that doesn’t last as long and does lose its charge while on the shelf. Just watch, they’ll come out with the 20v, lithium-ion brad nailer next week…Murphy’s Law you know. That means I’m also stuck needing two different chargers. If they can make a framing nailer that takes a Li-Ion battery, you know they could make a brad nailer, too. DeWalt, are you listening to me?!

Battery Chargers_wm

 

I just ordered these, they should arrive either today or tomorrow, then I can quit sticking cotton in my ears. I can’t wait to get them because you can listen to the radio or hook them to your phone and listen to downloaded books. I think they may work with iPods too but double-check that if you consider ordering them. I download all my Audible purchases to my phone so I’ll be listening to my books and protecting my hearing at the same time. Love that!

Update: My “Work Tunes Hearing Protector” headphones arrived and they do work with ipods. They also work great for listening to downloaded books, but the reception for the radio is horrible in my basement. It may just be the location of my home since I also get crummy cell phone reception here, too. Or, it could be because I’m down in a basement when I’m wearing them. They work great for music and books though, which is why I wanted them. They also block out the noise from saw, sanders, etc… really well.

You can find them on Amazon where I ordered them here: 3M TEKK WorkTunes Hearing Protector, MP3 Compatible with AM/FM Tuner (Note: That’s an affiliate link.)

Dewalt Work Headtunes Hearing Protector

 

I have a really high-tech container for holding pencils, scissors and other goodies.

Storage_wm

 

As I’ve been working downstairs in the basement, I’ve been pilfering stuff from all over the house: Scissors, trash can, calculators, pencils, measuring tape, etc… Then when I go upstairs and need those things, it’s a pain. I think I’ve lost a few pounds (good side effect) from running up and down two flights of stairs to retrieve things back out of the basement.

I finally bought a second measuring tape, some utility/shop scissors, an inexpensive trash can and this little gadget. It’s a home project calculator and it helps you convert inches to feet or yards or whatever. The cost wasn’t that much more than a regular calculator so I decided to give it a whirl. I like that it closes up since sawdust is everywhere…did I mention that already?! 😉

Project Calculator_wm

 

I tell ya, this buying stuff for a home workshop could become addictive. It’s kind of fun fixing it up down here. It may even inspire me to go ahead and paint the trim and walls in the finished side of the basement. I think I’ll leave the concrete floor as is, though. The next person who lives here may want carpet or who knows what down here. This basement also has an unfinished side with two large windows that would make a great workroom. With the addition of some sheet rock and  lighting, it could be a great workshop. Umm, the wheels are a-turning.

Basement Work Bench_wm

 

Okay, it’s back to the basement I go, determined to finish this project today so I can share it soon!

Let me know what color I should paint the bench. Oh, and while we’re at it, whats a good color for basement walls? Any suggestions?







Comments

  1. Wow, you really are collecting some nice handy tools and I love the workbench. It is perfect. Wish I had a basement, that would be fabulous. Hugs, Marty

  2. Nancy B of Lake Stevens says:

    Oh Susan, you cheered up my day with your ambitious glove project. We need cheering up with the search going on in the mudslide.

  3. Hi Susan,
    Work bench looks super and it also looks like a great value for the money. Have to say, you are one industrious woman! Can’t believe the projects you have begun to tackle. Kudos to you, keep inspiring us to tackle projects of our own, you inspire us to do more :-)

  4. Pam ~ Crumpety Cottage says:

    Susan, when you asked about what color to paint your new work bench, I immediately thought, ‘Buttercup Yellow.’ I don’t know why, except maybe due to your fondness for yellow. 😉 So when I got to the part about your new tools, I thought, perfect! Yellow with accents of black. 😀 Haha. I love that new workbench! I’m so glad you shared about that. I’m going to mention it to my hubby.

    And no, there is NO place sawdust won’t live (been there.) Sawdust is the ‘ants’ of the infinitesimally small wood by-products world.

    Knit a glove. You are too funny!

    But hey, why didn’t you use that handy garden cart to get your new workbench down the stairs? ;P I’m surprised you didn’t find a way!

    • That would be so cute, Pam! I do love yellow! :) It really is an awesome deal. I saw the bench in HD a few weeks ago and didn’t get it. Wish I had gotten it sooner because it’s working great for my needs.
      lol Yeah, I was very young, mid 20’s when I thought I could knit a glove. I wish I had a picture of it, it would be hilarious to see now.
      Well, I could have loaded the box out of the car onto the cart and pulled it around the side of the house, but the problem is the yard slopes dramatically on both sides of the house down to the back yard and it’s virtually impossible to pull something heavy down the slope and not run over yourself with the cart while you’re pulling it. I’ve almost done that. It’s like a runaway cart and kind of dangerous, so I just opted for sliding it down the basement stairs.

  5. Doreen Krajzel says:

    Hi Susan;
    Goodness, I can’t keep up with you! If I tried to use a power saw, I would probably cut my hand off. Painting the basement, now thats a job! I’ve done it and it is time consuming, but once it is done it is so light and airy. I would go with a light color, maybe light beige or winter white than go go go with color in rest of the furnishings. How about red for the workbench?? Or teal blue. Just sayin. Have a great evening and keep us posted on your projects, they are great!! Love and Hugs, Doreen

  6. Have you managed to move your potting/party table to your porch? It looks like it weighs a ton.

    I love your determination. I usually end up with UFOs (un-finished objects) because I talents never measure up to my imagination.

  7. Peggy Thal says:

    Love your work bench. I bought one for my husband years ago and put it together. I stained it and put 5 coats of poly urethane on it. I think it turned out great. Also, my husband put his vises on it. You will love it. Underneath I put tools in plastic boxes labeled. I bought him a box to hold different nails and screws. I like it myself and it is very handy. Now I need to get one for my son in his new home. I might get him one more finished. Do not want to polyurethane again. – Thanks for sharing- you are my kind of woman.

  8. I like the price and ease of set up! You know you can get what’s called a paddle drill bit that is the width or close to the width of the washer- and drill a hole just deep enough to bury that washer and allow the bolt to be sunk just below the face of the bench so it’s not sticking out. You can also put a cross brace in the back if it seems wabbly, but it looks like it’s made with the right supports etc. I don’t know what color I would paint it. Light colors show each little mark etc. but it’s a work bench and shouldn’t be expected to stay pristine! What about a semi-transparent exterior stain? You can get them mixed to any color you want. Sand off that little bit of paint or blue dribble and it should be good. I love that you are so industrious! I know how to be- I just laze out and let Dan do things. You are inspiring- love all your tools!!!

    • Liz, you are amazing that you know all that stuff. I did not know that! Don’t show your hubby my posts, he will be laughing his head off at me. lol I bought a new sander yesterday because the mouse I was using was so LOOOOUDDD. And it was awful to hold. I love the new sander and it’s so much quieter. I took the glue right off! Looks much better minus that big drip of glue.

  9. My husband bought me a set of Dewalt tools and now I know why. He’s moved to the basement for his work shop and he doesn’t have to bring his tools in from his big shop. They are good tools. Have fun using them.

    Come out of the basement once in awhile.

  10. OH, yellow for the walls and bright turquoise for the bench! I love yellow walls. Sunny looking even on dark dismal days. And I’m suddenly into turquoise or aqua. I don’t know, but it’s cheery!
    I am amazed at your energy and love what you are doing. Fun to read about it all. Would love to have seen a picture of your first kintted glove!

    • I love the turquoise idea! :) I was actually thinking about that last night. It would make it really fun. Thanks Jean! lol I wish I had a pic of that glove. I’m sure threw it out. I know I never knitted the second one. :)

  11. Linda Page says:

    Susan, it is just so YOU to have a crystal lamp on your worktable with power tools!!!!! I love it!

  12. Jill Jones says:

    Hi, Susan. You are an inspiration! I love that you are expanding into carpentry and look forward to your future projects. I am so impressed! Will you please share more about your new power tools? Specifically, I am interested in which model of drill you purchased and where you purchased it. I am in the market and am clueless. Thanks for explaining about the rechargeable battery. I was not aware of the different types. Thanks for your help. Jill

    • Thanks, Jill! Sure! When I purchased the drill (which I LOVE) I bought it at Home Depot. You can find it online at Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DCD790D2-Cordless-Lithium-Ion-Brushless/dp/B00CSDIIXS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1395929972&sr=8-2&keywords=DCD790#productDetails
      Home Depot normally matches Amazon pricing if you ask and can pull up the item on Amazon to show them.
      When you buy DeWalt tools, they either come as a “bare” tool meaning no battery and no case, or you can spend more and buy the “kit” which includes a case and a battery. I’ve mostly bought kits since I wanted cases to store them when I wasn’t using them, although I did buy my jigsaw as a bare tool since I already had 2 batteries. I ended up buying a DeWalt case for it on eBay. I guess the guy was storing his tool some other way and didn’t want the case. It was in brand new condition. I think from now on, I’ll probably always buy a kit, unless I quit storing them in their case, because you can never have too many batteries. The batteries are good for something like 300+ charges so it would be good to have spare Lithion-Ion batteries around for when one eventually croaks and can’t be charged anymore. From what I’ve seen, everyone pretty much buys a cordless drill because it’s one of those things we use allll the time for screwing stuff in around the house. But for less often used items, like jigsaws, sometimes people go with corded tools. I just really didn’t want to worry about a cord. Also, the 20v Dewalt tools are usually “brushless” which means there are no brushes down inside to wear out. Apparently, that’s the first thing to go on some tools. I noticed the DeWalt sander I purchased yesterday actually has directions showing how to “change” the brushes when needed. Hope I don’t have to do that for a while! lol Hope that helps a little. Oh, one way to learn more about the Dewalt tools is to reads the top reviews on Amazon. Some of those reviewers write extensive reviews and after you read a few of them, you start to get an idea what to buy and what not to buy. Also, go to You Tube and google the tool you purchase and there’s usually some guy with a video tutorial sharing the features and how to use it.
      Hope this helps a bit. :)

  13. You’re like the energizer bunny! Tell me what you eat for breakfast, cause I want some ;).

    I have a similar workbench that has drawers and it came almost assembled. You’re gonna love yours!

    • lol Eggs and bacon! 😉
      A drawer would have been awesome! I was just thinking about that last night…how I’d love a drawer. Oh well, maybe they’ll create one with a drawer one day…nice upgrade! :)

  14. Donnamae says:

    You’ve really been busy! Can’t wait to see what you are working on! Think basement walls should be yellow! 😉

  15. Susan, you are just amazing and an inspiration for all us other ladies! Why wait for someone when you can do something yourself? Your workbench is a great find and I think it would look great stained with a solid color stain-perhaps charcoal gray which would look good with your yellow and black tools. Looking forward to seeing what else you’ve been doing down in the basement.

  16. You are BRILLIANT! The Tray Ceiling Idea – That is a fabulous idea to get SOME headroom in a “short” basement. I love that!

    (Oh – and your workbench rocks!)
    Maggie

    • Thanks, Maggie! I think my contractor suggested the tray ceilings…or maybe I saw them done somewhere else…forgotten now. The ceiling is nice and high in those trayed areas so it makes the whole room feel like a normal height.

  17. I have two of those work benches from Home Depot and I love them. I painted the top of mine white and then used Thompson’s waterproof sealer. The top is easier to clean when your finished with a project. I just love all those tools. Have fun with your project and I can hardly wait to see the finished project. They should teach woodworking and shop in High school to girls also and home economics to boys.
    Mary

  18. love your own personal workspace! Who knew such an economical work bench existed!

  19. You need a reality show!
    That is super – love the bench -is it sturdy & heavy or did you bolt to the wall?

  20. Sharon Bernstein says:

    Love the party bench and your work bench. Nice job!

  21. Navy paint for your bench. You are so ambitious, if I had to use a table saw I would be terrified.

  22. Lois Munn says:

    I bought the work bench several months ago, after moving into our new home. Had a lightbulb moment~liked it so much I bought another for our lanai to use as a buffet. Painted the wood with chalk paint, left the top and the shelf without paint. It’s hot and humid here in Florida and so far so good. Great buy!

  23. Love the bench and all the new tools. I can’t wait to see the projects you will do. Can I ask you where you got the calculator and it’s name. Thanks.

    • Thanks, Irene. It came from Home Depot and it’s called Home Project Calc by Calculated Industries. They had a fancier, more expensive one there that would do even more stuff, things a contractor or builder could use.

  24. Betty819 says:

    Are you remodeling that basement yourself or hiring it to be done? I thought you had made that other cart with the wheels. Oh, that was for plants? Or a serving cart on the deck? So this work bench is a new project? Hope you’ll give us a tuitorial on that project calculator thingy. That would really come in handy to doublecheck one’s math skills. I used to laugh when we’d go to buy wallpaper for a room, DH would figure out how many rolls it would take, given the dimensions of the room to the paint store mgr. and ask her to figure it and by golly, he was right on but she did it a different way then he did and there were times that we’d be scared we’d come up short by her calculations but she was always right. We never ran short of wallpaper. She was amazing..retired, divorced, remarried and moved out of state. Some of her clients used to fly her to Florida to paint and wallpaper and faux finish their condo for them. She was the best paint store mgr. we have ever dealt with.

    • Betty, I’m not going to remodel it, just thinking of painting the walls and trim. Yeah, the cart is for the deck for planting on, I just needed a workbench here in the basement. :)

  25. Go Susan with all your cool tools! I my head is swimming reading this post with all your ideas!

    If you paint the walls in the basement will the trim work remain natural or will you paint that too? How about painting your walls Benjamin Moore’s Hawthorne Yellow HC-4 http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/hawthorneyellow with white trim?

    If this were my bench I would probably leave it as is, but since you want to paint how about Benjamin Moore’s Knoxville Gray HC-160? I painted an old feed bin that color and have in my laundry room, and I also painted the steps inside my garage leading into the house Knoxville gray. It is a rich blue grey, not bright at all. http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/knoxvillegray

    Good luck with all your decisions.

    • I love that color of yellow, Mary. There’s a house in a neighborhood close to mine that’s painted Hawthorne Yellow. That must be a popular color for BM because it’s been around many years. I hope they don’t ever discontinue in case I find that perfect cottage one day that needs to be painted yellow. :)
      I’ll check out the gray, someone else mentioned staining it gray, too. I may need to pick a wall color for the basement at the same time so they don’t clash.

  26. Katrinka says:

    Ah, a woman after my own heart! Love your ambition! Four years ago I sold my perfect townhouse and bought a delapidated foreclosed home. What can I say, I was bored! Tore it down to the studs and turned it into one of the nicest homes on the street. I’m now planning on selling and doing it over again, at the age of 65!
    Life is short, do what you love.

    • Katrinka, you’re amazing! I’m 57 (shhh, don’t tell anyone) and I hope I still have the fire inside to be building and doing stuff when I’m 70! :) I wished I lived closer to you, I’d come help and let you teach me stuff. It sure is good exericse. Each time I build something, I am so sore for days and days! Do you ever get sore or are you just used to it now?

  27. This is such a cool table! Thanks for sharing it. We may have to get one ourselves.

  28. Susan,
    I bet you have the only workbench that has a glass lamp sitting on it! :) It made me laugh when I saw all your new tools lined up with your lamp there. Please be careful with all those power tools.

    Blessings

  29. Susan,
    I bet you have the only workbench with a crystal lamp on it! :0) Seems perfectly normal to me! :)

    Blessings

  30. AMAZING you are! I’m still loving that potting bench!

  31. I’m so impressed at your arsenal of tools! They look like they would be FUN to play with!!

  32. Susan, It seems every time I am considering a project, you provide a tutorial shortly thereafter! It’s wonderful. You are certainly resourceful. I would stain and urethane the bottom of my bench. That small workroom space you mentioned would be really nice and also keep some of the sawdust and mess out of your main basement area. The crystal lamp is a hoot!!!! To be practical, they make industrial rectangular metal work lights with single or multiple flourescent bulbs sized to fit your actual bench size and illuminate your work area perfectly. With Krylon metal paint sprays you could actually paint the lamp to match whatever decor colors you chose. Painted pegboard on the wall behind your bench would also be handy to hang small hand tools: hammers, screwdrivers etc. You may want some small clamps also. They really come in handy. I can’t wait to see your finished area. I’ve become addicted to your blog.

    • Thanks for the tip on the lighting…have to check those out! I appreciate those tips since I’m just figuring this all out as I go. I have to admit I like the lamplight in the evening but it definitely isn’t practical. :) Pegboard idea is great! The home my son and dil bought a few months ago has a workshop in the basement with a pegboard over the workbench. My favorite part when I went into that room was the ancient pencil sharpener that was mounted to the workbench. :)
      I have a bag on small clamps but I want to get some of the bigger ones, too. Do you ever watch Woodworking for Mere Mortals? I love Steve Ramsey…he’s a hoot. He is always clamping something. lol
      Here’s his website: http://www.woodworkingformeremortals.com/
      You can see his videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/stevinmarin

  33. Susan, After thoughts: If you used a pegboard backing, they also make small metal shelves that hang from the board where you can keep you wood glue and such. It would free up your workspace on the bench. Also shop towel holders!!! Regarding your potting bench/serving cart: If you could find some nice, sturdy towel bars to match your dragonfly hangers and place them at either end of you bench, they could facilitate moving the bench more easily on your deck and they would be lovely with kitchen or Tea towels draped over them when using for serving guests as well. Just a thought. Have a great day!! Norma

    • lol Norma, you’re awesome…you are reading my mind! I’ve almost purchased a couple of towel racks I saw online for the cart but my biggest fear is they will rust. Someone mentioned painting them with Rustoleum when I first get them, do you think that would work? I hope the dragonflys don’t rust. I guess if they do I can spray them with Rustoleum but that would wipe out much of the detail on them.
      Love you ideas! I was eyeing that wall behind the bench and thinking how great shelves would be there. Then I started thinking about the unfinished side of the basement. I’m super tempted to finish in a room over there for a workshop. One of these days I’ll do a little tour of the basement and share it. I need to do some cleaning and getting rid of stuff first.

  34. I love your new workbench, Susan!! I would so like to have that in my garden shed, instead the folding table I’m currently using for potting. It looks like it would be a good height, plus it has all that wonderful storage underneath. When it comes to walls, I’m a Cottage White girl since it means you can pretty much do anything else you want and it’s a lovely, warm, adaptable canvas. (And if it were me, I would paint the worktable spring green! But that’s just me….) Enjoy your new bench. I’m seriously envious of all your new tools!

  35. Oh, good grief, I laughed till tears flowed….”I think I’ll make…a glove!” Story of my life, kiddo… Keep us rocking and rolling!! franki

  36. So glad to have found your website! Jealous first of your daffodils and tulips, and then what a brave sole you are!
    There are workbench lights that suspend from the ceiling by chain…not pretty though. I was wondering about a bathroom light fixture with the three lights that are adjustable, mounted above the workbench.
    Be on the look out for a dresser in someone’s trash and take a drawer. Then mount the drawer under the shelf yourself. I’ve seen this done on DIY network, mostly for adding kitchen drawers. You can buy the gizmo that makes the drawer pull out probably at Home Depot. I like the idea of a yellow workbench as yellow is my favorite color. Then, beige to tan for the walls. Get yourself the thick rubber mat to put down in front of the work bench ….your legs will thank you later!

    • Kathie, thanks so much for that tip on the drawer…brilliant idea! So glad you mentioned a mat. I was thinking about that yesterday and wondering if folks used those in workshop. That sounds divine because my feet do get tired on that concrete. Awesome tips!

  37. Linda Joseph says:

    When you first asked what color to paint the workbench, I, too, thought, “Yellow!” I also love the turquoise idea. Yellow, turquoise, and fuchsia are such fun colors, and they bring to mind sunny cruises on the Caribbean or Mediterranean.
    My dad had a gooseneck lamp that clamped onto his workbench. It was easy to bend so that the light was directed precisely where it was needed, and it was easy to move around.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Linda, I love that imagery! I never get a chance to paint anything really bright around here so I just may do it. lol Last night I suddenly remembered a red task lamp that I bought for my office but could never find a good spot for it on my desk. I got it out of the office closet and took it downstairs and it’s works pretty well. Glad you mentioned that because it’s a miracle I remembered I had it.

  38. I tried to comment earlier but got a message #503 ??? Anyway, I have a case of workbench envy. I store my tools in the garage on an 18″ deep plastic shelf from Target. My sliding compound miter saw is still in the box – no where to set her up. I think I would have to paint the bench yellow and black, and then stencil some bees on the legs.

  39. Susan,
    You continue to amaze me with all your skills, dear friend!!!
    Just had “Mr. Ed” come read part of your blog with me as he never goes to Home Depot anymore.
    That could be a definite change in the future.
    I think I’d keep the workbench a natural tone and just seal the wood.
    I have my creative space, Studio One in the unfinished portion of our basement.
    First we painted it glacier white…B I G mistake!!!
    I wanted it white and bright! But the overhead lighting threw a glare on every surface!
    I now have it painted Popular Gray from Sherwin~Williams. MUCH improved!!!
    Also, one entire wall is still concrete and this hue blends fabulously with the wall and floors!
    You are too, too funny making tool purchases with a “color scheme” in mind! Ha!
    Oh, I know. . .I saw where you did your homework about which tools before purchasing!
    Keep those projects coming. . .I’ll keep “Mr. Ed” watching your results!!!
    Fondly,
    Pat

    • lol Thanks, Pat! And thanks for the warning about going all white…hadn’t thought about glare! Funny story, When I was in Home Depot recently, I asked if they had calculators and a guy showed me where they were. After he walked away, I was standing there puzzling over which one to get and another guy came along and asked if he could help. I told him what I needed and he told me the white one (the one I ended up buying) would be fine for my needs. I told him I like the more expensive one that had a bunch of features I didn’t need, because it was yellow. He burst out laughing and was grinning from ear to ear. I looked at him and said, “Hey, it matches my DeWalt tools.” Then he laughed harder. I said, “Typical of a woman, huh?” Then he stopped laughing so much and told me you wouldn’t believe how many men come in there looking for “red” tools because they like the color red. So, men do it, too. :) Maybe they want red to go with their Milwaukee tools since all those are red. Makita should be real popular right now because all their tools are turquoise! lol

  40. Nancy B of Lake Stevens says:

    Susan, do you think this could work as a potting bench with beaucoup coats of waterproofing? Just wondering?

    • I think it probably would with 3-4 coats of marine varnish. I’m not sure what kind of wood it’s made of…it may have said on the box. But I would think if you protect it with marine varnish and reapply it every so often, it would work as a potting table. We have termites in GA so if you guys have those you may want to place it on some slabs of concrete or stone or something to make sure it isn’t directly in contact with the ground.

  41. Good for you! My workbench(es)/sewing areas ALWAYS include magnet strips (from IKEA). You cannot ever have too many…all your tools will be in sight AS will screws, tape measurers…everything; I would also do a panel behind the workbench of peg board and mount magnet strips (at least 3-5 @ 18″ long) on one side and use the other half for pegs/hooks for non-magnetic items. THEN…you’ll need a bulletin board to pin ideas, instructions, pics that remain in sight BUT NOT take up surface space. An earlier comment mentioned a shop light which is a great idea…make sure you use the “warm color” fluorescent tubes…not the icky ice blue that usually comes with it. Both provide good light but the “warm” light is SO MUCH better! You will wonder how you ever worked without a workbench. Almost forgot! Get a handy vacuum from Lowe’s or Home Depot such as a wet/dry ShopVac…makes quick work of sawdust, dropped nails, screws, etc.

    • Love that idea, Christy! I’m due a trip to IKEA soon, so I will look for those. I just bought a bulletin board…love the peg board idea, too! I do have the vacuum, bought one a few years ago because I got tired of dragging mine down from upstairs to vacuum the basement. Thanks for all the awesome tips!

  42. Angela Muller says:

    Susan, you are amazing! You buy tools like I buy skincare products, books, art……. I really enjoyed this post, as I do most of them, but the part that really hit home was your comment about using blankets to move things. I, too, discovered that almost effortless way to move heavy objects, even down stairs. When I come up with those kinds of solutions, I always feel like a “chimp” in training!

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