Tool Cage Proposal

From Pumping Station: One Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Kevin Caughlin


  • 4-27-2014: First draft of the vote.
  • TBA: Sent to director's list.
  • TBA: Sent to member's list.


The current tool cage that Pumping Station:One inherited from the previous occupant is inadequate and has several code and safety violations; for example,

The cage contains two electrical panels do not have thirty-six inches of clearance mandated by electrical code.

There is flammable material on and around the electrical panels; this is not a good situation in a workshop that has a history of electrical fires.

Because it is so cramped, the cage is unsafe for two people to occupy the cage at the same time.

For these and other reasons the cage should be emptied, dismantled and replaced with a larger cage that is designed to integrate into the space as soon as is practical.

Design Goals

The cage needs to be convenient to all areas of the shop, large enough for two or more people to use and make better use of vertical space by bolting the outside walls of the cage onto the shelves.

Location and Materials

The new cage will be centrally located between Wood Shop and Cold Metals in space currently taken up by three large metal shelve units. It is going to measure seven feet wide and extend twelve feet out from the wall occupying eighty-four square feet of floor space. The current cage is approximately forty-eight to fifty square feet, and the large metal shelves, thirty-six square feet; This adds up to eighty-four to eighty-six square feet. Therefore, no net loss in floor space by replacing the old cage and shelves with this new cage.

We are going to use one inch square steel tubing to build shelf frames six feet high; the shelves, half inch sanded plywood four feet wide and eighteen inches deep. The walls of the cage are going to consist of three eight foot high by four foot wide half inch plywood bolted to three shelf units lined up and bolted to the floor. A four foot wide aisle, running between the two sets of shelves, will provide enough room to move heavier equipment, such as the kiln, in and out of the cage,

The build is going to be done in two phases. We construct three of the proposed six shelves and swap them with the large shelves; then fill the new shelves with the stock in the current cage. Staggering the build gives wood shop and machine shop the opportunity to move equipment to accommodate the full cage.

The initial estimate cost for the materials is $750 for 520' of steel tubing and $300 for twelve sheets of eight' by four' half inch plywood. Additional money is needed for delivery costs and to buy saw blades and welding consumables. Any money left after the cage is complete can go towards the purchase of additional part bins, tool chests or other enhancements that would be useful.

Comparison to Ready to Assemble

There are members who are in favor of a store bought, ready to assemble shelve because they are much less expensive to buy. If you compare a typical shelf system to the proposed you will see that this is not the case.

This system [1] is thirty inches long by twelve inches deep and with five shelves which come out to eighteen hundred inches, or twelve and a half square feet of storage for forty-nine dollars and ninety-seven cents. The final cost comes out to four dollars per square foot.

The material estimate for the proposed shelves is one thousand dollars and the cost of one of the six modules is one-hundred and sixty-seven dollars. One shelf module measures be forty-eight inches by eighteen inches with six shelves that calculate to five thousand-one hundred and eighty-four square inches or thirty-six square feet. The final cost in dollars per feet is only four dollars and sixty-three cents per square foot.


We are supposed to be makers, not buyers.


We will purchase three hundred feet of steel and eight sheets of plywood once the vote has passed and material cut to length and organized to facilitate quick and accurate assembly. I expect the welding and erecting of the first part to take two days. The final part of the build starts once wood shop and cold metals reorganize.


Authorize the board to spend up to $1,800 (total) on materials stated above, and directly related costs, such as replacement band saw blades, bolts and delivery costs. The spending authority for the tool cage will expire sixty days from the day of member approval. After purchase, a copy of all receipts will be linked below.