I had noticed recently that I was unwilling to spend more than a half hour in the basement working on models recently. Could it be simple abject laziness, so inherent to my generation? Nah, it was just the fact that it was damn cold.

My basement is not heated, we idle the oil furnace for the winter, and prefer to have it ready for backup to our pellet stoves if needed. That means my (current - the future one is under construction) hobby space drops to the mid -50's for the winter and stays there. Not too welcoming.

I'm unwilling to spend the money to heat it, so I decided to approach a different tact. What if I could bring my hobby work upstairs?

I have a couple of obstacles, the first being I don't want to damage furniture or floors. The second (and third) have 4 legs and too much curiosity.

Addressing the first, I assembled what is nothing more than a simple tray. Basically 2'x2', this was the maximum width I could fit up my basement stairs with me holding the sides; the depth was because the table saw fence was already in place. I did, however, want space in the back for my light, and (future) tool storage.

I constructed it of 3/4 inch birch plywood, from remnant of a piece I had from an old furniture project. I wanted the tray durable, and heavy duty. The handles were free cut with a router so they're not perfect, and all edges sanded down. I used just 1 1/2 inch wood screws to hold the side and back rails (each 4 inches tall) to the base, all are inset just enough to not catch on a flat surface. I'm not thinking on stain or paint at this time as it will just get messed up from modeling, but the bottom will get a glued felt application to keep it from scratching table surfaces.

And loaded for work....

It works great, and allows me to actually get some work done, in a warm and well lit environment.