Evolution of a Workbench

My current workbench, built into one corner of my studio apartment.

Like most young adults over the course of their first 12 years out of the nest, my living situation has gone from spacious and well furnished (parents house), to a couple of very old, very small, attic one-bedroom’s in century old houses (one of which was shared with a girlfriend and pet lizard, the other with a legion of mold), to my current situation, a beautiful (albeit also small) studio in the center of a bustling and iconic New England town.

Since I left the house I grew up in, I haven’t had much room for either a layout or a decent workspace. I’ve made valiant attempts to continue building stuff just about everywhere I’ve been though: In college I built a Sherman tank almost entirely while sitting on my dorm’s bunk bed. The model turned out decent enough (you can even see it in a few of these photo’s), though airbrushing it in the middle of January in a room with no ventilation, besides the window, probably wasn’t the healthiest idea. After school, in my first apartment, I started out with a tiny antique desk and a chair that I will no doubt regret sitting in when my spine starts to prematurely decay, but later moved up to a recycled industrial-strength door with a couple of homemade shelves mounted on top.

My first real bench: An extremely heavy solid-core door with some 3/4″ shelves and all my crap stacked on top.

The door and shelf arrangement followed me to my next apartment and was complemented with another door on the other side of my living room. I had considered building a layout there, but because the ceilings were so low, I ultimately decided against it.

The bench as it looked in my second apartment. Mostly the same, but with better access to tools and less crap.

Finally, in my current place, I’ve been blessed with a long wall unadulterated by windows, and a HIGH ceiling (it’s a converted carriage house). In that space I’ve managed to squeeze in a 16 foot switching layout over a custom built L-shaped desk that serves as both a computer workstation and a workbench. I’m currently finishing up construction on a small wheeled desk that my painting booth and compressor will be mounted on. The plan is to keep it in the back storage area and roll it in to the main apartment whenever I need to paint (it will include a sealed window insert for venting the booth, so I won’t freeze or die of fumes like I nearly did at school).

Where the magic happens, or at least, where the magic will happen once I get around to doing something.

The other leg of the bench, more storage, a little more workspace, mostly just a place for clutter to be kept out of the way when I’m building.

Though I’ve technically lost a bit of model building real-estate with this arrangement, it looks considerably nicer and feels a bit more adult, which is important since it’s located in my living space and cannot be hidden. I still don’t have a couch or any of the normal living-room accoutrements, but I also don’t have a girlfriend, roommate, or anyone else to care about those sorts of things. Of course, that may mean I will NEVER have a girlfriend, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

– Chris

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