Building the Shop: Act 1

WOW! It’s finally here!

I picked up the keys on Monday, March 30th. I paid the rent, got a tour of the Artist’s Lounge, the parking garage (woo-hoo!) and introduced myself to my fellow artists on The Artist’s Walk. There are painters, sculptors, photographers, print makers and a selection of quirky people who make leather goods, teach drawing, sell vintage clothing and craft purses out of books. My people!

The next day I hopped on my bike, rented a U-Haul and drove to Baltimore to pick up the racks that support my bench system. See my new digs below.

Studio 21 is on the Left

Studio 21 is on the Left

Cleaning up and painting was the first order of business, and after 2 (or was it 3?) trips to Home Depot and a long day at the office, I was ready to build. That’s my Bompton folding bike in the background. I can now ride my bike to work!

Painting the Shop

Day 1:  Painting the Shop

Day two, I started to build. Thanks to my excellent friend, Captain Matt Zolla, we were able to assemble the racks and build the top shelves in short order. He’s a Navy man and Captain of the Ali Carole, a 39′ Mainship Trawler. He’s also a founding member BB9, an original man-cave band, playing keyboards and guitar. We expect BB9 to debut at the shop sometime soon!

Captain Matt

Captain Matt

After a celebratory beer at Brookland Pint, also on The Walk, I sent Matt off to his gal, Cindy, and finished the last shelf. Get a load of that dust collector!

Day 2

Day 2:  Rackin’ and Railin’

For a break, I assembled my bench press, just to admire it. The next step is to build the bench tops. But not so fast! Turns out the walls aren’t parallel and the floor isn’t level, so I spent a whole day leveling, gusseting and shoring things up. I also wanted to isolate the frame from the floor to absorp sound and vibration, during which I had this MacGyver moment. You can’t tell, but I’m lying on that 2×4 to use as a lever to lift the frame and slip in the footing and pads (while also taking a selfie).

A MacGiver Moment

Day 3:  A MacGyver Moment

Days 4 and 5 turned out to be a series of personal growth moments. Bench tops at the wrong height, more issues with leveling and a couple more trips to Home Depot. On Saturday, Yolanda and our friend Stanton showed up for a visit to make me feel better. I feel better already.

Bench top and Peg board

Day 4-5:  Bench tops and Peg boards

The next couple of days were all about the bench tops and peg boards. I am on varnish and sand, coat 3, with trim pieces to come. The real challenge will be building the extra large sink and barrel into the countertop. Stay tuned for Act 2!




About randyjmueller

Sr. Instrument Repair technician
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