A workshop out of the floodplane #1: Recovering from Hurricane Ike in 2008

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Blog entry by withheld posted 01-18-2011 06:16 PM 872 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of A workshop out of the floodplane series Part 2: Cheap replacement tools »

Before September of 2008, I had a garage at my place in San Leon, TX. It was far from optimal – humid, hot, no A/C, and the tools rusted despite my efforts. Working out there was not much fun, anyway. I defy anyone to say they like working in a shop when after only a few minutes your clothing is soaked from simply standing there, much less from performing a repetitive motion like hand sanding.

After September 2008, the house was pretty much gone. The garage and what was in it certainly was. What the coastal air with it’s humidity didn’t do to ruin my tools, the flood waters did. I had to start over from scratch, but this time it would be different.

The new house is elevated 10 feet above the ground, and it has a small workshop at the front. It’s smaller than the garage was, but at least its air conditioned. It’s only 14’x 15’11” but it’s tall, so there’s opportunity for storage aloft.

-- rdh

7 comments so far

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2650 days

#1 posted 01-18-2011 06:35 PM

Good luck. I got hit by Ike in League City, but nothing near as bad as you guys right on the bay did. Still putting things back together actually… It was certainly NOT nice…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View davidroberts's profile


1025 posts in 2904 days

#2 posted 01-18-2011 07:56 PM

Bob, I drove around San Leon on job related matters the day after Ike. Unbelieveable. I believe the hurricane eye came directly cross San Leon. It just washed San Leon away. Furniture and cars and houses in the roadside ditches. It was devestation on a massive scale. Glad to hear you survived and your life is improving.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View GregD's profile


777 posts in 2554 days

#3 posted 01-18-2011 08:22 PM

Ike was easy on us in Sugar Land for the most part.

As for the heat, I can put up with being hot, but I don’t want to get near my cast iron tables when I’m dripping with sweat, and when resting an arm on the workpiece leaves a puddle, I give up the shop for the summer for other projects. So I’m a bit jealous of you and dbhost with the A/C in the shop – or I will be in a couple of months, these days not so much!

-- Greg D.

View withheld's profile


17 posts in 2103 days

#4 posted 01-18-2011 08:41 PM

The only thing good that came out of Ike was justification to replace the house. San Leon was like a battle zone after that storm. Our house was still standing, but turned out not to be worth saving.
Doing any woodworking during the Houston summer is a miserable prospect. If I had a garage shop, I would definitely find a way to A/C it or otherwise keep the sweat away from the equipment.

In any event, anyone have good recommendations on keeping the rust off? cleaning/polishing/waxing products, frequency of application, what to do when you notice something and not spending the entire weekend dealing with it? Things like that?

-- rdh

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2650 days

#5 posted 01-18-2011 09:06 PM

FWIW, I have heard there is a woodworking club that meets at the Lowes on Beltway 8 in Pasadena, I will try to get some info to you on that if I can dig it up again. It always seems to meet when I have honeydo stuff on my list…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2726 days

#6 posted 01-19-2011 12:22 AM

I know what you are going through. I lost my house and shop to a hurricane Katrina in 2005. Bought a house in the country and built a nicer shop to replace the old, small and lesser shop I previously had. Something good sometimes comes out of something bad.

View bigike's profile


4048 posts in 2706 days

#7 posted 01-19-2011 02:48 AM

I’m sorry to hear about your shop. Funny thing though i was thinking about if people lost shop tools or sold the rusted/waterlogged ones cheap just for money to rebuild or something.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

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