Friday, October 30, 2009

Building in buildings can be fun!

Times are tough, babies.
Unemployment up, cold winter coming, and nothing to do but start fights on the internet. Also, my friend Ian Templeton has left our fair city for Manchester for two years. TWO YEARS! I didn't have the heart to tell him that despite the name, that city will not be the capitol of sizzling hot man chests.

Anyway, last year Rosanna and I moved into Kastle Kvernmo and were delighted to find that with a little bit of effort we could convert the backyard shop into a workable space. Last winter the shop was very cold. It was certainly drier than being outside, but it was not much of an upgrade over the days of yore working on the floor of my very packed garage.
Notice the green tape? That's the "don't put anything other than mopeds here" zone.

Months ago, we started preparing the current shop for the long hard cold. You might recall this short essay on shelves. Well, a couple of weeks ago I insulated the ceiling, had an electrician improve the shop circuit breaker so we wouldn't be blowing fuses, wired in actual light fixtures (no more cheesy clamp-on shop lights!) and changed over from halogen lights to CFLs for efficiency. Phew! (Did I mention that unemployment leaves you with a lot of time on your hands?) But wait that's not all!!!

My fellow brother in the Unemployed Moped Mechanics Union, suggested that I build a work bench in my recently polished work space.

So I spent a while mulling it over and staring at the area that I thought would best accommodate a work bench. I came up with these criteria:
1. It would have to be removable somehow because sometimes large things need to be stored in our small shop.
2. It must be integrated into the handbuilt aesthetic because Rosanna has Iron Curtain Press clients visit the shop frequently.
3. I must be able to brace the bike without a kickstand so that I can drop puch engines.

I thought about how other people make use of small spaces and large furniture elements and I thought, "Good Lord! I'll build a Murphy bed work bench... a 'Murphy Bench'!"
Here is a photo of the plans that my dad and I drew up:

And here is the result:

My favorite part is the outlet that I wired in right under the bench for dremel-or-air compressor-or-sawzall-a-moped-in-half delights. Also, I built in some pretty beefy hooks on either side of the front tire area to accommodate tiedowns, sweet. Responsible Jon claims that my Murphy Bench idea will be the toast of the mid-west. I don't believe that the mid-west has internet.

Tune in next time for "how to make a lean-to into a legitimate garage", and "I'M BRETT WALKER! THAT KIT IS SLOW! YOU'LL NEVER GET IT TO RUN FAST!" Au contraire.

Monday, October 12, 2009