Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"An organized workspace to call my own..."

As part of my recent pillaging and organizing, I was determined to set-up a full-time work station that would blend into the finished part of the basement, and do so using as many components that were already on hand. Two file cabinets, two hollow-core doors, some left over bead-board from household projects and 1" x 2" framing from the former upper deck did the trick. Throw in an extra extension lamp from my drafting table and plastic bins saved from our favorite take-out restaurant and I was in business. Only some cheap plastic letter holders needed to be purchased, plus a chair mat to protect the carpet.

The hollow core doors were stained and coated with several coats of urethane. One serves as the desk top while the other serves as a screen for the lower portion. They were attached to the file cabinets with heavy duty Velcro squares, so the entire assembly can be taken down quite easily. The bead-board surround is screwed to the desk top from below.

The view from the stairs upon entering the basement won't be affected by a cluttered workbench while projects are in progress. The entry to the train room is to the immediate left. The former helix yielded to a new lounge configuration and allowed for the workbench.

The work enclave is segregated from the rest of the finished basement and includes my library, drafting table, computer area and workbench. The left-over bead-board gives a nice railroady touch, but I'm not sold on the color. We'll see, but it is just the basement!

Weeee!... I can swivel my chair back-and-forth between my workbench and computer.

Most importantly, I can see the TV from the workbench! The flat-screen will be raised and mounted to the wall with an extra mount that we have on hand. Note the power strip, recovered from a 'computer stuff' storage box. It provides needed outlets for my work tasks.

The key to organizing and storing my tools, parts and materials are these plastic containers from a local take-out eatery. The larger one measures about 6" x 9" x 2-1/2". The smaller one is about 4-1/2" x 6" x 2". I've saved in excess of  50 through the years.

Serendipity! Two containers fit perfectly into each letter tray. BTW, even the peel-and-stick lettering was on hand from long ago art projects. The 1" lettering might be overkill, but it's what I had and someday might be appreciated by aging eyes. You may not understand the labels, but I do. I had to get creative based on what was available and what would fit!

I'm pleased with the revamped man cave. It suits me for all of my own personal uses and provides a great lounge for railroad guests as well as for Garden State Division board meetings. The workbench is a major upgrade over my previous use of a table that served multiple family needs, but it does still need a little fine-tuning. I'll be adding some storage for all of my styrene and wood strips with stacked PVC tubing which is currently stored in my garage. More consolidation, more pillaging and more organization! I'm lovin' it.

And I'm about done with two track plan variations for the single deck layout. I'll get those drawn up nicely for review shortly.
Can you identify this location?  (Really big hint: Trains are caught here regularly. Baseballs?... not so much!)


  1. Looks great Jim! Reminds me of a past post on my own blog:

    I love the storage system you've implemented and will try something similar. I wouldn't need my readers to find the right drawer either. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh my goodness, Darel... I checked out that post on your blog... my effort is a poor second to yours... nice find on Craig's List!... looks like a very comfortable place to work... at least we have the lighting in common! - JF

  2. I like the re-purposing of take out containers. File cabinets and hollow core doors. Why didn't I think of that?

    Top photo is taken from the walkway at Willets Point looking south-southwest and overlooks the NYC subway maintenance yard with Arthur Ashe stadium in the background. The bottom photo is inside Citi Field which is just to the north of where the first photo was taken. I'm an Indians fan so I was really hoping the Mets would have beaten the Royals, but it was not meant to be.

    1. Thanks, Jeff... and I like the term 're-purposing'... as far as your answer about location, I'm sorry, but you were not specific enough... we were actually looking for latitude and longitude and/or GPS coordinates... as far as baseball, I just heard that the Indians have gone the longest without a world championship of all American League teams... not since 1948 (not counting 'Major League') ... you're due!... of course, if your team is not in the series, you don't have to watch them give three games away by failing to execute the most basic of plays - JF

  3. Nicely done. I am in the midst of a house renovation that will free up some space to consolidate my modeling tools and supplies in a room adjacent to the layout space. As a result, I'm thinking about things like the future configuration of my workbench. So it's great to see what others are doing.
    Happy modeling!
    - Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

    1. Hey Trevor - I'm looking forward to news about the conclusion of your home renovation... having gone through one here, I know how it can play havoc with things... I do hope the layout escapes unscathed... best - JF

  4. Looks great, a real nice area to work! Well done!

    1. Hi Mike - Thanks, appreciate it... hope your ops went well last week at NER/NMRA and that your upcoming open house this month will be rewarding... always look forward to your next post - JF