Setting up my new basement shop #3: Not a big fan of concrete walls.. Time for some new drills.

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Blog entry by Dan posted 04-08-2015 02:46 PM 1731 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Prepping the concrete walls. Could use some advice. Part 3 of Setting up my new basement shop series Part 4: After months of work my new shop is finally set up. Before and after. Shop tour! »

I think the most frustrating part of this basement shop set up so far has been the walls. My old shop was frame construction and the walls were all plywood. That made hanging tools and cabinets no problem. There were many times that I would randomly hammer in a nail so I could quickly hang a tool.

To hang shelves and cabinets in my new shop I figured Tapcon screws were the way to go so I went out and bought a big box of them. I have never really had to drill through concrete before so I wasn’t sure what I was in for. I went to hang something the other day and quickly realized my drill was not cut out for the job. Just drilling one hole into the wall felt like it took me an hour. Then when I went to drive one of the screws my drill gave up on me. It just didn’t have the power to drive the Tapcon all the way in. I had to finish the screw by hand. Just getting the one screw in was way more work then I was expecting. I used this as an excuse to buy a new drill or two…

A quick run to Home Depot where I picked up a hammer drill and impact driver.. I got the Ryobi 18v Lithium set. My other drill is Ryobi so I already had the batteries.

The hammer drill worked a LOT better. It drilled through the concrete with ease. Then I drove the screw with the impact driver and that had no problem driving it in. It made using the Tapcon screws easy. I probably could have just got the hammer drill and used that to drive the screws as well but I think the impact driver will come in handy for other jobs down the road as well. I no longer fear drilling into concrete.

Here is one of the plywood panels I put up. I plan on covering this panel with french cleats to hang my different hand tools.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

8 comments so far

View terryR's profile


6232 posts in 1732 days

#1 posted 04-08-2015 02:54 PM

Looks good, Dan. Definitely need a hammer drill in the shop from time to time! My shop has galvanized steel walls that arch to the ceiling…not very user friendly. So, just framed a 12’ wall, sheathed like yours, and french cleats coming also! It’s more fun to see another buddy doing the same thing. :)

I painted my ply white…not sure it’s an improvement…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2304 days

#2 posted 04-08-2015 02:59 PM

Terry, I will be painting the plywood as well. My new shop has poor lighting so all the walls are going to be painted with semi-gloss white paint. I painted the walls in my old shop with semi gloss white and it really helped brighten up the place.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View AnthonyReed's profile


8606 posts in 1864 days

#3 posted 04-08-2015 03:06 PM

Nice! Glad you’re making progress and that your new purchase made life easier.

-- ~Tony

View Mosquito's profile


7928 posts in 1716 days

#4 posted 04-08-2015 03:14 PM

Looks like you’re able to make regular progress. I use my impact driver all the time, when I’m using screws for something. I’m sure you’ll use it a lot more than you expect

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View chrisstef's profile


15486 posts in 2430 days

#5 posted 04-08-2015 07:46 PM

I feel your pain. Just wait until you snap the head off one of those tapcons and have to drill another hole in the wall. Cant wait to see the hand tool wall.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View robscastle's profile


3323 posts in 1628 days

#6 posted 04-09-2015 09:14 AM


Your wallply work looks loke its coming along OK.

You may wish to consider battening all the walls then attaching the ply.
This serves a couple of purposes:-
1. Its a lot easier to set battens at respective distances for the ply the add the ply with conventional screws.
2. The battens provide an air gap for ventilation and avoid too much moisture being absorbed by the ply. This is an important consideration if its in a basement.
3. The battens allow rearrangment of the ply later if layouts change.
4. If you need to run power,data or audio cables they are in the cavity at the back and again out of the way.

-- Regards Robert

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2304 days

#7 posted 04-09-2015 12:52 PM

I do have 2×4’s attached to the wall behind the plywood so there is a gap back there.. I also didn’t run the plywood all the way to the floor and I kept the bottom open.

So the plywood was put up with conventional screws. I only used the Tapcon screws to attache the 2x’s

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View robscastle's profile


3323 posts in 1628 days

#8 posted 04-12-2015 10:00 AM

Cannot improve on perfect ! or add any more advice that that !

-- Regards Robert

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