This Week in the Shop, I will peel the bark off my new digs in Northern Virginia. Last summer, my family and I relocated to Northern VA to be closer to family and pursue new jobs. It’s taken a while, but we’ve finally settled into a sort-of-fixer-upper in a great neighborhood.
The Woodshop Cowboy Shop & Studio started as a “finished basement”. The basement certainly counted as finished, but it was completed with more ambition than talent. Dropped ceilings, strange design decisions, mismatched materials and poorly fitting doors all pointed to a botched DIY job.
So I DIYed myself out of it. I unfinished the basement.
First, I ripped up the carpet and removed the baseboards. Then I swept and mopped the concrete floor. I primered the floor with concrete primer. I finished the floor with standard grey concrete paint. I highly recommend this technique for interior slabs. Saw dust sweeps up beautifully. The concrete paint takes a beating well. The paint cures within 24 hours and it’s much, much cheaper than other solutions.
I had to frame, drywall and joint one wall to seal off the furnace from the wood dust. I painted every wall with a cheap white paint.
Next, I made ripped baseboards, chair rails and tool holder borders out of 2×12 pine rafter stock. I ripped the stock in half, then resawed them to just under 3/4″ thickness on the bandsaw. A quick trip into the planer took the baseboards down to 5/8″ of an inch. A chamfer bit in the router table eased the top corner.
I finished the boards with a 2:1 ratio poly/stain combo. This didn’t work out as well as I hoped, but a coat of poly seemed to fix up the baseboards.
I also created a number of tool walls consisting of ripped 1/2″ plywood wood sheets, 2′ x 8′ long. I love the look.
I also accepted new tools in the renovation. A Grizzly air filter and dust collector help manage dust, while a Grizzly bandsaw replaces the one I lost in my move. I added a big Bosch crosscut saw. My small temporary table saw solution, the one featured in a number of projects over the last year, bit the dust recently. If you read my Table Saw Buyer’s guide, you know what I will be buying next.
I also have access to a small basement office. Here, I repainted the walls and installed trim. I also bought a metal shelf from Costco which currently houses my electronics, science, kid-centric maker gear. A new-to-me Makerbot Replicator 2 & a sawhorse table surface round out the office’s purpose. I have to add a few bookshelves to house my Maker book collection, but that will probably a few years in the future.
As you can see, exciting things are ahead for Woodshop Cowboy!
Thank you for your continued support.