I search local garage sales, flea markets, estate sales and antique stores for hardwood furniture.
I look for pieces that are in rough shape. If they have been painted an ugly color, are scratched or missing hardware, I can buy the piece at a low price. I then spend a lot of time and effort to refinish and restore the piece. The process involves a lot of harsh chemicals to strip the paint. I use an electric hand sander to expose the raw wood, which creates a great deal of airborne contaminants. When it’s time to varnish the wood, I need to have a completely clean environment. The varnish causes extremely strong fumes and I need adequate ventilation. In the area I live, there is harsh weather just about year round. I am seldom able to open windows and take advantage of fresh air. For my workshop, I looked for an inexpensive and compact heating and cooling system. I was hoping for a system that would handle year round temperature control and effectively filter the air. I didn’t want to use space heaters or a portable air conditioner. I prefered the convenience and safety of a permanently installed heating and cooling unit. After a lot of research, I came across the idea of a ductless mini split. There is an outdoor compressor that links to an indoor air handler. A conduit connects the indoor and outdoor units and requires a small hole in an exterior wall. The air handler is compact and lightweight and mounted up high on the wall. I operate the system through either a cordless remote or my smartphone. Because it can heat up or cool down the small workshop very swiftly, I start it up shortly before I’m going to work on a project.