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A website about how I set up my old, small, two-car garage for metal fabrication, carpentry and automotive work.

A Bad Idea Right Next to a Good One

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Some of my ideas are good. This one is terrible. I bought three steel tables from a local business. They’re 1/8” steel framed with 2” L-stock that’s 1/4” thick. This one is 36” wide and 8’ long. I used one of them to make a fold-down welding table. I cut one up to be the backsplash behind my sink.

But then I had one more left.

It had come in very handy when I made the fence for my front yard.

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And even though I was only into it for about $30, I was too cheap to sell it. So I came up with a way to use a Harbor Freight hoist to pull it up along the ceiling on four cables. It’s also secured with three chains when it’s parked, so there is some redundancy. But still: it’s a very heavy table suspended directly over my car. The damage from it falling would make $30 seem like, well, a stupid amount of money to be concerned over.

One of these days, things are going to go bad with it. I just know it. But I’m also stubborn. So it hasn’t gone anywhere yet.

Now, adjacent to it is something smarter. I’ve got a pair of 48”-wide Strong Hold cabinets that I’ve adapted for a lot of storage.

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On the left, I took out the original shelves and replaced them with plywood dividers so that I could fit a total of 42 Ikea bins. I use them for everything from extension cords to chain pieces to battery chargers. All of the stuff that would be hard to find a place somewhere else.

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On the right, the big shelves hold tools and paint and a few other random things. Then I put a bunch of cheap Harbor Freight bins on the doors. It’s a great way to organize fasteners. You pull the bin you need and take it to the job.

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How strong are these cabinets? I’ve accidentally driven into them with my car, and it didn’t leave a mark. See? Stupid and smart, right next to each other.

Next: The Fold-Down Benches