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Thread: My Virginia Shop Thread

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    My Virginia Shop Thread

    *Note, this was 'Thoughts on my Next Shop'...

    Just got back from visiting my parents, and naturally we stayed in the house which we'll be moving into later this year (if all goes well). While we were there, one of the Honeydo list items was to help my Aunt and my mother clean out some of the crud which was in the basement. I saw this as a golden opportunity to scope out the space as a potential shop.

    I grew up in a larger house in Utica, which had excellent basement access... this house, not so much:
    There is a side entrance, with a cellar stair:


    once down there, the view is pretty standard... concrete floor with just about 7' ceiling.




    There are hookups for a washer and dryer ,plus the furnace and water heater over in the corner.

    There is a crawl space under the back porch area of the house:


    It has your typical basement musty smell to it, but overall isn't in bad shape. There has been some water down there at times, but is currently dry.

    Just on access alone, I believe I'm going to make this my second or third choice for the full shop. I can see myself with a couple of smaller tools and a workbench down there though.. just a scroll saw and benchtop DP and possibly the midi lathe with a grinder. Other than that, access, noise control and lack of power make it less than ideal.

    Option 2 is to retrofit the carport with 3 more walls and turn that into a shop. Here is the best view of the front of the carport I have... the house is about 6' from the carport on the right of this image:

    It currently is set up with a porch or patio area on the left side of the structure (viewed from the front), about 6' wide, full depth of the building.


    this is the 3/4 shot from the most 'open' view, showing the side with the porch/patio area. There is a 1/2 wall running the length of the building separating the car area from the patio, but i'm sure that will be easy enough to remove.


    and lastly a bit wider view of the back of the carport as it stands now.

    Next to the carport on its own slab is a small yard shed:


    not much to write home about, over in rob's 'shop thoughts' thread, I mentioned possibly setting up my TS, Planer, and Jointer there, with a DC.... and that's a possibility only until I get the carport enclosed OR I go with option three:

    Building a purpose built shop.

    Funding alone makes this option the least likely, though I do have ample yard space to take over if I do find the money somewhere.

    Which brings me back to the carport. My Aunt asked where I was going to put my tools, and I mentioned the basement and the carport, her reply was 'well the carport does have a metal roof, and I'm sure you could ue that as a starting point.

    Hmmmmm. With the basement as 'tight' access wise, and funding being what i know it will be: not much, the carport conversion is looking promising.


    I neglected to put a tape measure on it for exact dimensions, but it is roughly 20x 20 overall, built on a solid concrete pad. It has stood the test of time so far, and there is basic power and a metal roof on the building as it stands now. I bet it wouldn't be too difficult to put a wall with a set of doors on either end of the 'car' section, (I'm thinking open air woodworking when the weather is decent), and enclosing the patio portion as well. I would leave the basic structure as it stands, other than reinforcing it as nescessary. I would have to put a sub panel out there, but that's ok, the entire house needs some hefty electrical updating, (there are barely any grounded outlets in the entire house) I'll have an electrician out there at some point no matter what I do.


    This is all a few months down the road, and Yes Don I still have several months of work on this house yet to do, so my current shop, is getting an update his weekend as well... forecast is for some decent temperatures this weekend, so I'm going to be refitting the doors and fixing the stairs into the shop, as well as finishing up my solar heat for the shop, that's another thread though.
    Last edited by Ned Bulken; 08-28-2011 at 04:02 PM.
    -Ned

  2. #2
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    The possibility of water in the basement would rule that spot out for me. Been there done that. Pretty expensive to waterproof.
    The carport looks like a great spot. Wouldn't be too expensive to close it in and put in a garage door. Always a few on CL.
    Sounds like a real exciting time for you and the family. Looking forward to seeing how things progress for you.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gibson View Post
    The possibility of water in the basement would rule that spot out for me. Been there done that. Pretty expensive to waterproof.
    The carport looks like a great spot. Wouldn't be too expensive to close it in and put in a garage door. Always a few on CL.
    Sounds like a real exciting time for you and the family. Looking forward to seeing how things progress for you.
    Bob,
    at one point back in the 50's or so, the entire house was subjected to a flood, there was 6' of water on the 1st floor, long since repaired of course, and the army corps of engineers have the flooding issue under control, new levee etc... so we're not likely to have the major water issue again.

    The basement water though, was more on the order of an inch or less of water. As you can see there is a sump with pump, so I'm sure it will happen again at some point. Also, I'm certain that it happened while my grandfather's former housekeeper/nurse was 'in charge' of the house, and she was fairly useless when it came right down to it.

    The carport is looking like the best way to get a shop at the 'new' house for my money as well. I'll just have to find the money for the new walls etc...
    -Ned

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Bulken View Post
    Just got back from visiting my parents,
    ...
    once down there, the view is pretty standard... concrete floor with just about 7' ceiling.
    ...
    Hey Ned,
    I have a basement shop, and like it fine. However, like you, I am 6'3" and I would HATE a ceiling that is just 7' tall.

    Oh, and whats up with that post over on the left in that photo? Looks like a wooden beam that has another short wooden beam bisecting it!?!? That can't be right. The metal posts I also see are more reassuring...

    (I have no idea about the code issues, legal issues, or structural issues with converting a carport into a shop. But that seems like the best choice to me. How's the ceiling height in there? )
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  5. #5
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    "Parts" of your shop is different areas is not necessarily bad. I am faced with the same thing.

    My county has made a purpose built shop a fiscal nightmare and therefore a deal breaker. Like you, I have to take a look at what I have, what I can do, and go from there.

    Also like you, I have an interest in lathe work and flatwork. They do not need to be under the same roof. And the weather plays a part. Winter is for turning for me. Not that I have done much so far. I did a bird house for the contest, but couldn't get a bird, so no entry. (per the 'rules').

    Continue to let us know what you are thinking. I, for one, will be thinking right along with you.

  6. #6
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    ps: On second reading I notice a bunch of angled bracing along the car side of the carport wall. I think you'd want to remove those, once you find out for sure why they're there and if it is safe to rip 'em out!

    Still, I think it'll be a nice roomy shop once complete. Is LOYL okay with living w/out sheltered parking?
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    Hey Ned,
    I have a basement shop, and like it fine. However, like you, I am 6'3" and I would HATE a ceiling that is just 7' tall.

    Oh, and whats up with that post over on the left in that photo? Looks like a wooden beam that has another short wooden beam bisecting it!?!? That can't be right. The metal posts I also see are more reassuring...

    (I have no idea about the code issues, legal issues, or structural issues with converting a carport into a shop. But that seems like the best choice to me. How's the ceiling height in there? )
    I'll check with the town codes dept, but I don't expect too many hastles. I would likely put in 2x6" walls and insulate them pretty well for sound control. As for the post in the basement it is 6x6 post, with some sort of plaftorm built around it:
    better angle on that post at least.

    Ceiling height in the carport is about 8' at the low point, but with visual height to the rafters inside. As for the bracing, I would work around that as need be, I suspect it was put in because there aren't any walls to counteract the structure from 'wracking'. Adding some walls on the ends will help with that.


    Oh, and as for parking out in the elements, we do that now, no change needed further south. If it snows that hard, the county shuts down anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    "Parts" of your shop is different areas is not necessarily bad. I am faced with the same thing.

    My county has made a purpose built shop a fiscal nightmare and therefore a deal breaker. Like you, I have to take a look at what I have, what I can do, and go from there.

    Also like you, I have an interest in lathe work and flatwork. They do not need to be under the same roof. And the weather plays a part. Winter is for turning for me. Not that I have done much so far. I did a bird house for the contest, but couldn't get a bird, so no entry. (per the 'rules').

    Continue to let us know what you are thinking. I, for one, will be thinking right along with you.
    Thanks Carol! just to sum up, I have the following tools in my arsenal:

    TS: Ridgid 3612 contractor saw, highly mobile and the workhorse center of my shop & Shopsmith in TS Mode (secondary or crosscut only imho)

    BS: Harbor freight 14" with riser & Shopsmith BS add-on (for smaller work)

    Jointer: Craftsman 6" jointer

    Planer: DW734 lunchbox

    DP: Benchtop Delta & Shopsmith in DP mode

    CMS: Delta 10" CMS (sentimental favorite, as it was my first 'real' tool purchased).

    Scrollsaw: delta 16" VS (to be replaced with a Dewalt someday...)

    Lathe: Delta Midi with extension & SHopsmith MarkV Model 510.

    DC: Jet 600CFM 3/4 HP (to be replaced with at Least a 2hp HF in the near future); Shopsmith DC3300 Has the funky hose size, have to see how efficient it is.


    ALong with three work benches, and one tall storage cabinet, and wood racks etc...

    I agree, shops can be multi faceted, and even multiple buildings/sites. As I'm thinking on the shop I'm envisioning the TS, BS1, Jointer, planer and one workbench plus lumber storage in the 'car' bay, and the shopsmith, lathe and grinding station in the 'patio' area if I were to keep them separated by the low wall

    I can definitely see the midi and scrollsaw moving to the basement for the winter, unless I get off of the nut and build in some passive solar heat for the cooler months. The lot is heavily shaded though, so I'll have to figure out where and what i can do on that front.
    -Ned

  8. #8
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    Congrats on the soon to be new home and shop!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Bulken View Post
    ....The lot is heavily shaded though, so I'll have to figure out where and what i can do on that front...........
    Easy. Chainsaw, anchorseal and your turning block stock is increased along with your solar heating capacity
    Every child deserves a family. Adopt. Foster. Get involved.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Bulken View Post
    ... and the army corps of engineers have the flooding issue under control, new levee etc... so we're not likely to have the major water issue again. ...
    In a battle between mother nature and the army corps of engineers, I would put my money on mother nature.

    All kidding aside, I think your choice of the carport makes sense. I suspect that you may have some remodeling in your future and a lot of it will need access through the basement. Best to not have your shop in the way.

    I have lived in Virginia while doing a project there and liked the area. I am sure you will enjoy the winter a little better. I look forward to your move and all the threads that it will generate. I hope your plans for the move work out.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    I think the choice of the car port would be my first choice. Is there any electrical run to it today?

    Also, what is the electrical service in the house like? Looks like you've got some knob and tube wiring. Is any of it still in use? See some newer wiring as well.

    The angled supports are just due to the lack of walls and siding to keep it straight. Either add some plywood to the corners on the inside when you finish it, or if you remove the lap, use some 1/2 plywood to cover the corners on the outside of the building and it should keep it firmed it up and allow you to remove the angled supports.

    Looks like you've got some good options. I hope all moves along well for you and looking forward to your progress.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

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