Shop Retrofit (TheBat Cave) #1: History

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Blog entry by Bob Current posted 06-26-2014 11:39 AM 1109 reads 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop Retrofit (TheBat Cave) series Part 2: The World Changed »

The picture above is the area where my present workshop is being retrofitted for woodworking.

The small windows on the side will be a reference in later pictures.

The ruts to the left of the building are abandoned rail tracks.

This picture was taken in late summer of 2001 shortly after our family purchased an abandoned brownfield site that had set for 15 years.

My shop is located in the drive in basement portion of the old Falstaff Brewery bottling plant and is only a portion of the total facility. This building was built in 1904.

The basement extends about 300’ from front to back and is 110’ wide.

My shop is only 720 SF of this 33,000 SF space (18’x40’)

The distance from floor to ceiling is approximately 10’ but there a number of 20” I beams that reduce the clear space.

I’ve also included below a picture of the steel supports as they were when we took occupancy of the building.

You’ll see the column above as a bench mark throughout this series.

We did not do much to the building until 2004 because we were renovating other buildings in the facility that were in much better condition.

I adopted this space early in the project and it became known as the “Bat Cave”

I hope this initial episode has provided some entertainment and maybe perked the interest of those members who are interested in repurposing these piles of rust that sadly are too prevalent in our part of the country.

To be continued ,If you have any questions feel free to PM me.

Bob Current

-- When you are wrong admit it, when you are right forget it.

18 comments so far

View hotncold's profile


733 posts in 518 days

#1 posted 06-26-2014 01:20 PM

Can’t wait to see this one Bob!!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View sras's profile


4160 posts in 2103 days

#2 posted 06-26-2014 02:01 PM

This should be fun to watch!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View tyvekboy's profile


879 posts in 1987 days

#3 posted 06-26-2014 04:21 PM

OK. I’m a watcher ….

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Rockbuster's profile


429 posts in 1582 days

#4 posted 06-26-2014 05:26 PM

I plan on stopping by and taking a look at this Bob, being as I live here in Ft. Wayne, I got back from the vacation, but will be going back to work after 8 years of retirement. Being a bricklayer by trade for 50 years, can’t help but notice the pallets of block setting there. In my time, I have done a fair share of work there at the newer portion of the Falstaff building. They used to let us drink all of the beer that we wanted while working there. Everybody loved working at Falstaff. We used to get the beer right off the line, before they pasteurized it. Hope to check in with you soon.

“Rockbuster” Don

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

View woodshaver's profile


3162 posts in 2327 days

#5 posted 06-26-2014 06:59 PM

Rockbuster just clued me in .. I’ll be watching! I love construction!

-- Tony C St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View patron's profile


13392 posts in 2315 days

#6 posted 06-26-2014 07:36 PM

look like a great place for a shop bob

lots of room for expansion
or maybe with a snowplow
you can pack sawdust in there
out of the way

hows the power supply there
i’m guessing the bldg has plenty

onasis got his start
in an old rust bucket

look like you got a good crew going already
always loved beer
since i’m 20 years sober now
i’ll be the designated driver

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View DiggerJ's profile


69 posts in 510 days

#7 posted 06-26-2014 07:59 PM

Thanks for the heads-up on this topic. Looking forward to seeing the progress.
It was nice talking to another Hoosier Woodworker. I often wish I was back there.


-- Digger -- If you work long enough and hard enough to make it idiot-proof...the world will build a better idiot!

View JoeinGa's profile


4939 posts in 981 days

#8 posted 06-26-2014 08:19 PM

Ok, Count me in too. I’m sure we’ll all enjoy the progress from brewery basement to Bat Cave!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Bob Current 's profile

Bob Current

457 posts in 591 days

#9 posted 06-26-2014 10:10 PM

Dennie, I’ll try to make you proud.
Steve, I’ll do my best.
Don, you’ve got my cell number Monday & Tuesdays are best
Tony, I think you’ll enjoy the ride.
David, 3000 AMP 460 in East side of campus several 208 services in the old building side.
I swore I would never try one of these blogs again but I had some coaching from a friend.
Less words, more pictures.
Thanks Guys.
I added in these guys from the late shift.
Digger, thanks for looking
Joe, Welcome aboard.
Joe L. It will fast forward very soon
Tony, I have pictures of a least one of the beer tanks we cut out with torches, I’m going to enter them in the beer tote race. 225 barrels in each one.

-- When you are wrong admit it, when you are right forget it.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8318 posts in 3026 days

#10 posted 06-26-2014 10:13 PM

This is going to fun watching the progress…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View woodshaver's profile


3162 posts in 2327 days

#11 posted 06-26-2014 10:15 PM

Great! I love pictures too! Let’s Roll!

-- Tony C St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View AandCstyle's profile


1799 posts in 1231 days

#12 posted 06-26-2014 11:53 PM

Bob, you sure must love to work. I can’t even imagine undertaking a project of that magnitude. Keep the pix coming.

-- Art

View whitebeast88's profile


3880 posts in 1164 days

#13 posted 06-27-2014 12:21 AM

sweet.can’t wait for your next post.thanks for sharing!!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View English's profile (online now)


360 posts in 451 days

#14 posted 06-27-2014 01:53 AM

Looking forward to seeing the change over.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5364 posts in 1266 days

#15 posted 06-27-2014 04:37 AM

This is going to be interesting. I’m in for more story and photographs. Should be interesting.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

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