Workshop Development #2: Why the garage anyway?

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 05-10-2010 04:46 PM 2611 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Background and history lesson. Welcome to the Wayback Machine! Part 2 of Workshop Development series Part 3: Starting to fill up, taking up too much space with too little stuff... »

In my first installment of this series, I noted some of the history, of how I cam around to wanting to build a workshop of my own. Having a supportive wife was the biggest key issue here. I could have built a shop as a bachelor for sure, but having me the right woman, and wanting a family bachelor life just wasn’t for me… But I digress…

That garage seemed, at first, an ideal space to do some woodworking. I’d pick up a couple of basic tools, and some wood and get to work right?

I should have known this would be a LOT like most other hobbies, with LOTS of intricacies, and equipment and accessories galore.

Now this originally wasn’t a problem. My “shop” was simply a corner of the garage, I used a workbench I had built for auto repair purposes, stowed a job site table saw folded in the corner, had a miter saw on a folding stand that I could attach to a hook on the wall to stow out of the way. Little did I know this was soon going to blossom into all categories of tool, and wood collection…

My original messy bench, and stuff mounted to the wall...

It was at this point, I had noted that my tool collection, and scrounging activity had grown extensively. I still wasn’t well equipped, but I had put in some tools to work with… I had the old Skil circular saw, a Skil jig saw, Ryobi fixed base router in a Wolfcraft router table, a set of Craftsman and a set of Skil router bits, I had recently added a Ryobi job site table saw (BTS21) after doing extensive research, and wanting a BT3100, only to find out that Ryobi / Home Depot quit selling them in the states. I mistakenly thought the BTS21 was the upgrade / replacement. I was WRONG… I also picked up a B&D Firestorm compound miter saw, and folding stand. While the CMS isn’t exactly feature rich, it has been dead on accurate, and reliable. I also had a Makita quarter sheet sander a former coworker of mine loaned me 2 days before he quit, I have never been able to find him to give it back to him. Honestly, I HATE this sander but feel bad about throwing out someone elses sander… I’ve had it since 1995, I think maybe I can chuck it by now… But just in case anyone knows a guy in his late 30s / early 40s named John Ostrow from Houston… I have his sander.

The Ryobi BTS21
The Firestorm Miter saw and stand...

So the small tool collection was starting to build, I also am well equipped with camping gear (I collect camp stoves, particularly backpacking stoves. My favorite to date is the MSR X/GK). So everything from ultralight butane stoves, to 152 quart marine coolers were in the garage, as well as BBQ equipment, lawn and garden equipment and supplies, and such. This simply was NOT going to be enough room… For a while, the camping gear got shoved into the closet, taking up the entire thing, of a spare bedroom LOML and I are working on making into a nursery in hopes we will be able to fill it soon… So in the process of insulating the attic, I have also decked the entire area over the garage. Or more correctly, Re-decked since the original decking was 1/4” pine plywood. No I didn’t stutter. 1/4” ply! I replaced it with 5/8” T&G OSB decking. Now all the camping gear, except things like candles, and fuel, are up in the attic…

My original thought was to put a shed out in the yard, a good size one, and move the shop out there as it grew. Well that simply isn’t going to happen. Mostly due to HOA restrictions (10×12 maximum size). I could argue the point with the HOA and most likely win due to existing structures over limit within 2 houses of me each way I point… However that 10×12 IS big enough to move all the BBQ, and lawn and garden stuff into, which would free up my garage to retain as a shop. But funds being what they are, I still juggle in and out of the shop…

To top off the rest of the issues I have with the shop space, I got a great deal on the Pressure treated material to replace the back fence that was blown down by Hurricane Ike. Unfortunately a tree stump is where the fence really needs to be. I have been using stump out on this thing with painfully slow success. I haven’t checked since last tuesday, but back then I was able to relatively easily sink a dull 3lb spilling maul in halfway to the stump. It should be ready to burn out. Unfortunately being married also means somebody else has plans for my time… And doesn’t always communicate those plans… (working on that part…) I have GOT to get this stupid stump burned out, and this fence built… But I digress….

There is so much more to tell, but there is time yet to do it in Lord willing, I will leave you with this now, and welcome you back for my next entry!

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5 comments so far

View Rob200's profile


313 posts in 3163 days

#1 posted 05-10-2010 06:19 PM

so far this soun;s like the way my shop went

-- Robert Laddusaw and no I am not smarter then a fifth grader ( and no I canot spell so if it is a problem don't read it ))

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2978 days

#2 posted 05-10-2010 07:03 PM

Funny how things can grow on ya! After having 2 full blown woodworking shops, of which both were garages. I have finally went to a 12×30 shed myself here at home. Like yourself money is tight and the wife is supportive. Once she gets use to all the beautiful things you make, don’t be surprised how much more she will want you in the shop. I also feel your pain on the fence. Mine was hit by 88 mph straight winds, oh the joy of a wooden fence. LOL Look forward to hearing and seeing more.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View heavyelectrician's profile


14 posts in 2934 days

#3 posted 05-10-2010 09:28 PM

Well look at it like this. You have a garage and an attic. I have neither and the wife is always on me because i have stuff stored all over. Luckily she too is very supportive. But i do have a 12×16 shop. Which has a contractors table saw and an old craftsman radial arm saw , a work bench and out feed table. The outfeed table i still havn’t finished yet. And yes it is tight, especially when i need to use sheet stock. So far i get new tools by promising the new projects to the wife. I have alot of projects to do now. Glad to know i’m not the only one.

-- You hold onto friends by keeping your heart a little softer than your head

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3159 days

#4 posted 05-10-2010 10:32 PM

My space appears to be permanently limited in size and fixed in location. It will need a lot of efficient design to keep it comfortable if I get new larger tools. So that is my task. Opimize space, by remodeling and replacing old storage solutions.

The garage is my only solution for the foreseeable future. So you are not alone. However, I do have room for the cars as well as the shop. That is not so common.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3059 days

#5 posted 05-11-2010 12:10 PM

Mine stated out about the same way. But about 1 year later alot more tools. And alot of $. The good thing it keeps me away from my computer the biggest part of the day.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

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