So, for a number of reasons, I decided to split our 4-car garage into two halves by putting a wall down the center. This has a number of advantages:
- Sound insulation from the rest of the house
- I can keep the shop air-conditioned without try to cool the whole garage
- Gives me more space to hang stuff, including lumber
- More electrical in the wall to make the shop more flexible
The downside, aside from the cost (which wasn’t bad) was that it makes the remaining side a bit darker as the two windows are in the shop, but there are still windows in the garage door and the door in the back.
Here’s a shot of the garage as a whole before the wall. You can see the pile of wood for the Holtzapffel workbench on the left and the materials that will be the wall in the foreground.
The floor has radiant heat so it was not possible to anchor the wall to the floor in the normal way. All we could do was glue it to the floor and drive big anchor bolts into the walls and ceiling.
Here’s the framing of the wall going up. Nothing special except notice that three of the studs are triple 2×4s (glued and nailed together) for extra strength so I could hang the lumber rack on it.
Another shot of the framing, showing the electrical in place, including two 110v circuits (two outlets per quad box) as well as a dedicated 30 amp 100v circuit for the saw or planer and a 220v circuit for the jointer. Everything in the shop has to be mobile (since I will still park my car inside in the winter at least) and having flexibility of how to position stuff is key.
The finished wall and fire door.
The Lee Valley lumber rack. Starts around 4 feet off the floor so I can store sheet goods below it. Currently runs to almost 9 feet off the floor. I am going to add 2 more feet so it runs almost to the roof. Rack is lag-bolted with 3/8”x3” bolts to the studs. The rack isn’t going anywhere.
And voila, the finished wall with the preliminary layout of the machines. Another cart is in the offing which will hold a bunch of drawers (Ikea special from 30 years ago) and have the drill press on it. That will live just behind the shop-vac you see. You can also see the Jet air-cleaner hanging from the ceiling. Not sure how effective it will be but better than nothing. Also note the AC hanging up on the back wall. You’ll see a pile of clamps on the outfeed table – a wall-mounted clamp rack is this week’s lunchtime task if I can fit in.
Two more shots of the back wall and the side wall. You can see the two windows. Where my 40-year-old Workmate is sitting is where the Holtzapffel will go. The ever-useful workmate will get a place of honor hanging somewhere – except when it’s in use. What an investment that workmate was lo these many years! What I call the “machine” bench is on the right. My big machinist’s vice that goes on it is MIA since I got to Illinois. May have to go buy a new one.
And that’s as far as I have gotten so far. Of course, I cleared out the “other side” so my wife can put her car back inside while mine still sits outside. Next step is to start jointing and planing the billets for the top of the bench. And of course there’s lots of little stuff (clamp rack, dust separator, reinforcing the extension table legs on the table-saw and on and on….)
-- Ric, Northern Illinois, "Design thrice, measure twice, cut once... slap forehead, start over"