Following the third year of a holiday letter comprised
of my (increasingly complex) life via a (increasingly complex) year-in-photographs, I
wondered what it would be like to join the great experiment of 365 days of photographs.
I'm not a photographer,
I'm a writer. I'm a visual thinker, and if ever there was proof that a photo is worth a
thousand words, it would be the story a photo tells me, or in this case, about me.
Follow me on this adventure, where I
learn about photography, my ability to record my life, my dedication to something (I've
never been known for doing anything everyday) in my posts. I've also discovered I'm
learning about time, the history of it, and the odd practice of recording it, measuring it,
turning it into something tangible, and I'll record these explorations in the sidebar.
As always, feel free
to say anything. My experiment is not a spectator sport.

August 7, 2009

August 07 2009 WebEcoist: Sustainable Living, Green Design and Environmental Oddities

12 Repurposing Ideas in the Shop

Owning a business is tricky and making things work with the resources on hand instead of buying a solution to a problem is sometimes the only way to hold on to the business advantage. It also allows for spontaneity: problems can be solved as quickly as they arise. Practical applications of things that already come in through the doors keep many out of the trash, but these aren't always as obvious as they may seem. It often takes a special perspective to get exactly the fix needed. In this shop, there are several clever repurposed items as solutions throughout.

The Office

Many aspects of the office demand special treatment, like files, books, and computers, but the busy daily life of an office invites some innovations. In this shop, a quick shelf was built from tongue-and-groove boards for the cleaning supplies that needed to be kept on hand. Extra wall space was in demand and was created in an existing window by using the same tongue-and-groove. Covering the reception counter top with a clear plastic vinyl sheet and supplying wet-erase markers eliminated the need for blowing through piles of notepaper as well as solved the problem of misplaced notes.

The Bathroom
The bathroom added into this shop had some oddities that needed addressed. For one, the doorway didn't face the customers, and a wall of bookshelves eliminated the obvious sign-on-the-wall option. Here the bathroom sign was mounted to an old piece of steel and attached to the frame, visible to customers and allowing access to the books. Wiring the ventilation fan to a switchplate was an electrical job easily avoided with a pull chain extended with a bit of string. That extra roll of toilet paper, usually seen wrapped in industrial paper packaging, is more conveniently located under a CD spindle pack lid, clear for easy identification, and unlikely to get greased or wet by the staff.

The Shop

The heart and soul of the operation has been assembled over many years of use. Plastic jugs that various fluids come in have been carved in innovative directions to function as vessels for parts, tools, and pieces. Aside from the light-allowing windows there are special lighting needs when working on cars. This flourescent light fixture is usually hung parallel to the floor, but in this case hangs vertically from a pole welded to a steel wheel for balance.

The tool chest served only so well, so it was altered with an additional open shelf with a lip to keep tools from sliding off, a brace to keep the lid open, the rear rigged with various hooks to make it useful all around, and some magnetic options stuck on to the side. It's the shop equivalent of a baker's rack: everything you need is there and will roll to whereever its needed.

Shelves are only as useful as its ability to hold what needs held: this shelving unit was re-assembled to have a box and some height to fit the needs of the equipment. Hoses that can't be let to hang with a kink have been carefully hung over coffee cans mounted to the side of the bookshelf.

This shop makes the most of all its open spaces and very little has been mass produced, instead, the solutions have been born out of necessity and creativity.

For Original Blog WebEcoist

My third day in the shop working on the van build.

This blog required me to include many more pictures, but they are worth it. I've always admired the reduce-reuse-recycle mentality of my aunt- and uncle-in-law and showcasing it was a breeze. I wanted to show you the compressor rig from dividing it for the two parts of the shop; I helped rig it but I guess they didn't end up using the faucet end that I had prepared as a stopper. Wasn't necessary, I guess.

Van is coming along.

Photos: Portrait, no flash via Picasa Collage builder

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