The Rant Shop

Okay, this is not where I actually craft my rants. To be honest, I was struggling for something to write about, and I thought my small room in the basement where I work on stuff (non-digital) would be an interesting topic. I have constructed, destructed, repaired and restored many things at this scarred workbench. Sort of where the tool keeps his tools. As a warning to my Rant Junky Army, I only marked this as ‘humor’ because I manage to slip something funny into what I do no matter what.

This room, which I do not call a Man Cave (part of the demasculinization of the American Male – why would I get only one room of the many I live in and am signed for?), was a big fat Obvious workshop, because the bench and pegboard shown came with the house. Behind me as I took the picture is our basement and 1st floor HVAC, so the room is warm in the winter and cool by default in the summer. It also gives me an excuse to selectively hear anything from upstairs, which is a bonus. Key here is that the room stays pretty dry, and my tool collection remains rust-free with little effort. Some other highlights:

Difficult to see, but stacked atop the pegboard is a collection of smokeless tobacco cans, cleaned and labelled, holding all manner of small stuff ranging from twist-ties to random screws and nuts. Sort of like my mind. Anyway, say what you will about my personal habits. My Dad used baby food jars nailed through the lids to a 2×4, but his system never had to relocate. My system will survive an Army move.

The pegboard holds even more great shit. Pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, chisels, paintbrushes, glues, levels, squares, knives, a couple of saws and moreย hang here. Most tools were my Father’s. One or two were his Father’s. This is all highly and overly organized, which scratches my 5A personality itches.

The Surface of the bench is generally given to whatever I was working on du jour. My beer can smasher is located on the doorframe stage right, which explains the one or two waiting in line. The far end has stuff to be sorted into containers (OCD again), the bench grinder for making things very sharp, and if you look closely a good buddy of mine.

Lighting. The one naked bulb sucked ass, so I appropriated some Christmas lights and got jiggy wit’ it, and they circle the whole room.ย Also hanging is a 1″ diameter wood dowel, which in turn supports my tool belt, small clamps, locks, and other essential shit.

The shelves in the corner hold tool sets and kits. There are drill sets, a tap and die set, many various types of wrenches, and then the odd assembly of coffee cans, boxes, and stuff that hold lots of odds and ends like old electric motors, chain link, and half-used paint. My long pipe clamps and the other 18″ bar clamps hang out over here too.

Not Shown: A whole cabinet full of power tools. My favorite is my Porter-Cable router. I also have an another router, three drills, two saber saws,ย and a circular saw. Of interest here, the oldest drill is of unknown age, but it is definitely older than I am. It belonged to my Dad and still works. Sadly, the bearings are close to shot and it gets really hot when used. When it dies, I will use my other power tools to make a shadow box for it. I also happen to own a hand-cranked drill of my grandfather’s with nice augur bits. It still works great.

At the moment, there is no ongoing project. I tried fixing a clock for my mom, but sadly I have no idea how that shit is supposed to work. I’ve had a door or two down there on sawhorses as I stripped and refinished them, and made a custom rack for my Cavalry stuff and saber collection. The best part of having this shop is being able to go down there and lay hands on exactly what I need when I need it.

Measure twice, cut once.

59 Responses to “The Rant Shop”

  1. I have a hammer and (I think) a Phillips screwdriver, so there’s that.

  2. It looks like Cap’n Firepants’ shop. Except you can’t see a surface in his b/c he has all of his stuff all over it. And you can’t get to it because of all of the stuff piled around it. Other than that, it’s the same.

  3. Sorry, why exactly is there a beer can smasher?

  4. Impressive! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Uh…is that a SKULL at the far end of your bench? *shudders*

  6. Thanks for the tour . . . the Christmas lights are illuminating!

  7. John Erickson Says:

    Got a better idea for lights than the set you have. Get one of those “tube light” arrays for the outside – “rope lights” is another name, I think. That’s what I use in my basement, and they’re great ’cause you can just wipe the plastic tube clean of dust, sawdust, soot, whatever.
    What, no hand braces? (Brace ‘n’ bit as my dad called them – not the wheel drills, but the big guys with the offset cranks.) I love the old wood tools – and unlike electrics, the bearings rarely wear out. (You can keep your power drill going by doing a bearing lube job. If it’s a standard hand-size drill, you could always mail it to me and I’ll do it!)

    • I thought of rope lights but these were free. I’d be afraid to take apart Dad’s Jacobs drill for fear I’d never get it back right. And yes, I have a brace with bits.

      • John Erickson Says:

        I am VERY good with disassembling and reassembling stuff. All but 3 of the stand fans in our house came out of garbage cans, thrown out because they didn’t run. I learned from my dad, who has a Milwaukee “Hole Shooter” (cast metal shell) hand drill that he “replaced” with a B&D power drill over 15 years ago. The Milwaukee is still running (though noisy and warm), and dad is on the 3rd “replacement” B&D!
        You’d kill to see his BIG drill. Bought Navy surplus in the late 40s. You HAVE to carry it two-handed – it’s 3 feet long and weighs north of 60 pounds! HUGE! But it drilled through my folks’ foundation floor, saving them the rental of a jack hammer. I should know – I sat on it to help it cut through! (No jokes, I was only 11 at the time.)

  8. Demasculization huh? Did you happen to see the article in the WSJ about eyebrow threading among the younger set in the Army?

    • Yeah I did, and I thought it was a lame attempt at digging for something like news. I plan on having excellent Andy Rooney eyebrows someday, may he RIP.

  9. I’ve got a lot of tools but I don’t actually know how to fix anything. I just like letting people know I have tools by leaving them out when guests come over.

    What’s this under the couch? That must be my hacksaw.

  10. Sometimes when you insert something funny into one of your rants, it’s even on purpose, no filter-ly speaking.

    I was going to do the Dr. Spooner, You are a shining wit, joke, but you don’t know me well enough to be sure it’s just a joke, so, consider it unsaid.

  11. #1. You’re missing a life-size poster of a mostly naked chic.
    #2. Is the skull from your first kill?
    #3. I’m impressed by your “tool(s)”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    Well shoot – the very FIRST thing I noticed was the skull….I thought “Well..some poor fuckwit must have crossed Rants the wrong way…”
    And did you say you got jiggy wit it?

  13. Very military setup. The psyche, I know understand, as my father’s basement workshop was similarly setup. And the skull-nice touch! lol

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