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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting back into woodworking after 30-or-so years and I expect to be doing a lot of routing, so I was glad to find RouterForums.com. I'm currently shrinking our garage gym and expanding the garage workshop (which now is only about 8' x 15', too much of which is taken up by not-very-useful workbench space), and my first woodworking projects will be aimed at increasing the versatility of my workshop space. I'll be building a roll-around cabinet with storage for the table saw/router table combo I'm putting together, and flip-up or flip-over surfaces for my small bench-top tools.

Even more of a priority will be making little swinging "doors" to seal the between-rafter openings to the outside. We get anywhere from 40 to 100 inches a year in rainfall, and I'm already fighting rust on my new table saw's cast-iron table!

I expect these tasks will take some time and give me the experience to start experimenting with "artsier" projects, and given where I live, I will likely be doing a lot with raw redwood--maybe even burl wood if I can afford or find it.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to being able to draw upon the accumulated experience of all the other members of RouterForums.com
 

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Dave Hello and welcome to the router forum.
 

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Dave...welcome to the Forum...you're gonna like it here...
 

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Welcome. Try some BOESHIELD T-9 Rust & Corrosion Protection/Inhibitor. It has worked very well for me. We're in a dry climate, but I had an evaporative cooler in there for years and the Boeshield stopped the rust cold.
 

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Hey, Dave; welcome!
On the "little swinging doors" thing did you mean the roof rafters?
Is the ceiling in the garage unfinished? Not clear on why you'd want doors at the tail ends of the rafters???
Normally there'd be solid blocking between the rafters over the top plates, or some means of allowing venting into the attic space year round. The blocking or vent screening prevents critters or insects from getting in.
It's all just theory until a squirrel gets in and sets up housekeeping...or wasps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Dan, the garage ceiling is the underside of the roof; IOW it's completely unfinished. I don't want to put in a ceiling under the roof joists because the storage space above them is too valuable, especially for long lumber. (Your question about the gable makes me think that I might indeed need a couple of doors in them. Thanks!) I might someday insulate the underside of the roof.

But to answer your question in more detail than you may have time to read, there's solid blocking above the top plate only between every other pair of rafters. The alternate pairs have nothing at all, not even screening.

So while I can put in screening for pest control, I need the little swinging doors for humidity control and ventilation. (We've never had a squirrel get in, although we did have one set up housekeeping above our bedroom, but we do have a rodent problem. Last time it was a wood rat--a kind of pack rat--and for a couple of years after we got rid of it I kept finding caches of small L-screws up in the rafters.)

As I said, we get a lot of rain, and rust is definitely a problem in the garage. My second year up here was an El Niño year that delivered over 100 inches, and in 1982, following 2 months of record rainfall and a 24-hour total of around 12 inches, the steep mountainside above Love Creek in a town just down the road basically melted, burying 9 houses and 10 people under 600,000 cubic yards of mud: 80,000 dump truck loads. None of the bodies could be recovered and that part of Love Creek Road now literally runs over a cemetery.

I can't just block off the openings permanently because I can't afford air conditioning, so I need the doors openable to get the most ventilation possible in summer, which is very dry and often hits triple digits. In fact, the year before last, during a scorching heat wave, Boulder Creek was the hottest place in the U.S., even hotter than Death Valley. Fortunately, since we're in a Mediterranean climate, all but a tiny fraction of our rainfall arrives between November and April, with freezing temperatures in January and February, so I'll only need to open or close the doors twice a year.

Anyway, thanks for your welcome and your questions, which not only gave me an idea for lumber storage, but also taught me the proper terminology for some of the components of a roof and the part of the wall it rests on. That sort of knowledge makes it a lot easier to communicate with a contractor; much more so that pointing, handwaving, and using words like "thingumbobby!"
 

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Dave; you're 'preaching to the choir'; I live in the Pacific Northwest, so does Herb Stoops...we invented rust... :)
Insulating your shop will help dramatically in controlling the humidity as it's relative to the air temperature. Keep the air inside moving with a small fan. Don't cover your cast iron tables up with plastic, it seems to make the problem worse.
Try using a product like Boeshield as Tom mentioned, or even furniture paste wax (no silicone content!!!).
If you decide to insulate the roof rafters, not the ceiling joists, please have a chat with us first. We'll save you some potential misery.
 

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Hi Dave, just saw this string again and want to add something about insulating. Start by putting in radiant barrier, an aluminized bubble wrap you staple to the underside of the roof. It is designed to reflect radiant heat back toward its source. It only has an R4 insulation value, but when I added it to the underside of the roof in the garage (I live in the desert and it was summer), we measured the roof temperature on the barrier side and again on the raw ply side. There was nearly 40 degrees difference! So with the R38 insulation between rafters, the garage stays moderate in both summer and winter. The barrier reflects heat from the inside back toward the inside, so until I open the garage door, it stays reasonable on both hot and cold days.

I choose to spend the extra $200 on the barrier because I've used it in my shop shed and again in my office shed, both against the roof and in the walls. It was so effective out there, there was no question about using it in the garage.

My garage has a roll up type door with four sections. I insulated it by laying in the radiant barrier against the steel door, then added 1.5 inch foam blocks, then added a second layer of barrier over that. On the hottest and coldest days (4 degrees in winter, 114 in summer), you can touch the insulation and it is never really hot or cold.

The ceiling was dry walled after insulating, but the walls had fire retardent drywall installed already, so there was no reasonable way to lay in the barrier in the walls (VERY expensive to replace it), so the blown in insulation is not nearly as effective as it is, for example, in my shop. The contractor Drilled and screened vent holes in the insulation stops, and added some plastic venting that conducts air past the insulation. He also installed a thermostat controlled exhaust fan, plus an attic access right next to the fan (They don't last long out here in the heat).

If money were no object, I would have had the garage drywall removed, added a 2x2 to each stud, installed the radiant barrier, then put R38 insulation on top of that, then new drywall. The Blown in insulation is only about R13, and is cold to the touch in winter.

Thought I'd share what has been a very successful approach to insulation--the radiant barrier.
--DRT
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the insulation advice, Tom!

I'm familiar with the radiant barrier, which we used in our library shed--when two writers get married you end up with a lot of books; even after assiduous culling we still have close to 5000. We never added additional insulation because we we mainly using it to reflect light from the fluorescent fixtures, which face up from the bookshelves. I'll probably follow your advice on the rest of the roof insulation.

I have two "counter-top" roll-up door: the steel kind that look like a roll-top desk, so they can't be insulated. I wish I'd thought of that.

For the walls, they're a patchwork of no-insulation and insulation I was able to put in on non-dry-walled areas. Don't know what I'll do about that; I rather doubt we can afford the blow-in stuff.

Got a lot of work to do!
 

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Hi Dave, I'm a journalist by training and write a lot for my consulting business. I love reading, but my vision is not working for print anymore. The Kindle has really opened up reading again for me.

My outside office is a 10x12 shed, wired, with AC and heat. Insulated roof and walls, double glazed windows. I insulated the floor but it's not enough, at some point I'll get around to putting a skirt around the base (as I did with my shop/shed), which really improved heating and AC effectiveness. Both sheds are on crushed rock bases, which without the skirt, really bled off the heat and AC. The shop shed doesn't have double glazed windows, so I blocked them with foam insulation. Works well enough.

My office shed has wifi via an extender attached to the router in the inside office. Strange, the shed wifi speed is 50 percent faster than in the house. The only issue with the radiant parrier is that in the office shed, the barrier turns into a faraday cage and the phone signal is really weak. The antenna for the shed's wifi is in a window in line of sight to the extender. It is a special antenna made for boats in a marina and it really puls in the signal.

Do you two write fiction, nonfiction or? I cannot make dialogue sound natural, so I stick with nonfiction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sounds like a nice setup, Tom.

As for writing, I wrote a five-volume space opera called Exordium with a friend back in the early 90s. Despite having been published by Tor Books, arguably, then as now, the leading publisher of science fiction and fantasy, with covers by a leading genre book cover artist, it quickly dropped from sight, although it still has a small cult following, especially among naval analysts! (I spent a lot of time figuring out the interaction between weapon and ship design and tactics and strategy.) I wrote one short story after that, based in the same world, and that was it for fiction. I then concentrated on marketing writing for a Silicon Valley startup (with one foray into technical writing) hoping for a big cash-out that never materialized. I had my own writing business for a time after that, but it was making me crazy so I retired.

My wife's career, OTOH, is and has been quite a bit more successful. Most SF readers of our generation here will know the world called Darkover and its author, Marion Zimmer Bradley. She and Deborah (Deborah J. Ross) were good friends when Marion suffered a series of strokes at the end of the 90s that made it impossible for her to continue writing. Long story short, she chose Deborah to keep Darkover alive, and so far she's published seven novels on Darkover, with an eighth in the pipeline, along with several collections of her short stories set in that world that were originally published in Darkover anthologies. She has also published three SF novels of her own (with more on the way), a fantasy trilogy, a book on the craft of writing, and many short stories. It's not exactly a living, but it makes a nice supplement to Social Security. And the nice thing about fiction writing, at least, is that you don't have to retire until you're gaga--and some writers (I'm looking at you Robert A. Heinlein) hang on even longer.

FWIW, I'm paying for the woodworking tools and supplies I'm buying with the proceeds from a job that's also a "mitzvah," which in Judaism means commandment, blessing and good deed. (My wife's a Jew, I'm a Quaker.) I'm helping a disabled man by driving him around and doing handyman tasks around the hours. I'm only charging him minimum wage, but it still adds up pretty quickly. (I also contribute to the household budget to keep Deborah happy: right now, everything I earn is going to pay for a new garbage disposal. And then, more tools!)
 
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