My partner and I recently bought our first house together, in Billingham – a town currently in the spotlight for its association with one of the new COVID vaccines.
Among the obvious work that needed doing to make the house “a home” (i.e. decorating, electrical work, central heating work, joinery work, etc), one of my personal priorities was having a place to store my tools and a space to work on my electronics projects and vintage computer restorations. Luckily, the house was already equipped with a solid and well-sized shed, and it seemed like an excellent foundation for a workshop.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of how the shed looked originally, but I can assure you that it was completely bare.
The first stage was primarily joinery work: the windows were properly sealed to reduce humidity ingress; the walls and ceilings were insulated using 30mm polystyrene sheeting, then boarded using 12mm board; finally, workbenches and shelving were fabricated and fitted using a combination of 18mm MDF and 30mm worktops.
The second stage was primarily electrical work: an armoured 6mm2 3-core cable was ran from a dedicated RCD on our consumer unit, through the outer wall of the house, under our patio, and into the shed; a small breaker box was installed in the shed, and the supply cable terminated; finally, several interior sockets, an exterior (IP67) socket, a light switch, and an LED bar light were fitted, linked using PVC conduit.
The final stage was filling the storage up with my tools and equipment, installing our tumble dryer and pipework, installing my refurbished television, installing a variety of miscellaneous items – including an amplified digital TV antenna, a blackout blind, and a whiteboard – and wiring everything up.
On top of the red battery charger, you can just about see the English Electric 3.3kV-rated fuse that I acquired during my time with British Steel at the Redcar Blast Furnace – this was used on a distribution board and is sand-filled, so weighs in around 5KG.
I’m very pleased with the final result, and I’ve already spent some time breaking in my workshop by testing some old computer power supplies.