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Thread: Shop Walls and Floor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Bumpass, VA
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    Shop Walls and Floor

    It has been many years since I was on here and wood working has taken a back seat for quite a while, due to job or lack of job issues. But I finally have my life settled down and debt recovery is almost complete.

    It has become increasingly likely that my MIL is going to be moving in with us in the next year or so. To accomplish this we are going to have to take bay 3 of our garage where my shop currently is and extend the house into it to create a bathroom on the first floor as she can't climb the stairs now, much less in a year from now. So in order to keep the shop, I've been given the go ahead to build a free standing shop in the back yard. It's not big, but will be bigger than a 1 bay garage stall.

    I've spent the last couple of months going over and making detail drawings to try and do this right the first time. I've got everything figured out except two things.

    The first is the walls. My wife thinks i should drywall as it would look better finished. I've been hearing stories of people who have put up 1/2 plywood for the wall, both for the durability and the ability to hang all but the heaviest stuff without having to worry about studs. I can't argue though that finished drywall may actually look better, but plywood I could use screws and take down if need be if i need to run wires that I didn't think of. So my question is, has anybody used plywood for the walls? How does it look painted? If you did it again would you stick with plywood or go with something else?

    The second round of questions is around the floor. I'm not pouring a slab, this will be a raised wooden floor with plywood down on the floor. I want to be able to get underneath to run dust control and electrical lines, plus I don't want to stand on concrete any more. I've seen shops where people have gone all out and put down hardwood or Pergo flooring and a recent magazine had a review on floor coverings that were supposed to add a little cushion but still not leave dents from big tools or damage tools when dropped. So any suggestions on what you have done to your floors?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Yorktown, Virginia
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    Welcome back Allen. Glad you remembered us. Can't help with the plywood walls but, apart from the issue of running electrical after the walls are up, drywall can be made to work in the shop if you install enough blocking inside the wall to handle any anticipated hanging requirements. Maybe a row of blocking at cabinet height around the entire shop? Just depends on what you think you will be hanging. I know I doubled the studs on the garage/shop wall where my wood rack would be hung to make sure they would support the weight and then added 2x6 blocking in the areas that I might want to hang something, just in case. Any forgotten wiring just goes in conduit. My floor is concrete and the detached shop I'm planning will have concrete too. I just use anti-fatigue mats where most of the standing happens and wear good comfortable shoes.

  3. #3
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    Bumpass, VA
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    Thanks. I know where my major cabinets are going to go and i planned on putting blocking to hang those regardless of whether I go with drywall or plywood, but I like the idea of just running it all the way around for future changes. The wood rack I'm looking at creating is free standing.

    When you say conduit are you running it on the outside of the walls?

  4. #4
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    Yup..Outside the wall on top of the Sheetrock. If you haven't already found it, check out the garage builds on here:
    http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/index.php?
    Lots and lots of garage and shop ideas. I spent days going through the build threads picking up ideas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Humid Gulf Coast
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    542
    If you leave the floor bare plywood, I'd prime it and paint it, to make cleanup easier.

    As for the walls, I vote drywall board, simply for the personal comfort factor. It's a small area, and will seem less shed like.

    If you wanted to cheap out a bit, I think that old 1970's type wall paneling is still availible. You know with the wood grain printed on it.

    That might make a freindly interior with hardly any work. Not as sturdy as 1/2 ply, but it doesn't require painting either.

    Hopefully the table saw will not bother your mother-in-law too much. So maybe put some insulation in the walls,

    and give a thought to wich way the doors and windows face, to cut the sound a little.

    and a few mother in law jokes --lol

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  6. #6
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    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Welcome back, Allen.

    When my fiancee (now wife) and I moved in together, her mom was part of the package, so you get a tip of the hat from me on that one. ;-) Are you a drinking man? You might want to start. (Just kidding. My mother-in-law (RIP) and I got along very well.)

    My current garage shop has drywall on two of the walls, but those walls also have 7' tall storage cabinets on them, so the drywall goes unnoticed. The third wall is stucco painted white, and the fourth is the overhead door. If I was building a standalone shop, for the walls I'd go with either plywood or OSB (either would be painted with white primer), simply for the flexibility it would offer when hanging things. Still, I'd like to have lots of cabinets instead of open shelves on the walls. For flooring, I'd go with simple plywood floors and either paint them or treat them with boiled linseed oil. Using BLO would make it easy to maintain the appearance of the floor if it got scratched or worn due to traffic.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
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    Vaughn you killing me. Now you "GET" one of the reasons i live where i do now. Means i dont have to drink that much.

    Sorry for the hijack.

    Back to shops, last shop i had i finished with insulation and 5/8 fire code dry wall. Wish i had used plywood. I was thinking of resale down the road if ever and lighting from a point of view of painting it. New owner took the whole building down so who was i kidding.

    Today i would go with construction grade ply and spray paint with acrylic paint. I would also go surface with my electrical like i have seen in other shops. At least then i aint gonna be worrying about whats behind the ply.

    I wont comment on the floor i aint experienced enough on those matters. My last shop i had a slab on grade and put down 2x8 PT wood and solid pink insulation in between spacing something like 16 inch on centers and then 3/4 ply over that. I would do the same again today. Concrete on its own is hard on the aging knees and back.

    Just one thing dont skimp on lighting use the T8 fittings and put them on different switches. I ganged all my lights up and it was a mistake wire and switches are cheap at the time of build. Electricity is a cost forever.

    Best of luck and welcome back to the forum.
    cheers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Bumpass, VA
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    Thanks for the welcomes. Fortunately my MIL and I get along really well, so it won't be too much of an adjustment. The only problem I for see and I may have to take up drinking, is that I also have a wife and 2 daughters, so there will be 4 females in the house. The daughters are 5 and 7 but in a few years I'm going to want to spend some time away from the house.

    Still lots to think about. I believe for now I'm just going to go with a plywood floor and paint it, to save money and see where everything gets setup at, then worry about something different on the floor. While I'm not trying to go on the cheap, having drywall hung may blow my budget. Because of the time crunch I'm already doing more work on the shop than I would have liked. There are a few things I would like to contract out that I'm going to have to do, to get under budget and on time. I'll just have to see how the funds are going when I get to that point.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Just one thing dont skimp on lighting use the T8 fittings and put them on different switches. I ganged all my lights up and it was a mistake wire and switches are cheap at the time of build. Electricity is a cost forever.

    Best of luck and welcome back to the forum.
    I plan on putting T8 fixtures in, but I'm curious as to why you thought that putting all the lights on one switch is a mistake? I do plan on putting all the lights on a dedicated breaker. I've heard of people tripping a breaker with a tool and loosing the lights at the same time, that I don't want to happen.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Bryant View Post
    I plan on putting T8 fixtures in, but I'm curious as to why you thought that putting all the lights on one switch is a mistake? I do plan on putting all the lights on a dedicated breaker. I've heard of people tripping a breaker with a tool and loosing the lights at the same time, that I don't want to happen.
    I echo what Rob said. Separate switches for each bank of lights lets you just burn electricity where you are working...you don't need to light the entire garage. Even further, consider another separate switch for a single light just inside the door/s for those times you are just ducking in for something quick.

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