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building a new shop

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  • building a new shop

    I'm building my future workshop. My plan is to set up the shop to do light machine work and small run manufacturing when I retire from the military in a few years.

    I plan to install a 13 X 40 lathe, 9 X 49 bridgeport style mill, upright bandsaw, surface grinder, and possibly a small 3 axis CNC mill in the currently planned 12' X 24' tool room. I also want to put in a small office, restroom (important), a "dirty work" room for welding, grinding, and cutting, and a seperate tool storage room to keep things out of the way when not in use.

    I'm planning a pole building with internal framing to hang sheetrock, insulation, and wiring/fixtures from.

    I'm looking for lessons learned of what to do and what not to do as far as set up. Tips on things like power service, shop air, heat, lighting, would be greatly appreciated.

    This post is a natural, hand-made product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and are in no way to be considered flaws or defects.

  • #2
    Well, where I live there's no hope of adding space, so I'll continue to be envious of anyone with a home shop bigger than my 18x18 garage. I've been working in that space for 35 years now, and about ten years ago I had to tear it down from the insde to knock off an encampment of termites that had eaten way more than their allotment.

    After replacing the necessary studs and running twice as many electrical outlets as I thought I'd ever need, all I can say is I underestimated by half. Not because I really need that much power, it's just that every time I add a new tool, a lot of stuff has to be reshuffled. Now it seems I have flex conduit and air hose tacked all around the place.

    So, my only piece of wisdom in this kind of project is to consider how easily stuff can be changed once you're in there. The really bright (by my standards anyhow) thing I did was to do away with all the sheetrock and faced all the walls and ceiling with a cheap grade of 3/4" plywood. I floated on a bit of mud and painted it all white. Now, anytime I want to hang just about anything anywhere, it's a snap. . .

    Frank Ford


    • #3
      Don't forget Heating, Air Conditioning, and a BIG de-humidifier to take the moisture out of the air, unless you live in the High Mojave Desert.


      • #4
        I think if i had to build a new shop i would start by putting radiant heat in the floors if you live in a cool climate. also three phase power would be nice for the new shop. another thing i would think about is running air lines through out the shop if you do this you won't be tripping on hoses and it keeps the noise of a compressor out of your hair. good lighting is another thing you want to think about.


        • #5
          I would build the whole thing out of concrete block.
          start off with a insulated concrete floor.
          concrete walls should be at least six inches deep and re-enforced.
          wall should be double with a cavity..solid concrete block and insulation in the cavity.
          This is so you can plonk just about anything on them shelves .and have them not collapse.
          also you won't double glazing and insulated roof.
          did this over ten years ago ....note no cavity and no insulation.....that's something i regret with this build.
          some pics ...took them with a cheapo cam
          the workshop measures 26 by 26 feet.

          Foundations were dug 1 metre deep and brickwork was done up to floor level

          Area inside brick work was filled with 15 tons of hardcore ...wheel barelled 100 yards.ouch

          This was levelled out ....compacted..then screed-ed with sand.

          A damp proof membrane was laid on top of the screed

          8 cubic metres of concrete was poured......all wheel barrelled from the cement mixer 100 yds you know why I had two disc's extracted from my back

          more than 1500 solid concrete blocks were used..nother ouch

          The walls are started

          all the best.mark

          [This message has been edited by aboard_epsilon (edited 12-15-2005).]


          • #6

            took three weeks to do the above...most of the work by myself
            16 foot high at the you can see from the trees...there was a big delay before getting to this stage....thats when my back went ....the rest took a further 12 months

            roof goes on ..concrete tiles

            after this the windows and doors were installed and the walls were stuccoed /Rendered (spelling)

            all the best.mark


            • #7
              You're in the wet part of Oregon... absolutely most important little thing is to grade the site so it drains well, and put a vapor barrier under the concrete.

              If you're going to insulate, heat & frame out a large part of the building, consider a conventional stick frame built on a slab. Less of an issue if you're talking about a 12x24 part of a 24x48 or whatever.

              Also definitely want an insulating vapor barrier between the skin & frame, unless you are planning on insulating the whole thing anyway, in which case ... see above.

              And search for past threads on this topic.



              • #8
                1)I would insulate the heck out of it so you can afford to heat/cool it.
                2)at least 9 foot ceilings.
                3) few windows -- don't want
                strangers "window shopping".
                4) Roll-In band saw
                5) Either 3 phase power or a phase convertor
                6) both 120 and 240 outlets and lots of them.
                7) restroom -- coffee in means coffee out.
                8) storage so you can buy material in bulk.
                9) no garage type doors --- keeps the in-laws vehicles out. Most of them are allergic to work, rain and cold weather.


                • #9
                  Thanks for such quick input.
                  Frank, I know the pain you feel, my brother has pretty well made his living for about the last ten years working from an 8 X 16 shed in his back yard building bagpipes. He has a 9 X 19 lathe and small mill drill. At least he doesn't waste all sorts of time walking from machine to machine...

                  Al, I live in Western Oregon, dehumidifier, CHECK! I had thought about in floor heating, I'll look into that some more.

                  Mark, would love to do block, but I have an existing pole building I will be adding on to.
                  I had already been told about the floor by another machinist friend. 6" minimum spec grade mix, with 1/2 inch rebar in 12 inch centers, is that enough or do I need more to support the machinery I mentioned?
                  This post is a natural, hand-made product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and are in no way to be considered flaws or defects.


                  • #10
                    You might want to use a fiber reinforced concrete along with the rebar. It may not cost much, if anything, and it won't hurt. I used 6 inches of concrete, plus mesh, plus rebar. The only problem is the concrete guys tend to mush it all down to the bottom where it doesn't do much good. This is particularly true if you are doing radiant heat and you have insulation board as a base. The rebar chairs will get mushed right down.

                    Figure out how to insulate the pole barn before you build it. One thing you might want to look at is SIP panels between the upright posts. Good insulation and, if you sheetrock it, you can hang anything anywhere on the wall.



                    • #11
                      A small hobby machine shop ideally configured consists of a building that will accept double the machinery inventory it was originally designed for, a separate stock rack for pre-finished and structural shapes. A 12 x 12 welding and fabrication area by a roll up door. "U" shaped material flow, a tool room, a stock room, a john, and a material-in-process area next to an enclosable inspection area.

                      30 x 50 is the minimum size for a one man shop. This will take you to a three man shop but no more. Add 2500 sq ft per man therafter.

                      The amenities Stepside listed are the minimum.


                      • #12
                        I think a fridge, microwave, shower, sink and toilet are the best things to have, so when the woman gets fired up you still have a place to hide.

                        If I were still with the ex-wife the iron bars would lock from the inside.


                        • #13
                          For in the floor heating and some other net stuff check this place out. they have sales and email alerts. Tek supply a farmer/ agri/indust supplier.
                          they have a radiant floor heating system parts and pieces and the radiant heat foil insulation is great which is what I'm putting in the second floor of the shop abobe the drop ceiling and roof. Also thinking of putting under the vinyl sinding when I replace the alum siding that currently on it.

                          Been there, probally broke it doing that
                          Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                          I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                          All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only


                          • #14
                            M Squared
                            I'm also in the Salem (Turner)area and can Highly reccomend the floor heat, If you'd like to experience it contact me. I have no de-humidifyer and I have no rusting in my shop. I have no windows in my shop but I have transulcent panels on the south wall that I like. No wall spacelost to windows or security issues with windows. If your doing internal framing for sheetrock then be aware that you will have to have enough footing under wall to support it. Standard pole construction will not support it.
                            no neat sig line


                            • #15
                              <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by m squared:
                              a "dirty work" room for welding </font>
                              You can put the MIG and stick welder in there, and put the TIG machine in a clean room It's probably the cleanest machine tool of them all: No chips, no slag, no smoke, no sparks, nothing