Shop Delcambre, 2013
Men are from Mars (Man Cave), women are from Venus (various habitats). I have plenty of projects planned on DREAM AWAY before we go cruising again, so I decided I needed a Man Cave (Shop) in which to work on these projects. What I required in a shop was security, space for storage, a work bench and tools, and electricity.
When Kitty and I first arrived in Delcambre, we looked all over for a storage room or shop. We could not find anything that filled the need, so we rented a 10' X 10' store room in New Iberia (about 12 miles away) in which to store our stuff. Finally, we found a storeroom in Delcambre that used to be used as a small shop. First the bad news: The storage facility is only about four feet above mean high water. When Delcambre was hammered by Hurricane Rita, in 2005, this shop had about four feet of water in it.
Now for the good news: When Kitty and I saw this shop we felt it would really work even though it would require a fair amount work to clean it up and repair the doors so we would have good security. Kitty contacted the owner about our renting it. As it turns out, this particular part of the storage facility was a retail computer repair shop. It was run and owned by the father of the present owner. The father died and the facility was passed to the daughter who is now the present owner, and she did not know what to do with it. The glass entrance doors had been broken in so offered no security. Kitty and the owner worked out a deal. The rent would be $60.00 a month. We would take over the shop in September. We would get three months free rent while we repaired the shop doors and got electricity back into the shop. This shop also has one other major benefit. It has running water and a toilet. It used to have a functioning sink, but that was broken off the wall. Kitty purchased a big plastic shop sink and had that installed. Another plus for this shop is it can be seen from the cockpit of DREAM AWAY, and we can easily walk to it, if not loaded down with tools and parts.
We moved out of the store room we had in New Iberia around the 31st of August, 2012, and into a temporary store room at the facility where the shop is located. The owner allowed us to do this while we were getting the doors repaired, and the electricity installed. First thing I did was to install a new breaker box for the main electrical input. I got this all done and ready for the electric company inspector. The inspector came and approved the installation, and the electric company connected the electricity. Now we have power in the shop
Next were the doors. The back door was all metal, so no issues there. The front doors were aluminum framed glass doors. The left door had all of the glass broken out of it, and the glass was broken at the top of the right door. I did not want to put glass back in because I did not want folks peering into the shop when I was not there. I broke the glass out of the top right door and left the glass in the bottom of that door. I then bolted pieces of 3/4" plywood over and onto the aluminum door frame. When the doors were completed, I broke off the bolts on the inside so no one could unscrew them, and painted the doors white so that they would blend in with the remainder of the building. I also put a very large hasp on the doors so they could be secured with two big locks.
When the electricity was installed, and the shop secured, we did a major clean-up. Then we moved in all of our stuff. We built shelves and I built a work bench. I was also able to get back some of the stuff I had left with Alan when I left Houston in 2009. So I have a table for the table saw, a separate table with wheels for the drill press, and a table with wheels for other tools. I also modified the drill press table, so it can double as an outboard motor stand. We put in some shelves and a computer work desk, so Kitty has a work area and a library area. She even found a Queen Anne chair for the library, and an exercise machine.
Please take a look at the pictures and you will see what I am referring to when I am working on boat projects and refer to the shop.