Tools and building supplies can turn into a sizeable investment for the novice home renovation do-it-yourselfer. And what started out as a handy workspace may have turned into a messy eyesore in the corner of your garage or basement.
If your workstation is lacking enough counter space and freedom of movement because of too many tools and other items needed for home improvement and repairs, this article can help.
Counter Space Tips
First, clear away all tools and clutter from your workstation area. Take a critical look at your work bench, if you already have one in place. A good size workspace should be about 66 long, and about 24 wide.
The top of the counter for home repairs and building projects must be sturdy; about 1 thick. Height of the workbench is important. You want to comfortably work on projects without stooping. A good standard height is 36 ; customize height for short or tall persons.
The top of the counter should extend about 3 from the supporting legs on each end. This provides ample space for use of a clamp or vise. Extra surface space can be added to the counter using a removable 12 or 14 extension leaf. Drill matching holes, 6 deep in one end of the leaf and one end of the counter edge. Fit diameter, 12 long steel rods into the holes of the extension leaf.
Attach the bench to wall studs at either end using an eye and hook for greater stability. If you haven t the time to build the work bench yourself, hire a building contactor to make one for you.
Affix a cutting strip from an aluminum foil or plastic wrap box to one end of the counter. The teeth of the cutting strip should be slightly higher than the counter surface. This will provide a quick, convenient way to cut tape and cords while working.
An old roller-type window shade affixed to the other end of the counter provides quick countertop protection when it is time for interior painting projects. Attach the shade mounting bracket at one end, the shade hook to the other. When you re ready to paint or glue something, simply pull out the shade and hook it to the other end. Allow the shade to dry before re- rolling it.
Acquire an old bookcase, build one yourself, or hire a building contractor to design and make one for you; it can be set on rollers, if desired. Place it under one end of the counter as shelf space for power tools and other building supplies. Leave enough room for a shop vac or metal multi-drawer tool box to fit under the counter at the opposite end.
Attach a pegboard on the wall behind your home renovation and handyman work space. Collect all your plastic squeeze tubes of glue, contact cement, and caulk. For each tube, use a piece of duck tape about 2 long; trim to fit the width of the tube.
Stick one end of the tape near the bottom of the tube; fold the tape in half over the tube, pinching the sticky sides together. Punch a hole through the tape to hang on the peg board using a perf-board or S hook.
Organize and hang open-end and closed-end wrenches on the other end of the peg board by wrench type, in descending-size order. Hammers and other hand tools can also be organized in this manner.
Once tools are in place, trace around each tool using a permanent marker. This not only insures tools will be returned to their proper place, but missing tools can be quickly identified.
Mount unused rat traps to the wall near your workshop area using screws. Before mounting, pry the bait holder off with a screwdriver. This handy holder will keep instruction sheets and building plans off your work bench, where they could get torn or soiled. It also keeps them visible at eye level for quick reference.
Keep all home repair, building, and home renovation plans in one handy place, using a 3-ring binder. Keep the binder under the countertop on one of the shelves.
For organizing half-used cans of paint for exterior and interior painting projects, keep a list of paint colors on hand and what project each was used for. Assign each a number.
Number the cans of paint for easy identity. Line cans of paint with numbers showing on a shelf, or on the floor along one wall; keep the list in your binder for quick reference.
Other Handy Tips
Keep power tool cords off the counter and safely out of the way while in use. Use a 3 length of old rubber garden hose; slit diagonally along one side. Open the slit to tack the hanger to an overhead joist. Insert and remove cords through the slit when using tools.
Make a handy hot glue gun holder using a short length of 2 X4 scrap lumber. Mount a spring-metal broom clip to the piece of wood; push the glue gun trigger into the clip to keep the glue gun safely in place during use. A small inverted metal jar lid can also be attached to catch glue drips from the tip of the gun.
A professional home renovation or building contractor will have many other ideas to help make your home project work station even better. Or list your project online at Trustedpros.ca. Find just the right home renovation contractor in your area to create your dream home repair workstation for you.Posted by: TrustedPros