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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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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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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Part 2 New cabinets

First thing on my agenda was to build two cabinets to fit in the alcove. It would be difficult to fit one cabinet, so I made two of them. Then I built a single face frame which made the whole thing look like a single unit.

Paint? Yeah, battleship gray!

Then I turned to the newly painted wall. After relocating to tool box, I devised a cabinet plan and built two of them. I have room for one more in the near future. BTW, they are working out great!

Next up was to run some conduit and install extra receptacles for the tools.

With the cabinets trimmed out and painted, I am calling them a done deal.

Then I turned my attention to a blank wall, which is between the door to the house and our freezer. I mounted some pegboard on it to hold things like templates and my track saw guides.
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Last edited by MT Stringer; 07-20-2013 at 02:18 PM.
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Part 3 - New Miter Saw Station

Man, what a Godsend!

Using Ron's plan as a guide, I made my own version...80 inches long. I built two separate cabinets that are bolted to the miter saw table. I have 8 3 inch casters that allow me to move it as needed. It is rock solid.

The drawers and trays make organization nice. Since I now have my air compressor and Shop Vac incorporated into this build, the floor of the shop is clearing out somewhat.

Next, I built the fences according to the specs included with the kreg Trak and installed the hardware. I bolted the fences to the table via inserts so I can remove them if the table space is needed as a workspace. I also temporarily set up my oscillating sander and strip belt sander. They will be staying for the long run.

My shop Vac fits neatly under the saw as does my Bucket Max. The Shop Vac is connected to a dust Deputy which sits at the end of the bench. That makes it easy to empty. Next up will be dedicated dust collection piping for each tool and a hood of some sort for the saw.

Bonus for Mikey

I discovered I can set up my router table top at the left end of the miter saw table. I bought a piece of angle at HD and mounted it underneath the router table. I have it temporarily attached to the miter saw stand with clamps until I can cobble up a nice looking mount for it. Oh yeah, I can take my router table fence off and add an extension fence (with Krek Trak guide) which should let me set up stops as far out as 72 inches!

Also included here are some pics of my Grizzly table saw and modified Harbor Freight dust collector.
Edit: The white translucent drum lets me see the level and watch the chips swirl around inside. :-) The Thien chip separator works really well.

I will add more pics as time goes on.
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Last edited by MT Stringer; 07-20-2013 at 06:20 PM. Reason: Added adittional description.
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Part 4 - Router Table add on

Here are some more pics including the addition of the router table top, my new tape rack and cooler construction (framed around a 70 qt Igloo cooler).

The miter saw station has dramatically improved my work flow. In no time, I had my pieces cut for my latest project. I even used the table top for temporarily mounting my pocket hole jig.

Assembly on my work table/outfeed table using clamps and the Kreg Clamp Tracks make the work go smoothly.

And VOILA! Cooler #11 is complete.
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Last edited by MT Stringer; 07-20-2013 at 03:04 PM.
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 03:50 PM
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Great job, Mike! And a very nice picture layout to boot. I sorely need to do the same thing with my shop (junk room?). I can hardly walk around in there much less build something.

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks George. It got to where everything was either in my way or couldn't be found. Something had to give.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Stringer View Post
Paint? Yeah, battleship gray!
I say you'll be sorry. My vote is the glossiest white paint you can find, at least two coats, everything except any windows, and the cat - floor, walls, ceiling, et al. It'll dim down some after you've worked in it for awhile, and dust gets everywhere, but it'll still make the shop brighter. My mistake was in matte white paint, should have gone for glossy.

"It ain't what you're told, it's what you know." - Granny Weatherwax
Some days, the supply of available curse words is insufficient to meet my demands.
Call me a craftsman, artisan, or artistic, and I will accept that. Call me an artist and you will likely get a quite rude comment in return. I am not a @#$%ing artist.
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
I say you'll be sorry. My vote is the glossiest white paint you can find, at least two coats, everything except any windows, and the cat - floor, walls, ceiling, et al. It'll dim down some after you've worked in it for awhile, and dust gets everywhere, but it'll still make the shop brighter. My mistake was in matte white paint, should have gone for glossy.
Heh heh...the walls and ceiling are already white. and with the toolbox being red, I thought gray would be OK. At least it looks OK to me.

Did I mention I am partially color blind? :-) I like gray. One of my favorite colors!
Yes, it does make my photography a tough situation to deal with. :-(
Mike
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 08:29 PM
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Great job, Mike.

I like the miter saw stand.

James
Sydney, Australia
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I don't profess to know everything, and I may learn something new.

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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-21-2013, 07:13 AM
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Mike looking at your first set of photo, you did have to tidy up, your last photos show what a good job you did, now you can get back to making things and you won't be falling over things, good job. NGM
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