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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
MT Stringer
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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First Name: Mike
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Default Garage/Workshop Makeover

I thought I would document my desire to reorganize my one car garage/workshop. My woodworking tools share the floor space with a washer, dryer, upright freezer and a hot water heater. The outside wall has a heavy duty storage rack that takes up about 2/3 of the wall. Another storage rack and the Harbor Freight dust collector takes up the remainder of the wall space.

That leaves me with the center of the garage and the other long wall to use. After adding a cabinet table saw, an outfeed table/work bench/assembly table multiuse table, a 14 inch band saw and a 6 inch jointer. There is not a lot of room left. I also have the Harbor Freight large rolling tool box with two add-ons which take up almost 6 feet of the available wall space.

Many years ago, I built a simple work bench and bolted a vise onto it. The other day when I was doing some cleaning and sweeping, I found a magazine behind a storage rack that was dated April 1988! :-) That was a year after we moved into this house. Guess I should clean up more often, huh?

After that many years you can imagine I have collected a lot of stuff. I still have some of my original Sears Craftsman tools from my first tool purchase in 1967.

I have already made several improvements. A few years ago, we had the siding replaced on our house. While the siding was off, I had the contractor insulate the outside wall of the garage.Iím glad I thought of it while the wall was open and easy to get to. We also bought a new energy efficient overhead door and had it installed.

Last summer it was 95-102 here in the Houston area. It was miserable to try to work in the shop. I even set up a pop up canopy to do some of the work outside under it. But the homeowners assoc didnít like that so I took it down.

As a result, I bought a Fedders 12K split system air conditioner and me and my son installed it. He works for a HVAC company and did the AC part. I hired an electrician to run a new dedicated circuit for the AC unit. The outside unit sits behind the privacy fence and is actually only about 6 feet from the electrical service panel.

The following week, I had an insulating company blow in 11 inches of insulation in the ceiling over the garage, the adjacent bedroom and bathroom. Boy howdy, what a difference that insulation made. One of the added benefits is sound deadner. It has really muffled outside noise. In fact, you canít hardly hear the overhead door when it opens or closes.

The big difference is the insulating factor. With all of the walls (and ceiling) insulated, the garage is just like the rest of the house. The AC keeps the temp at about 74 deg F. It will drop it to 73 if I donít raise the door much.
That is while it is 90+ deg outside.

Now I can work anytime. The AC unit is also a heat pump so those cold harsh Houston winters (sic) donít faze meÖ33 deg outside, 69 inside. :-)

The other day it was 91 outside Ė 74 inside. I like that a lot.

The Plan

I have devised a plan and it goes like this:
  • Clear out the 4 foot x 6 foot alcove that was used to hold a tool box and a lot of other stuff.
  • Build new upper cabinets and install them on French Cleats. Stock the cabinets with paint and stain supplies.
  • Remove the old work bench and clear out all of the junk along that wall. Paint the wall as I go.
  • Relocate the rolling tool box to make better use of the floor space.
  • Build two new cabinets and hang them above the tool box on French cleats.
  • Add some electrical receptacle boxes for power tool use by running 1/2 inch EMT conduit as needed.
  • Using 80 inches of available wall space, build a miter saw station similar to the Ron Paulk Miter Saw Stand and incorporate two cabinets with drawers and and trays for my air compressor and Leigh Mortising jig. Install the Kreg Trak measuring system and stops.
  • Use extra table top space for a strip belt sander and oscillating sander.
  • Incorporate dust collection for the miter saw and sanders.
  • Build more cabinets above the power tools if room allows.
Note: Once all of the cabinets have been built, I will build face frames and attach them to the cabinets. Doors and drawer fronts will probably come last.

Before Pics

Attached are some pics of my equipment and layout before I started the makeover. UGH! What a mess!

And then it was time to start building the cabinets.
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