Frozen pipe in woodshop

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Forum topic by Brandocalrizzion posted 01-22-2016 05:57 AM 989 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 1629 days

01-22-2016 05:57 AM

It breaks my heart to say it, but I had a frozen pipe burst in my garage while I was out of town and it ruined my woodshop. It was flowing water for at least one day before my neighbors found it and got a hold of my family.

Fortunately insurance is covering it all. The damage that was done was to most of the drywall. When my family was able to get into the space there were about 5 inches of standing water on the ground.

Theb insurance company brought in another company to assess the tools, clean them and test them for safety. If they fail safety tests they will be giving me compensation for the loss.

Hand some old hand Stanley hand planes from the 60s passed down from my grandpa that I hope were not damaged too bad. My drillpress/shaper, new bandsaw and table saw were right under the pipe and took a pretty bad beating from the water. Plus my dust collector.

Still waiting to hear the verdict on the tools. Been itching to get it all addressed and get our to make things.

Anyone gone through anything similar before? I’m hoping I don’t have to take to big of a lost on items and supplies.

11 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1802 posts in 2339 days

#1 posted 01-22-2016 06:04 AM

I haven’t but I’ve known people who dealt with similar total property loss. Take lots and lots of pictures. The more you can document, the bigger the insurance check may be.

-- See my work at and

View hotbyte's profile


991 posts in 2998 days

#2 posted 01-22-2016 11:54 AM

Ouch! Sorry to hear that.

View Redoak49's profile


3278 posts in 2011 days

#3 posted 01-22-2016 12:28 PM

Good advice about lots of pictures. I would make a thorough inventory along with condition. If it were me, I would have a spreadsheet with all the info including cost, prices, conditions.

This will be a negotiation and having good pictures will be key.

Good Luck and please write a blog about how this works out as others probably will be in similar situation.

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2537 days

#4 posted 01-22-2016 12:37 PM

My insurance agent always pounds on me to keep pictures of things, since your life changes and the stuff in it.

I would say that one problem you will have is the company they brought it will also probably assess the actual current worth. If they cannot fix it to be safe enough, they will probably report back to the insurance company what the used tool is worth, unless you had a rider that included new replacement. Most people don’t.

So if your drillpress/shaper were not new and they cannot make it safe again, they will discount the usage steeply, will be my guess. Hope I’m wrong and it all works out.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View dhazelton's profile


2771 posts in 2319 days

#5 posted 01-22-2016 01:02 PM

I would buy a gallon of WD40 now and start hitting everything with a spray bottle. You may be able to salvage your tools if they didn’t rust inside the motors. or bearings.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3983 days

#6 posted 01-22-2016 01:27 PM

Just a note to tell ya the precaution feature that we built in our home.
Since we have a “whole house” water filter system, we added a convenient water shut off valve. Having had the same burst pipe scenario before, going through the insurance and repair issues, we felt that this feature would save some headaches.
I turn the water off every time we are going to be out overnight.
Sorry for your pain.


View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1248 posts in 1736 days

#7 posted 01-22-2016 01:34 PM

Sorry to hear that!
If the insurance company does not cower remember that fresh water does usualy not make large damages to metal and machies. Electronics might be broken but electric motors, relays, swiches etc can ofte survive being drowned or soaked. Just dry them slowly and at moderate heat and, as Dhazelton suggest, soak in dw40.
Do not use compressed air to force out water but rather a vaccuum cleaner so that yo do not press water in furter.

My guess is that your machines are still usable

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


4827 posts in 2432 days

#8 posted 01-23-2016 02:46 AM

Sorry to hear about that. I came home a few weeks ago and my small 2.5 gal hot water heater under the sink in the shop had started to leak. Nothing burst, just water where it was not supposed to be. Man did the price of these things go up.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5137 posts in 1743 days

#9 posted 01-23-2016 03:04 AM

I keep a spread sheet of all my hard assets (non-consumables) with a current value of what I could likely sell or replace with in identical condition, anything that got damaged. I also keep new replacement value as sometimes it takes a while to find something used that’s good and buying it right now might be the only option. I do not have individual pictures, but I did shoot a video and tried to give everything a few seconds of film time so it could be reviewed in detail if need be some time in the future. Some of the stuff can get very subjective, especially if a newer model of something you have has come out and it’s not as good as the old model. Case in point, some of the new Senco finish guns aren’t built as well as some of the older (albeit heavier) ones were. Sub-assemblies are modular so a firing valve, for example, can’t be rebuilt for less than $10 in O-rings any more, instead now it has to be replaced entirely for over $45.

View Brandocalrizzion's profile


29 posts in 1629 days

#10 posted 03-06-2016 07:44 PM

Thanks for all of your responses. A brief update:

Looks like we will get to move back in tomorrow. Previously, the garage was not finished and we had the opportunity to insulate, drywall, and paint all of the garage, which is exciting. There was only 1 tool that was deemed “damaged” and that was my 14 inch Shop Fox Band saw. The ball bearings were really tight and not spinning and I was not comfortable using it moving forward so they are replacing it, which means I also get a new 2 year warranty :)

I have been consolidating a bunch of items and getting rid of some that were just taking up space. As a now, I have no work bench and no cabinets. I will be looking at building replacements as I casually get everything back into place.

Do you guys have any recommendations on woodworking bench styles or models to pursue? I know Roubo style is very popular. It is my desire to get more into using hand tools, but as of now most my work is with Joiner, Planer, Table saw, and Band saw. I enjoy making cutting boards and pieces of furniture like tables and benches.

If you had an empty 1 car garage to setup, what would you do or include?

View JAAune's profile


1802 posts in 2339 days

#11 posted 03-06-2016 08:08 PM

Unless you’re really going into hand tools, the traditional workbenches aren’t my favorites. I’d take dead-flat and easy-to-clean over butcher block any day. Most work-holding is done with a variety of clamps instead of vices on a large, flat table similar to the way Sam Maloof chose to work.

-- See my work at and

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