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Hello everyone, James here. I am determined to make my storage area / junk room a proper workshop, hopefully by Spring.

My workspace (it's a shed, more like) is about 40x72. The bones consist of 6x6’s every 10 feet or so, with 2x6’s horizontally between them. The walls are sheets of thin corrugated aluminum. The floor is dirt. Red clay, specifically.

Where to start? Arbitrarily, I’m going to work on the walls. I want to get AC outlets in, pegboards, and construct storage space for lumber.

Should I leave the walls as-is? Drywall/plywood inner walls would make things look nicer, and will allow for insulation. It isn’t practical to heat / air condition the place right now.

Ten foot ceilings ... but there isn’t a proper ceiling, the rafters just start ten feet up. As a result, I can store 12 foot boards vertically between the rafters, I like that option. Then again, no ceilings = no heat/AC regardless of what I do with the walls. Maybe construct a ceiling most of the way, leaving some space up top to allow for 12 foot board storage.

Oh, that floor. Dust. Unable to use casters. Kind of level, but not exactly. I don’t have >$10K for a pretty concrete floor, would Plan B be a plywood floor supported by 2x4’s underneath?

That’s all for now, thanks for any recommendations. I’m looking forward to your replies, hopefully with sentences that begin with, “What *I* would do is ... “


Thanks,
James
 

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Welcome! I'm originally from the Chville-ish area (little place called Barboursville), so I'm very familiar with your red clay :) .
That's a nice big building (I think the term is a pole barn). I don't think lack of casters will be too much of a problem once you finalize where you want your tools. For longer term flooring, you could pour concrete pads for each of the tools so they don't settle into the dirt with the vibrations. I don't think a lumber flooring system will hold up very well in the long term, even if it's treated. You'd have all sorts of leveling issues, plus whatever critters get underneath. I have no clue what the feasibility is, but is asphalt any cheaper?? If you have an opening in one wall, you could get a small paver in there and go to town. Again, I don't know the cost or feasibility, but it's an idea.
If it was mine, and I had the funds, I'd plywood at least one section of it for storage and insulation. Maybe you could box of half of it or something so you could heat a smaller space. Drywall the ceiling and panel the walls, and have something across the open end, maybe a tarp or something.

Hope that gives you some ideas,
Acer
 

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Concentrate on getting the place wired, with good lighting and enough outlets. Get it sealed up from weather. If you have cold temperatures, it will affect your gluing and finishing. That means insulation and a source of heat at some point. Until you can afford a concrete floor, I would go with concrete pads or blocks under your machines and torn out carpet pieces on the ground to keep the dust down. They will at least lay flat and you will be able to vacuum up sawdust and chips off them. You won't trip over the carpet like you would on plywood laid on the ground.

That is an inexpensive way to start. Go up from there.
 

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So how much of the building is going to be workshop? I'm assuming not the entire thing?? Have you considered pouring a concrete floor in a 24x24 section? Thats a pretty darn good sized shop for a home shop. And likely would be much cheaper. Up here, its pretty common to split half the floor concrete, half the floor gravel or dirt. Use the concrete part to work on, use the dirt floor for storage.

If you did that....it would be pretty easy to finish off one area....heat/cool it.....and you'd have a nice floor to work on.
 

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My work shop is 24 X 24 and it was a crawl space under my barn until I dug it out. Being in NH means I ran into some ledge so my ceiling is low by most standards... but my floor is plywood on 2X4 pt frame. I dug it out 13 years ago and I've had no problems with it. I was aware of the moister problem, so I did lay thick plastic sheets under the frame. I have serious problems with concrete so wood flooring was what I wanted. I have no regrets. Is it rock solid? NO... and it never was, but it has never affected the tools. If you decide to use plywood, may I suggest you leave it bare like I did. My floor needs and can breath. A sealer would trap the moisture in the wood and lead to problems.
 

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Thanks everyone, advice appreciated!

I like the carpet idea, hadn't thought of that. Concrete pads ... maybe, but knowing me, I need the option of moving equipment around as I envision a 'better' setup.

Asphalt! I need to look into that, for sure. The building has a garage door-sized opening, so a paver would fit easily. And my shop would smell like a newly paved road, which I wouldn't mind at all. I'd paint a double yellow line down the middle, for effect.


Total dimensions of the outbuilding is 72x56. There's a spot inside that looks like a wall WAS going in, but never happened, that's how I came up with the 72x40 dimension above. I s'pose I can split that into two, easier to panel up, insulate, and heat/AC, leaving the other half for future expansion. Now that I think about it, a 36x40 work area is still pretty darn large. I like the idea of room to walk around, though.

Thanks,
J
 

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Even after insulating etc... think of the cost of ownership, that is to say buying the fuel to heat the space. I just ordered propane today and my 24 X 24 space is plenty big.
 
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