Garage Shop Advice

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Forum topic by AtlasRook posted 04-02-2014 06:23 AM 1169 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View AtlasRook's profile


24 posts in 940 days

04-02-2014 06:23 AM

Just got into woodworking, and I’m planning to move my “shop” into the garage (the dust is starting to pile up in the basement). I’m planning to build a workbench there with a cart or two for my bigger tools. I still need to park vehicles there as well, so the shop will have to “collapse” when not in use. I’ve seen a couple designs, here, for a fold down workbench, but I’m worried that in my climate the wood is going to warp so much that I might as well not even bother. Any words of advice?

Note: I live in eastern Iowa, so fairly cold/dry winters with hot/humid summers.

10 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2735 posts in 1995 days

#1 posted 04-02-2014 07:45 AM

My shop is a detached, uninsulated garage in eastern NY.
No problems with lumber warping with year round storage.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View PaulJerome's profile


57 posts in 2451 days

#2 posted 04-02-2014 01:46 PM

I’ve had both and would suggest staying in the basement. Spend the time to localize and minimize the dust that accumulates in your basement shop. Seal up your shop as best you can to keep the dust from going throughout the rest of the house. Dust collection and air filtration work wonders. You’ll get to work year round and your tools won’t rust. Leave the garage for cars and lawn implements.

-- Paul, Central Illinois

View bigblockyeti's profile


3569 posts in 1139 days

#3 posted 04-02-2014 01:58 PM

I think you’d be okay with the seasonal changes, the benefit of removing the dust farther from your family would be significant in and of itself. Most of the time you have additional ceiling height in a garage vs. a basement which can be helpful if you’re creative for storage ideas. Being able to open the overhead door and use a leaf blower to quickly remove the accumulated dust, I’ve found can be very helpful. The wood movement issue can be reduced by properly drying your wood and working on quality interior projects when the humidity in the garage closer represents what will be indoors most of the time.

View ChefHDAN's profile


797 posts in 2267 days

#4 posted 04-02-2014 02:33 PM

The bench is never empty enough to fold up, +1 for the overhead door. I use every inch of other space to store stuff even hanging from the ceiling with ropes and pulleys. When I have to I can get a car parked during the cold months

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View jmartel's profile


6464 posts in 1568 days

#5 posted 04-02-2014 03:08 PM

I use my garage as my shop, but don’t blow the dust out the door. Just pick up a good shop-vac for $50 or so (I have a Rigid 14Gal that has been very good to me), and vacuum up the dust. Pick up a 1.5HP dust collector from Harbor Freight and then your dust problem is solved.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Mark's profile


814 posts in 1392 days

#6 posted 04-02-2014 03:08 PM

I’ve been working out of my garage for almost 1 1/2 yrs. Every time i want to do something it’s set up and take down. The wife still parks her car in there at night. I use a 4000W box heater in the winter and if it’s been raining ( this is the West Coast) water streams off her car so I have to be careful how I stack material. Having said all that. I love it. I’d prefer a separate “shop”, but this will do. Ya have to deal with what you have and be happy with it ‘cause some one will have it worse.

-- Mark

View ChefHDAN's profile


797 posts in 2267 days

#7 posted 04-02-2014 08:21 PM

I’ve been in the garage for 10 plus years and my dream is a barn/seperate bldg with a concrete floor, 200amps of juice and HVAC!!! I’d love to just be able to walk in and go to work and not spend and hour just moving all the equipment and reconfiguring for each project.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View ras61's profile


92 posts in 939 days

#8 posted 04-02-2014 08:58 PM

I live on the coast in SC, and I don’t think there’s a place on the planet that’s more humid (at least it seems that way). It’s so bad that mold will grow in the garage on any natural surface during the summer. I put in a de-humidifier and an inexpensive thermometer/hygrometer on the wall, and now control the humidity where I want it. You may even want to consider an AC to keep dry AND cool working out there during the summer.

-- "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum" - James L. Petigru, 1860

View changeoffocus's profile


457 posts in 1035 days

#9 posted 04-02-2014 10:47 PM

I’ve had both basement and garage, presently and fortunately I’m in a third car section now.
I’m in the HVAC business and I’ll be darned if I can seal the basement well enough to avoid fumes more than dust.
Check out all the shops on this site they are a lesson in ingenuity, where there’s a will there’s a way,

View Woodmaster1's profile


732 posts in 2005 days

#10 posted 04-02-2014 11:52 PM

I have a detached garage shop. The garage is 33×30 I use all of it but where my wife parks her car in the winter. I have a bathroom on my wife’s side so I can max out the rest for a shop. Three years no heat yet and no rust problems.

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