My Tiny Shop Build

Discussion in 'Hacks & Projects' started by Ben, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    So, for the last few years, @Okuma and I have shared an office. It’s been fun, and half of the space has served as my shop for the last few months. Well, the fun is coming to an end now (bittersweet), but it will be saving us both a lot of money per month.

    This leaves me with no shop, since my house doesn’t have a basement (or even a garage for that matter).

    I did purchase a 10x16 shed about six years ago. Here she was when she was brand new.
    5C0F5521-1B82-479A-BC0A-8592314BF1F3.jpeg

    I’ve wanted to run power to it pretty much since the beginning, but it hasn’t happened. Of course it eventually got filled with all my stuff (lawnmower, tools, etc). Cleaned and reorganized a few times, but it always ended up cluttered.

    Fast forward to six months ago, when I decided I wanted to start building guitars. I had my shop area at my office for the woodworking, etc, but no place to spray them. I figured I’d use my shed to do that, so I bought a sprayer setup and another shed to hold all my crap.

    That leaves me with my cleaned out shed that’s ready for power, which is awesome, but of course now it’ll be used as my main shop, and at 160 sq ft it’s tiny!

    Last week I measured all the essential tools I’ll need and I made a scale drawing with scale cutouts of the tools. The verdict is that it’ll be tight, but I think it’ll work! Check it out:
    9C4FEB58-A6F2-4C0B-9B31-7A4EE0F323BC.jpeg

    So all of the tools will be on casters, so I can move them to the center of the space when I need to use them. I think I’ll control dust with a simple shop vac on a shelf with a long hose to hook up to whatever tool I’m using. The interesting one that isn’t in the photo is a buffer I’ll need to mount up on some kind of pulley system so I can lower it only when I need it. That should be fun to build.

    Since the flooring isn’t that great, I’m going to double up the plywood and probably put a vapor barrier under the new plywood. I’ll also need to insulate the walls and roof (probably with just batt rolls from HD). And I’ll probably put a set of real steel entry doors on it that I’ll find on CL.

    Also considered heating the floor, but I’m leaning toward keeping it simple and just mounting my indoor propane heater to the wall.

    Any thoughts on tiny shops? I’m really excited about it actually. Hoping it’ll turn out nicely.
     
  2. Okuma

    Okuma Administrator Staff Member

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    If you're putting down another layer of flooring maybe you could try some kind of home-made radiant heated floors? I've always thought that was a cool way of doing things.
     
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  3. rbstern

    rbstern Administrator Staff Member

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    Awesome idea. Love it.

    For dust collection, why not put a 1 to 1.5hp unit, just the powerhead and fan assembly, in what would be the attic area of the shed. A couple of 2x4s as beams across the span to mount it, with a 10' intake hose hanging down, and the exhaust out a stack coming of the back roof line? No collection bag inside. Just dust out of a roof pipe. And a wall mounted switch to turn on/off. Zero floor space used.

    How many amps do you have to work with?
     
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  4. rbstern

    rbstern Administrator Staff Member

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    And, for any bench mounted tools (sander and drill press?), how about a shared/flip type table?
     
  5. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    Man that’s a good idea for the vacuum. I just bought this though. We’ll see how it does.

    Right now only one thing has to go on the bench and that’s the little 4x36 HF belt sander (love that thing). Didn’t want to give up space on the bench, but I don’t see any other options for it at the moment.

    There is one thing I got that will be pretty neat. It’s a large guitar buffer made by StewMac, and I definitely need it handy, but it takes up too much space. So I picked up the Pittsburgh Electric Hoist for $99 and I’ll mount that on the ceiling with the buffer on an hinged arm that I’ll be able to let down when needed and crank back up out of the way when I’m done. The guy who taught me to build guitars had this setup and it was so nice.

    Just bought 20 casters for the tools. I’ll be mounting them on wheels in the coming days. I’m stoked!
     
  6. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    Also bought this fella. Some really neat storage ideas/plans in here!
    image.jpg
     
  7. rbstern

    rbstern Administrator Staff Member

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    Take pics during the process! Want to see this coming together.
     
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  8. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    Had the electrician come out this afternoon to give me a quote on running power out there. Hope it’s not a fortune. :confused:

    Basically, he says I have two options:

    1. Replace my box outside (has only one 150 amp disconnect) with a 200 amp box that has connections for two disconnects. This would be “easier” because the wire would just go from the box to the shop, buried of course. But we’d have to get the city involved for the inspection and of course that can lead to other “fixes” that they think I need.
    2. Add a big breaker onto the breaker box inside my house and run that out into the ground and to the shop. This would be simpler since no inspections would be needed (but this guy would do everything right of course), but my breaker box is on like the innermost wall of my slab house, so the only way out is up into the attic and down the wall into the ground.
    At first I was thinking #1 would be the simplest option, but I don’t want inspections if I can help it, and it’s like $1,500 just to change the box out. He said he could add the 50 amp disconnect onto this one I have, but that it wouldn’t pass inspection and he wouldn’t recommend it just to save some money.

    So I’m leaning toward adding it to the main house breaker box.

    Y’all have any experience or thoughts on this?
     
  9. rbstern

    rbstern Administrator Staff Member

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    Keep the inspectors out of it, if at all possible. They might want you to upgrade the entire panel with AFCI breakers (now required by code on most circuits in a home). They are expensive and temperamental.

    Why go up? Why can't you go through a foundation wall?
     
  10. rbstern

    rbstern Administrator Staff Member

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    And P.S., how many amps we talking about?
     
  11. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    I think I want at least 50 amps out there. And it's a slab, so only way out is up. :(
     
  12. rbstern

    rbstern Administrator Staff Member

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    When you say slab, are you referring to the wall or the floor?
     
  13. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm saying my house is built on a slab, so I have no basement. The breaker box is in a hallway in the middle of the house, so the only way to get wires from the box to the outside is to go up the wall into the attic, over a closet, over another attic room, out the other side of the house, and then down to the ground.
     
  14. rbstern

    rbstern Administrator Staff Member

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    Got it. Was thinking the box was on an outside wall.

    Call the city or county inspectors office and find out if a circuit to a shed requires any other updates to your service, assuming your house was up to code when built.
     
  15. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    OK yeah, I thought about doing that. Didn't want to set off any alarms, but my city is small and I've dealt with them before. They usually work with people easily. We bought the house new in 2005, so everything should be pretty modern, but I know how stuff changes all the time. I'll call tomorrow and see what they say.
     
  16. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    Still working on how I’ll get power out to the shop. The electrician I had come out quoted me about $4,500 just to get 50 amps out there, so I’m currently exploring alternatives.

    But in other news, I was about to purchase a shop stool when I saw this!
    475082FE-BB17-490D-9CF7-283795D8969A.jpeg

    Isn’t this new? I haven’t noticed it before if it isn’t. Anywho, I’ll be getting it this weekend, most likely, and of course I’ll write up a review about it.
     
  17. rbstern

    rbstern Administrator Staff Member

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    On the electrical: What about running two 20 amp lines from the panel, DIY fashion. Yeah, I know the route is difficult, but five hundred of feet of 12/2 direct bury cable is about $250 from Amazon. Add two 20 amp breakers to the panel, run the lines in a trench to the shed. Add 100 watts of LED lighting on one of the circuits, and you've got about 39 amps left for tools, which is more than enough for any one man shop with ordinary woodworking tools.

    Wish I was closer. I would lend a hand in a heartbeat.

    The stool is new, as far as I know, and I'm glad to see it. Just be aware that Northern sells a very similar stool, and sometimes there is a sale for that one, at $29. I have one.
     
  18. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    Two 20a circuits is a good idea. I have another electrician coming out this week to maybe just add a subpanel to my box (the other electrician didn't want to do that). If that doesn't work, then I guess I'll be stuck adding circuits to my home. We'll see.

    I'm grabbing some subfloor this week to add on top of the somewhat thin floor the shed came with. Beef it up a little bit so it doesn't warp from the heavy tools. Probably put down some roofing paper under it to act as a barrier.
     
  19. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    Whew, big couple of (freezing) days. Yesterday, I cleaned the rest of the stuff out of the shop to prep for the flooring, but realized my roof has a small leak in the corner. :mad: So I climbed up there and realized the backside of it had a ton of pine straw piled up, and over the years, it's turned to muck and algae/mildew/mold. So I scraped it all off, then went to Home Depot and got this (expensive) stuff and a long handled brush. Sprayed the stuff on, then brushed the mud off. Rinsed & repeated a couple of times until it was super clean, but of course I found a few damaged shingles (maybe I damaged them cleaning it, who knows). Soooo, I began a plan to add some metal roofing over the shingles after seeing some more seepage on the underside of the roof. I'll be tackling that in the next day or so.

    So, on to today.

    My wife and I got the felt down.
    shopfloor - 1.jpg

    Then we laid the 1/2" rigid foam in the opposite direction of the plywood and duct taped the seams.
    shopfloor - 2.jpg

    Then we laid the 23/32" plywood subfloor. Screwed it to the joists with 3" stainless Spax screws.
    shopfloor - 3.jpg
    shopfloor - 4.jpg

    Tomorrow I'll see about the roof. I already bought 16 pieces of this (they say they have 8' but the guy I got couldn't find it, so I ended up with 10' :rolleyes:), along with the other pieces necessary.

    Finally feel like I'm getting somewhere!
     
  20. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    Also, I bought the stool with the coupon and put it together. Seems like it's good quality. Probably the same one that Lowe's sells for $70 or so, but this one is just black (which I like better than the blue Kobalt one). Also, the actual HF stool doesn't have a Pittsburgh logo on the back like it shows in the ad (fine with me). :)
     
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