Jay and I have been doing a lot of home improvements this last year. We took some trees down, moved the fence, concreted the driveway, redid our sidewalk, and put a new furnace in the house (which is working wonderfully!). There was some discussion about a man cave in the basement and finishing off most of it.
From the moment that I saw the basement completely empty (when we walked through the house before purchasing it there was a LOT of stuff down there so we couldn’t really see just how big it was) I could see Jay setting up the workshop of his dreams.
You see, Jay loves to spend time in his work shop. He’s happiest when he’s fiddling with something on the work bench. It’s one of the things that I love about him. When we first started dating he was worried that I would think terribly of him because he spent most of his time in his basement working on his airplanes. I am a cross stitcher and a crafter myself. I may not know a lot about electrical systems and what kind of lines an airplane needs in order to fly, but I understand the desire and need to create something with your hands. Jay’s love of tinkering has led to my beautiful bookshelves, my wonderful stemware shelf, and soon a step for our family room.
I’ve always told Jay that he could have 80% of the basement. I just needed some space for my stuff. He has kept that bargain with me and so I’m happy. During one of our discussions I told him that I wanted him to make the rest of the basement proper into the workshop of his dreams. Any guy can finish off a basement and put a TV with a few chairs in there, but how many guys would love to have their own workshop? How many guys have wives that would encourage them to create the work shop of their dreams? Jay’s anniversary gift to me was my chest freezer. Here is his:
This is Jay’s design. It’s fairly simple, but will be exactly what he needs for working on the larger aircraft that he seems to be getting into. This is 4′ x 8′ and stands 40″ tall. It’s tall enough that he can use his bar stools at it, he has room for his legs underneath, and the shelf is at the right height to put his feet on. He plans to add drawers, possibly stain it, and maybe do a couple other modifications. It’s a great start, though.
He designed it so that it’s big enough to put most of his aircraft on and still have room to walk around either side of the bench without any issue. No longer will he have to make sure the plane isn’t going to roll off the edge. It will also be a big help when he runs up a new motor or fan as he will be able to strap the jet down to the table.
Originally he wanted to use MDF for the table top because it can withstand a beating, but is cheap enough to replace when it gets too rough. For some reason, however, Lowe’s doesn’t carry the 2’x4′ sheets. Jay didn’t really want to run to the Home Rip-Off, so I suggested that maybe he could use Pergo flooring. It’s essentially made of the same material, except this already has a finished top and it was fairly cheap. I think that we paid $.68 a square foot for it. It gives the top a nice, finished look and he can replace a single plank if he needs to without having to replace the entire top. He used some inch board around the edge to frame it in, but he was smart enough to make sure to leave a lip. Why? Well, this way if he’s using his Xacto knife and sets it down, it can’t roll off the table and stab him. Apparently this is something that he’s learned from experience! It should also keep other hardware and miscellaneous parts from rolling off as well.
It’s just the beginning. As we can afford to I know that we will be improving his workshop and really creating a space where he can work comfortably and be the envy of the flying club. Also, it gives me a spot on the other side of the bench where I can sit and stitch. This way I can spend time with him without feeling like I’m getting in his way. When we were dating we spent a lot of time in his workshop, but his current workshop doesn’t really afford us much room to be in there together. This new space will help with that!