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My off grid workshop

My off grid workshop

This post is in collaboration with Ryobi One+

Last week I showed you all the makeovers inside my house but I didn't include one of the spaces I spend a lot of my working hours in, my little workshop!

When we bought the house we knew there was a structure in the back of the garden but we didn't have a clue how big it was as the garden was completely overgrown and ivy took over the inside of the shed as well. After we cleared all the scrubs and overgrown trees it turned out the place was actually a good size and would make a great work spot for me. Two of its walls are made of old brick and look amazing, unfortunately the roof was made out of asbestos tiles and ivy was growing through it so that was the first thing that had to go. The asbestos removal man not only took the roof off but also a meter of ivy that was growing on top! After that it was a case of replacing rotten timber, a lick of paint and a new roof. Have a look at the transformation!

The tree was so overgrown the previous owners only bothered painting half the window frame :) Have a look at the video below to see how the inside of the shed used to look and how it looks now, it is rather different. After I gave the space a whole new look the lovely people of Ikea used it for a feature on how I use the shed as my photo studio and they sorted me with a whole lot of storage. You can see that piece here. From then on I had to promise the stylist not to call it my shed anymore but my workshop :D

Not a bad place to work in hey? It's not a big, 5 by 2 meters at a push but it's big enough for me. At the moment it is filled with leftover pieces of timber and projects I build for the new book so space is even tighter but it works perfectly as a DIY space. Only problem with my granddad shed come Instagram studio is that is doesn't have any power. Not a problem if you just use it for storage but when you build you need power tools, and those come with a plug..

I had an electrician have a look and he told me it was impossible to get connected to the power network so for a while I used extension cords that ran from the kitchen but I was never pleased with this not so safe solution. Especially in the winter when it was cold, misty and wet a cord running through an open door wasn't the best idea. Not to start on the short working hours I had at the beginning of the year. It was light between 9:30am and 15:30pm not nearly enough time to build all the projects I needed to make. I used a solar light for a while but that only gave me a hour of light at the most, something had to be done.

I was having a flick through Instagram while trying to defrost my fingers on a cup of coffee and saw the Ryobi one+ tool range, power tools that work on a battery. Not just a cordless drill but also cordless jigsaws, mitre saws, circle saws, sanders, lights etc etc. The perfect solution for my off grid shed!

I have two batteries that go in all the tools I use. The drill driver and jigsaw are the most used ones but I think I love my light most. It is so bright it lights up the whole workshop! You can dim and bend it to make sure the light hits your project just right. At the moment I have to go indoors to charge the batteries but I'm thinking of installing a solar panel on the workshop roof so I can use the charger in the workshop, but those are all pipe dreams. I have two batteries so when one runs out I can use the other one. Having cordless tools sure makes my building a whole lot easier! What power tools do you use most in your builds? 

While I was filming the workshop the morning light streamed in making my allium seed pods look like a prefect still life next to my pale pink apron, love that picture above! As you can see I haven't completely won the battle against the ivy yet, it keeps growing through the gaps! Luckily only behind the paint tins but still, slightly frustrating. The new Ikea drawers and old shelves give me plenty of storage for all my DIY supplies. Inside the metal square units are all the ugly looking and small bits that would otherwise make the shelves look very cluttered. Ideally the place would look a bit neater but as I just finished my new book there are a lot of left over pieces of timber and book projects tucked away in the corners. I could have make it all idyllic and empty looking for the video but where is the reality in that ;)

Large nails on the inside of the door hold two canvas bags with all my bbq things in it, handy for when we cook outside and all the utensils and coal are close to hand. The small wooden storage system has old my bolts, hinges, plugs and hangers in them. Everything clearly marked in pencil so I can find whatever I need in a heartbeat. It really pays off to be organised in your work space, nothing as annoying as not being able to find what you are looking for while you are building. The rug on the floor is an old outdoor rug from Ikea, I wasn't using it on my terrace anymore and it gives to workshop a nice cozy feel. Like I said on the video my work bench is an old door with 4 table legs attached to the bottom. I had the door left over after building my wardrobe from reclaimed doors, it is a perfect table size not to deep, the space is small after all, but long enough to work with my mitre saw, tool storage and it still has plenty of space to work on. Why would I buy a new table when I have a perfectly good door left over? ;) The clock on the wall is a project from the workshops I did for my first book, Furniture hacks. It's a West Elm plate that I drilled a hole in and pushed a clock mechanism through. The yarn vase is a project from the website and a concrete dipped mug from my Making Concrete book.

So there you have it my off grid workshop! What does your work space look like? Is it as small as mine?

I'll be back next week with a new up-cycle project, see you then! xx Hester

My tools were kindly provided by Ryobi but all views and opinions are my own. All photo's and video by Hester van Overbeek, please share on your social media but always with the proper credit. This workshop video first appeared here on www.hestershandmadehome.com






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Home makeover, the before and afters

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