Shop Renovation #1: Challenges and A Plan

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Blog entry by HokieMojo posted 03-01-2010 05:30 AM 1364 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop Renovation series Part 2: Before Pictures »

I’ve been woodworking for about 5 years now. My workspace has been in my uninsulated and unfinished, attached garage. I originally thought that I’d make smaller projects so I could park both cars in the garage and pull them out when it was time to work. To accomplish this, I just made 2 benches from 3/4 mdf. the benches were 30” x 8’ and 36” x 4’. They weren’t very stable and they cluttered up quickly with benchtop tools and my current projects. Then the cars fit so tight, it just didn’t seem worth the hassle. It’s time to reevaluate.

I love my house. We saved for many many years to be able to buy it. It’s nothing outsiders would be impressed with, but it’s got everything my family needs. The lack of an ideal workshop space is my only complaint, so rather than spend my time dreaming of moving out of a house that’s already a great fit for me, I need to renovate and make the best of a GOOD situation.

I’ve got too much stuff to keep parking 2 cars and I’ve promised my wife she won’t lose her spot. That means I’ve got about a 24’ x 11’ space to work with, but only about 20’ of wall space. Thankfully I’m also stealing the wall space on my wife’s side of the garage to keep my lumber rack. I guess I’ll need to make the best use of space that I can. The before pictures will be added in the next blog, but here is the plan for now.

I’ve got 1 circuit in the garage. Its 20 amps, but my dust collector (DC) and benchtop planer each draw 15 each. I also got a 15 yr old beat up 8” jointer that I’d like to set up to run on 220 and who knows, maybe one day I’ll get a real table saw (TS). I think I want to add a couple 20 amp circuits to what I’ve got and a 220 (maybe two – I need to research the feasability).

I’ve got 1/3 of the garage sheetrocked and insulated. The rest needs to be done since it gets really hot in summer and pretty cold in winter. This impacts the temperature in the room above the garage too though, so this needs to be done anyway. Insulating the garage door is going to be the real challenge though. I haven’t liked the kits I’ve seen, so I’m going to try and come up with something of my own.

The last thing I’ll need to do is recreate my workspace/storage area to be more efficient and pleasant to work in. I’m going to steal Todd Clippinger’s sheet goods storage idea seen here. This will essentially be one side of the cabinets that I plan to build along my wall.

Unfortunately, this means the blog i did on my sheet goods storage was a waste of time.

It just takes up too much space. I still like many aspects of it, but my original plan was to move it into my wifes parking spot whenever I was going to work. then move it back to my side when I’m done. That meant full setup and breakdown time for every work session. 1 hr setup, 1 hr work, 1 hr cleanup didn’t motivate me to work very often. I doubt anyone will read this whole blog, but hopefully people will see the subsequent entries (with pictures) and enjoy it.

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