Working on the Workshop: Goodbye Rusty Cabinets

You know what my workshop needs? A hammock. I’m obsessed with hammocks lately and it might be because I’m so effing busy that I barely have time to sit down, much less lounge around drinking umbrella drinks. But I’m thinking maybe once it’s dark all of the time, and we’re covered in snow, then I am definitely taking some time to relax. Even if I have to do it in my soon-to-be-heated workshop.

Until that happy day, I’ve got a few other things to look forward to. One of them is that I NO LONGER HAVE TO LOOK AT RUST-CABINETS.

Know why? Because THIS.


Oh, I know, I did a half-shitty job with the paint, and one of the cabs is missing a drawer and all of the things. It’s not perfect. But you know what it doesn’t look like anymore…


Yeah. So I won’t be complaining.

I had limited time to devote to any kind of projects this weekend because it was my dude’s birthday…want to know what to get a fabulously bearded guy for his birthday? Zombie survival kit. It has an axe with a knife inside it, okay? Plus, Spam. Anyway, after I made him homemade meatballs and ravioli, and spent 7 hours kayaking over the weekend, there wasn’t much time for other things, but I did manage to get a coat of satin red on the upper cabs, and a couple– eh, one and a half–coats on the bottom cabs.

Originally I painted over all of the handles and it was driving me a little nuts (I don’t know why, of all things, this is the one that drove me nuts….you should see my kitchen right now) so I made a quick cardboard and tape template and sprayed them all silver.


It’s not perfect, but I plan to tear most of the bottom cabs out at some point so I’m not too fussed about it. (“At some point” being anywhere between 1-5 years from now, depending on my mood and if I ever start the damn kitchen renovation.)

The only thing I plan to store in them between now and then are my empty tool cases…


I know, I’m weird.

Since I like to be able to see my tools, but still want them organized-ish, I bought some metal containers at target. I was hoping for multiple sizes, but these seem to work okay for piling in my hand tools.


This corner still needs some help, but it’s getting better:





Next up will be hanging the pegboard behind the bench-top, building a lower table for my router table and drill press, and installing this…

imageYOU SEE WHY I NEED A HAMMOCK? It’s going to be so toasty warm in here, come winter.

So, here’s the thing. People have mixed-feelings about woodstoves in woodshops, mostly because sawdust can ignite,  and, you know, fireballs are bad for your general health and well-being. So I thought about this for a while and did some research, and then I remembered that I’m the girl who drinks beer and plays with power tools… not exactly the most cautious person who ever existed. And I’d really like heat in my workshop, and I have a whole lot of wood to be burnt in my back yard, so I’m going to give it a try.

There’s a long weekend coming up so I’m hoping for just a little more time getting the shop in order, and then finishing up some of my ongoing summer projects, before I move on to bigger and better things. (Which either means the kitchen reno, or laying immobile on the floor for a few weeks… TBD.)

14 Responses

  1. I know there’s lots I could comment on in this post Red cabinets! Floor! Wood stove! (I don’t think you’re going to burn down your workshop BTW. You’ll be careful installing it). Against all of that what stood out for me was your Target baskets. Those are exactly what I’ve been looking for! Now to see if they exist here in Canada.

  2. OMG! Zombie survival: driving from Kaufman, TX to Austin, TX today, I saw on I-35 a guy on a motorcycle with a wooden axe-handle sticking straight up vertically. The axe head was, rather tactfully, wrapped in fabric and a bungee alongside a bundle of stuff behind the seatback. I was LONGING for an at-hand camera or phone-with-camera but alas. Maybe he reads your blog…?

  3. NICE UfYS!!

    Am kinda of surprised you didn’t take the doors off the bottom cabinets too…instead of painting the handles? Lots of space under there…always an option tho.

    Those damn empty tool cases…WTF do you do with them?!?…I’ve never used them-except for a couple infrequently used tools that are stored in them, but hate to throw them out because the next day is when I would decided I needed them.

    Yikes, I’m paranoid about fire having lived thru one….dust collection system?…but at least you can burn your building project scraps, hehehe, yeah right!

  4. A friend actually gave me an awesome custom designed dbl-barrel wood burner he mfr on his plasma-cam. I ended up not putting it in my shop/gar. because of all the extras and hoops my Insurance man said I needed to do to make it insurable, didn’t care much for the premium increase either. I gave it away and installed a 75btu hanging LP furnace. I gave the 2 barrel stove to a brother whose building a shop w/a loft living quarters above complete with deck using mobile home frames for second flr support and deck over the shop door.
    I still have my second shopsmith, love woodworking, if I do make a room for woodworking some type of dust collection is a must.
    Your upper cabs are nice and funtional and can always be blown out w/an air hose when you do a clean down. I hang on to and prefer to buy tools that come with a case…:) but yes, there’s nothing like a designated wood-shop where one can leave the tools frequently used out, handy…where they’ll be for the next project.

  5. My husband has had wood stoves in all of his shops and never burnt one down. He works on old cars mostly, and all the house improvement projects, of course. Lately has been building farmhouse tables for our daughter’s upcoming wedding. He makes sure to have plenty of ventilation when needed, like when he is spraying poly on the tables. I love your red cabinets! Makes the place very cheery. Also, love your blog. Keep up the good work.

  6. Compared to the before, your shop is looking phenomenal! Love that woodstove. Maybe rig a dust collection system? Or just light her up, hang the hammock in there and this winter spend a few hours dreaming of warmer weather!

  7. Check this place out for kitchen cabinets. I did my kitchen with them and I’m super happy. Black Friday last year they did 30% off. Free shipping to my local UPS dock. They might even advertise on your site. Worth a shot.

  8. my dad has a separate garage for his workshop/man cave and it has a wood burning stove in it. it has since the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of MY time, and that’s nearing 30 years. lots of sawdust. lots of tools. lots of beer. zero fires. i say you’re good to go!

  9. I just found your blog and I am really enjoying it. The workshop in my opinion is always a work in progress! My current storage system is totally based on cinder blocks! Your cabinets look great to me 😉

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