I’ve always had a little shop in the house. It’s the spot where I can repair whatever needs repairing. My shop, more formally my workshop, has always been within reaching distance of the oil burner. That means that there is a little extra warmth in the winter. It also means that it is often difficult to hear a radio when the burner fires up.
The workshop at our first home had a door, storage racks, an oil tank, a window, and two walls that I covered with 1 x 3 furring. After finishing the walls I put in electric outlets and an overhead light. I even built a set of bookcases and of course my workbench. I made that from a set of plans circulated by Stanley Bostitch. That basement workshop was also my ham radio shack. The basement is a great place for a short ground wire.
We have been at our new home for six years. About the only thing that I brought from my old shop was the workbench. The ham radio station is on the second floor now. It is not very good for a short ground wire but great for quiet operating. My new shop is of course in the basement, once again a short distance from the oil burner. It has about twice as much room as my last shop but the only window is one of those little deals that sit in a semicircular well next to the foundation. I am completely underground now!
I promptly erected storage shelves and they covered up the window. It wasn’t of much value anyways. Only a skinny 10-year old could crawl through it. Little or no light entered that way either since it opens up underneath the outside deck.
The new shop had no electricity. I had to run a long extension from the adjacent ‘finished’ portion of the basement to get the power I needed. That is not a very tidy situation. Things had to change.
I finally got around to making the changes this spring. I now have a workplace that makes me feel comfortable and at home. I’m not sure if I will have any greater luck at fixing old radios but at least I will have plenty of power and light. There are still a few things to do. I need to hang a couple of cabinets and some decorative stuff. I also have to make room for the bookcase I moved out during the construction. All should be shipshape just in time for winter. For now I intend to spend the summer outside with the lawn, the old Buick, and maybe that cranky old tractor.
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