storage rack that can be pulled out from underneath the
bench to provide legroom is a practical solution. Add a pad
to the top and you now have a comfortable place to sit!
Building your own cabinets, workbenches, and shelving
units allows you to customize each piece to maximize the
use of your space. Although some basic construction
techniques are used, these projects do not require finish
The shelving units I have built to store my things are
designed to accommodate my storage boxes without
wasting any room. Doing the building yourself is also
significantly cheaper than buying manufactured units.
No matter how much space you have, occasions arise
when you need a large layout area. Whether it is
inventorying a large number of parts
or laying out patterns, it is nice to have
a clean empty space to work on.
Folding tables that can be temporarily
set up and then put away until they
are needed again fit this bill nicely.
Hinged tables that swing up only
when needed are also a functional
choice. They can be dropped down flat
against the wall when the space is
needed for other uses. A friend of
mine uses this trick very effectively in
his small garage. There is not enough
room for a permanent bench and his
car. When he needs to work on a
project, he simply backs his car out
and raises the tabletop, providing him
with an always clear space to begin.
Adding wheels to cabinets or
toolboxes allows you to move them out
of the way or move them to a different
workspace. This is especially helpful when working outside
as you can pull your toolbox to the job site, saving countless
trips back and forth to grab exactly the right tool.
It never seems like I have enough lighting. I know my
eyesight is not what it once was, but I am constantly
looking to improve this feature. Multiple lighting options
are optimal in each work space. This includes ample
overhead lighting as well as task-specific lighting.
I got tired of constantly having to replace the
fluorescent bulbs in my shop and am in the process of
replacing them with LED lights. They should last longer and
the amount of light they produce is fantastic!
For my soldering station, I use a fixture that includes an
LED light as well as a magnified viewer (Figure 5). This is
attached to an articulated mount which
is especially handy as it allows me to
move it into the spot where it’s needed.
Another consideration is the exterior
lighting available when working outside
at night. Portable light stands and
clamp lights that can be positioned
where needed work well for me.
Although this subject does not
relate directly with how efficient your
work area is, it is an extremely
important safety consideration.
Protecting yourself from harmful fumes
is paramount in preserving your health.
We want to do everything possible to
insure that we are around for a long
time in order to enjoy our hobby and
our loved ones! When working with
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SERVO 05.2017 55
Figure 3. Wind breaks to aid the painting process.
Figure 5. Light and
magnification all in
Figure 4. Even a small corner will do.