I'm building a new shop & have some questions

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SkewedUp

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I'm in the process of building a new work shop at my cabin in the mountains, and have to make some decisions. And of course the cost is important because I'm really stretching my budget with this project but I don't want to regret any decisions I make now.



First, I have to decide of the flooring treatment. I've only had concrete shop floors but this is going to be plywood. My first thought is to just paint it but I wonder if there is a good inexpensive treatment that will help protect the plywood better than just paint and, of course, make it easier to sweep up shavings from the lathe :)



The shop will be 32' X 12' and is being built below the main floor deck at ground level. The floor joists are already in place and the walls will be erected next, then the plywood floor.



I also have to decide on windows and heating. I'm planning to install 4 windows along the east facing wall so I need to decide on the size and style pretty soon. I'm wanting as much natural light as feasible and sliding windows that can open up for air flow. I'm a little limited on the height of the windows so I'm looking at about 30" tall by 4 feet long. There are a lot of options for window styles so I'm hoping you all will help me find a good option for windows that won't bust the budget.



As much as I'd love to have a wood burning stove in the shop for heat, I have natural gas available so I will probably use that for heating. I looked at natural gas vent-free heaters but it looks like that option is not going to work at the 7,500' elevation of the cabin because they have oxygen sensors (for safety) that may prevent them from working properly.



So many things to decide on, and I hope I will get the same sound advice from this forum that I've always gotten for pen making.


Thanks in advance for all the help I know I will be getting.


Doug
 
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MRDucks2

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First, I have to decide of the flooring treatment. In my shop in Houston Texas, I had a plywood floor that I painted with and oil based flooring paint to which I added Japan Dryer, available at most hardware stores, to help it dry in the Houston humidiity. The side benefit was that the oil based paint dried both fast and quite hard. Up keep was great and the surface was pretty impervious to fluids and most scrapes and scuffs. (I am sure a hard enough impact would gouge it with wood being underneath)


I also have to decide on windows and heating. I used Big Box Store doubled glazed windows and they worked great for keeping the temperature down. Be sure and give adequate consideration to your insulation and keeping moisture content down in the roof.


As much as I'd love to have a wood burning stove in the shop for heat, I have natural gas available so I will probably use that for heating. Most of the places I have used Vent Free gas heaters, I have regretted it. Natural Gas is Ideal, but there are some units that pull combustion gases from the outside, and exhaust outside with seperate blowers over heat tubes to heat the interior; more pricey, but the best of both worlds. Or wood. When I have used wood heat in the past I used a torpedo heater with the window open to get up to temperature as the wood got going. How about a combo unit?

It would be quite relaxing as you think about your options to turn a nice resin blank for the Pretty Resin Pen Contest
Take a look at the rules for what is considered the fairest, best balanced competition for all members:http://www.penturners.org/forum/f18/pretty-resin-pen-contest-rules-157766/
 

rherrell

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Oh yeah, I had a plywood floor in my shop originally and it was OK for a while but then it started to splinter and come apart from all the traffic. I put vinyl tiles on top of it a couple years ago and couldn't be happier.



My advice would be not to use bare plywood if you want it to last.
 

Woodchipper

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Will the cabin and shop be unoccupied for a while? My recommendation would be an alarm system so when you visit the cabin, your WWing stuff will still be there. I have a concrete floor in my shop which was the garage. Never considered covering it with anything. JMHO.
 

Curly

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I have OSB on the floors and will eventually find a closeout deal on some hardwood flooring of any colour and put it down. Saw some last month for a buck a square foot but didn't have the cash so had to pass.

My windows are triple pane and the three of the 8 that open are casement style. If you can, put them high enough off the floor to allow plywood to be leaned against the wall. Put the electrical outlets above the 4' mark for the same reason.
 

MRDucks2

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Carly’s suggestion for the plywood is good. In my Houston shop all windows were 48” up and all outlets just a little higher that that.

The 6’ roll-up door was good, also. My shop there was 12’ x 24’


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monophoto

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First, I have to decide of the flooring treatment. I've only had concrete shop floors but this is going to be plywood. My first thought is to just paint it but I wonder if there is a good inexpensive treatment that will help protect the plywood better than just paint and, of course, make it easier to sweep up shavings from the lathe :)
With a concrete floor, there are two problems - dust, and protecting your knees - standing on concrete for hours is torture!

But a wood floor is not nearly as hard as concrete, so you won't have to deal with that second problem.

As to dust - I suggest a glossy water-borne polyurethane floor varnish. Readily available at Homers and other big-box stores, and easily applied. You don't have to be as fussy as you would inside the house because it's a shop, but I think you want multiple coats so that the plywood is sealed and waterproof - that way you could even mop the floor if you were so inclined.

But if you want to go exotic, you might considers one of those two-component epoxy paints sold for use on garage floors - the applications I have seen of those materials produce a very nice surface that is easily cleaned up, and epoxy may last longer than just about any other surface treatment.
 

Dalecamino

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In this thread http://www.penturners.org/forum/f30/hey-its-start-122778/

I was told several times, to insulate the floor! The only solution I could think of was, to use good carpet padding and linoleum. I caulked around the baseboards. I don't think it helps much. My feet still freeze. A better idea would be to lay down a floor heating system. The linoleum does allow for easy sweep up.

I have added another heater to direct warm air accross the floor. Haven't tried it yet. :rolleyes: But I may start making pens again. Hope you come up with a good solution. But DO insulate the floor.
 

randyrls

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I also have to decide on windows and heating. I'm planning to install 4 windows along the east facing wall so I need to decide on the size and style pretty soon. I'm wanting as much natural light as feasible and sliding windows that can open up for air flow. I'm a little limited on the height of the windows so I'm looking at about 30" tall by 4 feet long. There are a lot of options for window styles so I'm hoping you all will help me find a good option for windows that won't bust the budget.

Doug; Look around for a salvage place, you may be able to get used windows for much less than new. My uncle had his machine shop in his garage. He had an old oil fired furnace he got from a house that caught fire and had to be demolished. He just had a 2 gal can of heating oil and a smallish "tank" attached to the furnace. 20 minutes and the shop was toasty warm.

Hope this helps......
 

NVSB4

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Don't know what kind of access you'll have after construction is complete, so think about things that can be done first. Plan and run some ducting under the floor to keep from going overhead and in the way. You could also put some outlets toward the middle of the floor to keep extension cords at a minimum. I agree that insulating the floor is a great idea.
 

Charlie_W

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Many good suggestions here as to heat, insulation, windows, receptacle placement. Don’t forget to include plenty of lighting. Ceiling receptacles for air cleaners is also good.
Yes to doubling up the plywood flooring as a single layer will have too much flex in it for a lathe( unless you are using a mini on a bench). Porch/ garage floor paint... Yes.
Adding some type of flooring over the plywood is a very good idea.
Are you going to have a sub panel in the shop? This is very handy.... and an outside receptacle near the door.
Edit: add plenty of blocking between the floor joists and add additional piers as needed where you will be adding heavy machinery.
 
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Consider infloor electric heating panels. Easy to install, noiseless, no open flame, can be installed under any type of flooring, no duct work. For the finished flooring think about rubber matting or squares. They last forever, easy to install, easy to sweep clean, add a little extra insulation, and can be taken up if need be.
 

monophoto

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For the finished flooring think about rubber matting or squares. They last forever, easy to install, easy to sweep clean, add a little extra insulation, and can be taken up if need be.
This would be a great suggestion if the floor were concrete, but with wood floors being more resilient, rubber matting may not be needed.

However, if you choose to go with rubber matting over the plywood, my suggestion is to get enough to cover the entire floor - eventually, you will be rolling something around (even if only a shop vac), and bumping over the edge of rubber matting makes that difficult.

If you choose to go with rubber matting, there are a couple of things to think about:
1. You still want to apply some kind of paint or sealer over the plywood flooring to seal the surface. My choice would probably be polyurethane, but deck/porch paint might be OK.
2. Make sure that you can marry the edges of the rubber squares. I bought a bunch of that material from Lowes for my darkroom and shop, and it worked great. I later bought some more from Harbor Freight - it was less expensive and perfectly fine except that the edges wouldn't marry with the Lowes matting.
 

Buckmark13

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Water, with a big slop sink.

Trust me, my wife gets frustrated every time I come in from the garage. And if there is a brush in my hand......
 

Curly

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I heat my 635 sq ft shop with a small radiator heated by the demand hot water heater for our house. It switches from shop heat to hot water when needed and then back for the shop. The shop is comfortable even when it is -40C/F outside. The system could also work with an in-floor system too.
Here are a couple small pictures.
 

Attachments

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My shop has a concrete floor with large padded areas near the workbenches. I have three workbenches that function for different projects, leather work, pen turning and knife building. All of my electrical outlets are 4' from the floor and placed in strategic places near each workbench and power tools. I also have light switches at each bench with a LED shop light over each bench so not all lights are on at the same time. I also have LED flood lights that I got from Home Depot (they are small at 8"x8") that I can turn on and really put some light over the work area. They work great. My heat source is a propane wall mounted heater that doesn't use any electricity and keeps my shop at an even 55 degrees, warmer if needed, even when it's -30 outside. I have an insulated pair of boots I wear that I got from Bass Pro Shop that keep my feet warm. The entire shop is enclosed with sheet rock and R38 in the rafters. The exterior walls are all spray foamed and insulated with R13. My ceilings are 9' so I use a lot of shelving to hold all my stuff. I use "shoe box" plastic totes to hold a lot of my different items so that I can also stack them on top of each other. My shop is small at 9' x 15' but it works for me. I try to keep the clutter to a minimum and figure if I haven't used something in a year I probably won't ever need it. I use about 400 gals of propane a year which handles the shop and cabin and my electric bill is zero. I live completely off the grid in the Rocky Mountains (elev. 5400') and make my own electricity that is stored in Hupp solar batteries. I do have a back up 10kw diesel generator that helps when the sun doesn't shine. It uses maybe 80gls of diesel per year. Enjoy your shop in the woods. It's great to look out a window and see nothing but trees and nature.
 

SkewedUp

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progress pics

Hi guys! Thanks for all the great information. I have not had time to digest everything posted but I see a lot of great ideas.

We got 30+ inches of snow in one day during the week between Christmas and New Years. Roads into Ruidoso were closed for a day (the day I was wanting to go back to the cabin) so I had to wait a day to check it out. I got stuck once and ran into 2 other stuck vehicles on the next 2 roads I tried to get in on, and finally managed to get to the cabin on my 4th try.

I may have seen that much snow at one time before, but if I have, I don't remember it. It was incredible, and I have to say that I know I have never had to shovel that much snow ever before in my life. I had to shovel the driveway out just so I could get my truck off the road.

Needless to say, the snow put my shop construction work on hold for a while. Finally got some better weather and most of the snow melted after about a week and we got some more work done. I forgot to get pics the last day, but we got the walls up and sealed but still need the metal roof and siding, then the floor will go in.


I had to get back to civilization again and work on a couple of special orders that came in after Christmas. It may be a week before I can get back up to the cabin again because I have 11 pens to turn, 6 of them laser etched and 2 cigar band pens. Only one easy one. But it is a good problem to have...the shop project can wait.


Anyway, here are some pictures of the new shop construction.
 

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mredburn

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Consider doing an epoxy resin floor covering. They use it as a decorative coating on concrete but it would give you a smooth surface for cleaning as well as protect the wood from splintering etc. if that is not feasible there are 1 ft sq. vinyl tiles that are very thick that wold work well.
Curly has the right Idea on windows, get at least double pane insulated windows if not triple pane.
 

sbwertz

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Can I make a suggestion? Put in one double-hung window so you can put a window AC unit in it. It is much easier to install a window AC in a double-hung window than in a sliding one. Put it near the lathe, and it will help blow dust and fumes away from you, as well. I run mine on fan to provide air flow even when I don't need the AC.
 
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