Workshop ideas please (photos)

charliedawgAugust 29, 2007

Hi everybody, I'm Charliedawg. Don't let the name fool ya, I'm a girl.

I am designing a workshop for my dh and he is building it. It's a 13 x 13 being built on an existing concrete foundation.

I would love to hear or see some of your ideas for making your workshop functional. Any neat gadgets or must haves that you feel are worthwhile, please let me know.

Here is the floorplan (so far) Please feel free to let me know if you think something needs to be changed. We only have the walls and door openings right now.

Here is the framing so far. We have a lot more stabilizing to do. He's just getting started.

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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charliedawg- First, the bad news. An old-timer once told me (about outbuildings) "Try to anticipate the biggest possible need, build it 3 times bigger than that, and it will be almost big enough!" But since you already had the slab- what you have so far looks good. Make an access door in the gable end, so you can store long skinny stuff overhead- lumber, ladders, whatever. You can have LOTS of shelves if you utilize the studs- simple put horizontal 2X4's all over the place for small stuff. I have tons of hardware (nuts, bolts, screws, washers, etc) and I bought a shelving unit w/ bin boxes- I think it holds about 60 plastic bins that are 4" wide by 12" deep. You can them from industrial supply places like MSC. I find the usual baby food jar scenario too small, and the jars break when they hit the floor. Pegboard is a good idea- I like to build shallow wall units with shelves, and pegboard on the inside of the doors. When I build my barn in SC, I'm going to spend the money on a flammable storage cabinet for all those nasties that burn- gas, alcohol, acetone, paint thinner, etc. Cheap insurance in a wood building. You can get those at industrial suppliers, too. Are you going to run electricity to the shop? I would think you would need it. Don't forget to plan for some lighting. If not, you could put in a skylight or translucent roofing of some kind- it will be dark in there. If any serious work is going to be done in there, think about a small window A/C (you're in a southern state, IIRC?) I like cabinets under my workbenches (think industrial-strength kitchen cabinets) Pre-made formica countertops work great over the built-ins, and clean up easily. Get 'em at the big box store. It's a good idea to cover one area with disposable masonite for heavy work that might wreck the formica. You can spend a little extra on the pegboard, and get it finished white, which seems to be a little more durable, and brightens up the place. If you're a neat freak, once you get all your tools laid out, you can outline them w/ permanent marker to make clean-up quicker. Hope you can use some of this info- I've spent most of my life in workshops and garages. When we move to SC, I want a 4 car garage with a small house out back!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 8:02AM
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Hey there! Thanks for all of the info. I really like the idea of putting 2 x 4's inbetween the studs. I originally thought about putting peg board all over but there are really only so many things you can hang.

Flammable storage cabinet???? I've never heard of that but it sounds like something we could use. We'll have our extra propane tanks, gas, oil and lighter fluid out there. Do you have a link to one?

We are going to run electric. He wants a little A/C (we're in a hot and humid KY) and lots of places to plug in his cordless tool batteries. He's trying to think of the best layout for it.

All of the floor cabinets/shelves will have to be custom made by my dh. The concrete floor is not level (but the building is) There is about a 6+ inch drop from the front to the back. I bet we could get some nice closed cabinets to hang over the workbench but I'm thinking they might look bad on the floor since its uneven.

I'm going to try an talk my dh into the white peg w/ marker outline but he's not really a neat freak so he might not go for that one but that would really help me and my son out.

I found a combination dead bolt on e-bay for 30 bucks. That way if he needs to get in the shed he doesn't have to come back in the house for the key. The keypad even glows in the dark.

Thanks for your "one handed" reply. I'm sure we'll be incorporating some of your tips. :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 10:08AM
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charliedawg: Things are usually hung using a level and when the building is not, they look tilted. I learned a long time ago to hang them so they'll LOOK level, instead. Just decide where the wall would be viewed from, therefore where it needs to look level. Usually, you'll be standing up in there, so eye-height to the ceiling needs to appear to be level. What you do is measure down from the ceiling at both sides. Hang a trial something--board or tape or something not warped--across there (or someone holds it). Adjust the two sides till it looks straight. It must be eyeballed--not using a level. Mark and work up and down from there. You take the unevenness at the bottom where it looks the least bad, by not letting the cabinets/shelves go all the way to the bottom. If you're totally into this, DH makes a shaped toe board that curves up and down to distract your eye from the fact that it's not the same height from side to side. He nails that onto the bottom of the wall-hung cabinets/shelves. That would be overkill for me in a shed, but it's an option.

We keep putting combination locks on our current shed, including some supposedly for outdoor use. Here in humid GA they all rust. Haven't seen a deadbolt. I'll look for that. OH! Don't you have to keep the door in perfect alignment with a deadbolt? If it sags, the bolt won't be aligned with the hole. Problem??

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 11:11AM
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I post on so many different forums, I never know what kind of links I can or can't post, but if you google 'MSC', or Mcmaster Carr it will lead you to 2 of my favorite suppliers for industrial-type stuff. Bear in mind that if your DH is the least bit tool oriented, these sites could be dangerous! Flammable storage cabinets are pricey- I'm looking at a tall one that is like $500-600. Might not be worth it for a shed, but people who have attached garages or basement workshops should really consider one. A lot of fires seem to start in those places. A decent fire extinguisher isn't a bad idea either.
I wouldn't worry about the crooked floor in a shed. But then, I'm considering making some things intentionally crooked when I build my house, just for the fun of it!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 8:42AM
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The flammable storage is an excellent idea. This issue is why we have never owned an attached garage, and won't in the future. I just smile politely when people point at their kids' bedrooms over a first-floor garage, with everything flammable under the sun in there. Then they point out their welding rig, right next to a 5-gallon gas can with missing cap....yep, you guessed it, a rag for a stopper. Instant molotov cocktail. Good thing I don't have overmuch imagination....

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 7:24AM
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