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Shop Sweet Shop #5: Uncompleted Project #264: Exterior concrete pad

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Blog entry by magaoitin posted 10-06-2016 05:50 PM 390 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Compressor Line Install Part 5 of Shop Sweet Shop series no next part

To add to the ever growing list of shop related projects I have not completed, I give you the start of the Dust Collector & Compressor shed. Though truly, I am not even halfway complete (or half way started for that matter) with this side project for the shop, but it ties into the main shop build…a little…I guess


After I back-filled my gas line, I still had a really torn up back yard, and my back refused to spend another minute shoveling piles of dirt around, and subsequently went on strike.


How often do we, as woodworkers, get to operate heavy equipment? Any excuse to operate even a mini excavator needs to be taken, and it is always justified…cause it’s fun! All of those countless hours of training in my youth are finally going to pay off.



I used 1.5 yards of sand to bed my gas pipe (4” below and 8” above) so of course I ended up with around 2+ yards of extra dirt to get rid of, plus a quarter of a pickup load of large rocks I was not putting back in my trench.

That meant spreading it around the yard. Which of course justifies renting a piece of heavy equipment, right?!




After 30 minutes of “grading” I was done in the yard



And decided on the spur of the moment (read that as: well I have this thing rented for the half a day minimum, so what else can I dig up?) to clear the vegetation out from behind the shop and grade off a pad for the future compressor and dust collector dog house.



I have about 9’ between my shop and the chainlink fence, so the mini excavator fit the bill.

I also do not need a permit for a shed smaller than 120 sq ft in my City, but per code I need a setback of 3’.


By code, my City allows a
• One-story detached residential accessory buildings used as a storage or tool shed, playhouse or similar use. They must be 120 square feet or less in size, no taller than ten feet, and must be placed on the rear half of a lot with at least a three-foot setback from side and rear property lines.


I settled on a pad 8’ wide x 15’ long, for a 6’ (ish) wide x 15 long shed. Even though this creates a lot of unusable space (even if I put doors at both ends) it is a long tunnel (of wood love). The dust collector would block off a door on one side of the shed, so I am thinking about building a removable wall panel on one side so if I ever find a deal on an industrial compressor I can get it fork-lifted in and out if needed. The main access will be a 6-0×7’-0 double door


I have a convenient 12” hole in the back of my shop from the previous owners, where they must have had a vent for a wood stove, and I had plan on putting my dust collector pipe through this, in lieu of cutting more holes.




I want to set aside a 4’ deep x 8’ long space for the dust collector and compressor. This should give me room to change filters and do maintenance. I also want someplace I can store a small stack of 4×8 sheet goods. With how I am laying out my shop I haven’t left myself a lot of options for material storage.



Next year I have plans to replace the chain link fence with a 6’ cedar fence so that will mask it even more. It will run about $1800 in material for decent board on board cedar fence just along this one side of my property, so start saving pennies now. Why did I use all that cedar inside my shop?



I formed up an 8’ wide x 15’ long pad that afternoon and decided to pour it in three sections the next day. I need just over 1.5 cubic yards (4” slab with 6” thickened edge on three sides) of concrete. I decided on going the U-Haul route for redi-mix concrete instead of hand mixing. This is well over the amount I want to mix by hand.



I decided on (3) 1/2 yard pours. Mostly this was due to what I thought my truck could pull, and then negotiate around the back of the shop. I limited myself to 1/2 yard at a time. Plus this would be easy for one person to pour and finish. Each section is only 5’ wide x 8’ long and that is really easy for one person to screed off.

After I got the first load in place I was thankful I didn’t try for a 3/4 or 1 yard amount. I would not have been able to back the truck around the corner with any more weight. As it turned out, it took me more than a few tries to back it in. Not that I am telling any of my friends that… So a 247 point turn later…




I got the first 1/3 poured and troweled off, along with the interior pourback for my electrical and dust collection duct. See this is where the post totally ties into the main shop build out…this one picture…




Yeah! right on track 9:00 and the first load is in place




As I was headed back to the batch plant for the next 1/3, of course it started to rain. With as beautiful as the day before had been I didn’t think to look at the weather report. I skipped the refill and by the time I got home the squall had blown out the finish. Well lessons learned; always check the forecast when pouring concrete.

I got a little dejected at this point and didn’t go back for the next 2 loads.



The next 4-5 weekends I was booked with other commitments, and had already blown enough of my interior build time on the gas line. And this is where it has sat for the last few months.

I don’t plan on another concrete pour this fall-winter unless I get really bored inside, and I get a weekend with no rain. My goal is back inside getting everything ready for final inspections.

Hence this goes into the Unfinished project files and will be finished in 2017…maybe…

-- Jeff ~ Tacoma Wa.



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