Setting up a studio with a tight budget
I found the base of my work table, as well as my computer desk, for free out on the street. Free finds help keep your budget low, yet make sure that you are selective and cautious about your street finds.
When I found the base of my work table it had a wooden top which was cut to fit an industrial sewing machine. Unfortunately, it smelled like it had been soaked in some pretty toxic sewing machine oil. I removed the top and the screws holding it to the base but I only kept the base. It was quite easy to clean the steel base. Soap and water did the trick, and I then sprayed it with a bleach solution just in case.
As I mentioned in last week's post, the new top of my work table was part of a sheet of wood that a carpenter cut and sanded on my behalf. A great feature of the base is that its height can be adjusted. The top is about .915m by 1.52m (3ft x 5ft) which gives me plenty of room to work. The other expense for the work table was an added basket to the base that cost be about $1.00. It is great for storing long measuring sticks, rolls of paper, etc.
Now, the computer desk was totally free. As with the work table's base, I found this one during the late part of the summer so it was nice and dry (read: "no mold"). I inspected the desk right where I found it and then again at home. It got a deep clean up and was sanitized with some bleach solution as well.
Once it dried, the first thing that I did was to remove the keyboard sliding drawer. I use my laptop also as my desktop so setting it on the top shelf of the desk put it pretty much at eye level and left space for a usb keyboard. (The usb keyboard cost me $5 at free geek. I took it apart, cleaned and sanitized it while talking with Kandy on the phone. One of the few times I give thanks for the speaker phone feature.)
The other modification that I did to the computer desk was to cut off part of the base so I could pull the chair closer to the desk. It had to be done! The over reaching was getting to me... and to my body. I also clamped a piece of "two by four" to the base of the desk. That helps support it since I cut part of it off and I rest my feet on it while working. The desk has plenty of room for accessories and I found out that small vises are great for holding things on the sides of the desk such as my head phones.
So far, I have not gotten even close to the $200 expense mark. Of course, I already had a book shelf, a filing cabinet and some small storage cabinets, which you can find at second hand stores, craigslist, free cycle, and well, "around town".
Have fun putting together your studio and make it your creative nest.