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Old 02-02-2010, 01:35 PM   #1
Jack Olsen
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6,356
Default The 12-Gauge Garage

This is a long thread. I won't try and stop anyone from reading all of it. But for a more-concise tour of the place, it'll only take you 10 minutes to go through this video:


And here are some recent pictures. If you go through the thread from the beginning, you'll be able to see the garage get to this point:

It's a working garage:

And I do have a fancy sign for it:

I first posted a thread about my garage back in March of 2009. I called it the ‘Poor Man’s Retro Retreat’ back then because my budget for it had been low ($500) and I’d used a kind of old-fashioned color scheme when I painted it. It’s a garage I’ve liked a lot. It’s had everything I’ve needed. I’ve gotten a lot of work done in it.

So naturally, I had to go through and re-do pretty much every component in the place.

Why? Blame this board. It gets you thinking about different ideas and projects for the garage every time you visit. I know a lot of you out there know what I’m talking about.

Since so much has changed, I’m going to start a new thread about it. If that bugs you, I apologize. Click the close button on the window and move on. If the moderators don’t like it, they can merge this with the old thread. I don’t want to clutter up the board unnecessarily.

The garage can’t really be called the ‘Poor Man’s Retro Retreat’ anymore because I’ve spent too much money on it. It’s still pretty modest, by the standards of many of the garages on this board. It’s pretty humble, still -- a suburban two-car garage tucked around behind the house on my tiny 1/8-acre lot.

But by my own personal standards (I’m very cheap), it’s now a pretty expensive operation. I would guess that I’ve now put another $2,000 into the place.


During the 2007 Writers Guild strike, I went through my completely useless junk bin of a garage and tried to get a little organized for the first time in my then 43-year-old life. Both my wife and I write for a living, so we were both out of work for the duration -- I was understandably cautious with spending money. But on the other hand, I couldn’t work -- so I had all the time in the world. I gave myself a $500 budget and attempted to re-use or re-purpose as much of the crap filling my garage as possible, while moving most of what was left to a dumpster. Every day, after a shift spent pounding the pavement on a picket line, I’d work on it. The last touch was to paint it in sort-of-early-1960s shades of green, yellow and tan.

I was pretty happy with it.

I also built a shed for the stuff that would normally clutter up a garage as small as mine. I’d never done much carpentry, but having a garage that I could actually move around in made it easier to get a little creative with the roof lines.

And then one day I saw a sale on ceramic tile at Home Depot and I jumped into a .68/sf scheme to both tile my garage and teach myself how to set tile. It worked out all right, considering how unlevel my 84-year-old garage floor was. I ended up with a nicer-to-use and nicer-to-look-at garage for another $400 invested. (I also ended up with bigger shoulders, since grouting that much tile is a pretty serious amount of work.)

Then I joined Garage Journal. It didn’t happen overnight, but -- slowly, steadily, you can’t fight it forever -- I started to no longer see my finished garage as finished anymore.

It was just getting started.

Last edited by Jack Olsen; 03-12-2017 at 01:17 PM.
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