Shop Renovation #4: Lots of Warmth in the Shop

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Blog entry by Lenny posted 10-29-2010 09:45 PM 2730 reads 0 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: And the Wall Comes Tumbling Down Part 4 of Shop Renovation series no next part

Hi. It’s been about a month since my last update. John, my contractor, has left the building. He did a fabulous job completing this expansion project over the summer. I am delighted with the end result. Thank you John.

Once John finished, I began working on the interior space. I continued the electrical wiring from the old shop, into the new, making sure to include plenty of receptacles, including some up in the “ceiling” area. For lights, I decided on four 2 ft. by 2 ft. troffers. Then it was on to insulation. I put R-19 between the trusses along the roofline. In order to do so, I had to build out the 3 1/2” truss to 7”. I used the R-13 wall insulation that John kept from the old wall and bought the additional insulation required. I have also started putting T-111 on the walls.

Regarding heat, I was planning (hoping) to buy a new heating unit (Hot Dawg or similar) for the shop but a plumber ran the numbers and determined that my shop calls for 11,000 btu and my family room calls for 16,000 btu. I was hoping for the opposite but my family room has lots of glass. We needed an update to the heating unit in our family room and I was planning to move my 8,800 btu unit from the shop to the family room. So, since there is a call for higher btus in the family room, we bought a unit for that space and I am going to make the 8,800 btu unit work in my shop. I got the heat going about 2 weeks ago but did not use it until I finished the insulation.

Here are a few shots of the shop showing insulation, electricals and the heating unit:

Today there was much warmth in the shop. I don’t speak of the kind you operate via a thermostat. No, this was in the form of four northeastern LJs visiting my home/shop. Ellen (Ellen35), Lorna (moonls), Lisa (Dustbunny) and Gary (GBlock66) joined me today for a tour of the shop, shop talk and lunch. We had a great time and I enjoyed the company immensely. I asked for opinions on tool placement, dust collection, workbenches (I need to build one), etc. and these folks offered plenty of good advice/opinion. They even diagnosed the noise I have been hearing when I use my bandsaw. Thank you folks for tolerating my many questions of how you would use the space, where you would place tools and what type of workbench you think is better. By the way, I am glad you preferred to have lunch in the shop. That was my preference too.

Here is a photo of us during lunch:

Left to right it’s Gary, Lorna, Ellen, Lenny and Lisa

Here’s another shot of folks standing outside the shop, next to a picnic table I recently completed. I will be posting it soon:

A thanks to Gary for thoughtfully bringing 5/4 cherry shorts for our taking. Given the current contentious political environment, I am proud of how democratically we took turns selecting pieces. Once again, to Lisa, Lorna, Gary and Ellen, I enjoyed your visit!

Oops, almost forgot…the shed. Here’s a photo of the completed shed. Well, except for doors which I have started on. Thanks again for checking in on me.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

30 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3385 days

#1 posted 10-29-2010 10:20 PM

oh yea lenny…ive been waiting for this day also…as i knew you would be getting together and enjoying the new shop and the wonderful great to see you all together…cant wait to see your shop progress and be shop ready….get your tools in place and making sawdust…enjoy your new heated expansion….grizzman and oh i forgot, i love the picnic table…great design and the whole look …its a great build…always fun to sit at a table you made and enjoy being with family and friends…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3377 days

#2 posted 10-29-2010 10:33 PM

Thank you so much for extending the tour invitation, I had such a nice day.
Lots of great ideas flying around hope I can remember them all.
Lunch was scrumptious, and tell your wife…..THE BROWNIES WERE DE….LICIOUS !!!!!

EDIT – I forgot to mention…Lenny’s shop is awesome, clean and organized. All the things my shop is not.
And also he has heat and air conditioning for which I am truly jealous.
Great job on the addition Lenny : )

Thank you Gary for the cherry shorts, can’t wait to start cutting.
Thank you Lenny for the maple shorts I’ve got plans for this.
Thanks to Ellen and Lorna, who I followed to Woodcraft after our visit with Lenny and Gary,
and they spotted a router table saw insert table that will fit my table saw. It was propped across the way from the discounted items, but was still a discount item,
$ 199.00….....75% off, stolen for $50.00. Wahoo !! It was missing the 2 t-tracks for the fence, but I can fix that up. I have a couple of pieces of t-track.
I was talking about getting one of these when we were at Lenny’s place.
Happy ending to a wonderful day !!


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3514 days

#3 posted 10-29-2010 10:42 PM

Thanks to Lenny for hosting us and showing us his great new shop. Lunch was great and the company could not have been better! Thanks to Lenny for the maple shorts and Gary for the cherry shorts.
Thanks to Lorna for being such good company on the ride and encouraging me to drop some money at Woodcraft!
Lenny’s shop is great… he has more really nice tools than I have ever seen (except at one of the woodworking stores!) and his space is so open and airy. We will be looking forward to plenty of projects from Lenny in the near future and are planning another get-together in 2-3 months.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4381 days

#4 posted 10-29-2010 11:00 PM

Its really shaping up, it makes a guy really jealous.

I was wondering what temperature you run in your shop?

I set mine at 60 degrees, or else I feel too warm.

You have some very nice, special friends there.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3856 days

#5 posted 10-29-2010 11:30 PM

Hi Lenny

I was just wondering how your shop was coming along the other day. Have you decided on what you are going to put on your walls and ceiling? It should really look great when you get it done. You might consider a catch table, assembly table and storage unit like I built. It works great in my smaller shop. When I think of a work bench, it is used more for people that use hand tools. Of course I am an old cabinet builder that cuts a lot of sheet stock. Just a thought. Your shop looks great!! Have fun getting it done and set up.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3197 days

#6 posted 10-29-2010 11:57 PM

thank´s for the update on your shop Lenny :-)
wonderfull to see such a niice gruop of L Js together
always great to see theese kind of meetings

thank´s for sharing it


View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3527 days

#7 posted 10-29-2010 11:57 PM

Looks like your making great progress Lenny. I bet you can’t wait to get it finished.

View Lenny's profile


1608 posts in 3609 days

#8 posted 10-30-2010 12:00 AM

Thanks Grizz. It is great to be at the point where I can casually finish the walls of the shop and can start doing some actual woodworking again. Lisa and Ellen, it was my pleasure to have you folks here. Thanks again for the diagnosis on my band saw! I’m glad to learn you both dropped some cash at the local Woodcraft store. Looks like once again Lisa, you found a great bargain. Shades of a Grizzly tent sale!

Thanks Dick. This is near utopia for me. I am so excited about the additional space. The heating unit is a Rinnai. It is a very efficient unit. Like you, I generally set it at 60 and I find that with my body heat and shop activity, it will creep up to 62 or 64. I find 60 to be more than comfortable.

Hi Tom. The walls will be the texture 111 you see in the photos. That’s what I had in the old shop and I like it. As for the ceiling, still no decision although I got some suggestions/ideas from my visitors today. Once I put the insulation in the ceiling I came to realize there is not a great deal of room up there for storage. Far less than I thought but I might still be able to utilize it. A workbench can be many things and to my line of thinking it will serve as a catch or outfeed table as well as my primary assembly table. I don’t do much hand tool work but I do plenty of routing, some chiseling and, of course, plenty of sanding. A workbench is appropriate for that type of work with the vises to hold the workpieces, etc. I was showing my visitors today, one I saw in a Wood magazine article. It is a beefy, sturdy workbench under which you can build this great storage unit. Thanks for the comments/questions.

Thank you Dennis and Lou also.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 3068 days

#9 posted 10-30-2010 12:06 AM

Thanks Lenny for the chance to visit your fantastic shop! What a great collection of tools in a terrific new space!! Your shop was a perfect venue for the picnic lunch which we enjoyed as well as the delicious brownies your wife made. What a surprise to be able to come home with some pieces of maple and cherry provided by you and Gary. Thank you both.
I’ve certainly enjoyed the LJ get-togethers we’ve had and look forward to future events.

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View JBfromMN's profile


107 posts in 2858 days

#10 posted 10-30-2010 01:01 AM

Looks like a grea shop!!!

I do have one question however. I watch too much Holms on Homes, so I have to ask. It looks like you insulated the right up to the roof. I am no expert, but do you have any roof venting above the insulation? Did you create a channel for air to move up from the soffets to the roof line? I believe it is needed for the health of the roof. Again I am no expert and maybe you do not need it. However like I said I watch too much Holms on Homes and I have to ask.

View Lenny's profile


1608 posts in 3609 days

#11 posted 10-30-2010 01:05 AM

You’re welcome Lorna and thank you for the kind comments. It was a pleasure to see and spend time with you again. As noted above, I appreciate the input and opinions you offer.

Hi JB. Both you and I can sleep soundly tonight as the answer is YES, I installed a styrofoam vent the length of the roofline, from “ridge” to soffet that allows air to move. Thanks for asking.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3755 days

#12 posted 10-30-2010 01:37 AM

Lenny, your shop is real nice.

View JBfromMN's profile


107 posts in 2858 days

#13 posted 10-30-2010 02:13 AM

Whew!! I will be able to sleep better tonight…. :)

Again, looks like a great space to get some work done Lenny. I love the skylights!!

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4159 days

#14 posted 10-30-2010 02:39 AM

wow!!! this is really awesome!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3273 days

#15 posted 10-30-2010 03:01 AM

Looks like everyone had a great time. Lenny, your shop looks great! Time to get busy on them doors mister…

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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