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Total garage shop makeovercomments (40) September 3rd, 2010 in blogs
How it all began... All I wanted to do was throw some insulation between the rafters and call it good. That's been the plan for every summer I can remember. But, well, I 'm a woodworker and it's hard for us to leave well enough alone.
If I was going that far, I thought I should do something about the rotting gap-prone doors. I figured most of my heating dollars were being spent there anyway. And if I was going through the trouble of installing a walk-out door and pair of carriage doors was I really going to be happy with a cold concrete floor? Of course not.
But adding a raised floor would mean that the low ceiling joists would get even lower, so why not raise the ceiling while I was at it? By the way, I have never been happy with the meager lighting so now was the time to fix it. And if I was going to insulate the walls (and why wouldn't I?) I wanted to address the issue of not having enough outlets...
And so went the thought process every year. The idea of one small improvement leading to an unending parade of others until it became so overwhelming that nothing was ever accomplished.
Until this year.
|More on Building Your Dream Shop
• Set Up Shop on a Budget
• Fine Woodworking Shop Tours
• Tour the Ultimate Garage Shop
• Wiring a Garage Shop
• Dream Shop in the Woods
Shop makeover for the sake of some hand tools
The breaking point was a set of carving tools. I had purchased them while making a lowboy (that's another story), and my first thought was that I'd have to keep them at work so they wouldn't rust in my unheated home shop. It was then I asked myself if I was going to get serious about my home shop or sell my equipment and let it fully revert to it's former life as a garage. I chose the former. Fortunately, I had no idea how big of a job lay before me.
Upcoming magazine feature
You can read about my journey in the Tools and Shops issue due out this fall, but it won't tell the real story. It will have some nice pictures and beautiful illustrations and hopefully a lot of information for folks who are looking to improve their shops. But it will tell you to simply make some doors, add a floor, insulate the walls and roof and maybe raise the ceiling while you're at it and you'll have a great shop... true enough, but it's not the whole story...
Hard, mean, nasty, sweaty, dirty job
The bigger truth is that it was a hard, mean, nasty, sweaty, dirty job. An unending list of tasks that seemed to multiply just as the end was in sight. I've spent so much time at Home Depot they gave me my own orange vest. I started in April and took the final photos at the end of August, but there's still some work left to do. After every stage I'd think "that was easy enough, but now comes the hard part..." But then, I'd spend a few sleepless nights working out the details and find a way to make it through that stage as well.
Of course each step meant new tools, unfamiliar materials and a sometimes steep learning curve. The work was hard, exhausting at times, but fun. It's a nice change to work on a larger scale with not-so-tight tolerances to meet. One challenge was to ignore the woodworker in me that insisted on measuring drywall cuts in 1/64's.
posted in: blogs, workshop
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