I'm a DIY'er at heart and have always had access to workspaces - both formal and informal. I'm also a university student and this spring I will be graduating after years of on again off again school. The problem with this, however, is that I will be moving into an apartment----and away from the large and handy workshop that I have had access to at my parents house my whole life.
Fortunately for me, while helping build a garage storage loft, my friend told me he was getting rid of his ancient and far from musically sound upright piano. This piano has since taken the form of a hidden workbench that when not in use looks like a regular piano, but when the front is removed, it reveals a pleasant and useful space to work on various projects.
The idea came partly from this site that showed some of the fine conversions a group of woodworkers in Oregon were doing with similar pianos: http://tinyurl.com/4dns4oc and partly from my infatuation with up-cycling and re-purposing things.
The best part about this project is that it's FREE! This was accomplished by taking the large and heavy cast iron pieces of the piano to the scrap yard which will pay for all of the parts and hardware that you need to build the workbench. In addition to this, reusing it saves it from going into a landfill and opens doors to other projects that can come from the parts not used in the bench itself (like a ukulele built from the old sound board and back bracing-->more on that one after I get some time this summer).
Step 1: What's in a Workspace?
I knew that I wanted this workbench to serve three purposes. First it needed to be a functional space to work on small electronics and hobby projects. Second it had to be a great tool bench for fixing bicycles which is my first love as far as DIY stuff goes. I already have a free-standing bike stand so this bench just needs to hold tools and be a handy work surface. Third, it needed to blend into it's urban surroundings.
• Plenty of workspace to spread out
• Source of power (in this case a power strip-I will wire a more permanent solution when I move during the summer)
• Good tool storage
-pegboard in the upper half
-larger cabinet storage in the lower half
• Good lighting
• Low cost (this project was free after scrapping the harp)
• Relatively easy transport (final product weighs in around 60-70lbs and can be moved up and down flights of stairs by two normal sized people)