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Wednesday, September 08th, 2010
10:25 AM
There are ostensibly 3 things you need for any hobby: time, money, and space.  There's really only so much you can do about time, and money... well, money is a bit beyond the scope of this blog.  Space, on the other hand, is something we can totally do about.

I recently had the pleasure of moving and one of my considerations (obviously - duh) was where I could practice my worship of the Omnissiah totally normal hobby.  When I first saw the apartment, I immediatly picked this little closet out as a strong possibility:


Not much to see right now, but she's got potential!

It's got great natural light and ventilation from the window.  It also has a power outlet (off camera to the right).  And it was only being used for storing a few odds and ends that could easily go elsewhere.  There were, however, a few problems.  First, the radiator blocks the space any four legged work bench would need to stand.  Secondly, (and absent from the only "before" photo I thought to take) there's an awkward built in coat rack type thing embedded in the wall to the right.  I say awkward because it included a bottom panel that was about 3 inches off the floor and about 11 inches deep (not much to stand a shelving unit on).

So, my first task was to install a working surface above the radiator.  I was originally considering a hollow core door cut to fit, but cutting it down to size would have been a bit of a tricky proposition as Home Depot wouldn't do it for me and I lack any convenient access to a table saw.  Instead, I went with a sheet of MDF board which I had cut, then painted myself.  To support this I installed two corner braces and two L-brackets.  The prepared MDF board then fit nicely on top of these.

Most exciting photos ever on PSG.

After this was done, I turned my attention to the coat rack.  I cleaned out the junk that had accumulated in it and after some light demolitions work (courtesy of my (new) apartment-mate Sean) and a trip to our local Container Store - I had a nice functional shelving unit.


You can see where the (now empty) coat rack buttress used to be in the upper left

I'd like to put a kind word in here for the Container Store.  While their prices aren't exactly budget, the result was well worth it and their staff was super helpful in picking the right pieces to fit my needs - It even has room for my mini-Black Library on top!

In case you're wondering, my organizational scheme is as follows: Bottom space - two plastic bins for sheets of sprue; Bottom shelf - model boxes; Middle shelf - hobby supplies, bits and paint; Top shelf - WiP space (currently empty as the stuff that would usually go here is still packed at the moment).

The work desk got some finishing touches and I hung a white board and tack board on the wall and voila - here we have one perfectly functional hobby nook.


Missing: One drafting chair, which is supposedly arriving soon

Things I learned:
  • Find your chair first, then figuer out the height of your work surface - I didn't and had to look a little harder to find a chair to match.

  • If you paint MDF (or any surface you intend to set things on, really) with vinyl based paint - seal it with a couple of coats of clear acrylic, otherwise things will stick to it with the smallest amount of humidity.

  • The right combination of shelves and bins can go a long way towards organizing your workspace