Sunday, August 06, 2006

My Shop and Welcome To It

I'm building my airplane project in what amounts to a greenhouse. I started in a 2-car garage in my old house in Oakland. When I bought my present house in El Cerrito, it didn't have a garage. I had to move my shop and all my tools to a rented shop in the basement of a warehouse in Oakland. It was OK in some ways, after I paid to run more power into it, but I never got down there. When I bought this place, I consoled myself on the loss of the garage by toying, in my mind, with the idea of putting a temporary structure in the back yard. I cooled my jets on that idea, and started to explore raising the house to put another story under it:

I put a lot of hours into designing it, then figured out what it would cost, then started looking for another house, then got discouraged with what it cost to buy a tiny house WITH a garage, since prices had gone up substantially in my neighborhood since I bought my tiny house WITHOUT a garage. What was that idea about a tent again?

I found the tent of my dreams. I mocked it up in my back yard (which it fills, I ordered a 20 X 20 tent, and my lot is 25 ft wide, and about 30 feet from my back porch to the back fence), and invited all my neighbors to say "NO" to it. None did, which is a good thing, since it's at least twice as large as the code in my town allows for "temporary" structures. I didn't want to pour a slab, but I didn't want a dirt floor, so I put rubber stall mats over a compacted dirt and sand base.

So here we are, the widest view I could get:

Yes, it's a mess - I'm in the middle of about 3 different projects at once here:

But I can hop out my back door and get to work, any time I'm home.

  • Either don't use any sand, or put black plastic down on top of it; the floor is becoming a giant ant farm, and they are hillocking it up in weird places. Spend more time leveling it before the stall mats go down.
  • Run more power, with more outlets. I've got two 15 amp circuits, and two boxes, but more would have been better.
  • Get it in white. It's too damn hot, and the translucent plastic doesn't cut down the UV - everything fades in the sunlight, and you have to wear a hat and sunglasses to work out there in the summertime.
  • The Harbor Freight retractable power cord is a piece of shit - the spring return crapped out almost immediately.



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