New Shop #3: Assembling and initial test of the layout (and a couple surprises)

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Blog entry by Devin posted 07-12-2009 06:27 PM 4269 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: The space that will become the shop Part 3 of New Shop series Part 4: Insulation and drywall »

Time to start assembling the machines and getting all non-shop stuff out of my space.

The wood pile is getting sorted, time to get the rack set up
The wood pile is getting sorted, time to get the rack set up

Much better now that it's just wood shop tools
Much better now that it’s just wood shop tools

Even from this angle, clutter, but manageable
Even from this angle, clutter, but manageable

Wood rack's up, now I really have space to move things around
Wood rack’s up, now I really have space to move things around

The “Dry Fit”
I’ve already done a pretty comprehensive sketchup model (first blog in this series), but now that we’ve moved in it’s time to see how the space feels with the tools in place (roughly). So I finished assembling the machines, and wherever possible I set up the different stations. In some cases using sawhorses in place of the eventual built in benches (just to get things to the right height). In other cases, equipment just sat on the floor.

All in all, it did give me a very good sense of the feel of the space. One thing I discovered was that I was not going to be able to have my table saw and my jointer run beside each other (like Jim Tolpin’s setup). I just didn’t have enough room to do that comfortably. So the jointer will go up against South wall, and the sheet goods will move to the West wall.

This exercise also helped me realise where I need to put my air exchanger. Originally I had planned to put it above the table saw. After reading some books on setting up a shop (Sandor Nagyszalanczy’s is a very good book and full of ideas for your shop) I learned that it is probably better to have the air filter along a wall, to create a circular flow of air to carry the fine lingering dust into the filter. I didn’t think I’d have the ceiling space to do this. Turns out after the test set up, that there was a space along the North wall that was out of the way enough. So when I set up for real, that’s where the air filter will go.

Full Stop…surprise!
At this point I’m thinking that I’m just hours away from setting up the shop for real…add a couple built-ins, and start making some sawdust.
Then…my first surprise, there’s no insulation between the basement and the floor above.
A quick test confirms my fear, the noise in the living room above the shop is deafening. I’m going to need to pull down the current ceiling and add very good insulation.
This wasn’t planned for, nor was it in the budget. After a couple days of pondering I realise that even if it meant dipping into savings or RRSPs, my shop has to be made usable.

Then another surprise, the carpet in this space was going to have to come out. It’s almost an indoor/outdoor carpet so I was going to leave it, but it turns out to be rotting from some previous water problems and there’s mildew, as well, it has definitely been home to some pet accidents from the previous tenants.

I really wish I’d known about these things before we moved in…this space was empty for 3 weeks, that would have been the perfect time to do it…now with all my equipment in there? Well, let’s just say I’ve “moved” my shop about 6 or 7 times this last month.

First job, rip up the carpet and underlay. Next I pulled down the ceiling tiles, and the 1×2s that were serving as strapping for the tiles.
Here’s a couple shots of the space with my tools roughly laid out and the ceiling ready for insulating.

Ceiling ready for insulation, then drywall. Machines and benches laid out in rough locations.

The drum sander will serve as outfeed support for the table saw.
The drum sander will serve as outfeed support for the table saw.

During the ceiling tile removal I uncovered another little surprise.
Wasp nest in ceiling

About the size of a basketball

I do some more reading about soundproofing (or at least lowering the amount of sound transfer), and I learn that obviously just doing the ceiling above my tools isn’t enough if I’ve got uninsulated walls that lead to rooms with uninsulated ceilings…sound will travel (quite effectively) along this path and eventually end up in the upstairs of the house.
Essentially, the solution is to create an enclosed space that is as insulated as I can make it. This means two sections of the South wall will have to be ripped down and insulated. As well I’ll have to install a solid core door in the entrance. When this is all done, if the sound transfer is still to high, I’m going to try another layer of drywall along with this material called “green glue”. That’s the best I can realistically do, I’m not going to create a series of floating interior walls, this will just have to be enough.

That’s it for now…next up, insulating and hanging drywall.
thanks for reading…

-- If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

18 comments so far

View Mosoak's profile


2 posts in 3241 days

#1 posted 07-12-2009 08:39 PM

Devin, be sure to weigh the benefits of improved soundproofing with the cost and the lost storage space. I have a small shop like yours, and have had to take advantage of the space between the floor joists as much as possible. Also, you probably have this planned, but painting the paneling a light color and adding several flourescent lights will brighten up the shop tremendously.

View a1Jim's profile


117095 posts in 3578 days

#2 posted 07-12-2009 08:48 PM

looks like you got it together well done

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 3268 days

#3 posted 07-12-2009 10:10 PM


I certainly congratulate and salute you.

You have some great stuff and I’m sure you’re itchin’ to get started.

I admire your energy and enthusiasm, I don’t know if I would have gone through all that work.

All the best to you and yours.


View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3774 days

#4 posted 07-13-2009 12:14 AM

Shop is coming along great! Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4052 days

#5 posted 07-13-2009 12:18 AM

That is quite a nest. WOW. Was it in use?

-- Hope Never fails

View Devin's profile


164 posts in 3529 days

#6 posted 07-13-2009 02:33 AM

Thanks for the comments guys, it has been a lot of work, it’s getting closer every day. In the end, it will be worth it. A couple months of work for years of use, a good trade any day.
Mosoak – you’re right, I do plan to paint the siding, and I have eight 4’ fluorescent fixtures to install in two runs down the length of the shop. Between Sandor’s book and the FWW article about lighting (“Workshop Solutions” collection, June 2008) this seems to be the best approach for my space, and my 40 year old eyes are starting to need the help anyway.
Mario – yeah that nest startled me for sure. I reached up to remove the panel and felt this crunch with my fingers, pulled the panel down and the next 4 or 5 second went kind of like this:
Wasps appeared to suddenly be flying around my arm.
The tile came away and I saw the nest
I ran to the door like a little girl.
Perhaps that was all in 1 or 2’s a bit of a blur for me.
Turns out that the nest was dead, the wasps I saw “flying” were just falling.
I was very happy to see the nest was dead (from the relative safety of my half closed door to the shop!).

-- If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

View patron's profile


13604 posts in 3342 days

#7 posted 07-13-2009 02:52 AM

by the time you get thru this ,
even the wife will probably accept a little noise ,
as a reward for truckin’ on .
however it looks more like a shop now ,
than a spare bedroom .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View charlton's profile


87 posts in 3409 days

#8 posted 07-13-2009 05:14 AM

Man, I was recently freaked out by a bounch of hornets and the nest they made in my backyard. I would have had the same reaction as you if I saw something that massive.

There are people who collect these things. I’m sure they would love yours.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3649 days

#9 posted 07-13-2009 05:33 AM

wow, sounds like this project is growing and growing – and just when you thought you were done with it…. aarrrgg! I hear ya though. but at least you know what needs to be done in order to get what you want. just a little step back, and a little more work to it. eventually it’ll just be another little story in the path.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View JohnnyVee's profile


43 posts in 3398 days

#10 posted 07-15-2009 02:29 AM


It is going to be great. I am in the middle of the same thing (pictures taken at every step) I plan to put some up soon. BTW, for the insulation if you haven’t already done so, check out Roxul “Save ‘n Sound” (available everywhere like HomeDespot, LumberWorld, etc). It is rock-wool designed to deaden noise and is much better than fibreglass and it improves the fire rating of the area (it’s made from basalt so it doesn’t really burn). It is very easy to work with and you don’t itch afterwords. Just a thought.


-- John ..."Measure twice, cut once and always do a finger count right after that..."

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3559 days

#11 posted 07-15-2009 02:39 AM

Lot of work but you’ll love the results. Great job.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Devin's profile


164 posts in 3529 days

#12 posted 07-15-2009 04:26 AM

Hey John, the Roxul Safe ‘n Sound is exactly what I used, double layer in the ceilings and single on stud walls. Although it is comprised of stone and wool, it still causes some itching. It’s nowhere near as bad as classic fiberglass insulation, but I still had a number of irritated spots on my arms. Gloves, long sleeves, goggles and dust mask are a must. I went one step further and wore a cheap painter coverall suit (cheap paper product). There’s a very noticeable layer of glass/stone like particles on everything now…so I’ve been vacuuming all the surfaces in the shop. Guess I should add another blog entry with the latest pics…

-- If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

View JohnnyVee's profile


43 posts in 3398 days

#13 posted 07-16-2009 08:03 AM

Good to know… I just bought the bats for the ceiling (24” centres) and will be getting the wall bats (16” OC) this weekend. Why did you double it up? I thought you were supposed to leave some air space between it and the floor above.

-- John ..."Measure twice, cut once and always do a finger count right after that..."

View JohnnyVee's profile


43 posts in 3398 days

#14 posted 07-17-2009 09:48 AM

You know, I should recite this “never should type when you’re tired, never type when you’re tired”... seems my previous comment would have my rafters stuffed with “bats” rather than “batts”... hmm, they can just join the ones in my belfry.

-- John ..."Measure twice, cut once and always do a finger count right after that..."

View Devin's profile


164 posts in 3529 days

#15 posted 07-17-2009 10:10 AM

Even doubled up, I still have about 1.5 inches of space…and since the upstairs and the basement are both heated I don’t have the temperature difference to worry about (like when insulating a vaulted ceiling). Bottom line, I wanted more density, of course I’ll never know if it made a difference, it’s not like I measured the sound before doubling and then after.

-- If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

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