Decision Time

by Suzanne on May 24, 2010

With the return of the builder came all the questions…What type of window, hot or cold for the outside shower, tile or fill in cement on floor, what colour walls?  Ahhh!  I had been waiting so long to get to this point it kind of caught me by surprise when it finally happened.  I have also been flat out on a big editing project, so I only lifted my head from the computer occasionally to say “whatever you think is best.” The unexpected also popped up.  Rotten panels couldn’t support the new window so had to be replaced.  What started as a small project was getting bigger by the day.  But it was happening, finally!

Moving Fast

So that brings me up to today & we finished painting!  I chose white and, as a friend advised, if I want to change later, the white acts as a great undercoat.  I encouraged the children’s enthusiasm by paying them & let them loose with rollers.  They had a great time & it was yet another first for our family as a direct result of my crazy idea to turn the laundry into a studio/workshop.

I’ve been talking about the bench with my builder & he recommends I use MDF.  I got a sample & while I think it’s economical & practical, my heart just kind of sank.  I had envisaged a wooden workhorse that would give the space character & have a warmth to it.  I want to love my bench, is that crazy because it’ll certainly not be a beauty after I get my tools out?

Sometimes I think things are just meant to happen.  Yesterday an artist I know dropped by with photos for a video we are working on.  I copied them & saw that they were of a boat being restored so I contacted her to ask if the builders might have any wood suitable.  The end result is I’m off to record an interview at the boat shed on Wednesday & while there I’ll check out the potential bench.  Apparently they have some beautiful wood.  Another option is to have MDF with a wood edge?  

Anyway, suggestions would be welcome.  I was intending to have the narrower bench, 12ft-opposite my workbench as a white kitchen bench.  I’m starting to have second thoughts about that one too, but it’s not as important my workspace under the window.  I saw some beautiful drawers today from a Japanese University.  They are the old card index drawers-small, deep,& compartmentalised.  I thought they’d be perfect to store anything from silver to mallets & everything in between.  I digress…Bench first, storage later.

The family that paints together...?
The family that paints together…?

So this is me up to date.  The business of turning what is now a shell into my workshop begins!


Latest posts by Suzanne (see all)

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Deb May 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Yep…keep hanging in there Suzanne for some real wood benches….who knows what might surface in the near future…I know where ther are some chunks that will really get your heart thumping..!!..only one more sleep….


Irene May 25, 2010 at 10:14 am

Have to agree with Jamie on all points. A good dense timber bench will last longer and feel better to work on.


Jamie Hall May 24, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Looking good. Whatever else you do, though, get a proper piece of wood for the bench. There are lots of reasons….
1. Heat – dropping hot objects, dropping your torch or starting a fire will be much worse on an MDF bench.
2. Water – all liquids, particularly chemicals, will gradually eat into the MDF, even if it is covered with plastic.
3. Structure – unless you have a really, really thick slab, it will wobble. This matters if you are doing any sort of hammering on it. The noise will also be worse.
4. Benchpeg – as you say, if nothing else, make sure the benchpeg is real wood.

My bench is made from timber for the framer and plywood for the surfaces, but the top of the bench is at least 1.5 inches thick, and we don’t use that for heavy hammering. I know that kind of thing is much more expensive, but it’s worth it, and you might be able to scavenge the wood.


Bentiron May 24, 2010 at 9:08 am

Nice looking dog and very eager to help I see. How about a butcher block top for the bench side. Laminated wood makes a nice top, otherwise maybe MDF with a plastic laminate.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

WordPress Admin