garage / boathouse/ workshop

Hello all,

I’m need a few ideas for improving my garage / boat house / workshop.

It seems that we will soon be tearing out some old kitchen cabinets.

I’d like to save some and turn them into a work surface and storage area for my boat maintenence projects in the garage / boathouse, with pegboard for tools. etc.

I would welcome any suggestions or helpful advice.



Good idea
Re-using kitchen cabinets as shop storage/work space is a great idea. Lots of people used to do that and as far as I’m concerned it’s still a solid idea. Sure beats those silly/expensive garage/shop cabinets sold at places like Sears (to the totally helpless masses) – plastic junk. The biggest hassle I see with re-using kitchen cabinets is the counter-top. You’ll no doubt want to rearrange your cabinets in a different configuration, so your old counters may not work. I’d say go ahead and place them in the garage as needed and then simply make a new laminate covered counter top, it’s easy to do. Alternately you could have a cabinet shop make you up a new top, but that gets into more money. Old used solid-core flat-panel doors also make decent garage/shop counter tops – cut to fit. I see them at salvage stores for peanuts.

As to wall storage: Personally I don’t like pegboard storage… maybe you could re-hang the old wall cabinets as well. There’s lots more storage space in cabinets than on pegboards and with the doors closed it looks a lot neater as well. My two cents - Randall

Ideas for You
When I designed my Carriage House (Garage Apartment to the Northern-types), I took into consideration I had to: (1) House my kayaks, (2), House my Tracker, (3) House my workshop. And, all in the same 20’x24’space.

To do this I: (1) Mounted bike hoists from Campmor ($50 vs $80 for the “name brand” type) in the overhead (naval term for ceiling) for my kayaks; (2) Built large storage cabinets and mounted them at the ceiling for storage (old kitchen cabinets will work too), (3) Built workbenches (ditto on the old cabinets here) and storage racks at the rear and along one wall.

I have plenty of space to move about and work. Even have room for the riding mower too.

Good luck on your project and remember,

"Any day on the water is a great day.


Counter top
I recommend making the “countertop” yourself out of 3/4 inch plywood or fiberboard, then covering that with a 1/4 sheet of hardboard that is attached just enough to hold it in place. Then, when the hardboard gets too worn down or messy you can simply replace it with another sheet, yet still have the overall counter in place. That way you won’t worry about spilled paint, wood glue drops, etc.

Another alternative is melamine faced fiberboard, which gives you a durable, hard surface. At this point you’re really dealing with more of a workbench than a counter top.

Great idea, though – just make sure you leave room for your feet/legs – you may want a bit more of an overhang at the front of the counter, and an area without cabinets under it where you can slide a stool or sit and work.

Thanks for the ideas
I actually selected a “grouping” of the used cabinets that has a piece of formica that fits right on top, with no need for any cutting. However I like the idea of placing a piece of hardbord on top of the formica. I also kept some short wall cabinets to mount on the wall with a tool board below. Based on comments here, I may re-think the pegboard and painted plywood and look for some tool mounting brackets instead.