New Shop - from the ground , up. #1: Site work - not exactly FINE woodworking.

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Blog entry by curliejones posted 10-03-2013 10:26 AM 1631 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of New Shop - from the ground , up. series Part 2: Help! Laminated Veneer or dimension lumber build up? »

Although a long journey yet ahead, the thought of the new shop is the “dangling carrot” as I work on some of the hard stuff. Built the east foundation wall over the last few days and the west wall will get completed today. I really did not want the long sloping clay hill to maintain, so I’m building a “bulkhead”. Let’s hope the tropical system that is expected into the Gulf of Mexico this w/e stays away from here and only brings a little rain to areas that need it. At least I get to daydream of building designs while I work on this part. I’m incorporating a French drain against the wall and the clay fill gets packed by hand in order to keep heavy equipment away from the wooden structure. I separate the clay from the gravel using landscape fabric, hoping to keep the drain alive.

The building will start 5 feet from the wall, sides and back.

-- Like Guy Clark sez - "Sometimes I use my head, Sometimes I get a bigger hammer"

3 comments so far

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 2390 days

#1 posted 10-03-2013 01:33 PM

I too have started a shop and have the footer almost complete. My present shop is a 12’ x 20” back porch so I sympathize with you on the smallness of your shop.

Hope things progress quickly for you and you are makin sawdust real soon.

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View BJODay's profile


526 posts in 1968 days

#2 posted 10-03-2013 02:46 PM


Is this a picture of the foundation or a retaining way to keep the surrounding soil from washing out? Does it freeze in your part of the state? Is the shop going to be a slab on grade?

One of the biggest problems here is movement from frost. It is truly amazing how much concrete can move vertically during freezing and thawing.


View curliejones's profile


178 posts in 2291 days

#3 posted 10-03-2013 09:17 PM

Hi BJ! The shop footprint will be about 5 ft in from each side of this clay pad. This was just an effort to give me a large level spot for a slab without having a slope to maintain later. I will dig footers in the fill. I am affectionately calling this “great wall” my cake pan and intend to fill it to the top to be on grade in the front. Soil upheaval is minimal here in Louisiana and almost nil beneath an enclosed structure capturing any warmth from the earth. My house sits on a footing that is 16” wide and only 8” deep with two #4 rebars about 1/3 from the bottom. Because of the slope of the land, some of the top of the footing is on grade while about 2/3 of it is buried at varying depths, not exceeding 10” I used a block foundation wall atop the footing and a little more than one block is beneath grade at the deepest part. The house is a two story and one story, (half upstairs clerestory) and we’ve had no settling on this red clay hill. No cracks in drywall or sticking doors in 35 yrs. Just had a great visit with friends who live in nearby Minnesota. They came down at the end of August to re-visit some fond memories of the New Orleans area. All the best to you in your shop this winter; I intend to be outdoors building mine.

-- Like Guy Clark sez - "Sometimes I use my head, Sometimes I get a bigger hammer"

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