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ikillbugs's Workshop

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Workshop by ikillbugs posted 04-14-2014 03:41 AM 594 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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ikillbugs

44 posts in 190 days


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ikillbugs's Workshop ikillbugs's Workshop ikillbugs's Workshop
ikillbugs's Workshop ikillbugs's Workshop ikillbugs's Workshop


Gun Barrel City, TX
United States

20 years after having my first (makeshift) workshop, I feel blessed to finally see a deep-seeded desire begin to come to life…. an actual, real-life workshop! Bought our first home a few months ago and it’s a fixer-upper. So months after fixing-upping to an acceptable level, it’s time to focus on the workshop.

It’s a 24’x24’ building, framed out to be a small apartment. Some drywall is in place, but overall it’s unfinished inside. There is a load center installed and 15 amp circuits already ran, including light fixtures and outlets. I plan to run a couple 20 amp dedicated lines for my equipment from the existing load center and this will keep the tools separate from the existing circuitry. Currently there is no service going TO the load center. The previous owner was on a budget too and just rigged an extension cord from the house for temporary service while he was working on the shop (apartment). Soon I will be running a 30 amp line to the building and that will service the shop.

It even has a full bathroom. The toilet is installed, but the sink is not. The drain lines are done but the water line is capped just before entering the building. It’ll take about $20 and 20 minutes to hook this up. Fortunately the bathtub it just sitting there and not installed. I’m pulling that out and putting it on Craigslist…. plus I am replacing the bathroom vanity/sink combo with a plastic utility sink.

I pretty much have a blank slate here, but the framing is so nicely done and I hate to mess up the work… and the center wall is a load bearing wall so I wouldn’t want to compromise this by trying to widen my work area.

After sitting in the shop measuring, looking, dreaming and pondering I have decided to leave the layout as it is. Plus, I feel the 11.5’ x 9.5’ room is a bonus since there is already a 36” door installed and it’s already partially drywalled. It would make a great room for finishing. It is completely closed off from the work area and can remain a “clean room”. Plus it would be awesome for spray painting.

I’m on a budget and I have sold nearly everything I have owned over the years, and I have also had some theft of tools that I have not replaced, so I am starting from scratch. No tools to speak of other than basic hand tools, a couple drills and a circular saw. I’ll be scouting Craigslist for some bargains.

First on my list is to build the wife a nice desk for her birthday. If I can build a decent, makeshift kitchen from 1×3 firring strips and a circular saw, I can build a nice desk with not much more. Currently we are both using basic tables with a 2’x4’ plywood top that I made a couple years ago.


7 comments so far

View BernieMay's profile

BernieMay

23 posts in 1723 days


#1 posted 04-15-2014 12:41 PM

Nice to have a blank canvas. Having the bathroom and finish room is great, but all those short wall are breaking up the usable space. I would try to replace those short walls with headers and open the space up.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15959 posts in 1553 days


#2 posted 04-15-2014 01:28 PM

That will be a wonderful workspace. Nice work and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View ikillbugs's profile

ikillbugs

44 posts in 190 days


#3 posted 04-15-2014 02:08 PM

If I break up the wall space I have to re-route some wiring. Every wall that is moveable has switches and/or outlets. Not too terribly difficult, but it’s not as easy as just cutting out the wall. One advantage of having the smaller 11.5×17.5 main area is that I can cool it easy with an 8k BTU window A/C unit. Double it if I wanted to cool the entire space.

I will be building some benches and cabinets this weekend and I will get a better perspective on the space I will actually be using before I close it in and make it permanent.

View BernieMay's profile

BernieMay

23 posts in 1723 days


#4 posted 04-15-2014 11:30 PM

Now is not the time to limit your future possibilities. You will kick yourself if you only install a 30 amp subpanel to this space. No two big tools can operate at the same time. I good dust collector, a table saw, and lights will exceed your capacity. You don’t have to go crazy, but I would want at least 60 amps to a shop. a little extra work now to open up the 5×5 and 4×5 rooms will make you pat yourself on the back in the future. Put a few 220 lines in.

View ikillbugs's profile

ikillbugs

44 posts in 190 days


#5 posted 04-16-2014 10:17 AM

Valid thinking, Bernie… but unfortunately my main panel is an 85 foot run from the shop. Have you priced cable? Ouchie! I am running 10/3 to the sub panel, and at 85 feet, it’s already pushing the threshold for 10 ga wire at 30A. 6 ga for 50 amps for a run that long. That was discouraging. However, in order for me to get service to the shop for now I did compromise… and that would be to run 10/3 – 30 amps to the load center. No two tools will run at the same time… at the most, a small air compressor, a few lights, and a power tool. I have excellent voltage so there is plenty of leeway for voltage drop. My biggest concern is resistance. Upgrading later would be pretty easy actually, but it will cost me $400, which I don’t have to spend on it right now. 10/3 UF cable I can get for about $160. I can always use a 20 amp (double pole) breaker at the main panel too, and that would be well within the safety specs. In fact I might just do that. I would still have 2×20A going to the load center, one for each leg, and balance the load at the sub panel. If I start tripping breakers then I know I need to upgrade.

No immediate plans for a DC right now. My 5 gal shop vac will suffice. A window A/C is in the future, but I can run a separate dedicated line for that. I already have enough 10/2 cable to do that. (and please, no lectures about how running 2 lines to an out building is not to code).

The 4×5 closet is the only one with no wiring to deal with so knocking that out would be a cinch. The 5×5 can be used to house the air compressor (suppress the noise). I don’t plan to close anything in just yet. Building benches and setting things up first then we’ll see. I sure would hate to tear something down then realize I should have left it alone.

I do appreciate the input.

View ikillbugs's profile

ikillbugs

44 posts in 190 days


#6 posted 04-28-2014 03:33 AM

Well it’s starting to look a little like a workshop now!

I got some deals on some tools by scouting pawn shops and browsing Craigslist too.

View ikillbugs's profile

ikillbugs

44 posts in 190 days


#7 posted 04-28-2014 10:39 AM

Follow the progress on my blog: http://lumberjocks.com/ikillbugs/blog

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