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Thread: One Car Garage Shop Conversion PT II (Post Floor)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Greater Toronto Area

    One Car Garage Shop Conversion PT II (Post Floor)

    (see the thread for Part 1)

    Most start out woodworking gathering a few pieces of equipment and muster along making gradually finer and finer woodworking accomplishments. Other than using my tools to assist in general renos around my house over the years it has taken me 5 years to build my shop and insofar as fine woodworking, I've done nothing...yet.

    Now that my shop is nearly 100% complete to where I feel comfortable to actually carry on making the neat stuff I know from reading a gazillion books and mags over the years that I feel I'm capable of, I wish to share my accomplishment thus far. Essentially my triumph has been on how to create/setup a highly functional shop in a one car garage.

    Of course the first thing you have to do is forget about the car. Next you gotta plan like the dickens and try to understand the stream of what is demanded in the process of woodworking and the different considerations for each piece of machinery. I had used graph paper and scale models or cut out shapes of the equipment to try variations as to what could work and not work.

    According to my original time frame, I should have had a new built-in office and a kitchen built by now according to my wife. Things always take longer than we plan of course. God I hope I'm good at this, otherwise it's divorce court.

    Nevertheless I offer these photos to share with those who have the similar dilemma of too small a space to work in. There are still moments where I wish I had a little more space to work in, but then I look at how some are working in dysfunctional encumbered spaces twice the size of what I've got and that makes it all the worthwhile to have toiled so hard for my little sanctuary.

    Although I have very little boating experience, I tried to treat my garage to become a shop the same as I would if it were a try to utilize every space to its fullest. From the overhead storage and 3 feet above floor plywood storage rack which altogether has about $500 in Sampson metal brackets and ties, to the bottom which has a modular combined use boxed wood storage and DC and electrical service conduits I strived to not waste an inch. Inches became the difference between where equipment could be located and equipment had to be reconsidered due to different manufacturers dimensions. I really encourage anyone with a similar challenge to make scaled mock up dimensional pieces of their equipment and align them on a scaled map of your space to consider how to approach the placement of your equipment, always keeping in consideration the needs of each piece of equipment insofar as feed in and out of pieces and whether placing them in a mobile mode is more suitable rather than stationary which some items do not require. The table saw is one that I was advised was to bolt the darn thing to the ground if you can as it helps keep it in alignment and truer even though it is a true cabinet saw and I had thought wouldn't need this. Same would hold true I believe for a radial arm saw and a lathe, although my lathe as you can see is in a fold-away setup.

    My garage floor was very poorly poured originally when the house was built in the 60's. It is 11 feet by 21 approx. and it dips by 5 1/2 inches from the back left to the front right and in the front is 2 and a quarter inches off. For reasons that I've got flat feet more or less, insulation from the cold, knew I had to have big heavy pieces on wheels and did not want them rollin' around and I could also setup dust collection and electrical lines below, I decided to build a modular base for my shop. There's more on this if you've lloked at Part I.

    What I mean by "modular" is that I allowed perimeter channels around two base units that were 8'X10' set apart from each other in themselves by about 1 foot or so. Each unit was constructed with 2X6's to 2X10's shimmed to the curvature of the floor fastened on both sides with plywood and laid over top of dimplex and reflectofoil on the bare floor with tapcon screws. Again there is more on this in Part I.

    The air filtration unit is on glides so I can move it out of the way of wood I need to remove from the overhead storage area.

    There is also a picture of the lathe setup which is in fact not 100% complete yet insofar as being properly secured when in the fully extended mode. I bought the lathe in a "this deal ain't gonna come around again" haste and have yet to use the lathe nor do I think I'll be using it anytime soon but still wanted it incorporated in the shop setup.

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    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 01-01-2007 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Title Correction

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    a short distance from my body

    It is hard to get that much stuff in a two car garage let alone half that space. You really did your homework up-front.

    Building a sub-floor was a fantastic idea. The slope, dips, and peaks of a typical garage floor means every separate piece of equipment in my garage shop needs to be shimmed to level. Plus, your under floor ducts keeps the work area more open, no hanging pipes. If I knew my garage would never be used to park cars in again, I'd copy your technique.

    Great looking shop. Thanks for sharing.

    "I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different." - Kurt Vonnegut

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Wake Forest, NC
    I see what you mean by treating it like a boat. Very compact and very organized.

  4. #4

    Thanks for the posts, great looking shop with lots of attention to detail!


  5. #5
    Steve Clardy Guest
    Looking good Kevin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    kevin, you`ve done a heck of a lot of work! and it looks darn good! thanks for sharing....tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Thanks for starting this thread Kevin. I know that a lot of fellow mebers will be interested in what you have accomplished.

    As I said in the thread where I welcomed Kevin to Family Woodworking: Kevin lives about a 20 minute drive to the east of me and I recently visited his shop. Kevin's shop is, without a doubt, the best conversion of a single car garage to a shop that I have ever seen or read about.
    Cheers, Frank

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