January 31, 2012

New workshop
Photo by Jim Ruen

Earlier this winter, I began moving my shop tools to an old garden shed. After cleaning the 8- by 12-foot building, I moved about 70 percent of my tools and supplies, including my workbench and tool cabinet, into the shed … where they sat. The busy holiday season combined with a heavy writing schedule left little time to get things in shape. It wasn’t until shortly after New Year’s that I had a weekend free to attack the mess.

Luckily for me, the weather has been mild—mild for Minnesota in January, at least—with temperatures in the low 30s and no snow on the ground. Everything but the workbench and cabinet came out of the shed. I had dug a trench from the house to the shed, and a local electrician ran conduit and wire to a switch in the shed.

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My first step was to run cable to desired outlets. I placed an outlet at either end of the workbench and in front of my grandfather’s lathe, which I hope to get running this year. My goal with three outlets in such a small (72-square-foot) area is to avoid cords getting in the way.

I also installed an exterior outlet at the rear of the shed for the dog’s heated water dish. It will come in handy for other uses, such as Christmas decorations and those repair jobs best done outside.

I have yet to install lights, as I want to get some more interior work done first. For the time being, a trouble light is providing needed supplemental light.

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