Home improvement, SketchUp, Tool Cabinet and Surround
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Workshop Wall Surround, Part 3

My last update on my current project occurred on September 29th. At that time I had planned an update the following weekend showing some ambitious progress. That was three weeks ago, so as I see it, this blog post is three weeks late.

I blame this delay on an annual distraction – college football. When football season begins, it is hard to stay on schedule.

We love college football – my wife and I are alumni of the University of Alabama, and now my daughter is as well. The love of college football extends to both of my brothers and my two sisters – my mom and dad as well. Except for one brother, we are all Crimson Tide fans. Here in Alabama, college football is what you do after summer ends.

Yesterday, Alabama played Tennessee and won. We had the good fortune of being at the game. It was a long, fun filled day – we left home at 8:30 am for a 2:30 pm kick off. The drive to campus takes about an hour. We returned home at 8:30 pm; twelve hours of football fun. To the woodworkers out there, I am sorry to report that football has sort of taken over a lot of my weekend shop time. But I am only slightly sorry.

An Update on my Current Project

The beginning of the top plate.

The beginning of the top plate.

In my last blog post, I pointed out the work I was doing to create a top plate for the wall I am constructing (shown above). I have had to snake boards around various pipes, tubing and duct work. This has meant a lot of special fitting and adjusting and trimming – slow work.

Top plate, left side.

Top plate, left side.

Top plate, right side.

Top plate, right side.

All of this odd framing must look a little crazy, but it is necessary because I want the wall to be removable should I need access to all the mechanical stuff. Even the fixed parts are removable since they are attached with screws.

This week I worked on the wall and progress has come a lot faster. Most days I was able to get in at least a little early morning and after dinner woodworking; thirty minutes here, and hour there. Little by little, the wall panels came to be.

Top and bottom plates in place.

Top and bottom plates in place.

All that you see in the photo above is the fixed part of the wall structure. I had previously completed one movable panel; next I had to create two more and the fixed bump out which provides an ending point for the removable panels.

The three removable panels in place.

The three removable panels in place. The panels are temporarily positioned using clamps and blue tape.

A view of the right side framing.

A view of the right side framing.

Winging It
Combining pre-work woodworking with caffeine seems to help me sort out the upcoming steps in construction. Because I am not working from a plan, I find myself staring and thinking about what needs to be done.

While I have a nice SketchUp illustration of the project, I have made only one rudimentary shop drawing. This is in sharp contrast to Tim Killen who recently wrote about creating 42 different shop drawings for the Sheraton desk he is building. I found Tim’s blog post interesting since I rarely make shop drawings.

Already, I have made a couple of dumb mistakes while building the framing. I wonder if having more detailed plans and shop drawings would have eliminated them. I do envision a number of shop drawings when I get to the tool chest part of this project. But for now, figuring it out as I go is working pretty good.

Next, I’ll begin adding the sheathing to the removable panels which will be interesting because I will have to fit the sheathing around some of the pipes and such along the top of the wall. Then, I’ll begin work on the wall beneath the stairs.

Move to the next post in this series by clicking here.


  1. Remember, paint it all white when you get done. I see you have block walls. When I painted my block walls white, it changed my space from a basement to a room. I now paint as much as possible white in my shop. It just feels better.

    • Lewis, I had not planned on painting the block just yet, but I think it is a really good idea. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

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