The New Shop #1: A New Shop and a New Mantra

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Blog entry by chrisstef posted 10-28-2014 08:26 PM 2656 reads 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The New Shop series Part 2: Ready for Power »

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it again?”

The above is a quote from Coach John Wooden of UCLA. As my family and I have moved into a new house I’ll be moving into a new shop. Considering that I have a completely blank slate to work with that quote will hopefully be my new mantra as I venture into creating a new workspace for my woodworking and general hacketry.

Here’s how things looked when we moved into the new house at the beginning of September. Bare concrete walls, 4 single bulb light fixtures, and not an outlet to be seen:

As soon as I began spending any time down in the “shop” I quickly realized that it was dark. Real dark, and a bit gloomy to boot. I quickly remedied that with 5 gallons of masonry paint rolled on in 2 coats.

The white paint had helped out some but it was still dark and shadowy. I needed light and lots of it. This is where being a demolition contractor came in mighty handy. We had just started a new project in a care facility and were contracted to demolish some light fixtures. So last week the boys scabbed me 5 T8 light fixtures off the job. I wired them all together in parallel.

This is where I currently sit vaguely 2 months into the new shop project. Up next is gathering the funds and the supplies for a new 100 amp subpanel and all new electrical wiring for wall outlets.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

25 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


6420 posts in 2019 days

#1 posted 10-28-2014 08:30 PM

Well…it is a start. Hopefully, you will have the time, funds and effort to make it the way you want it. Will you be doing any soundproofing for the shop? What about dust collection plans?

View AnthonyReed's profile


8579 posts in 1861 days

#2 posted 10-28-2014 08:34 PM

Worlds better in ridding it of the dark and gloomy.

Edit: Mechanical at the end is not as well lit now it seems.

-- ~Tony

View chrisstef's profile


15466 posts in 2427 days

#3 posted 10-28-2014 08:35 PM

As to sound proofing, there’s not much room in between the joists for it and I don’t really want to lower the head room so probably not. Luckily enough the area you see containing the boiler and hot water heater is directly below the family room. The wife tends to watch tv on the other side of the house in the living room, bedrooms are another story up. The area with the plywood on top of saw horses is directly below the kitchen and will be the “hand tool” area so noise shouldn’t be a huge factor, all though it will be a factor, such is life in a basement shop. As to dust collection ill be installing a HF DC in the back corner by the mechanicals and ducting it through 5” or 6” pipe with flexible drops at all the appropriate tools and a hanging air filter to catch the fines.

Ive used grizzlys shop layout program but im still fine tuning it a little bit so it should be part of the next installment in the series.

Tony – Where you see the paint end on the walls is the “end” of the shop. I plan on putting up a wall there with louvered bifold door access to the mechanicals. If that doesn’t come to fruition I can still add another light at the end of the run for that area.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View TerryDowning's profile


1052 posts in 1538 days

#4 posted 10-28-2014 08:35 PM

Looking good dude!!

Ummm you don’t need outlets for hand tools tough :)

-- - Terry

View Hammerthumb's profile


2513 posts in 1396 days

#5 posted 10-28-2014 08:47 PM

Looks good Chris.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View ToddJB's profile


6781 posts in 1551 days

#6 posted 10-28-2014 08:59 PM

It’s way less ‘Torture Chamber’, and way more ‘Basement of the CDC where the Zombies live’, just get those lights to flicker a little.

So, I think you’ve vastly improved it, with some time and little expense thus far. Good job.

Electrical is the next obvious big hurdle, but any plans for the floor? I would love to not stand on concrete.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View 489tad's profile


3083 posts in 2432 days

#7 posted 10-28-2014 09:09 PM

I have a question. What kind of access do you have to the basement. Lumber going down, projects going up. Straight shot down? A while back, years even, a magazine was showing different shops. One cut a pass through hole between the floor joists to get large sheet goods down. than may have been for floor and wall coverage. I can’t remember. doubt the misses would let you cut a hole to let up the Connecticut High Boy. Anyway the shop looks good. I like the walls.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2408 days

#8 posted 10-28-2014 09:23 PM

You are off to a good start.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View summerfi's profile


3263 posts in 1108 days

#9 posted 10-28-2014 09:36 PM

It’s looking good Stef. Before you know it you’ll be making a bench….or something.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works

View john2005's profile


1741 posts in 1599 days

#10 posted 10-28-2014 10:01 PM

Or something…
Seriously though, lookin way better. You gotta be happy with that

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View theoldfart's profile


7935 posts in 1872 days

#11 posted 10-28-2014 10:20 PM

Stef, good start. AND a question! Will anything need to be done to protect the insulation on the duct work? I’ve hit the ceiling in my cellar shop a number of times with long stock, even knocked loose a light fixture.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View terryR's profile


6230 posts in 1729 days

#12 posted 10-28-2014 11:09 PM

Looking good, Stef. Gotta love those T8’s…that’s why my shop photos are so bright! :)

Wish I could come help pull wires…kinda like NEW electrical work.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Tugboater78's profile


2432 posts in 1612 days

#13 posted 10-29-2014 02:28 AM

Now you can build a workbench!

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View Mauricio's profile


7115 posts in 2572 days

#14 posted 10-29-2014 02:53 AM

Solid foundation comming together stef! This will be fun to watch.
+1 to puttung in the epoxy floors.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Don W's profile

Don W

17877 posts in 1988 days

#15 posted 10-29-2014 10:29 AM

Lookin good Stef.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

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