Stables Workshop

Converting stables into a maker workshop



I’ve always been a maker. My father runs a construction firm; as long as I can remember I’ve been around building materials and talk of engineering solutions. As soon as I moved into this house I knew that I wanted to make a proper workshop for my projects.

What started out as a sand floored leaky stables is now a compact maker space, with space to weld, do carpentry, 3D print, and paint. I consistently wish the space was larger, but I still have a soft spot for this, my first proper workshop; a space which has allowed me to build many things.
Stables Workshop
Status: Completed
Updated: October 4th 2021

Converting Stables into a Workshop

This building used to be used as a stable for a horse. It was dark, leaky, and cold.


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Before tackling the shell of the building my friend Jamie helped me dig out the sand and horse sh*t floor, preparing for the concrete screed.

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Here’s the stables with it’s solid concrete floor, (and having had every other roof sheet replaced with transparent sheets to bring in natural light):

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Next I insulated all of the walls, cladding the insulation with OSB.

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This was a massive improvement to the space, but the door was still a gaping hole, letting in all of the wilds of Welsh weather.

I set about making a set of doors. This was probably my second welding project, but the doors still stand to this day. First I laid out the inch box section on the floor.

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Once the frame was welded I added latches and hinges and painted the frame with Rustoleum in red.

To this frame I used self tapping screws (tek screws) to fix a sheet of galvenised steel to the front of the door.

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Here’s the first door fitted.

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I fashioned a crude (over engineered) locking mechanism for the doors, which has lasted surprisingly well, considering these ugly early welds!

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I replicated the process for the other door, adding a flap for padlock and access. Not shown here, I also added flashings around the door to catch any sideways rain/run off and since then the door has been as good as water tight.

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Next I built some benches using 2 x 4 and kitchen worktops.

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Over the next year or two this bench/storage setup multiplied around the shop, filling all non-central niches with useful storage and workspace. Here’s a niche I built for the pillar drill.

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In an attempt to capture all of the random small tools and screws/fittings I started adding draws throughout, re-using the runners from the kitchen replaced in the house.

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For a birthday I received this vice, so I built a rugged welding station using a railway sleeper and an extra strong 2 x 4 frame underneath it. This means you can rail on a piece of metal with a big hammer and it barely moves. This vice has been absolutely invaluable to a lot of my project work. It’s also wired in to the welder ground by default so any welding done in the vice doesn’t need grounding.

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Here are the benches taking shape.

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More storage experiments…

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Once I had a lot of the tools stored away nicely I realised I needed a place to store long (6m+) metal for welding projects.

For more welding practice I quickly coupled together a bunch of brackets and hooks to let me store this metal above head.

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I spent a lot of time in those days trying to optimise space in this workshop. I have the tendency to want to learn lots of disciplines and so realistically I was cramming too much into one space. This routinely frustrated me, for example as I tried to do welding while a woodworking project was stored, I would mark or dust up the woodworking project.

In hindsight I’d probably have sectioned off the workshop better, but for now I’ve found a kind of process.

Here I built this Argon storage rack out of the way, but have since realised I need much bigger bottles of gas to do decent sized projects, so this isn’t being used and needs rethinking for larger bottles. (Note also the drainpipe across the top of the photo, this was another experiment on building extraction into the workbench.)

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I needed some saw horses one day to make a movable workbench, so I built these. They’re still going strong (currently being used on the cabin build), but I’d build them differently next time – though I’ve fallen in love with my ToughBuilt C650’s which are arguably all you’ll ever need really.

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As time went on I started to prepare for YouTubing my builds – here’s a makeshift mount for filming my ATV Mower project build.

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That’s it for now in my v1.0 Workshop build. You can see all my maker projects here, most of which I’ve made in this workshop.

Thanks for following along, now for the cheesy maker profile shot and a modified stool.

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Let’s make mad sh*t.

I’ve made a lot of things in my life, and I intend to make a lot more. My biggest goal is to make a good and happy life.

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