Alright, here we go. I thought you may want to follow along for the building of my new workshop. I'll try to post as many pics as I can of the progress and I'll try to keep everyone updated as much as I can.
Some of you know me. For those who don't, here's a quick intro. I'm a novice woodworker. I've done a few small things but nothing I'm especially proud of. Until this year, I basically worked on a $100 benchtop table saw and a benchtop bandsaw. I enjoyed working on projects but the limitations of the equipment was frustrating to me. Not only that, but I knew my TS especially was very unsafe. So, this year I made a committment to buy good equipment. Already I've noticed that I enjoy this hobby so much more. The tools do make a difference. Some of my purchases over the past year have been a PM2000 table saw, Delta X5 6" jointer, Dewalt planer, Grizzly bandsaw, Bessey clamps, Hitachi 12"SCMS, PC air compressor & nailers, dust collector, router. Picked up a five or six Bailey planes as well. I've built a rock solid but inexpensive bench, built some jigs (crosscut sled, router dado jig), and bought some cherry & walnut. Enough about me, let's get to the new shop.
It should be said up front that costs need to be controlled on this project. You already know that, though. True for every project. I'm pretty much at my limit with this thing financially. Because of that, I want to get the structure up now and worry about the things I CAN do later, later. Like insulation, interior finish, flooring (maybe?), dc, air, etc, etc, etc. That said, I'm trying not to do anything that would preclude being able to do some of the things I want to do later. I am not a professional WW by any means. I work full time as a consultant and own another business. I have a five year old, a four year old, and another one due this month. Between work and family, I only get a few hours in the shop per week. You may ask, "Then why the **** are you building a shop?" Good question. We really want to finish our basement. That's where my shop is now. So, in effect, I'm being evicted. Plus, the noise and dust has become an issue. Also, once the kids grow up, I'm sure I'll have more time to spend out there. I've worked in cramped garages and cramped basements, I find that I get more enjoyment out of this hobby if I can do it in an environment that is comfortable and organized. Another thing, while we do plan on staying in this house forever, you never know what the future brings. Because of that, I don't want to do anything that would hamper resale value. Or, who knows, maybe one day I won't be interested in ww anymore. I'd like the shop to be able to easily converted to a garage if necessary. These things all affect my decision-making.
Unlike some of the more ambitious members here, I have hired a general contractor to do the heavy lifting for me. Simply don't have the time to do it myself. It's going to be a detached building about 20' from my house at the end of my driveway, land is pretty flat. Dimensions are 24'x36' with 10' walls and a 12/12 attic truss roof. There will be a subpanel hooked in from the house and plumbing will be run to the building. This structure will be visible from the street and will look like a garage, except with nicer carriage-type doors. In other words, needs to go well with the house. My closest neighbor is about a football field away. This is what we're working with.
Let's talk about the floor. Remember I said I'd like to revert back to a garage if necessary? That's part of the reason for going with a slab. That, and cost. I guess if I knew that this would be a ww shop forever and I didn't have to think about resale and the costs were the same, I would probably go with a perimeter foundation with a wood floor on top of that. I think that for the reasons I mentioned, slab is best. Now, I really want a wood floor. The whole creaky knee thing plus I like the looks of it. I've heard people say they'd laid sleepers and plywood down on top of concrete to get that wood floor. I think I'd like to take it a step further and raise a floor on top of 2x6s. This would provide enough room for dust collection ductwork and wiring. You may say, why not just lay conduits and ducts in the concrete? Well, I GUARANTEE I will be moving the location of my dustmakers. I would like to get in the shop for a while before I commit to locations for these things. Once they're in concrete, they're, well, set in stone. Of course, raising the floor will cost me six inches of wall height. I think I'm ok with that since my walls will end up at 9'6". Should be sufficient. Connected to this discussion is heating. I've heard a lot of people say to install radiant heating in the slab. If I were not going to raise the floor, I probably would. Raising the floor leaves the option open for installing radiant heating under the wood floor. Until then, I'll probably do some sort of electrical heating.
As I mentioned before, I'll have attic trusses put in for storage. I've played with the idea of putting my DC and air compressor up there but I'll wait to make that decision. Leaning toward scrapping that and building a small closet outside. Not a critical decision at this time since all I currently have is a pancake compressor and a Delta dust collector. No cyclone yet. I'd rather not have electrical or dc drops from above but I will if I need to. Much prefer to go under-floor. Leaving all options open.
Let's get on with it...