A backpackers workbench.

11:19 a.m. on February 12, 2010 (EST)
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I recently built a shed to house my backpacking gear, one of the things I wanted was a workbench just for gear maintenance & DIY gear projects.

I had no work yesterday so I spent the day working in my shed at my workbench.

I completely dismantled my MSR Whisperlite, did a thorough cleaning, and replaced the o-rings, etc.

I also began work on a new wood gas stove, and made some improvements to my alcohol stove kit.

Basically just tinkering with my stuff.

We're possibly getting 1-3 inches of snow here in Charleston SC tonight, and I intend to do some night hiking with my old dog if that happens.

Anyhow, who else has a workbench full of gear?

Can you post a photo of it?

Edit: Coffee tables, kitchen tables, picnic tables, all qualify as far as I'm concerned. Just curious to see what you got going for a place to do gear maintenance.

12:24 p.m. on February 12, 2010 (EST)
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No photos right now, but my favorite work bench is a 100+year old oak teachers desk that I got out of a dumpster when they were renovating a local school. The desk has drawers on both sides and they are a great place to store all the little things I need to repair and maintain gear. Plastic side-squeeze buckles, zipper pulls, velcro, webbing, shoe goo, thread, needles, etc. I prefer the desk over my woodworking bench because I can sit to do tedious work, and my portable sewing machine is at a good height too.

New house+new barn(old blacksmith shop)=new heated workshop. Can't wait till summer to start gettin' it all together!

12:39 p.m. on February 12, 2010 (EST)
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Funny you mention that Trout, I too plan on building a shed for all my gear in the spring. Currently my "workbench" is the spare bedroom! Heres some pics of me trying to organize only some of my gear.


12:47 p.m. on February 12, 2010 (EST)
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Good deal.....yeah it doesn't have to be an actual workbench, I once built a 4 cylinder Toyota motor in my living room floor, so what ever ya got for a work space is cool by me.

6:43 p.m. on February 17, 2010 (EST)
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Good deal.....yeah it doesn't have to be an actual workbench, I once built a 4 cylinder Toyota motor in my living room floor, so what ever ya got for a work space is cool by me.

I have done several VW and Porsche motors in dining rooms and bed rooms.Anything works but these days i have a nice work area in the basement for "indoor " projects.

8:04 p.m. on February 17, 2010 (EST)
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trouthunter said:

Good deal.....yeah it doesn't have to be an actual workbench, I once built a 4 cylinder Toyota motor in my living room floor, so what ever ya got for a work space is cool by me.

I have done several VW and Porsche motors in dining rooms and bed rooms.Anything works but these days i have a nice work area in the basement for "indoor " projects.

It was freezing cold out, and I had no garage, only a shed Skinmanjohn.

We put down some plastic and a sheet of plywood, then built a cradle out of 2 x 4's, no engine stand. I had 'Race Engine Design' do all the machine work, and I did the assembly with the help of a mechanic friend. He had more tools and helped me plasti-gage all the bearing caps & stuff.

Nowadays we have a shop that our family shares, but lot's of fond memories from the old 'make do' days.

1:34 p.m. on February 24, 2010 (EST)
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I've finally taken a picture of the workbench in our gear room. We finished off a second floor attic space right above our back door/mud room. So, it's a straight shot down the stairs (behind the bench) and out the back door.

Here's the workbench, set up for ski tunning:

1:37 p.m. on February 24, 2010 (EST)
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This thread reminds me of an e-mail I got from friends who are living in Prague for work for two years. After a ski weekend they sent me a picture titled "where gear goes to dry." Everything in their tiny apartment hallway was covered with drying clothes and gear.

You make it work.

1:16 p.m. on March 4, 2010 (EST)
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Backpacker Mag. April 2010 page 156 in the Essentials section actually gives plans to build your own workbench.

6:13 p.m. on March 4, 2010 (EST)
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Yes it does!

I got mine the other day.

9:55 p.m. on March 4, 2010 (EST)
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Alicia, looking at the overall neatness of your area makes me break out in a rash. Let's just say I operate on the big heap method.

12:02 a.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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Trouthunter,

I don't understand why I got an April issue at the end of Feb. but oh well it has some cool stuff in it. I have had the thought of stopping by LOWES to pickup some 2 x 4 to make one myself. They just make it sound so easy to build yourself, I feel like I could have it done in no time at all.

11:22 a.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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Alicia, looking at the overall neatness of your area makes me break out in a rash. Let's just say I operate on the big heap method.

I have to note that I did not send pictures of other angles of the gear room, with their own piles, all of which I swear mean something (at least to me).

We've been making an effort to have a place for everything and everything in its place to make the preparation process easier.

11:48 a.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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I started the everyting in it's place process but have not finished. Someday. In the mean time, it's all in a heap.

12:38 p.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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Alan, some would argue that being organized requires more time and effort than that required of the "heap" method, and therefore dispels the myth that being organized saves time, and I would not exactly say that they are not right.

I tend to think that personality & lifestyle has a lot to do with it, and that there is probably no 'one right way' to do things associated with individual activities.

2:06 p.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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Alicia, that gear workroom is awesome. I only wish I had a place like that for my stuff.

I have dirt-floored gerage (really just a barn) that I hope to repair, floor, and weather seal someday. If I can ever get that done I will have a great space, but for now all my gera is in boxes, bins, and trunks in various places in our tiny little 1920's bungalow. when it's time to pack or repair, I just have to go with whatever table, couch, or spare surface I have available to use.

I think the level of organization that is effective is really quite connected to the type of person and system (or lack there of :) that works for each. I personally find that having my gear organized helps me tremendously. I suppose it is possible that I might spend the same amount of time in a global sense if i didn't keep it sorted, but whenever I don't keep it organized, it takes TONS of time for me to get packed, make sure I have everything, etc. And it definitely saves an aweful lot of stress when I am trying to get ready for a trip. All stressed, flustered, late, and wondering if I really did get everything packed is the last way I want to hit the trail.

But then, that's just my preference :)

2:19 p.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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Alicia, that gear workroom is awesome. I only wish I had a place like that for my stuff.

Thanks, gonzan.

It's a good space and we're fortunate to have it. It's not completely living up to its organized potential, but we try to label bins and keep everything sorted by user and activity. It's a constant work in progress since stuff goes in and out and what we use when shifts around.

You're absolutely right that it makes things so much easier when you can find what you need. Otherwise, I'm looking in piles and wondering what I forgot and so on and that just makes me very impatient.

8:51 p.m. on March 12, 2010 (EST)
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Alicia, your organization of your gear makes me envious. I can't wait to get that organized with all of my gear. The piles and random sotwage spots just aren't cutting it. Your picture gave me some good ideas, thanks.

I also saw the article in the April 2010 Backpacker and decided I need to do something.... Good post.

D

11:44 a.m. on March 13, 2010 (EST)
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I haven't read the Backpacker article yet. In the meantime, here's my advice: lots of bins in various sizes and a label maker.

A label maker may seem unnecessary, after all, we can all write on masking tape or paper, right? But, it makes a huge difference in organization. Trust me on this one. Get a good label maker.

6:52 a.m. on March 29, 2010 (EDT)
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My workbench is a desk I have in my room. I don't have a lot of space where I live, so it ends up being used as my computer desk and as a workbench for backpacking gear, cameras and whatever other diy projects I have going that don't require going out to the garage or back yard. I've definitely enjoyed the pic's that everybody has uploaded.

September 30, 2014
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