What's new

Tell me your small shop regrets!

61scout80

Anchored. Finally.
Joined
May 22, 2020
Member Number
1194
Messages
153
Loc
Crestwood, KY
After 14 addresses in 4 states we finally found a place to stay for a while. We bought a log home on 5 acres with an oversized attached two car and a unique but small workshop. I'm working on getting the workshop together so I can actually start building junk again.

The garage area of the shop is about 23' x 23' with an 8'-0" ceiling. Up the small ladder in the back is a storage loft that's about 15'-0" x 23'-0". Under that loft is am open storage area and a single horse stall that'll never have a horse in it. When I bought the place it had 2 light fixtures, 3 20 amp outlets, one 240v 50 amp circuit and that's about it.

I'm adding insulation and more recepts. I've added 6 120v 20a recepts on the walls and two more on the ceiling. The bay is getting kraft backed R13 on the three walls that don't get direct sun. The overhead door wall faces due west and bakes in the afternoon sun, on that wall I'm putting a layer of radiant barrier under kraft backed R15. The overhead door is getting a layer of radiant barrier under a layer of R-8 fiberglass "condensation blanket". The blanket appears to be the exact same insulation that they sell in the garage door kits for a lot more money. Once I get the insulation wrapped up I'll be putting up some 4x12 sheets of drywall, then R30 cellulose in the ceiling and eventually a mini split system.

I'm hung up on a couple of things I'd like some opinions on.

Lighting. I don't know WTF I want to do here, but I need to get the electrical sorted out in short order. I'm thinking I want to do standard flourescent 48" fixtures with good LED tubes. I'm concerned with using LED fixtures that do not have replaceable bulbs. While the LEDs can last forever the electronics that drive them do not. I'd really like to hear opinions on lighting, especially how many fixtures and opinions on different types.

I'm also looking to hear what else you wished you did while you had open walls. Air lines? more power outlets? something else I'm not thinking of??


image_9629.jpg


photo2372.jpg


2 Door in.jpg


Panel.jpg


Stable.jpg


Rear.jpg
 

Clb

another toyota from P.R.K
CAL4
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
32
Messages
2,520
Loc
Envision Proofreading. First 50 club
In walls
Air,water, gas, welder portal's,coms, don't forget one of then fold up urinals.

Lighting to the 10th power
Right now your eyes are bright (guessing) as time goes by you need more light.
Task lighting at stations, sectioned main lighting for just 1 spot rather than the whole shop.
Off gass venting (welder ect.), fresh air flow venting, heat pump ducting.
 

dnsfailure

WHAT GEAR ARE YOU IN?
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
198
Messages
1,082
Loc
Gilroy
always more power outlets, I wish I had more 220v outlets. 220v extension cords are expensive.
 

Toreadorranger

Atomic Test Lab Rat
Joined
May 21, 2020
Member Number
874
Messages
889
Loc
CT
always more power outlets, I wish I had more 220v outlets. 220v extension cords are expensive.

This, I have one 220v outlet and I had to build an extension cord for my welder to work in my 2nd bay, what a pain in the ass.
 

ChiScouter

Red Skull Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Member Number
1753
Messages
381
I wouldn't put air in the walls if you get a leak you are screwed. I would use minimum 1/2 inch for the main air feeds. Unless fixtures are free I would go full led. Impossible to have too many electric outlets.
 

AK_F250

Red Rocket
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
178
Messages
673
Loc
Alaska
When I bought my house with a 24x32 garage I added another 200a panel and surface mounted everything and I'm really glad I did. As I got more stationary tools like a lift, mill, lathe, cnc plasma, 60 gal compressor etc I was able to move or add lights, outlets and air easily. It's nice to be able to put heavy shit exactly where you want it without having to compromise because it's too dark or you don't have 220 or air nearby.

While you've got the walls open put in an exhaust fan and self opening louver/damper or whatever they're called to get airflow when you're welding or cutting with the door closed. It made a world of difference for me when I'm running the plasma table in the winter.
 
Last edited:

Muckin_Slusher

Shit-Cunt
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
53
Messages
1,438
Loc
Abitibi
I wouldn't put air in the walls if you get a leak you are screwed. I would use minimum 1/2 inch for the main air feeds. Unless fixtures are free I would go full led. Impossible to have too many electric outlets.

Wirsbo ProPex in the walls for air, it won't leak. Think about where water could collect when planning your runs.

Transition to copper before stubbing out through the drywall.
 

arse_sidewards

Masshole
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
71
Messages
4,726
Loc
Worcester County
My current garage is like 19ishx21ish and I'm gonna upgrade to 22-23 square when I knock it down. I've spent a lot of time working in a 10x20 single car garage. How usable the space is depends on how efficiently you use vertical space for storage. Don't worry about electricity and air locations until you know where your work spaces are going to be.
 

45acp

naw man
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
265
Messages
1,505
Loc
Texarkana
Honestly I'm gonna go against the grain here and say forget all the air line runs with various drops and get a good (non HF) hose reel. Its 23x23... its not like you're gonna have multiple people in there running various air tools at the same time. Put it up on the ceiling close to the big door and it'll cover everything in the shop easy.
 

clodhopper

Get off my lawn, punk!
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
564
Messages
724
Loc
Out on the plains, Colorado
Honestly I'm gonna go against the grain here and say forget all the air line runs with various drops and get a good (non HF) hose reel. Its 23x23... its not like you're gonna have multiple people in there running various air tools at the same time. Put it up on the ceiling close to the big door and it'll cover everything in the shop easy.

This. Also, I have found that as battery tools get better and cheaper, I tend to use the air tools less, so dumping time and money on an elaborate air system could be put to better use.
 

RPS1030

Red Skull Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
523
Messages
327
Loc
SW UT
Honestly I'm gonna go against the grain here and say forget all the air line runs with various drops and get a good (non HF) hose reel. Its 23x23... its not like you're gonna have multiple people in there running various air tools at the same time. Put it up on the ceiling close to the big door and it'll cover everything in the shop easy.

I’m largely similar with electrical outlets. I don’t have enough space to have all the work along the walls and end up in the middle mostly, so I’m constantly using an extension cord anyway. Maybe partially since the existing outlets are all 5’ up though.

Just did a 2-post lift into my 25x27 this week, so we shall see how it confines the space. Also adding some air lines. Mostly just getting the hose reel in the middle and a couple outlets near the doors.
 

I Lean

skull
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
28
Messages
105
Loc
Magna, UT
It might get a little bit ugly on an otherwise nice looking house setup, but could you put a roof of some sort on the front of the garage? Like a patio roof type thing. Then you could work on taller things just outside the overhead door. You could pretty easily get 50% more "work space" that way. And it looks like your truck won't fit inside the door as-is anyway. 45acp 's hose reel will keep that area happy as well as the rest of the interior.
 

Lil'John

Former #278
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
488
Messages
929
Loc
Walking to the Rubicon
I've got a narrow 11'x44' basement "shop". My observation for 2+ years of using it.

As others said, lots of power outlets. I have 110V outlets every four feet along the "back" wall. Two segments at 20 amp each. I have one 220V outlet near the outlet plus a 50' extension cord.

Lights. I use the 'cheap' CostCo LED lamps. I have them every four feet. I put outlets along the power wall near the ceiling(~6" from the top) that is switched at the door.

Storage... especially organized. I've got 18' worth of lockers in my 'secure' room in the basement. I then have a boatload of "narrow" pallet racking(2' deep) These are similar to the ones you find in Home Depot(non-four foot) The narrow depth make it easy to find stuff. The pallet racking will hold a shit load of weight... I've had a transmission and two transfer cases on one rack in the past.

Work benches I'm using the narrow pallet racking as work benches. I drop 1 1/4" plywood on top of the racking. I've got three benches that are 2'x8'.

The 'narrow' pallet racking is actually fairly cheap when you account for the strength.
 

45acp

naw man
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
265
Messages
1,505
Loc
Texarkana
This. Also, I have found that as battery tools get better and cheaper, I tend to use the air tools less, so dumping time and money on an elaborate air system could be put to better use.

Yea, I also have a decent 110v reel and its cut down on the extension cord use by 90%.

I'm in a 30x40, just one Kobalt (lowes) hose reel up by the door and it does everything I want. I can air tires out in the driveway, and it'll reach every corner of the shop. Doing front brakes on the wife's ride right now and when I'm done I can yank the line and it disappears.

Save the air plumbing $$$ for a Milwaukee grease gun or something. :flipoff2:
20200619_131813_resize_46.jpg
 

61scout80

Anchored. Finally.
Joined
May 22, 2020
Member Number
1194
Messages
153
Loc
Crestwood, KY
In walls
Air,water, gas, welder portal's,coms, don't forget one of then fold up urinals.

Lighting to the 10th power
Right now your eyes are bright (guessing) as time goes by you need more light.
Task lighting at stations, sectioned main lighting for just 1 spot rather than the whole shop.
Off gass venting (welder ect.), fresh air flow venting, heat pump ducting.

I'm almost 40 with -8.0 contacts. Light is really important to me. My Milwaukee rocket light is one of my favorite purchases. Worth every penny to be able to see.

Welder portals? I'm not familiar with that term.




I keep reading that and still not being able to decide!



always more power outlets, I wish I had more 220v outlets. 220v extension cords are expensive.

I need to listen to this, because it's probably cheaper to run the #8 and put in a recept than to buy the long ass cord later....

I wouldn't put air in the walls if you get a leak you are screwed. I would use minimum 1/2 inch for the main air feeds. Unless fixtures are free I would go full led. Impossible to have too many electric outlets.
Honestly I'm gonna go against the grain here and say forget all the air line runs with various drops and get a good (non HF) hose reel. Its 23x23... its not like you're gonna have multiple people in there running various air tools at the same time. Put it up on the ceiling close to the big door and it'll cover everything in the shop easy.
This. Also, I have found that as battery tools get better and cheaper, I tend to use the air tools less, so dumping time and money on an elaborate air system could be put to better use.

I'm really thinking that air will be exposed below the ceiling if I run it. I've been building up my collection of Milwaukee M18 and M12 tools. I find myself reaching for air less and less. I want to put the compressor outside the bay, so either in the stable on a platform or in the loft. I think a good reel near the door might be all I really need. It'll make tire fills easy and still reach the small footprint of the shop. Maybe one each side of the door. I need to think about that more.

When I bought my house with a 24x32 garage I added another 200a panel and surface mounted everything and I'm really glad I did. As I got more stationary tools like a lift, mill, lathe, cnc plasma, 60 gal compressor etc I was able to move or add lights, outlets and air easily. It's nice to be able to put heavy shit exactly where you want it without having to compromise because it's too dark or you don't have 220 or air nearby.

While you've got the walls open put in an exhaust fan and self opening louver/damper or whatever they're called to get airflow when you're welding or cutting with the door closed. It made a world of difference for me when I'm running the plasma table in the winter.

Good call on the exhaust. I was joking with a coworker this week that I'm going to suffocate in there with how I'm insulating, foaming, weatherstripping etc. The shop will be significantly tighter and better insulated than this log house.

Did you run a 200 amp sub panel or have a dedicated service run to the shop?


My current garage is like 19ishx21ish and I'm gonna upgrade to 22-23 square when I knock it down. I've spent a lot of time working in a 10x20 single car garage. How usable the space is depends on how efficiently you use vertical space for storage. Don't worry about electricity and air locations until you know where your work spaces are going to be.

I'd love to see some pics of your vertical organization! I've been combing garage journal for inspiration on organization. Menards has butcher block counters for a pretty reasonable price. I have 2 sticks now that I may may try to make into folding benches.


It might get a little bit ugly on an otherwise nice looking house setup, but could you put a roof of some sort on the front of the garage? Like a patio roof type thing. Then you could work on taller things just outside the overhead door. You could pretty easily get 50% more "work space" that way. And it looks like your truck won't fit inside the door as-is anyway. 45acp 's hose reel will keep that area happy as well as the rest of the interior.

The perspective of that pic is a little weird. The Ram does fit in there with about 6" of height and about a little length to spare. The deck over the attached garage pokes out in front of the workshop, so a driveway extension isn't really ideal. For a second I thought about extending the deck across the driveway. The reality of what it's going to cost to redo all the decks I already have made me stop that nonsense. I thought I'd have at least three years before needing to redo the deck, but as the summer goes on I'm realizing I'll be doing it in a year or two. There's A LOT of deck space already.

IMG_20200509_205133-01.jpeg
 

61scout80

Anchored. Finally.
Joined
May 22, 2020
Member Number
1194
Messages
153
Loc
Crestwood, KY
I’m largely similar with electrical outlets. I don’t have enough space to have all the work along the walls and end up in the middle mostly, so I’m constantly using an extension cord anyway. Maybe partially since the existing outlets are all 5’ up though.

Just did a 2-post lift into my 25x27 this week, so we shall see how it confines the space. Also adding some air lines. Mostly just getting the hose reel in the middle and a couple outlets near the doors.

I'm curious to hear your opinion on the lift. We both wanted a lift. The second place house had a big enough shop that I could have a lift bay and 3 more bays, but this house had a better apartment for my aging parents. I work with a structural engineer, he did all the math to figure out how to raise the ceiling in this shop, but I just think a lift will be in the way a lot. I need flexible space and a lift bolted to the floor hurts flexibility.
 

arse_sidewards

Masshole
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
71
Messages
4,726
Loc
Worcester County
I'd love to see some pics of your vertical organization! I've been combing garage journal for inspiration on organization. Menards has butcher block counters for a pretty reasonable price. I have 2 sticks now that I may may try to make into folding benches.


Hardware drawers come out almost to centerline of lathe and there's only a couple inches of clearance if I want to swing something that's the max for the lathe.

Back wall is all file cabinets

2-drawer filing cabinets fit perfectly under the table and leave space in the back for Rubbermaid totes on harbor freight moving dollies.

All my exension cords, hoses and welding leads are coiled up and on hooks on the main beam in my basement (not pictured) since that's above head level, not too high to reach and somewhere I can't ergonomically place shelves or cabinets. Basically just make sure that any space that isn't a workspace is utilized from floor to ceiling and you don't leave dead spaced above/below your workspace.


img_20200425_114830_000-jpg.2975238.jpg
2020-04-11_2-jpg.2972566.jpg
 

AK_F250

Red Rocket
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
178
Messages
673
Loc
Alaska
Good call on the exhaust. I was joking with a coworker this week that I'm going to suffocate in there with how I'm insulating, foaming, weatherstripping etc. The shop will be significantly tighter and better insulated than this log house.

Did you run a 200 amp sub panel or have a dedicated service run to the shop?

The original 50a garage sub panel is on a 30a breaker from the main panel in the house. All it runs now is the outlets up top for the garage doors and the unit heater. I upped the meter base to a 200a two breaker to feed the house and garage panels. I need to get off my ass and eliminate that 50a panel, but I've been saying that for close to 10 years.
 

AK_F250

Red Rocket
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
178
Messages
673
Loc
Alaska
I'm curious to hear your opinion on the lift. We both wanted a lift. The second place house had a big enough shop that I could have a lift bay and 3 more bays, but this house had a better apartment for my aging parents. I work with a structural engineer, he did all the math to figure out how to raise the ceiling in this shop, but I just think a lift will be in the way a lot. I need flexible space and a lift bolted to the floor hurts flexibility.

I've got the maxjax 2 post since my ceiling is just under 9'. I've got it permanently mounted but they are portable. I looked into raising the ceiling as well since I could go up about 2' in one bay without much work, but the lift is fine for just about everything I need to do so I haven't done it.
 

RPS1030

Red Skull Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
523
Messages
327
Loc
SW UT
I'm curious to hear your opinion on the lift. We both wanted a lift. The second place house had a big enough shop that I could have a lift bay and 3 more bays, but this house had a better apartment for my aging parents. I work with a structural engineer, he did all the math to figure out how to raise the ceiling in this shop, but I just think a lift will be in the way a lot. I need flexible space and a lift bolted to the floor hurts flexibility.

I at least have 11.5' to the rafters, so height is less of an issue. The door is also offset to one side already, so pushed the lift over close to the wall (3' between column and wall minus power unit), so room to deal with tires/axles and such without feeling crowded. And also not turning too tight to the door. So I've got space between the toolbox and shelf to work on stuff on the floor.

So far, it's been a little slow trying to figure out where to hit with the lift pads. Been a long time since I worked at a dealer. But at least after the effort of walking around and moving everything 2-5 times, it feels like normal jack and jack stands, but it's 6' in the air instead of 2'.

Click image for larger version  Name:	photo5139162840974862425.jpg Views:	0 Size:	275.1 KB ID:	44974
Click image for larger version  Name:	photo5139162840974862425.jpg Views:	0 Size:	275.1 KB ID:	44974

Diesel just fits.
Click image for larger version  Name:	photo5139162840974862425.jpg Views:	0 Size:	275.1 KB ID:	44974

Tons of room with the Jeep in comparison.
Click image for larger version  Name:	photo5139162840974862425.jpg Views:	0 Size:	275.1 KB ID:	44974
 

61scout80

Anchored. Finally.
Joined
May 22, 2020
Member Number
1194
Messages
153
Loc
Crestwood, KY
I've got the maxjax 2 post since my ceiling is just under 9'. I've got it permanently mounted but they are portable. I looked into raising the ceiling as well since I could go up about 2' in one bay without much work, but the lift is fine for just about everything I need to do so I haven't done it.

I think I may be unfairly discounting those. They pretty much mount the same way as a bend pack but you pull the bolts out to put it away. Is that right?
 

61scout80

Anchored. Finally.
Joined
May 22, 2020
Member Number
1194
Messages
153
Loc
Crestwood, KY
I at least have 11.5' to the rafters, so height is less of an issue. The door is also offset to one side already, so pushed the lift over close to the wall (3' between column and wall minus power unit), so room to deal with tires/axles and such without feeling crowded. And also not turning too tight to the door. So I've got space between the toolbox and shelf to work on stuff on the floor.

So far, it's been a little slow trying to figure out where to hit with the lift pads. Been a long time since I worked at a dealer. But at least after the effort of walking around and moving everything 2-5 times, it feels like normal jack and jack stands, but it's 6' in the air instead of 2'.


Diesel just fits.

Tons of room with the Jeep in comparison.

Dad was a mechanic and I grew up in the shop that employed him. I really miss having access to a pair of lifts and all the tooling needed to run a bus and auto repair shop.

After my 8 years in Phoenix I'm sweating a little just looking at your pics! :flipoff2:
 

AK_F250

Red Rocket
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
178
Messages
673
Loc
Alaska
I think I may be unfairly discounting those. They pretty much mount the same way as a bend pack but you pull the bolts out to put it away. Is that right?

Yep, pull the arms and bolts, tilt it back and roll away. The power unit is mounted to a cart. My slab is shit so I cut some big 3/4" plates and anchored them to the floor then bolted the posts to them to spread the load. If it wasn't for the slab I would have kept them semi portable so that I could have another set of anchors installed to lift from the front and back bumpers of some of my rigs.

The thickness of your slab is going to be another thing to consider. IIRC the maxjax only need a 4" slab where bigger lifts need 4-8" depending on capacity. Mine is about 3" thick but it survived the 7.0 earthquake in 2018 maxed out with a heavy ass 4runner on it so I think its good with the plates :eek:
 

gt1guy

Apparently a racist
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
241
Messages
1,778
Loc
New Iberia, La.
Two things you can't have enough of. Power outlets and lighting.

I hate shadows in a shop, so max lighting was very important to me. But, because I don't need all the light all the time, I have my lights on 4 circuits.

Power outlets. Keep them high, so you don't cover over them leaning shit against a wall.
 

45acp

naw man
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
265
Messages
1,505
Loc
Texarkana
Two things you can't have enough of. Power outlets and lighting.

I hate shadows in a shop, so max lighting was very important to me. But, because I don't need all the light all the time, I have my lights on 4 circuits.

Power outlets. Keep them high, so you don't cover over them leaning shit against a wall.

Agree on the lighting, disagree on the outlets.

Shop 1 i ran a plug every 4ft. Shop 2 i got two good cord reels. DGAF about outlets anymore. Nice to have over a designated work area, but other than that its easier to pull a cord out of the ceiling and have it wind itself back up.
 

Projectjunkie

Whatever
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
306
Messages
2,425
Loc
Tucson Az
I'm with 45 on this, I put a harbor freight reel 50' and a drop light with outlet reel 30' just inside my garage door, 6' off the ground, above my compressor.

I'd like another outlet on the opposite corner of garage, but i manage.

I'm using mobile home extension cord to run my 220 welder and plasma, had my buddy wire me in a 120v outlet into this cord so i can run my grinder and not trip the breaker when my compressor comes on.

I'm stuck renting this house for a while, so i make do with what I've got.

biggest thing in a small space, is don't store crap in it, build sheds for that. If you've got 400sqft of "shop " you need all 400 of it
 
Top