In honor of the national Week of Making, and Adam Savage’s call to share our maker-spaces, I’m giving you a virtual tour of the Root Simple workshop. Take note new homeowners: if I could go back in time I’d have set up the workshop and organized my tools before we began the extensive remodeling we had to do when we moved in back in 1998.
Our house is on a small hill and the garage/workshop is at street level. The garage is a partially buried concrete bunker built in 1920 and sized for two Model-Ts. We had to install a steel girder to stabilize the structure and a pitched roof and siding to waterproof our bunker. You can see the garage at the very beginning of the drone flyover that Steve Rowell shot for us. Our chariot, a Honda Fit, lives in one half of the garage. It’s hard to believe that this tiny subcompact car is 30 inches longer than a Model-T.
In the other half of the garage is my workshop. Being somewhat of an extrovert, the main thing I like about the workshop is that it sits right on the sidewalk so I get to interact with the neighbors while I work.
For my workbench, I picked up a set of really cheap used cabinets at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and painted them with a homemade chalkboard paint. I topped the cabinets with some cheap pine butcher board from the Home Despot. The recipe I used for the chalkboard paint is:
1 cup latex paint
1 tablespoon cool water
2 tablespoons unsanded grout
You can use any color of latex paint that you like. The chalkboard paint allows me to label all the drawers and cabinets in the garage. Naturally, there is pegboard on every spare wall to hang all the random tools I need regular access to. Kelly came up with the striking bright orange/white/black color scheme.
Our friend Lee Conger noticed the labeling on these cabinets that point to our overly eclectic interests:
It’s like our heads need to be KonMaried! And fencing purists will note that the label should be “epee parts” not “swords.”
Our three bikes and cycling accoutrements are kept locked to a pole. Always lock your bikes, kids, even when they are in the garage!
The one last touch I want to add to the workshop is a small and comfortable “thoughtstyling” chair along with a rolling whiskey cart. Half of “making” is philosophizing, after all.