Well Instructables. You asked and I'm answering. You tell me you want to know where the magic happens, where we do the things that we do. Frankly I have a list. I may have the resources and the space but I wouldn't quite call my area a workshop. I wouldn't even really say I have a space. It all starts somewhere and just keeps going. I must say that I am staying at home through school, at least for the time being. Also when I started building things everything was done with an inherent sense of secrecy. My mother was more understanding than my father once I finally told them I liked to make things, but they were both rather shocked with the full extent of my caching.
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Step 1: Inspiration
Sounds cheesy but its part of where it all begins. I can find myself at work, with a scrap of paper and some time to pull off some serious thumb twiddling, in class, at home, where ever and I just hash down whatever thoughts come across my mind. Some people would call this one a gimmie, but I would call the register I stand at, my writing desk, pillow, whatever, and integral part of the process. I won't even touch a tool until I get some details scribbled down and usually I spend so much time turning projects over in my head that I either pick them apart before I try to put them together, or I do my best to make sure they work on paper before I go find materials.
Step 2: The Obvious Culprits
Now just because my stint as a pioneer inventor has gone undiscovered prior to the last few months, does not mean I haven't been well equipped. When we moved into this house it was a real fixer upper, so there have been tools of all sorts around. I even got a couple sets of my own when my dad moved out so that we could keep doing work and repairs without his kits. The garage has been well stocked, although my work bench was a more recent acquisition from a garage sale. I celebrated finally having a vice grip by building my Aether Sabers.
The much larger tool chest in the pictures is my father's and was a bit big for him to take with him so we got to keep it at the house. It has some rasps and files I've made use of, but mostly its wrenches and things that I find more handy on my car than in my shop.
My tool kit is the little one on the lower shelf of the work bench. Has all the basics, screw drivers, wrenches, sockets, hammer, needle nose pliers, utility knife. Nothing too fancy. In the drawers of the work bench I keep a saber saw that was recently dug out of storage when my father happened to be looking for one. He decided to buy one with a little more muscle so I got to keep this one. The drill is along the same story, much older than I am to be sure, and whatever brand JC Penny carried back then. Still works though, and I prefer the corded tools to battery so I don't have to wait for them to charge.
The organizer was also something of my dad's that just got left behind. It has enough small obscure random parts to satisfy most repair job needs.
Step 3: Still Reasonable
The next couple of things I play with are pretty old in my book, dating back near six or eight years, back when I still did Boy Scouts. Did a lot of wood carving on the camping trips, kind of guy that always had his pocket knife handy. I did so much in fact that I got a set of X-Acto knives, that have since lost their surgical edge, and another set of crafting knives that I can maintain on my own whetstones. Now I use the X-Acto for mostly everything although just in the last few days I've turned back towards wood as a medium. Just instead of sitting in the backyard and whittling away at a tree branch I was sitting on my couch working on a piece of Balsa.
Now while we're talking about the backyard, I do go outside to work. There are hooks under the eves for wind chimes that I've strung up wood by while stains dry, and I refuse to use spray paint inside. That bench was my work bench prior to my actually getting one, although I still use it for larger pieces of wood. Even the grill has played a role, if you look at my Steampunk Prop Revolver, I used it to apply a patina and 'age' some of the metal pieces I used on that and other projects. That goes into the realm of, things that probably are not safe, and has created the list of reasons why I shouldn't own a blow torch. I do not condone the use of grills for anything but food preparation, despite my practices. ALWAYS remember to be safe and use some common sense.
Step 4: Digging Deeper
This is where things start to get a little crazy.
First off, the small bar area in the basement usually becomes my electrical station. I take a fancy looking chess board I got at the flea market and use it as a work surface while I'm working with my soldering iron and other electronics. Its ceramic so its a good insulator for the heat. This has given rise to my Aether Sabers, and a few other experiments that frightened me off. When I started to accidentally arc weld with flash bulb capacitors out of disposable cameras I put them, and the rubber gloves, away.
In the sitting area downstairs there is a storage bench and a fireplace. I made very good use of the bench. It holds some of the longer pieces of wood and plexi glass I have, as well as cardboard and generally my tool and tackle box. The latter two get relocated depending on how much stuff gets piled on top of where I hide them. The tool box is just that, but it usually contains some things I picked up for my own personal use. Speed bore drill bits, soldering equipment, wire cutters and strippers. The tackle box was originally where I kept spare parts until it over flowed. Screws, wires, motors, hooks, chains, pieces taken from broken things because they looked like they may come in handy later. I could go on, and still not cover it all.
Lastly we come into my room. Under the bed not being very picturesque, it was left out. My entertainment center, trunk, tool boxes, tackle box and other jumble of materials is laid out best as can really be managed.
Step 5: Finishing Where We Started
So thats the guided tour of my workshop, if thats what you'd like to call it. You asked, and here it is. Can't quite cover everything, including an explanation of why I'm taking pictures of the kitchen, so despite the instructable I hosted there, and others I plan on, it didn't make this publication.
You just do what you can with what you have, and I'm sure there are loads of people out there with great stories to tell. I wanna thank Instructables for letting people share their ideas, and I think its great that we get to share our spaces with them.
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