I’ve mentioned it, and will probably continued to do so, in my blog posts a great deal about my shop. Details and highlights, project photos and renovation plans. Here, though, will sit an occasionally updated list of details surrounding the shop itself. The building and some photos to act as a springboard into my winter wonderland.
Nestled behind our outport home, just 50 feet from the saltwater shore, is the workshop building. The images to the right are the views, left and right, from my back deck. Definitely a killer view. We live at nearly 51 degrees latitute, nearly exposed to the Atlantic, were it not for the 15km (9mi) inlet that shelters us from the worst of the wind and the frigid water. Englee, our neighbor on the point, gets hammered by the weather significantly more than us in cozy Bide Arm.
The shop was built by the house’s previous owner in 1968, and served as a mechanic’s garage for many years. The main chamber is 32′ by 20′ (~7m by 3m)with 11′ (~4m) ceilings. The garage door is in 3 parts, curiously enough, and swings left and right, before the top (white) section swings up like a drawbridge. The building is constructed on creosote posts, and the floor is made of rough-cut boards of varying thicknesses. Next spring (that of 2015) my father and I will jack up the walls and shim the foundation posts to level the floor. At that point I intend to lay a subfloor of plywood, which should greatly assist in keeping the dust down.
The building itself is built incredibly strongly, with some of the studs just 6″ OC (15cm) in order to support the load of engines winched from cars by the trusses. There are soft spots in the floor from where the mechanic’s pit had once been, but that’s all minor stuff. Once the 1/2″ (12.5mm) plywood floor is down with screws through every existing floorboard, I won’t have any “soggy” spots to worry about.
The two supplimentary rooms, one to the right of the building’s front, and one to the rear will be renovated, though I’m on the proverbial fence as to what, exactly, I shall do with them. Seen here, with the wall sheathing removed and the bare studs visible, I was considering turning it into a wood storage room. On the wall above this 16′ by 8′ (~5m by 3m) room, I would have racks for 12′ (~4m) stock, and inside I would have racks filling that entire space, for 6-8′ (~2m-3m) stock. It would just be to walk over to the section of wall, pick a given cubical opening and rifle through the stock in that space. I would label each area as SPF (Spruce, Pine, Fur, the building-grade lumbers) versus exotics like Cherry, Walnut, Maple boards. All would also be sorted by thickness. A second type of space would be reserved for sheet goods, like plywood, MDF, OSB and similar. Given 7′ (~2.5m) of height and 16′ (~5m) of width, I could store all the wood I’d ever need inside this cavity and longer lengths above it. It would free me from requiring to cover my valuable wallspace with lumber racks when they would be so much better suited to cupboards, benches and similar furniture.
The second extension out-building, seen here, is unfinished for a very good reason. It is primarily used as cordwood storage for the wood-fired hydronic radiation furnace in the house, and the forced air wood furnace in the garage. Approximately 16′ by 10′ (~5m by 3m) with a 7′ ceiling (~2.5m), it could store nearly a full winter’s supply of wood, not discounting the basement furnace room which can store a full third of that again. It is left semi-exposed to the elements to allow it to dry easier and humidity to not get trapped in the building, or so went the logic. It definitely needs some TLC but for now it serves as a scrap/cutoff dump room, until I find the time or the initiative to bundle all the similarly sized bits and bobs into bags and boxes for convenient burning when the weather sours. We typically (such as any weather can be called Typical in the past 5 years) have heavy snowfall before Halloween and there is frequently snow hiding in the woods and sheltered places into June; we’re not considered a geographically sub-arctic climate for nothing! I’m hoping to supply most of the heat for my shop this winter by scraps and cut-offs, but next year I’m hoping to install a variety of solar air/water heaters to supply my shop with enough heat all winter long. More on that later!