Advice on building a shop/maker space? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-04-2018, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on building a shop/maker space?

Hey all, my second post here. Hoping for some advice from more seasons woodworkers and shop builders.

My wife and I purchased a home a couple years ago with a very large garage. My intention has always been to turn it into a workshop and maker space but other life events have kept me from getting on with it. I lost my grandfather about a year ago, and on his passing I was fortunate to inherit many of the tools he had that I grew up working with. A band saw, drill press, bench grinder, bench sander and several other smaller pieces of equipment that I've added to my own table saw, miter saw, and other tools. Currently I have the majority of these stacked against the back wall of our garage. I'd like to change that and turn the area into a usable workshop.

This is a terrible photo of what I'm starting out with. I have a two car garage that is double deep. On the right side it had an extra 8ft of depth that must have been intended to store a boat. That has had a wall built over it to create a sort of storage room, which is the drywalled wall you see in the back right. In the back left is my work bench. In the last month I've really been focused on building that into something other than just a counter top. Here's some pics of what I've done.

Using a .22 nailer I nailed up three studs into the concrete behind the right side of the work bench (back wall of the garage). I made sure to apply a generous amount of Liquid Nails to the studs before I did this helping to bond it to the wall. On the left side those studs are screwed into the studs behind the interior drywalled wall of my HVAC room (left side of the garage). This left me a small void behind the slat wall I screwed into the studs for running wires and cables. I chose to use slat wall as I find it better looking than peg board and easier to put adjustable shelves on it.

I mounted a swing arm to the slat wall which I bolted a computer monitor to. Using a hole saw I drilled a hole to pass the wiring through and ran that down under my workbench. This allows me to move the monitor semi-freely so I can see it from various angles in the shop. I did this so I could pull up YouTube tutorials and websites, play music, and occasionally work on a computer as needed. This is all connected to an old desktop PC via a KVM (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) switch so I can choose between my desktop PC or a spare set of inputs for PC repairs. I also bolted two Ikea desk lamps to the wall for better lighting of projects.

I also bolted a power strip under the front of my work bench to plug things in that I may not want a cord running over my work bench for like a soldering iron or hot glue gun.

Lastly I built a set of shelves to go on the right side of the work bench. On the ground beneath the shevles is my 5gal Kobolt compressor. The first shelf serves as a charging station. I took a left over piece of slat wall and 2x4 scraps and built a back to it to allow me to hang things for easier charging. I bolted a power strip to the side vertically to plug the chargers into and uses a garden hose keeper to store my 100ft compressed air hose. The upper shelf is going to eventually house my stereo receiver.

Altogether, I'm pretty pleased with the workspace I've created for myself so far.

Here's where I need help.

I'm planning to build out the other back half of the garage into a wood working shop and need some advice. Here's things I'm wanting to do.

1.) Build a central vac/dust collection system using PVC pipe, blast gates, and a Dust Deputy w/ 5 gallon bucket. I'm planning to build this along the drywalled wall in the back, as well as bring a PVC run overhead to that rear central pole where I plan to build a workbench for my table saw.

2.) Bring in a dedicated sub panel for electricity. Right now there's an unused 50 amp service on my main panel that previously went to the back deck for a hot tub. I don't have a hot tub, nor do I want one. I'm hoping I can rewire that with some 4 gauge to a sub panel in the garage and break it out to two 15 amp and one 20 amp service for the workshop.

3.) Run an airline overhead from the compressor to a retractable hose by the garage doors for automotive air tools. I could use some advice on that as I'd like to use one of the two chucks on the front of my compressor to drive that, while leaving the other one free for things like an air nailer, etc.

4.) Install some form of climate control. My garage is underground on the back side, partially buried on the right side, has insulated doors on the front, and meets the interior of the house on the left side. This gives me a decent amount of insulation. Since I'm in Missouri I need a solution that heats as well as cools. Right now I'm leaning towards one of those through wall AC units with heat, but am unsure how much amperage draw to expect for that, and unsure of how big of a unit I'll really need.

Thanks for reading this LOOONG post. Appreciate any advice anyone wants to chime in with.

- Skip
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-04-2018, 05:27 PM
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I'll help you with the last one, Skip. Our 22 SEER one ton mini-split pulls 7.5 amps in the max turbo mode, which I rarely use. It's a 240v unit and is plugged into a NEMA 6-20r outlet. I could have had it hard wired but since there was a receptacle available we just used that. Basically, it uses less current than my wife's hair dryer.



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post #3 of 8 Old 09-05-2018, 02:33 AM
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+1 on the mini split. Have done it to two different garages/shops. VERY efficient
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-05-2018, 02:36 AM
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On No2 I would get an electrician involved

On No3, I am currently doing the same exact thing, but getting prepped to install a larger compressor with several runs - one of which will be to a retractable hose.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-05-2018, 09:50 AM
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if you are doing wood working in the same space, be aware virtually _everything_ gets a coating of wood/saw/sanding dust. everything.

in the tool chest drawers, on all the boxes, in all the rail slots, the car . . .
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-05-2018, 01:09 PM
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Is the garage door insulated? Mine is steel with no insulation. I want to cover it with cheap plywood and insulate it. We don't have cold winters here in SE TN but the shop can get down into the upper 40s. Takes a while to heat up with two electric heaters.

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post #7 of 8 Old 09-05-2018, 01:21 PM
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Wow. With space like that . . .

With space like that, one thing I'd go for is a workbench that can be accessed all the way around.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-06-2018, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gj13us View Post
Wow. With space like that . . .

With space like that, one thing I'd go for is a workbench that can be accessed all the way around.

I was gifted my dads old Ryobi BT3000 table saw. I plan to put that near that rear center support post and build a work table that abuts to that. I was going to run a PVC pipe over the ceiling and down that pillar to connect it to my planned sawdust collection system.
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