My Closet Workshop




Introduction: My Closet Workshop

Having downsized from a house in the suburbs to a condo on the beach has advantages. Unfortunately, the smaller living spaces don't have room for the tools of a hobbyist. After a while, it gets tiring working out of tool boxes and cabinets and many small jobs take far more time than necessary. My solution was to utilize a piece of a guest room closet and make a "mini-workshop".

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Step 1: Planning

A 6 foot square closet is a difficult place to build a workshop. As a first step, I modeled the existing closet using Sketchup. Here are views showing the space I had to work with.

Step 2: The Materials

My closet was already lined with 14" wide white laminate shelving. There was a 30" wide section without shelving, extending to the ceiling and used for hanging clothing. This is the area where I wanted to install a mini workbench.

Lowes stocks 15 3/4" by 97" laminate boards ($18.67), that they will cut for you.

A board was cut into three 30" sections to make shelves, and these sections ripped to 14" width. The 30" scrap section was saved and used later. 1" X 2" pine was used for furring strips for mounting the pegboard. An 8' board can be used.

The existing vertical boards were already drilled with side support holes for shelf support pegs, and I purchased 16 for $3.00 from Home Depot. The base shelf was mounted 45" from the floor which is a comfortable working height when standing. A second shelf was mounted 24" above that one.

The third shelf was mounted about 9" below the base shelf to hold electric drill, soldering irons, etc.

I normally dislike pegboard, because the hooks keep falling out when getting a tool. However, there is a heavy duty version, with 1/4" X 1/8" holes, that accepts "DuraHook" locking clips. These hooks are held in place with screws and never fall out.

They sell a 24" X 48" sheet of the material that also included 36 DuraHooks for $39 at Home Depot. It must be ordered on-line and shipped to the store. When you pick it up at the store, they will cut it to size for you at no charge.

The sheet was cut into 1) 30" piece and the remaining part cut in half to get 2) 9" pieces for my side walls.

Shelving was installed and 1" X 2" strips, used as furring, to frame the pegboard.

The 30" scrap piece (from cutting the shelves), was used as a fascia strip on the top shelf. A LED light strip was attached behind it. It was wired to a 12 VDC plug-in power supply and lights the working area.The area is well lit and the light doesn't shine in your eyes.

Step 3: Putting It Together

Not much to say here...

Put in the shelving, add the furring strips to the back wall and cabinet sides. Screw on the pegboard. Add a facia and mount the LED light strip. lay out the tools you want to hang and put in the pegboard hooks. Done.

As I mentioned, I have added a molded tool bar that I stumbled across at ACE Hardware for $4.00. It allowed even more storage for my limited space...

Almost complete, but I still needed someplace to mount a drill stand so I could drill straight holes. I had an empty corner in the closet where a 12" corner shelf would just fit.

A 12" corner shelf from Home Depot for $10 and a $24 drill stand from Amazon was installed using 1" X 2" strips on the walls and a cross brace beneath to add extra rigidity. (There is a lot of force generated when using the drill press and the shelf has to be firmly attached to support it.)

As a last step, I purchased a 3' X 4' plastic chair mat for about $25 to help protect the closet carpeting...

Now.. Really done!

Step 4: Power for the Workshop.

I neglected to mention an important step for my closet workshop.... Closets don't normally have electrical outlets.

Several feet of 14-3 electrical cable, a couple of wall boxes, outlets, and covers were purchased from Home Depot. These boxes were designed for existing structures and mount into holes cut into the existing drywall.

As you enter the closet, there is a light switch. I installed an outlet directly below this outlet and tied into the live circuit. When I wired the outlet, I made the top outlet "switched" and left the bottom socket "live". I then could switch on my LED light when I switched on the closet light.

If you are uncomfortable doing this kind of wiring, call an electrician. It's worth the money spent.

On the opposite wall (under the drill stand), I also installed another outlet. This outlet was directly below a wall outlet in an adjacent bathroom, and I could run power from there. This outlet serves the corner mounted drill stand. I have made adapters for the drill stand so I can mount either an electric drill or a "dremel" type flexible shaft head. If desired, I can plug either tools into the outlet or into a foot switch to control the speed.

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I have added a step describing the electrical work that needed to be done and corrected a few typo's here and there..


    3 years ago

    Cool! I have to make something like your magnifier, It's so awesome!


    3 years ago

    Looks really cozy. Well done!