Blog: Progress! By: John Heisz

I’ve been in this shop now for 5-1/2 years, and my goal over that time has been to gradually improve it, to make it more efficient and comfortable to work in. I’ve documented many of those steps here over that time, from fixing the roof to insulating and finishing the interior to adding new lights and making many changes to the storage and work areas.

This latest spurt of progress comes on the heels of my plan to try to control surface clutter, and the first stroke was to build the mobile dual sided storage unit that allowed me to clear off my perpetually buried workbench.
Part of that plan was to build a new workbench that is also mobile and shorter overall than the one I have now. However, after thinking this through, I decided that I’d be better off keeping the one I have, but make it fit the space I have.

To get started on that, I shortened the wide stretcher that connects the trestle legs to move the left side leg over by 12 inches:

With that done, I could cut that end off. I did lose the wagon vise on that end, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve used that over the 10 years since I built this bench.

To better match the height of the bench to my table saw, I added blocks to the bottom of the legs. These also let me level the bench after figuring out the best place to put it:

I also added sheet rubber to the bottom to help keep the bench in place, and actually marked the concrete floor in case I moved it.

I figured while the shop was clean, I would take full advantage and do something I’ve been putting off for about a year: paint the floor:

The better time would have been summer, but I got a break in the cold weather and could bump the heat up in the shop for a few days while the paint dries. Originally, I was thinking I’d go with white, but chickened out and had the paint tinted this light grey instead.

With one side done, I moved all of the tools to do the other side:

The white patch is where I spilled paint that I used to repaint the bump-out at the bottom of the wall. At the time of this writting, the first coat has had overnight to dry on the floor, and I’ll get the second on today. I can then return the shop to normal tomorrow and carry on with projects as usual.
And I’ll be sure to be back here again when the next spurt of progress happens.

I made a video showing how I shortened the workbench: