I completed two projects this week.

The first project was planned, the second project came as a surprise. All in all I’ve spent a fair bit of time in the workshop.

Photograph of a garage workshop featuring a fold-down workbench

More time spent in the Garage Workshop

Crawl Space Access Hatch and Fan

The crawl space access hatch & fan we made 10 years ago had started to rot. My first project was to build a replacement.

We wanted the new access hatch / fan to stay in place all year round, unlike the previous fan, which had to be put away each winter because we couldn’t seal it. I also wanted to stop the fall leaves getting into the fan, and for it to have a flat top strong enough to take my weight.

This is the result.

Photograph of a Crawl Space Access Hatch and Fan

Crawl Space Access Hatch and Fan

I couldn’t buy a 4′ x 4′ board ⅛” thick, which is what I wanted to use to mount the fan on. The thicker board has resulted in the cover being a bit heavier than I’d planned.

It all fits nice and snugly and the screening should keep the leaves (and bugs) out. The whole thing lifts up for access to the crawl space, though I will admit it is heavier than I hoped – Typical Gary over-engineering. I put a lot of paint on it so I’m hoping it’ll last longer than the previous cover which was rather hastily put together during one of my visits.

A Desk for Alek

Photograph of a desk built from scrap lumber and parts found at Restore

The finished desk all cleaned and polished

Thursday Alek and Ginger went to Restore and came back with a desk drawer unit and a vanity panel. I was asked if I could turn the two bits into a desk for Alek.

I was going to buy some new lumber and metal brackets. However, I realized I ought to have enough bits and pieces hanging around to do the job (Added bonus – more workshop decluttering).

I turned this into a challenge to complete the entire job using only materials I had on-hand.

I found enough lumber but I was struggling to come up with metal brackets and plates to join the bits together. Checking the drawer unit I discovered it had seven brackets to secure the desktop – so I removed three of them. For the metal plates I used an old hinge – cutting off the hinge part and grinding it down square.

The vanity panel had adjustable feet, which I removed and fitted to the new desk legs. The desktop panel wasn’t as deep as the drawer unit so I made a backstop to fill (most of) the difference. I painted the whole lot with some black paint we had left over from the Bed Project.

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