Workshop lodger

Concerned that my new car would attract undesirables, I decided to install a CCTV system covering the front of the house including the drive. As my brother is in the security industry, he recommended a system made by Hikvision which Amazon were selling at a reasonable price for a four camera system.

Installation was pretty easy as the camera wiring could go straight into the garage, where the main recorder would be installed. Alan suggested three cameras would be sufficient and I soon had them fitted and wired up. Setting up was simple and the software allows for zones to be set up to prevent false alarms. The quality of the video capture is excellent, especially in daytime light, and the night vision is sufficient at close range.

As I only needed three cameras to cover the frontage, I decided to fit the spare camera in the garage. I’ve managed to accumulate quite a few tools and equipment over recent years so having a camera looking over them felt like a good use of the last one.

The system has a 1TB hard drive which continually records the output and there’s also an app that can access the live stream as well as review the recorded footage. And I’m really impressed with the system; it was easy to set up and hooking it up to a spare monitor means I have visibility of the cameras whilst I’m working in the workshop.

Within a few weeks of the CCTV system going live it was already being called into action when our neighbours asked us to check the recordings as they’d had a couple of guys trying front doors in the middle of the night. Whilst the blokes could clearly been seen walking across the gardens opposite, the night time camera resolution wasn’t good enough to make out any personal features.

Still, the fact that the camera was able to pinpoint the time and pick out the two chaps was positive.

Anyhow, back to the camera in the workshop. As mentioned, the system has the ability to set movement detectors, which when triggered, places a marker and also sends an alarm to the app. Within a few days of the camera going live I started to notice it was getting triggered at night, often only once or twice. On reviewing the footage it was clear I didn’t have any burglars but I did seem to have a creature flying across the garage at speed. It would always move left to right towards the garage doors and not hover or circle, suggesting it wasn’t a moth or spider. And I never saw it return suggesting once it was out of the garage, it stayed out until morning when the camera system stopped detecting movement.

On one occasion I did actually see it on the drive camera, once it had made an appearance in the workshop but it moved at such speed it wasn’t easy to determine what type of creature it is.

I’ve even tried leaving the workshop light on during the night but my lodger seems to be artificial light camera shy and never appears. I’m pretty sure it’s a large insect of some sort but I haven’t got a clue what it actually is.

I guess it’s not really doing any harm other than triggering my CCTV so as along as it doesn’t start using the machinery during the night it can continue to use my garage as a resting home.

Building my new workshop

It was around this time last year that I had the notion that I wanted a proper woodworking workshop, with all the fancy machines I’d ever dreamed of owning but never could afford. So when I got wind of a favourable bonus coming my way I got to work on planning how I would spend a sizeable chunk of it.

57AC8EBF-321F-4628-A6F0-2A8433A4D84EFirstly I had to address problem of creating the space; the garage had accumulated so much crap over the years there was very little room to walk around it let alone site a new table saw or router table. IMG_0319The rafters were full of boxes containing kids school books, toys and loads of old training manuals and paperwork from work and the floor had garden furniture, a cross trainer and a bicycle taking up vital workshop space.

Having decided there was far too much to take to the local recycling depot, I ordered a 6 yard skip, confident it would be big enough to cover all my needs. Yeah right!

IMG_0349IMG_2051Eventually though I did manage to reduce the pile of things to keep and set about storing the many boxes back up in roof space above the garage. A quick paint job of the floor gave me a lovely canvas and space to start filling with some machines. Phase 1 completed.

Next job was to tackle the garage doors. The existing doors were the up and over type but over the years had become more and more difficult to use. In fact the right hand one couldn’t be opened due to a fault spring so had to be screwed shut. So the first big spend was to replace them with two roller shutter doors.

I found a local company that could change them out at a reasonable cost and soon had new doors.

IMG_0441And so to start filling the space. I’d researched some of the machines I’d want; I’d always fancied a proper table saw and so went for a 8″ cast-iron model from Charnwood along with a sanding station and dust extraction system from the same manufacturer. This was then followed up by a Lumberjack bandsaw supplied by Amazon and a router table. It wasn’t long before the garage floor space was starting to fill up again, but this time with lots of new toys to play with 🙂

Another part of the workshop build was to create a wall that could be used to hold all my hand and power tools so I set about erecting a french cleat system, using my new machines to rip down the timber and sheets to the right size. I then built an outfeed table for the new saw, which gave me storage to keep other tools. Phase 2 complete.

My next post will continue to run through the evolution of the workshop along with highlighting some of the projects I have undertaken so far.