Operation GET OFF YOUR BUTT–The Nerd Bunker

     Well, Operation GOYB is up and rolling. My plan to quit planning (a contradiction, I know) and get to doing made some progress yesterday (to be detailed in a post tomorrow).  One of my bigger projects around here is converting our outside storage room (5 1/2′ x 11′) into the ultimate hobby workshop (within size & budget limitations). I shall call it…The Nerd Bunker.

     We’ve been in our new house for two years, but I’ve made little progress in getting my workshop up and running.  Of course I have the modeling bench in the Nerd Cave but I can’t exactly set up an airbrush & spray booth in there. Plus, there’s just not room for the requisite model kit stash.

     Here’s a few pictures of the current state of the Nerd Bunker:

The Bench

The Bench

The Stash Shelf

The Stash Shelf

The Painting Station

The Painting Station

     Pretty discombobulated, but loads of potential I think.  Here’s what’s on my To Do list for my little workshop away from home:


     Currently, there’s a single 75 watt bulb lighting the room and that’s not cutting it. I’m debating whether or not to install a permanent florescent fixture or one that hangs from the ceiling.  Given the cause of our house fire was “undetermined electrical,” I’m not messing with any wiring even if it is pretty simple.  If I do go permanent, I’ll get an electrician but I’m still not excited about having Joe Bob monkeying around with the wiring either.  Which is a good (though probably paranoid) argument for getting a fixture that hangs from two hooks and plugs into the wall. Plus, it would also get the light closer to the work bench, which can’t be bad.


     I’m still on the fence on this one. Currently, the walls are painted light beige but I’m wondering if white might help the lighting situation in there. The downside is I’d have to drag everything out to get it done but it might make a noticeable difference.


     Like painting, I haven’t decided what I want to do here. My choices are:

A) Leave the floor bare concrete
B) Paint the floor
C) Rustoleum Epoxyshield
D) Self-stick vinyl tiles 
E) Heavy-duty outdoor carpet

     I’m leaning towards the Epoxyshield treatment. I think looks really good and figure it will make cleaning the floor easier.  And since I have to clear the place out to do this, I guess I’ll be painting the walls…


      I got my current workbench at Lowes last year.  I had wanted to get a Gorilla Bench like the one I had at my old place but couldn’t find one locally and didn’t want to spring for shipping or risk it arriving damaged.

     The bench I got isn’t even on the Lowes website and I’ve never come across another. Maybe it’s been discontinued. Either way, it’s big enough to have multiple projects going on at one time.  I just bought a can of dark walnut stain and I’m hoping to get that done by next weekend.  I had originally planned on painting it but decided to go with a stain and semi-gloss varnish.  Should look pretty good.


     I’m probably going to hang a 4×4 peg board for hand tools and add several more plastic storage drawer units mounted above the workbench.  The bookcase behind the workstation table is getting moved and stacked on the identical one next to the door and I’m planning on relocating all my modeling books, magazines, and references (i.e. Squadron In Action titles) from the Nerd Cave to those shelves.  That will, of course, free up some valuable shelf space in the Cave for more games, books, and trade paperbacks.


     The table will get moved against the wall and a spraybooth will reside there with the compressor on the floor beneath.  I should be able to run the exhaust duct right out the door and out of my area of operations.


     I’ve already got a padded work stool but plan on adding a second one for my son and a wheeled swivel chair for the paint station.  I’m also thinking about mounting a foot rest on the bottom of my work bench for added comfort.


     The room sits on the western side of our house. Despite that fact, it stays pretty cool even in the hottest Alabama summer. There isn’t a heating/air conditioning vent in the room and I’m wondering if the room will stay above freezing in winter.  I never thought to check the last time it got down to 12 degrees here two winters ago.  I can’t imagine sub-freezing temps would be good for paints, putties, and such.  And while I’m not much of a handy-man, I can’t imagine it would be that big of a deal to cut a hole for a vent in the ceiling and tie into the nearest duct up in the attic. There’s probably even a YouTube video on how to do it. What could possibly go wrong?


     Since modelling tends to generate alot of dust and debris, I’d like to get a compact shop vac and mount it under the work bench so I can just pull out the hose, flip the switch and vacuum up any messes in a flash.


     One of the things I like to do most when modeling is to watch TV–Usually a war movie or documentary. The position of the Nerd Cave workbench puts the T.V. over my left shoulder and I’ve found that to be kinda a pain in the neck.  So, I’m thinking maybe a 30″ish flat screen TV mounted on a swing arm up in the far right corner so I can see it from the bench and paint station. Hooked up to a DVD player, of course.

     And of course, I’ve gots to have a sound system with an iPod connector to listen to my Mellow Jams playlist or a podcast or two. I’m thinking a small shelf system with speakers mounted high in the corners behind the bench.


     I’m thinking about hiring Joe Bob to mount a screen/storm door on the room. Obviously, I’d like to keep the door open for ventilation while airbrushing and so I can enjoy the 3 days of the year when it’s not too cold or too hot here in Bama. But that’s not the main reason.

     The main reason is freaking spiders!  I hesitate to publicly mention that I’m not a fan of those little eight-legged freaks. I’m not necessarily Arachnophobic although I did once consider using a 12-gauge shotgun to eradicate a particularly large nasty from my apartment once.  Of course I would’ve used birdshot.  I’m not stupid.

     And while I’m on the topic, let me just put this out there.  If any of my friends or family reading this think it would be funny to prank me by throwing a spider at me or something…I WILL FLIP OUT AND BEAT YOU MERCILESSLY ABOUT THE HEAD AND TORSO WITH A SAND-FILLED WIFFLE BAT! In fact, I’ll probably go to jail but I’ll plead not guilty by reason of insanity and beat the rap, so think twice.

    Anyway, I walked in there the other day to get a tool and I’m not there 10 seconds when this wolf spider that looked like it had a tarantula in the woodpile bee-bops through the door like he owns the place. I tried to bash him with a flip-flop but only managed to wing him and take out a couple legs before he dragged himself behind the bookcase. I gassed  his a$$ with a pretty good dose of RAID and he hasn’t been seen since.  He chose…poorly.

    So, for those of you still with me, that’s the general plan for turning a storage closet into a hobby workshop par excellence. With a little luck and some elbow grease, folks around here will be asking “Where’s Dad?” before Christmas gets here. Until next time…stay nerdy my friends.

Copyright 2013 It Came From The Nerd Cave