Author Topic: My Workshop  (Read 11140 times)

Offline propforward

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My Workshop
« on: January 03, 2013, 07:29:53 PM »
Hello folks!

I just signed up with the forum today, having happened upon it while surfing the net for some answers to some questions.

I recognise a lot of names, so that's all good stuff. Thought I would show off my own workshop having signed up, and also because I can't help myself.

For about 10 years, between 2000 and 2010, I was living in a rented farmhouse, and had a shed that doubled as a garage and workshop. Pretty nice set up for the most part, but the shed was extremely dusty and dirty. It was converted from an old grainary. It was very draughty, and while it kept the worst of the weather off my tools and bikes, it was simply too cold (being in Minnesota - and the shed was totally uninsulated) in winter to work in. It was also damp as heck, and all I could do to keep the tools and bikes from just rusting away.

Prior to 2000 I was living in apartments and rented spaces etc, and just acquiring hand tools to keep motorcycles in service.

However, 2 years ago I moved house and finally bought my own place. The new house is a more modern (1996 construction vs 1905) building......with a very important additional feature.........

This:


 
A pole shed.............most excellent.
 
The shed had an electrical service, and concrete base, but that was it. It was unfinished. Actually - I was pretty happy about that. It meant that some construction would be reuired, but that way I could get a shop built inside it to my own specifications.
 
So, to make a long story longer, that is what I set about doing.
 
The pole shed is about 30' by 40', and I decided that insulating and heating that whole space would be too costly, and frankly pointless, so I decided to frame in a 16 X 30 section at the rear of the shed, which would house all my tools, and then the remainder of the shed would be for general storage of all the other guff - such as gardening implements, lawnmower and all that stuff that gets in the way of real fun sometimes. :rolleyes:
 
Anyway, less words prop, more pics.
 
So here is a view inside the shed, looking from the right most overhead door to the far corner.
 

 
Prime starting material for a shop, I think you'll agree.
 
I started off by making a temporary bench to hold carpentry tools
 

 

 
Designed the framing system
 

 
Got the building permit (decided to do it legally, even though a project like this you can sneak under the radar easily enough).
 
Ordered the material
 

 
And set about the 2 X 4s with a nailing gun.
 

 
And slowly things started to take shape.
 

 

 
Well, then a major project came up at work, which required me to travel extensively throughout 2011. I decided at that point, that having the shop built in time for winter of 2011/2012 was more important than the satisfaction of building the shop myself. Besides, it turns out that carpentry is not easy. I was happy with the frames I was making, but it was taking a long time to make each one. So I contracted the rest of the job out.
 
That's why there is a sudden leap from a few frames in the above picture to:
 

 

 

 
Which happened in the space of a week during one of my travels.
 
Moving on, once sheetrocking and electrical were installed:
 

 

 
Starting to take shape eh?
 
The contracting things out approach worked so well, that I did it with the heater, too.
 

 
So, painted and trimmed and heated, I got back in there and started moving tools and equipment in.
 

 

 
Once the tools were in (they were just "placed" at this point - not yet bolted down and installed) I made up the benches. I had some 16 foot 2 X 6's left over from the construction, and these made some very nice benches.
 

 

 

 

 
All that remained after that was to get a few shelves in, some pegboard on the walls, and get the machines bolted down and in place.
 
Here are the pics of the shop now:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
I am very very very happy with this. It's a dream come true, and it has taken a long time to get to this point. The shop has a 9 foot ceiling, heating and air conditioning, and is very well insulated making the heat and a/c affordable. I have two 110V circuits of outlets all around the walls, three individual 220V circuits for machine tools, individual a/c circuit, individual air compressor circuit (air compressor is outside shop in main shed), separate lighting circuit. As you can see, it is bright and clean, with a place for everything and everything in its place.
 
This is a dream space that I have been actually working towards for some time, and I am really happy with it. There is still a lot to do and add, but these things happen over time. I am hoping to add a vertical mill in a couple of months, but first off I need to (re) learn some basic machining skills. I have made a start on an Elmer number 25, and I am pleased with the progress so far. It is a real challenge figuring out how to make some parts, but slowly it is coming together.

Thanks for having me!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 01:33:47 PM by propforward »
Stuart

Offline AussieJimG

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 07:41:14 PM »
That is one great space. Well designed, properly executed. :ThumbsUp:

And I do like the bike lift. I either need to get one or to stop working on bikes.

But what was all that white stuff outside the shed? :ROFL:

Jim

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 07:47:36 PM »
Very nice space Prop...something most of us only dream of!!  What did you do for the floor in the shop space?  It is epoxy coated or what? Looks great whatever it is as does the whole shop. I'm with Jim though...you can keep the white stuff outside :)

Bill

Offline propforward

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 07:48:49 PM »


But what was all that white stuff outside the shed? :ROFL:


It's evil stuff. It is anti bike matter.

Although it does encourage me to stay in the shop, so it's not all bad.
Stuart

Offline propforward

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 07:53:49 PM »
Very nice space Prop...something most of us only dream of!!  What did you do for the floor in the shop space?  It is epoxy coated or what? Looks great whatever it is as does the whole shop. I'm with Jim though...you can keep the white stuff outside :)


It is indeed epoxy coated. I did that myself, it was never a part of the contractors scope of work.

It took me three solid days of prep to do it - scrubbing and scraping the concrete floor, then degreasing it, then etching it. That was all the hardest part, but well worth the effort. Doing the epoxy painting was relatively easy, but a word to the wise, if you do this yourself, paint very small sections at a time, then throw the paint chips. I painted sections that were far too large, and as a result I do not have uniform paint chip distribution. Even so, I am happy, it is much better than a bare concrete floor. I just used one of the garage floor epoxy paint kits that you can get at Home Depot or other home improvement stores. I recommend buying extra paint chips, and allow for about 1/3 extra paint over what they say on the box for good floor coverage. So far - no peeling or chipping of the paint anywhere, so it is holding up quite well.
Stuart

Offline steamer

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 08:43:51 PM »
Welcome!

NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dave
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Offline Jo

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 08:53:53 PM »
Welcome, you are giving me ideas for my new workshop, thanks.

Jo
Enjoyment is more important than achievement.

Online rudydubya

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 08:56:38 PM »
Wow!  That's quite a shop, Prop.  Congratulations.  And welcome.

Regards,
Rudy

Offline zeeprogrammer

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 11:37:52 PM »
Ah here they are. (The pics of the shop.)

Nice! That's going to be a fun and happy place.
Carl (aka Zee) Will sometimes respond to 'hey' but never 'hey you'.
"To work. To work."
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Offline Don1966

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 12:56:42 AM »
That is well set up shop Prop. You have room to work and having it cool and warm when you want makes it nice doesn't it? My shop is also a 30x40 metal building and I spli it in half one side for drive in and the other insulated to work in.

Don

Offline propforward

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2013, 01:41:29 AM »
Thanks for the kind words all! I am naturally very happy and proud of this space. Mostly I have been doing maintenance on my bikes in it, but it is really fun to be cutting (butchering? :)) metal in it now. It is indeed a real treat to be able to keep it warm and cool as needed.
Stuart

Arbalest

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2013, 02:09:42 PM »
Great looking workshop!

Offline ScroungerLee

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, 03:51:12 PM »
That's a beautiful PropShop.  Interesting placement of the lathe e-stop on the wall, you could hit that after jumping away from an emergency event.

Lee
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Offline propforward

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2013, 01:47:18 PM »
Thanks Lee.

The wall mount breaker was actually a bit of overkill on my part. In retrospect I'm not sure it was worthwhile. The lathe has an e-stop on it anyway, and I can always pull the plug. Still, it's there, and I like shutting off the breaker when changing belts / gears etc, rather than pulling the plug.

I've attached a couple more recent pictures of the lathe area here. I made up a beefy set of rather ugly shelves from some left over 2 X 4s and plywood, to hold lathe tooling and some materials. Although it's not the most well crafted piece of carpentry by any means, it is handy to have.



Here is a close up of my lathe - a Grizzly 12 X 37 belt drive back gear machine, with gap bed. Quite a nice all round machine. I got it in 2008, but haven't done much with it until recently - it certainly is enjoyable to start working with it finally.



My Dad sent me over a small quick change toolpost, which I think is from a Myford lathe. Today I am going to try and make a suitable post to mount it to the Grizzly. I think having the small toolpost on there will make it easier for me to hold some of the smaller bits, which are a bit more appropriate for some of the small parts I am trying to make on my first engine(s). I'll post some pictures of that later on.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 04:19:34 PM by propforward »
Stuart

Offline mklotz

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2013, 04:01:15 PM »
Safety alert...

Those lathe tools hanging on the pegboard behind the lathe are an invitation to reach across a spinning workpiece thus creating the opportunity to get wound up in your work.

Please do yourself a favor and rethink that storage plan.
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Home Shop Freeware
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Offline propforward

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2013, 06:56:39 PM »
Fair enough.

Actually, it's a really inconvenient place for tools now that I've used it for a while. I think what I would prefer to do is move the pegboard over to one of the other benches to hold more wrenches etc, and put up a dry erase board and a cork board in place of this one, for pinning drawings and sketches to. I think that would be more useful.

Miles safer too.  :ThumbsUp:
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 07:00:11 PM by propforward »
Stuart

Offline mklotz

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2013, 08:58:45 PM »
If you must hang things behind the lathe, do it at the tailstock end and reserve the headstock end for Ridgid calendars and other such examples of fine art.

Lots of my tooling is used on both the lathe and the mill.  An inexpensive rolling cart, e.g.,

http://www.harborfreight.com/large-steel-tool-cart-with-locking-drawer-90428.html

will hold items not conveniently stored in a mechanic's rolling tool cabinet (e.g. chucks) and can obviously be easily re-positioned.  No matter how big your shop is, having stuff on wheels is a good idea.
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Regards, Marv


Home Shop Freeware
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Offline propforward

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Re: My Workshop
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2013, 02:32:00 AM »
True dat.

I have actually spent some time this evening evaluating that pegboard above the lathe, and I have a perfect new position for it, which puts it midway between the lathe and where the mill will be eventually. So this will make it quite convenient for both tools, but prevent reaching past moving parts for things. I think this will work well.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 02:51:23 PM by propforward »
Stuart

Offline mklotz

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Re: My Workshop - a long time dream come true.
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2013, 04:37:32 PM »
Good.  We want you to be safe.
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Regards, Marv


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Offline propforward

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Re: My Workshop
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2013, 02:37:32 AM »
I made some adjustments tonight. I now have a whiteboard behind the lathe, to stick drawings to and to put sketches on to refer to. The pegboard I cut in half, and put part over on the other wall, as you can see. I will likely change some of the locations of tools and things. The simple lumber shelf will be moving down closer to the lathe, and think the chuck keys will go on top of that, as it puts them in easier reach. I will find the optimum position for everything as I go on, but this is a good start.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 04:18:29 PM by propforward »
Stuart

Offline mklotz

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Re: My Workshop
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2013, 04:43:31 PM »
My lathe has a flat, hinged lid on the top of the headstock similar to what I see in your pictures.  It covers the drive belt pulley so it must be raised whenever I need to change the speed.  I presume that your arrangement is similar.

I quickly discovered that it was inevitable that small tools (eg drills, mike, file) would end up on that tray; it was just too handy.  Removing them to tilt the lid was a pain.  Plus the low "fence" on the edge of the lid meant there was a chance that a small item could roll/jiggle off, land on the spinning chuck and become a projectile.

At the local craft store they sell smallish unfinished wooden trays that crafters buy and "decorate" with hideous designs in offensive colors.  I bought a selection of these.

One of these fit the headstock top tray rather well and resides there permanently now.  Its 1.5" high sides prevent roll aways and, when I need to change speeds it's a simple matter to pick up the tray and its contents and set them aside.

The other, smaller trays went on my workbench top where they collect small tools, etc..  When I need to work on a large object again it's simple to set aside the whole tray rather than deal with a collection of small items. 
---
Regards, Marv


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Offline propforward

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Re: My Workshop
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2013, 04:49:39 PM »
You are absolutely right, that is a hinged lid, and I have been making sure to have locations for chuck keys etc that make them handy, so that I avoid putting things on that lid. But I like the tray idea. I definitely need something, because the top shelf of the wooden shelf system in the picture is too cluttered.

In fact, your idea now gives me something to do at lunch. I wonder if I can find some cheap organiser system that would allow me to tidy up that shelf?

A little tray that held only the chuck keys on top of the gearbox lid would certainly work well though. Hmmmm.  :thinking:

I really hate clutter.

Often what you need to do jumps out as you start using the area, so that is the next step. I also like roll carts, as you mentioned before.
Stuart

Offline mklotz

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Re: My Workshop
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2013, 05:11:29 PM »
If simply sitting the tray on the lid seems insecure to you, you can add some metal ells to the bottom of the tray so they slip over the edges of the lid and keep the tray fixed when on the lid.  Alternatively, you can glue magnets to the bottom of the tray but that raises the chance of magnetizing your tools - something I detest.

And, if you like the brown stuff, you can always custom build a tray to fit snugly over the lid.  Such a tray could have, as a firm attachment, a wooden block with holes to match the handles of the chuck keys. 

As you say, these things work themselves out as one uses them.  Form follows function.
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Regards, Marv


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Offline propforward

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Re: My Workshop
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2013, 06:15:36 PM »
If simply sitting the tray on the lid seems insecure to you, you can add some metal ells to the bottom of the tray so they slip over the edges of the lid and keep the tray fixed when on the lid.

Not as such, I probably didn't explain myself very well. It's just that since opening that lid is a routine necessity for changing speed, I have got myself into the frame of mind of "thou shalt not put things here matey". I get into these frames of mind all the time, and sometimes it takes someone else to point out that "actually if you do it like this, it's not such a big deal". Having a little tray up there seems like a neat and easy idea. I might try it, because I like having the chuck keys right close at hand.

EDIT: The more I think about this tray thing, the more I like it. I'm afraid I get quite exciteable about small matters like this. :D
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 06:24:15 PM by propforward »
Stuart

Offline Chris J

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Re: My Workshop
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2013, 12:23:51 AM »
If simply sitting the tray on the lid seems insecure to you, you can add some metal ells to the bottom of the tray so they slip over the edges of the lid and keep the tray fixed when on the lid.

Not as such, I probably didn't explain myself very well. It's just that since opening that lid is a routine necessity for changing speed, I have got myself into the frame of mind of "thou shalt not put things here matey". I get into these frames of mind all the time, and sometimes it takes someone else to point out that "actually if you do it like this, it's not such a big deal". Having a little tray up there seems like a neat and easy idea. I might try it, because I like having the chuck keys right close at hand.

EDIT: The more I think about this tray thing, the more I like it. I'm afraid I get quite exciteable about small matters like this. :D

I thought I was the king of the clean white spartan look, you take it to a new level !! Very nice

How about 4 small stick on bits of velcro under the tray to aid removal if necessary ?
Don't believe everything you read on the internet - Abraham Lincoln.

Offline propforward

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Re: My Workshop
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2013, 01:41:53 AM »
I thought I was the king of the clean white spartan look, you take it to a new level !! Very nice

How about 4 small stick on bits of velcro under the tray to aid removal if necessary ?

Thank you! I do like nice, bright, tidy workspaces.

I ended up moving the wood shelves closer towards the lathe, and now the chuck keys live on the top shelf of that. It turns out that puts them in a very nice location to get easily, and I don't feel a need to sit anything on top of the lathe after all, so actually it's a major win. Now I use the whiteboard behind the machine to stick up drawings, or to draw sketches on before I start turning - or to write down the sequence of machining events - this whole arrangement is much better and safer use of the space, so cheers to Marv.

I do want to get some trays and storage draws to add to the wooden shelves for a little better organisation of cutter bits, but overall I am very happy with the layout.

The velcro is a good idea though.  :thinking: I see possibilities there.
Stuart