By WIR Contributor Mark Clement
Shorter days and colder temps are where outdoor DIY comes alive.
When the weather cools off, I walk through my yard and think about what I want to do, fix or make for outdoor project season that I look forward to every year. I have a raised garden bed that needs new edging. The platform my trashcans are on could at least use a cleaning. And I know I need to add a ceiling to my porch. I even have an art project using Southern Yellow Pine tongue and groove boards that I’m looking forward to.
And while I could do these in cold weather, after all it hasn’t stopped me in my professional carpentry life, I don’t. There’s not enough light to even think about getting started after work and weekends are often relegated to shoveling snow or just not wanting to be digging through semi-frozen ground.
Winter is a good time to organize your workshop
So to make myself feel better—and get actual work done—I play a trick on myself and get organized for warm weather DIY instead. One of my favorite ways to get that going is to tune up my un-tuned up workshop.
As a carpenter, I may actually be physically incapable of buying metal shelving from a store, so I make shelves myself and I love them. Besides, like almost all horizontal surfaces in a workshop, metal shelves just gets heaped with stuff, turning into what I call a trash ladder. It’s just a vertical pile, really.
How to Build a Shelf Using Lumber
Enter the lowly shelf bracket. I make these to create my favorite kind of shelf: Wall-mounted.
Wall-mounted shelves are great. You can ladder them up a wall. Or—and this was my favorite in a previous shop—run them around the upper perimeter of the room. It’s awesome. They take up almost zero space. There’s room for tons of stuff. And—I love this—you can see everything. This has a downstream effect too.
Because it’s at about eye-level, you tend not to just drop stuff on it. If the tool has a tool box or bag, you tend to put it away. Or at least put it back where it came from. You can mount chargers near outlets. It’s easy to label cardboard boxes or fastener boxes so you can see what’s in them. And, because your floor space is then opened up for tools, horizontal surfaces don’t get buried with stuff.
And it all starts with this simple shelf bracket which I show you how to make in this video.
One more thing: Unlike store-bought stuff, these shelf brackets are awesome for outdoor storage. Get pressure treated lumber and hang your ladder on the back wall of your shed. Store lumber or even firewood off the ground.
The uses are endless.