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  • Extreme gamer makeover: Garage Edition

    Posted on November 25th, 2005 Rob No comments

    I am a married fellow with 3 kids, and the fact is is that the only room of the house that is truly mine is the garage. Sure it's not air conditioned, and its poorly lit, but hey, its better that being outside, right?? We bought our house in 2000, and I had this great plan to have one whole wall consist of shelves to store large plastic tubs of stuff, holiday decorations, etc. and then game in the middle of the room. Within a year I had a few mismatched plastic shelves and a large (4X8) gaming table. Not too bad, but it could have been better. Much better it turned out. In fact, I hadn't even considered the fact that all of my light was being provided by one single bulb hanging from the ceiling. The stifling summer heat was pretty miserable, too.

    Solution: Ceiling fan and Fluorescent lighting. OK, I don't have the details on this project for this article. Suffice to say they helped immensely. I wouldn't be able to spend any time out there without a breeze and adequate lighting. The one thing i could do, though was make a mess. Yep, I was a real packrat, saving everything I could get my hands on.

    Ugh, what a mess. I could barely walk thru there much less have company over to play Warhammer.

    OK, a purge was in order. But what is a fellow like me to do? I'm a packrat! Solution: call Kevin! My friend Kevin has an aversion to clutter. His parents were packrats, the kind you see in the paper who are found dead under collapsed piles of their crap they had collected for years and years. So now he can't stand anything that remotely looks like a mess. Kevin hated being in my garage, the largest room in my house, but way too close to the situation he grew up in. He would put up with it to hang with the Hamster, but only barely. When i told him i wanted to build shelves to fix the room up and get rid of the obnoxious table that dominated the room, his ears perked up. Here was his big chance to help a fellow gamer throw crap away, stuff he knows full well I don't need and will never use. Saturday Morning at 8AM he rolls up in his truck with a chain saw and a Sawzall, and we got busy. ROWR! Gone is the gaming table and broken Pole Position video game.

    Whoosh! Out goes all of the crap we can put in the back of his truck. Bam! In comes the new metal shelving units from Lowes hardware. We had the new shelves assembled and in place by lunch!!!

    The rest of the evening as spent throwing away old magazines, cardboard boxes, broken terrain, useless mementos, etc… Kevin smiled with devious glee every time i threw a large "valuable collectable" or "potential terrain piece" into the trash can.

    In these out-of-scale diagrams, you can get an idea of the before and after of the project. What isn't really depicted is the crap everywhere, hopefully that comes thru in the photos.

    Getting rid of the shallow, crappy plastic shelves was the key. They were too small and were too weak to be effective. They never cost much to begin with, so putting them out on the curb was no big deal. They were purloined from my front yard by my neighbors within 24 hours.

    Now you can see my plastic tubs can be used properly without cluttering the floor or taking up space under the immobile gaming table (that sucker was heavy!!) Theres plenty of room for the paint and poison that belong in the garage, plus room for all of my terrain and games that dont belong in the house. The new bench was classified a "unfinished product area" and all of the unopened warhammer stuff was relocated here.

    The original workbench was redesignated as a "raw product area" where I could keep units being painted, tools, paint, flock, bitz, etc. near my actual work area, the desk. Also, the card table was pitched so now i can reach the bench. A novel idea! Notice all of the junk UNDER the bench is either gone, or recontainerized into small, cheap plastic tubs from Walmart. At $1 a piece, those small tubs stack well and keep my garage looking like shoe box and ziploc bag land. The total cost was about $350 with extra hardware and the small plastic tubs. The shelves were $75 a piece (we got 3 sets) and we replaced the crappy particle board shelves in the boxes with good plywood. These shelves are going to last a long time and wont sag or bend. Not many tools were needed to assemble the bench except a rubber mallet and tools to tighten the bolts we installed between the units to keep them together. A Circular Saw was used to cut the plywood shelves. The pegboard was a small side project and required an electric drill to run the screws into the 1"x4" supports we ran in the back. You dont have to build the pegboard, but i think it brings the whole bench together.

    Ahhh, much better. Still a little sloppy, but a great job has been done by all. To see all of the pictures go here.


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