PDA

View Full Version : New guy looking to set up a shop



Downtotheshore
07-30-2008, 05:34 PM
Hi folks. I am new to the forum, and have a few questions. But a bit about myself.

I attended a machining trade school several years ago, and have been involved in the trade since. Started out doing wire EDM work, but being bored with that (and getting laid off), I got myself into a Mold shop. Started out on the radial drill press, and moved up to run a Makino VMC. I left there after 3 years for greener pastures, which have yet to turn green by the way, and now I am only get to do some machining on special projects.

I now have the spare time and money to start a small shop at my home. Just hobby related, and possibly a little gunsmithing on the side if things work out (I already have a FFL-another hobby of mine). My only space to work and set up is in my garage. Thats were I have questions.

My two concerns are floor thicknes and heating the garage. Anyone else in the same boat?

Thickness is something I am going to have to determine. I suppose it would be simple enough to cut a section of floor out, put own a 6" or so pad, and pour the concrete myslef. But what is the minimum recommendation for floor thickness? Machine I am looking at is a Grizzly G3616 thats weighs #2010.

Heating the space is the biggest obstacle. I really can't afford to heat the whole garage. It needs to retain the garage door, as I have an ATV that needs to be stored, plus I store all my wood pellets for the winter in the garage. I have gas heat, but I run a pellet stove in the house, which takes care of my heating for the entire winter. I would rather not run a duct to the garage to heat it with gas. My thoughts are that I need to partition the garage off and have a spereate, smaller room for the mill and other equipment. It would be heated with a kerosene heater. But is it going to be enough to keep the machine at operating temp? I can't run a kerosene heater 24/7, so I will be turning it on when I am going to work on the mill. Is this heating/cooling cycle going to affect the serviceable life of the mill? I know that I cannot work on the mill until it comes up to somewhat ambient room temperature. Any thoughts on this?

Putting together a shop is something I have been thinking about for a long time. I enjoy making chips, more so because of the end product, but also for the thought that has to go into what I am doing. But unless I can make this happen with what I have to work with, I'll have to wait until I move to somewhere that I have a basement, or to warmer climes (hopefully in 4-5 years).

Thanks for the input.

Downtotheshore

Weston Bye
07-30-2008, 05:40 PM
Welcome!

My experience heating with an unvented heater, propane and kerosene, was that the moisture in the combustion products tended to rust tools and machinery, and deposited a yellowish patina on everything after a few years.

vinito
07-30-2008, 06:06 PM
Welcome #2.
Regarding your floor thickness, it is likely OK already. 2K is heavy for a house floor or the like of course, but since your existing floor was poured on top of gravel or bare soil, it is backed up with that layer (barring major voids & settling). I'm a cheap bastage so take that into consideration, but if it were me I'd try it out as-is and pour a thicker pad only if something breaks.

As for shop heat, DO NOT use an un-vented kerosene or propane heater. The combination of water vapor created from the combustion along with the cold steel in the now warm, moist air will cause a seriously annoying rust problem immediately. I know this from experience.

Try to find a vented heater of some kind if you do a local heater thing. I found a cheap little vented propane heater a while back and it puts out enough heat to make my little shop comfortable enough to work in (though not in a tank top). A wood stove or the like provides vented, dry heat and can make things nice & toasty.

The best thing to keep the machine from rusting in variable winter temps is to keep the machines warmer than the dew point so the water won't condense on the metal. The simple solution is to simply keep a small light bulb (or small heating element) going inside the machine and cover it with a canvas tarp or blanket or the like when you're away. A warm, rainy day after a cold night is about as bad for causing rust as blasting the room with a propane torpedo heater, so this is something you need to try to keep at bay whether you're in there much or away for a long time, so the light bulb & blanket thing is a cheap way to fend off (some if not all) rust problems.

Or you could always add on a proper shop to your house and keep it environmentally controlled...
Yea, me neither.

lane
07-30-2008, 06:16 PM
Your floor is ok . Don`t know where you at but i use Kerosene and propane with no problem.

bollie7
07-30-2008, 06:22 PM
I'd be very careful with a kero heater. Unless its set up so the fumes are exhausted outside, it could lead to health problems. When I was a kid my parents were not real flush financially and we had a kero heater in the house. I firmly believe the fumes from that contributed to the sinus problems I've had since I was a teenager.
What about a slowcombustion type wood heater? Mind you I'm not really in a position to comment on heater issues as where I live in Australia a cold morning in winter, (like this morning) the temp gets down to only -2 deg C.
I really can't get my head around the sorts of winter temps you have to live with in the colder areas of the US and Canada.

best of luck with it.

bollie7

Downtotheshore
07-30-2008, 06:24 PM
Thanks for the input.

Never thought about the moisture caused by the unvented heaters. Good point. Would be nice to add a pellet stove, but they are rather pricey and large. A small woodburning stove might be better. I'll have to look around and see whats all available as for electric and propane.

I am going to drill a test hole in the floor just to get an idea. I would assume its 3"+, but then again, with the builder of this home, you never know.

tattoomike68
07-30-2008, 06:35 PM
Hi folks. I am new to the forum, and have a few questions. But a bit about myself.

I attended a machining trade school several years ago, and have been involved in the trade since. Started out doing wire EDM work, but being bored with that (and getting laid off), I got myself into a Mold shop. Started out on the radial drill press, and moved up to run a Makino VMC. I left there after 3 years for greener pastures, which have yet to turn green by the way, and now I am only get to do some machining on special projects.

I now have the spare time and money to start a small shop at my home. Just hobby related, and possibly a little gunsmithing on the side if things work out (I already have a FFL-another hobby of mine). My only space to work and set up is in my garage. Thats were I have questions.

My two concerns are floor thicknes and heating the garage. Anyone else in the same boat?

Thickness is something I am going to have to determine. I suppose it would be simple enough to cut a section of floor out, put own a 6" or so pad, and pour the concrete myslef. But what is the minimum recommendation for floor thickness? Machine I am looking at is a Grizzly G3616 thats weighs #2010.

Heating the space is the biggest obstacle. I really can't afford to heat the whole garage. It needs to retain the garage door, as I have an ATV that needs to be stored, plus I store all my wood pellets for the winter in the garage. I have gas heat, but I run a pellet stove in the house, which takes care of my heating for the entire winter. I would rather not run a duct to the garage to heat it with gas. My thoughts are that I need to partition the garage off and have a spereate, smaller room for the mill and other equipment. It would be heated with a kerosene heater. But is it going to be enough to keep the machine at operating temp? I can't run a kerosene heater 24/7, so I will be turning it on when I am going to work on the mill. Is this heating/cooling cycle going to affect the serviceable life of the mill? I know that I cannot work on the mill until it comes up to somewhat ambient room temperature. Any thoughts on this?

Putting together a shop is something I have been thinking about for a long time. I enjoy making chips, more so because of the end product, but also for the thought that has to go into what I am doing. But unless I can make this happen with what I have to work with, I'll have to wait until I move to somewhere that I have a basement, or to warmer climes (hopefully in 4-5 years).

Thanks for the input.

Downtotheshore


welcome, if you live like I do the ATV will be fine outside the kids will never let it sit a full day. its just a gas burner that cost money and means little to making a living.

think about making a wall you can lag bolt and duct tape to the studs and move if needed and heat a small room and save energy. if you need more space slide it out and rebolt it it down.

I have seen it done before...

loose nut
07-30-2008, 06:40 PM
Build out your walls as much as you can and load in the insulation, depending on how the garage door is made you might be able to insulate it also, if not a second set of insulated doors built on the inside could be an option. don't forget the windows, I put a 3" thick piece of Styrofoam over the inside of all my windows in the winter months (cold climate here) and it makes a huge difference on my heating costs. Think electric radiant heat, there reasonably cheap and cost less to heat than many types.

kvom
07-30-2008, 06:50 PM
You could add hydronic heating to the floor: glue down firring strips and run PEX tubing between them. Cover with thin flooring. Adding insulation to the walls and doors will helo a lot.

Just Bob Again
07-30-2008, 06:52 PM
3 or 4 inch concrete is fine, assuming it's on solid base. If not, it will crack and that isn't a big deal either. I put down vinyl tile in my garage shop. The standard Excellon commercial stuff. Cheap and attractive. Looks professional. Hides the cracks, too.

I'd say no to kerosene heat unless it's a through-the-wall outside vented unit. I heated a shop for 2 seasons with portable kero heaters. Nasty. The smell is very unpleasant. A through-the-wall heat pump is practical. The kind they use in motels. Just punch a hole and slide it in. I'm installing them in my shop now. About $750 each. A setback thermostat will let you keep it low at night and ramp up to working temperatures starting at 4 or 5 AM. Needs a 220V 20 amp circuit per unit. Not as cheap as a woodstove (and I've done that too) but a while lot more convenient.

Electrical prices are through the roof now. Copper is way expensive. Plan it out and try not to have too many extra outlets. I have way more than I need and it cost me. I like having them, but it wasn't a necessity.

Bob Ford
07-30-2008, 07:16 PM
Check this place out. I bought the Sterling unit last year works great.
http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/heaters.shtml
Bob

MickeyD
07-30-2008, 09:41 PM
2000 pounds is about the weight of a Suburban front wheel with a fat man behind the steering wheel, so you should not have any problems. I guess you are up north since you are worried more about heating instead of cooling (my thermometer is still showing 99 in the shop right now), so I would just put in as much insulation as possible. Spray foam is best, but fiberglass is not too far behind. I would also look around for a nice used machine instead of the Grizzly. There are a lot of good domestic machines that are showing up reasonable, and a basic small Bridgeport is a lot more machine than a Griz.

Metalmelter
07-30-2008, 09:50 PM
Welcome to the forum!

You shouldn't have to worry about your floor. I have a Bridgeport sitting in my garage next to the wall and a South Bend heavy 10 lathe right next to that. The bridgy weighs in at around 2400 pounds with the rotary table sitting on it. The SB I'm gonna guess is around a 1000 pounds. I park a suburban right next to them - all on 4 inches of concrete.

The trick is to support the floor properly. But since the floor is obviously already poured, do like I did and take a large pipe or sledge hammer and tap the floor around the area you want to place the machines. Hollow spots will sound - well - hollow ;) Drill a hole and fill with a liquid grout to fill the voids if any. I had a couple due to settlement of the crush stone underneath but decided to chance the weight. No problems so far. The most you would have to worry about is placing a heavy item on the corner of the slab.

Good luck!

Fasttrack
07-30-2008, 10:06 PM
Like others have said, no need to worry about the garage floor. It was designed to support a 3000-4000 lb vehicle distributed over four pretty small areas.

I live near chicago and it gets pretty chilly in the winter time. I don't heat the garage. I just wear long underwear and it doesn't take very long at all and the place is nice and toasty from the heat generated by running my little machine. On those really really cold days, I take out a small electric oil heater - the type that are made to be put in a bathroom or etc - and flip it on to "1500 watts" for about a half hour before going out. It only takes about an hour total to get the shop hot enough to start sweating with that and with the machines running.

Scishopguy
07-31-2008, 03:13 PM
Downtotheshore...I had a propane radiant heater installed in my shop but found that I like the woodstove much better. My shop is also my living area until we can build a house. I have an old Tempwood box stove, about 18"x24", and that little baby can bring a 2400 square foot building up to 70* when it is zero outside. It is an airtight, which means you control the burn rate with adjustable air inlets, so it is easy to control the heat output. The heat is dry and very comfortable.

Machines, although they don't like massive temperature changes, will not suffer any major trauma in the cold. I worked in several factories that did not heat their shops at all. They thought that Florida was sunshine and palm trees so who needs heat. I remember it getting down to 17* in the shop at times. The main thing is not to expose a cold mass of iron to high humidity until it has warmed up. The light bulb idea is a real winner!!! Some winter days in Tallahassee I would open the garage door and watch the moisture condense on my table saw. Not good! I found that a good coat of paste wax would protect the table from the wetness until I could wipe it down.

Best of luck with your new shop

jamscal
07-31-2008, 04:45 PM
I read of a guy who lit his shop with the halogen bulbs...the ones that get really hot. He had a bunch and said it kept his shop warm in the winter.

The summer? I don't know, maybe he could switch to another bank of cool lighting?

-James

Downtotheshore
07-31-2008, 05:23 PM
Glad to see my floor should be OK. One less thing to deal with.

I think I will definitely have to partition off the garage. Getting a big enough heater to heat the entire garage is more than I want to spend. A smaller radiant will work well in a small room I think. I'll stay away form the unvented heat sources.

I am in Ohio, so we can see 0* on occasion, with average winter temps in the 20's-30's. I am assuming I can't just go out and fire up the mill without turning on the heater some time before, correct? Maybe a timer will be in order as well so I can have it turn on while I am at work so its toasty when I get home.

38_Cal
07-31-2008, 08:55 PM
I'm in process of building my shop in about half of a detached 2.5 car garage, about 325 sq. ft. in two rooms. This discussion is really helpful, since I'll have some of the same potential problems and concerns as Downtotheshore. I still have to close in the ceiling of the shop, temporarily with plastic sheeting, to keep my air conditioner from burning too much electricity.

David
Montezuma, IA, where it was about 89 F. today.