Garage and Wood Storage System In Phoenix

Article By Shorty

We moved to Phoenix AZ, where the sun shines down every day, and is pretty hard on your car. Plus in Houston, our car would be broken into about once a year. Well, I shouldn't say broken into, my wife would leave her car unlocked, and someone would walk the neighborhood, opening all the doors of unlocked cars and take everything they could from the cars like change from the ash tray, sunglasses, cell phones etc. So parking in the garage had become a priority.

The house we bought came with shelves on the back wall, that is where a lot of our stuff is stored and the doors do a good job of keeping the dust out. When using the table saw in the garage, a LOT of dust gets thrown around.

With both of our cars in there, there isn't much room for a storage of wood. So I thought about it for a while, and realized that for the most part, the wood I keep is only 11" wide, but many pieces are very long. I made this very narrow set of shelves and can slide the long boards in from the end. That plus I no longer stock that much wood. Phoenix is SO DRY that wood warps really badly here. I had a sheet of 1/4" luan the contorted really badly in just a week - so I only buy wood just before I start a project, and only get enough for that one project.

My shelves might look like they are too short, and there are too many, but after using it for a while, it is perfect. I can keep the various small scraps segregated, and see them all at once so I use up the small pieces, instead of cutting into a new board.

I also have a couple of sails that are rolled on the booms, and that takes up one of the shelves.

The big sheets of plywood get stood up to the right. You can see that I only have about half a sheet in stock, plus a few small pieces.

And yes, I spray painted "I (heart) My Wife" on the garage floor. Her car drips oil right in the middle of the heart, so that is where I sweep most of the sawdust and just leave it there to collect the oil. Mechanic says $2500 to repair the gasket, still saving up for that.

I didn't have enough room to have a workbench in the garage, but luckily there was a laundry room right next to the garage. The washer and dryer was in there, and there was just enough room on the other side of the wall (inside the house) to move the washer/ dryer.

The room that was left is still rather small, but the one feature that makes it workable, is that there is a doorway on both sides of where I put my bench, so I can carry long boards in and out with ease.

Just like in Houston, I put up 1/2" plywood on the wall behind my bench, and painted it white. All my important tools can be mounted with just a couple of drywall screws.

Running that saw creates a huge amount of dust, and even more so in this small room. I had an old centrifical fan that I scavenged from somewhere, and made a quick holder for it, and mounted it above the doorway. Whenever I am running the saw, I flip this fan on and also have the fan on my workbench blowing. This blows most of the dust out of my workroom. I also wear a dust mask.

I didn't spend much time on the inside of the wall for the fan, I just cut a couple of holes in the drywall.

One of the houses we were looking at did not have the little work room. I thought long and hard about what in the world I would do for a workbench. This is the best idea I could come up with - a workbench with a flip down lid. A lot cheaper than an addition to the house or a shed in the back yard.

Has everything you would need -- the saw on the side, a good flat surface to work on, the basic hand tools on the backboard, and the rest of the tools secured underneath in the cabinet.

It could be built just about anywhere, like just out back of the garage door, all you would need to do is put down a concrete pad. From building my pond, I now know how easy that is.

Guess what? A couple of months after moving into our house, I met a guy here that built this exact workbench in his back yard. He had plenty of space in his garage, he just wanted a bench near his boat.

After seeing the sketch, my friend Tim suggested that the lift up cover be larger, so that when up, it would also provide shade. Great idea !!