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My Shop

Tools

Jigs

My Shop

My current shop is my first shop ever so I'm still working on lots of things. It's half of an almost 2-car garage. I say almost, because you'd have to have two narrow cars to fit them in and still be able to open the doors. My half is 8'x23'. My landlord added on a 6' slab to the back years ago taking the original 17' depth to 23' which I appreciate :-)

Floor

The floor of the garage is two separate slabs: The original 17' slab and the 6' extension my landlord added on later. The 6' extension sat about 2" higher than the original floor but it wasn't much of a problem since it's located at the rear of the building. This just begs to be a tool storage area for most folks. I did something very different, however.

The original slab is in pretty rough shape. Quite a few cracks and even a couple of raised chunks sticking up like icebergs. To solve this, I decided to run a wooden floor on top of it to even out the surface. This also let me level things since there was quite a slope built into the concrete floor as most garages have.

I started out with 2x stock for sleepers and a 3/4" thick sheet of particle board (was all I had at the time, and it's cheap!) for the floor. This let me start at the back of the original slab and come out just about even with the 6' additional slab. It's a pretty seemless transition and I rarely stub my toe!

I created a grid with the sleepers that basically divided a 4'x8' sheet into eight 2'x1' sections. So far, the particle board has held up to the weight of all my tools very well. Even with mobile bases that concentrate the weight into small areas.

By the time I got to the front door of the garage (four 4' sheets later), I was shimming about 4" rather than 1.5" so the slope got pretty dramatic. The good thing is that it's all pressure treated lumber so if the concrete does get wet, it won't rot so easily. Plus, the particle board should be far enough off the ground to keep from swelling due to moisture.

I finished up the floor with 2 coats of garage floor paint that works on wood. This stuff dries pretty thick, but also pretty pliable rather than a brittle surface that could chip. Being white, it really helps make it feel bigger in there, too. It's been going strong for almost a year now and I love it!

Storage & Organization

Electricity

My landlord's a fellow woodworker and he's been very understanding of the modifications that have been made to his property. I live in a duplex and we share this garage. When I moved in, my neighbor was just starting to move out. About a month later, some new guys came in and we discovered that my side of the garage was drawing electricity from their main. That had to be changed.

My unit had a 220v air conditioner that I never used since I have a nice window-mount one that works better. Turns out that old AC unit had it's own dedicated circut so I just extended it out to the garage and ran a new subpanel to split it into a few smaller circuts. I now have two 15a 110v circuts for lights and outlets and a 220v 15a circut for my larger tools. My landlord's also an electrician - very handy to have!