Workshop upgrades #1: insulation, a/c, and mitersaw bench. or how I spent my refund.

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Blog entry by mpatrick posted 03-02-2011 04:26 PM 1280 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Workshop upgrades series Part 2: Walls, ceiling, etc. »

I finally got around to doing some upgrades in the shop the past 2 weeks. I’ll start with a few before pictures, or really where I remembered to start taking pictures. This when i started clearing out the shop so i could begin.
Just for reference, the planer, drill press, and ridgid sander are usually against the pegboard wall.

As you can see it was a disaster. Everything was just kinda slapped together and I was just getting fed up with having shimmy around everything.

I started with the miter saw bench, using melamine coated PB, and some heavy duty shelf brackets. I was kinda iffy about doing this but I need room underneath, now that its completed if seems very strong. I made the height on the bench so that if and when i get a jointer it can hopefully roll underneath it. I also made a temp cart for my planer that is smaller than the original one it was on. I will eventually make a flip one for that and the sander.

Next on the agenda was getting ready for the Texas summer, or at least control the sweating that is soon to come. The biggest issue that i faced was that whoever built this garage didn’t own a tape measure The wall studs are anywhere from 17 to 20 O.C. so getting insulation in there took a whole lot longer than I had hoped. I put R-13 in the walls, and R-19 in the ceiling, I would have gone more in the ceiling but I use the attic area for storage. I also got a good deal on a window unit, so I cut a whole in wall and put that in. The joists in the ceiling where the same as the wall not a single on was the same. I think the biggest help so far has been insulating the west facing garage door. There was a 25 degree difference between the the shop door and the 2 car door . I also put up actual doors up seperating the shop from the rest of the garage. I got the doors free from a guy at work that replaced some at his house.

I still need to put osb on the walls, and add some more lighting, and figure out what to put on the ceiling thats not too costly and not drywall.

-- Michael...Houston, Texas

7 comments so far

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2883 days

#1 posted 03-02-2011 04:55 PM

Of everything you did the AC and insulation makes me most jealous. Nice looking.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View gbrown4's profile


116 posts in 2692 days

#2 posted 03-02-2011 04:58 PM

Looks pretty good. Ubcle Mark said you designed a gate for your dust collection using christmas light switches? Let me know what you did. I am thinking about making my own cyclone using the plans from Wood magazine and a harbor freight dust collector (blower only).

-- Greg, Concordia, Mo

View dbhost's profile


5711 posts in 3231 days

#3 posted 03-02-2011 05:11 PM

Looking good so far. A couple of quick questions though…

Is the garage attached?
If so is it legal / code to use OSB on the walls?

I can’t punch a hole in my garage wall without doing masonry work, and even with that, I would have fits with the HOA. I have opted instead for a portable unit in mine, ducted through vents between the garage doors. I am REALLY wishing I had the ability to use a window unit though. Bigger, better cooling window units come cheap all the time around here, portables not so much…

I really like your miter saw bench. Just a suggestion though, you might want to finish boxing in around the saw, you know for dust collection…. Looks like you started it anyway…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3672 days

#4 posted 03-02-2011 05:16 PM

The shop looks good.

View mpatrick's profile


54 posts in 2776 days

#5 posted 03-02-2011 05:18 PM

Uncle greg is really not a gate. its just a remote for it. I bought 3 of the remotes for Christmas lights making sure to get ones that were on the same frequency, and then followed this website, link. I have three remotes for for less than the cost of one box that you can buy at rockler, woodcraft etc. It also helps that we have all kinds of electronic components laying around at work.

-- Michael...Houston, Texas

View mpatrick's profile


54 posts in 2776 days

#6 posted 03-02-2011 05:26 PM

dbhost- The garage is not attached, technically. Luckily there is no HOA in my neighborhood. I was gonna get a portable unit like you have but like you said they don’t come cheap. I am going to box in the miter saw, as it stands now it is capturing a good amount of the dust, but i know it could be better.

-- Michael...Houston, Texas

View pete79's profile


154 posts in 3139 days

#7 posted 03-02-2011 08:25 PM

Michael – Great start!

Can’t wait to see what you decide to put up on the walls and ceiling as I am planning to take on the same project this summer and am not sure what to put over the insulation. I was planning 1/2” plywood on the walls so I can screw things in wherever I need, and then 1/4” plywood on the ceiling, but I haven’t really looked into cheaper alternatives. For a 1.5 car garage, I estimate about $150-200 total for the plywood.

-- Life is a one lap race.

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