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jtkendall

Garage to Work Shop Conversion

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I'm converting my 11'x27' single car garage into a work shop and figured I'd document the process. There are several problems with the garage including a general lack of electrical outlets, zero 240v outlets, no insulation, a standard lightbulb instead of strip lights, and a roll down garage door that is very old and needs to be removed since the front of the garage was framed up with a standard door in front of the roll down one. Alternatively the roll down door could be replaced, a garage door opener installed, and the front of the house updated to remove the standard man door.

 

The first thing I need to do is get it cleaned out completely and see about the garage door. It's in the way of doing anything with the ceiling and makes the front end of the garage seem cramped because it's overhead. I think the easiest and cheapest option is going to be to just remove it and maybe down the line have the garage updated to remove the man door and install a new roll down door. When I get around to the electrical I'll install a box so that an opener can be used if a new door is installed in the future so it's one less thing to do.

 

There is a wood burning stove that has not been used in at least 20 years, the roof was replaced about 10 years ago and the chimney was removed from the roof, however it still runs through the garage ceiling (attic floor) and is attached to the stove, so that's something to figure out as well. I definitely want to remove it completely because it takes up so much space and isn't usable.

 

The goal this week is to get anything that can go to the dump either gone or at least organized so it can go. Anything that has to be dealt with in a specific way and can't go to the dump will have to be figured out once I know exactly what I have.

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It sounds like you have your work cut out for you!  I have dreams of building a shop and turning my garage into a recreation room, but will likely have to use it as a shop at first, so needless to say I'll be monitoring this thread.  My house is unique in that it has a 20x20' built-in garage with a 10x20' built-in garage next to it.  My eventual plan is to convert the 2-car into the rec room, and the back half of the single car garage into a guest room, with the front portion walled off and used for lawn equipment.  This way I can have people over and give them a place to stay without them having access to my actual house.  If I use it as a shop, though, I'll likely use the smaller area for stationary tools and the larger one for projects.

 

Anyway, I look forward to hearing about your progress.  I'm sure the end result will be great!

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I like having the large garage door, I get some air when I open it and most importantly I use my blower to blow out all the chips and dust the shop vac doesn't get.

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On 11/27/2017 at 11:15 AM, fm2176 said:

My house is unique in that it has a 20x20' built-in garage with a 10x20' built-in garage next to it.

 

Man I wish I had that setup, I'd have a wood shop and a metal shop. :lol:

 

On 11/27/2017 at 11:15 AM, fm2176 said:

I'm sure the end result will be great!

 

I hope so, I'm going to have to use it as is while getting things done so I'm hoping for a warmer winter.

 

20 hours ago, BMack37 said:

I like having the large garage door, I get some air when I open it and most importantly I use my blower to blow out all the chips and dust the shop vac doesn't get.

 

Yeah I like large doors for that and for getting wide things in easily. The small door is such a pain in general and mine offers no real security because there's glass and a standard door knob. I'm going to have to upgrade it to an all steel door so no one can just break a window pane to get in. I'm going to try and put stuff that produces a lot of sawdust near the door and try to use the worst offenders out in the driveway when possible.

 

 

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Since I need to work in the garage while converting it I'm building a small stand for my table saw and a top that will fit on a Centipede sawhorse.

 

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The table saw stand is really simple and can be used with other tools by just moving the saw to the (too short) stand that came with it since there's a 3/4" plywood top. It's designed to put the saw table at exactly 38". That might end up being too high in which case I'll cut it down and that will determine the table top height of my work bench so it can be used as an out feed table. I'm not putting casters on it because it should be pretty light even with the saw and I think I have spot it can fit without needing to be moved a lot.

 

The table top is 3/4" plywood with 1/2" dog holes and a 1.5" x 1/2" frame. The plywood will sit in a dado in the frame and be attached via glue and brad nails. My thinking is once the garage is done this top can be attached to legs and used as a MFT inspired bench. The frame extends above the table top because I am going to make panels that cover it so I can have a flat surface when I need it or any number of other inserts. The inserts will have dowels attached in the corners that sit in the dog holes so they can't move, allowing me to have inserts in part of the table while the other part has exposed dog holes.

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Here is a few pictures of what I did with my garage. Might give you some ideas.

 

rebuilt an old workbench and added extra features like a bigger top, casters, and a shelf for more storage. Also added a nicer top to an old dresser and built a base with casters it could sit on. Not much but I was able to repurpose some of what was already in the garage. For lighting I got some cheap clamping work lighting from Menards and some bright bulbs to go with them. Not much but does the job.

IMG_0450.thumb.jpeg.a26286e8d38b08759aabf881ecd26b41.jpeg

 

I designed the work space to be able to stow away against the wall to allow for a vehicle to drive in. Might not be possible in a single car garage though. Haven't done much with the wall space but will try to be efficient with/maximize the wall space. Going to add a couple tough system wall racks too.

IMG_0631.thumb.jpeg.834d3b556121ee86ba5b63c44d51dab2.jpeg

 

I repurposed some bracing I took off the old table I rebuilt and made shelves out of them. not much but at least gives me some space to store some smaller items. Might be able to repurpose your old garage door or stove into something more useful?

IMG_4354.thumb.jpeg.508d5720d5dd1645292b989f02e20768.jpeg

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Nice @Jronman. I actually had a dresser that would have been perfect for a miter saw stand looking back at it, unfortunately I dropped it off at the dump a few months ago because I didn't have space for it. The stove is at the exact height I would need for a table; I need to figure out where to move it to, but it just needs a good cleaning and some sort of top for it to work. The garage door seems to be all wood with some glass at the top, I'm sure it could be repurposed. Maybe into some good sturdy storage racks.

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Been cleaning out the garage and decided to check out the status of the storage shed, now I'm reconsidering whether to use the garage or the shed as a workshop. The shed is a bit smaller, I have to measure it to see exactly how much smaller. However that also means it would be cheaper to insulate and take less drywall or OSB. There's no electric at all, but the portable power station and battery powered lights would make it usable. Securing it would be a problem though and coming home to an empty shed and all of my bench top tools gone is not something I want to worry about. At the very least I need to clean out the shed and organize it, then I can put anything from the garage that needs to be kept into it. It also should have enough room to fit my past it's prime riding mower which last year was just tarped outside all winter.

 

I think I've also settled on a sturdy starter workbench design assembled with mortise and tenons. It's small measuring in at only 18" x 32" x 36 1/2", however it's nice and heavy so it's not going anywhere and it's the perfect size for some of the smaller things I want to work on. I'm still planning on making tops for my three centipede sawhorses so I should have plenty of space to spread out as needed until I get a better idea of how much bench space I actually need. The work bench is comprised of just 12 2x4's which will make it about $41.04 before tax, that also includes the gray pieces in the images which are for a pipe clamp vise.

 

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Workshop Addict posted a video of increasing lighting using socket splitters recently and I decided to order one and try it out to see if it will help my lighting issues while I hold off on electrical work. With LED bulbs it actually is a noticeable difference. I need to reposition the adjustable ones but it removes the need for the ancient hanging corded fluorescent lights on the left wall that take up valuable power on my single circuit.

 

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As you you can see there is still junk in my garage, it’ll all be out with the exception of that old stove in the back after Christmas. Then I need to insulate and put up some kind of paneling. I’m leaning towards OSB since I can just screw right into it and hang things. This will also let me just remove the panels when it’s time to do electrical. Everything is getting painted white because it’s pretty damn gloomy looking in there with the brown ceiling.

 

Based on my lighting situation and where outlets are I think once the wood stove comes out the entire back wall and up each side up to the kitchen door is going to get a wrap around work bench. This way I can put bench top tools directly near outlets. Roughly where the stove is will be where I put the table saw on a stand. It might get wheels on its stand so I can put it up against the wall when not in use.

 

From the kitchen door, which is just to the right of where the photos are cut off to the front I’m going to setup with a miter saw work bench with storage drawers. Since the miter saw is cordless and there’s no outlets there it makes the most sense. The rest of the space will have an assembly table and some wood storage. If I need to store extra wood I’ll have room in a storage shed once it’s also cleaned out and organized.

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@jtkendall might try Sherwin Williams Duration paint. I am using it on my current job and it seems to be the toughest paint I have ever used. I am painting some windows and one coat is enough to lock the windows shut. I'm thinking the primer I used was Sherwin Williams PrimeRX. It seemed to do a good job but it caught me off guard cause it dries clear. 

You planing on anything on the OSB? Maybe french cleats, shelving, etc.?

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I’ll look into that, I have a Sherwin Williams near me that I’ve been meaning to go into because I believe they sell the Graco cordless sprayers and I want to get a look at them.

 

Probably some cabinets attached via french cleats to start. I want to make sure everything has a space near where it will be used. Long term goal is something like in the photos below. I don’t like tools just hanging around and prefer them in drawers but I will likely do a double plane till on one side and setup a charging area in the other one.

 

Im going to need drawers large enough for TSTAK’s but not sure if I want them to have fronts or just be open so I can see them. I’m going to keep some space in my shop for a sticker wall which might just be behind the bench top tools in the back. I’m going to work on planning out the space this weekend so hopefully I have a game plan once the junk goes to the dump next Wednesday.

 

 

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Picked up some 2x4 1/2" birch plywood panels from Lowe's today to serve as tops for my centipedes. These will be my primary work surfaces until I get everything done and benches built. One's going to hold the band saw and drill press, one is for the table saw, and the other is going to be a general assembly type table. Each top is going to have handles cut out, all edges rounded over, and finished with some natural danish oil. The assembly table top is going to have some 20mm dog holes cut into it and probably some slots to easily bolt on clamps or other accessories. These are going to come in handy even after the shop is done so I figure putting some extra effort in at the beginning will be worth it.

 

I should probably pick up a 2x2 centipede while I'm thinking about it because it would be great to put the portable power station on it and keep it away from saw dust when using the tools outside during this conversion.

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So I have been sick the last few days which made working on the garage a problem. Finally feeling better so tonight I got out there, cleared out more junk, and organized everything that needs to go into the shed so I can do that tomorrow. After just sitting down and looking at everything I decided to try out my DW745's stand again and it will actually be at a good working height, so I no longer need to build a stand for it.

 

The wood stove is actually still connected and wasn't removed from the roof like I thought. Shows how often I actually look at the back side of the roof. Instead of removing it, I'm going to put a table top on it with a cutout for the stove pipe so that I don't have to deal with the roof. This also means if I decide to install a new one or get this one up to working condition in the future I don't have to deal with the roof again. I might just build a box around it so that I can attach French cleats to it or magnets so I can store tools and supplies on it.

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CF6B9521-5279-41C0-A73F-092BFAA000D3.thumb.jpeg.c7ac82684a81d73d19f3e7604c65e1a3.jpeg

 

First centipede is set up. Right now the drill press and band saw are directly next to each other so I have a place to put the M12/M18 speaker. I’ll probably put up a shelf for the speaker in the future. The drill press is going to move down to where the speaker currently is sitting so both tools have some more space around them. Then I’ll be bolting them both to the top so they don’t move and I’m probably going to bolt the top to the centipede because I’m not sure I trust the included clamps alone.

 

Unless I get around to it tonight the miter saw is getting set up tomorrow next to them on an existing cabinet. Once I get the stuff directly across from the centipede moved it will move to that wall so the tools can use an outlet. For now they’ll just use the power station.

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Well my plan of putting the miter saw on an existing cabinet/stand didn't work. It wasn't deep enough so I need to build a table for it and for now it'll end up on a centipede when I need to use it. I got some more of the garage space cleaned out, I need to make a dump run to recycle the cardboard and dispose of all the styrofoam that is taking over from unpacking tools.

 

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I sat down and started laying out the shop in sketchup, right now all of the stands are just solid blocks since I'm just trying to figure out where to put things. The stand with the planer and sander on is likely going to be wider and on casters so it can be rolled out to plane boards, it'll also get a bottom shelf so the planer and future jointer can sit there when not in use. When I need to use one of them I'll move the sander there and put the tool up so I have plenty of in and out feed space.

 

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The miter saw doesn't match my actual saw so I can't draw the table to the appropriate size yet. The table saw is going to sit in the middle of the shop so I can get to it easily, I can easily move it if I need to since it's on a folding stand, and if I eventually upgrade to a larger saw in a few years I know I'll have space for it. A future 14" band saw is going to go on the same wall as the other tools but up near the stove (black/dark gray block) since there's an outlet there.

 

The wooden object in the back right corner is actually a box surrounding the water pump. That water pump is no longer used since a new well was drilled and everything is outside now, right now the plan is to completely remove it. If that doesn't work out for whatever reason I'm going to reinforce the wooden box surrounding it and use the top for storage until I can get it removed.

 

The top left corner is going to get cabinets and drawers for storage and between the miter saw and door to the house there will be another work bench. The stove is going to be a sanding and finishing table since I can use either the cordless Makita sander or easily reach a plug for my Pro 5 from there. I was considering putting the drill press on it, but it has a shorter cord and I think it's better suited for using things that won't always be plugged in.

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Nothing super interesting going on with the shop conversion. I went to Lowe’s this morning and picked up some small storage bins so I can keep things like my Kreg Jig and screws together. They’ll probably become a large part of my organization process since smaller bins with lids are only $0.98 each and are the perfect size for parts and accessories.

 

I should have the entire garage cleaned out this week. I ordered a dumpster to deal with a fallen shed and it should have room for the garage stuff too.

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5 hours ago, jtkendall said:

 picked up some small storage bins

Have you thought about the tough system wall rack and a few organizers? Might be an option.

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The bins i picked up are these kind, I guess technically they are boxes or totes.

 

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These are good for sticking the Kreg Jig, clamp, and packs of screws in so when I need to pocket hole something it’s one box and I’m ready to go. They’ll also work for holding sandpaper and consumables. Basically bulkier stuff, I have some Milwaukee organizers that’ll hold washers, nuts, bolts, non-Kreg screws and stuff in.

 

The main reason for buying these was so I could take apart my smaller planes and keep everything together during the restoration process. The Dewalt wall rack and organizers will be the next step once I need more organizers because the Milwaukee ones can break easily I’m not going to invest in packout.

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50 minutes ago, Jronman said:

@jtkendall the packout organizers break easily?

 

No they seem durable, I missed an “and” in that last sentence. The original Milwaukee organizers are what I meant, the lids can break easily if they so much as tip over onto a hard surface, at least that’s been my experience.

 

The Dewalt’s are cheaper than packout, more durable than the original Milwaukee ones, plus with the wall rack it’ll be the organizer I buy when I need more.

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I would suggest also a perfect idea for a portable and organized socket and ratchet tool holder!! 

nothing like this in the market its high quality durable and fluid resistant material..

Full 10.jpg

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3 hours ago, Socket Roll said:

I would suggest also a perfect idea for a portable and organized socket and ratchet tool holder!! 

nothing like this in the market its high quality durable and fluid resistant material..

 

I'm not a fan of tool rolls, my sockets and ratchets stay in their blow mold cases so I can pick up a specific sized drive and get to work. Plus it would be pointless to carry my impact sockets around in rolls because I only have SAE and they weight 30lbs. I don't trust a strap to keep them contained when their case has four individual locking clips.

 

2568mainresize-600x600.png.7eb580af6c8e4f350081efd3bb90ab58.png

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I’ve been busy with work so the shop has been slow going. The last of the clean out is happening this coming week and I’ve been planning out both the layout and some purchases.

 

5a6d4e6567f64_ScreenShot2018-01-27at10_30_34PM.thumb.png.f811e7e03aa8472bc6a8f2c493c2f0a5.png

 

Instead of large work benches I’m making smaller ones that can moved around easier. I’ve been going back and forth between a Powermatic jointer and a benchtop Cutech. Even though this shows the Powermatic I’m leaning towards the Cutech since it’s cheaper, has a helical head, and is an 8” vs a 6”. If I go that route it will end up on one of the remaining bench shelves.

 

The table saw is going to get a Dewalt rolling stand so it’s easier to move and I can fold it up out of the way when not in use. Miter saw (not shown) is getting a Milwaukee folding stand because I don’t want to build a table deep enough to make cross cuts in 2x4’s with the 10” M18. It will probably end up where the Powermatic is sitting if I go with a benchtop jointer. The big Rikon bandsaw (It’s a Grizzly in the screenshot since Rikon isn’t in 3d warehouse) will have a mobile base and just be pulled out when I need to use it. The little Ryobi bandsaw is staying on the floor unless I find myself using it often and then I’ll build it a stand of its own.

 

I’m also looking at router tables, Rockler is leading at the moment because they have a predrilled plate for my Milwaukee 2-1/4 HP router and I don’t really want to build my own at the moment. At the far end of the garage is going to be some shop built storage cabinets, clamp storage, storage for smaller OPE items like the hedge trimmer and leaf blower, and room to setup a centipede for an assembly table.

 

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8 hours ago, jtkendall said:

I’ve been busy with work so the shop has been slow going. The last of the clean out is happening this coming week and I’ve been planning out both the layout and some purchases.

 

5a6d4e6567f64_ScreenShot2018-01-27at10_30_34PM.thumb.png.f811e7e03aa8472bc6a8f2c493c2f0a5.png

 

Instead of large work benches I’m making smaller ones that can moved around easier. I’ve been going back and forth between a Powermatic jointer and a benchtop Cutech. Even though this shows the Powermatic I’m leaning towards the Cutech since it’s cheaper, has a helical head, and is an 8” vs a 6”. If I go that route it will end up on one of the remaining bench shelves.

 

The table saw is going to get a Dewalt rolling stand so it’s easier to move and I can fold it up out of the way when not in use. Miter saw (not shown) is getting a Milwaukee folding stand because I don’t want to build a table deep enough to make cross cuts in 2x4’s with the 10” M18. It will probably end up where the Powermatic is sitting if I go with a benchtop jointer. The big Rikon bandsaw (It’s a Grizzly in the screenshot since Rikon isn’t in 3d warehouse) will have a mobile base and just be pulled out when I need to use it. The little Ryobi bandsaw is staying on the floor unless I find myself using it often and then I’ll build it a stand of its own.

 

I’m also looking at router tables, Rockler is leading at the moment because they have a predrilled plate for my Milwaukee 2-1/4 HP router and I don’t really want to build my own at the moment. At the far end of the garage is going to be some shop built storage cabinets, clamp storage, storage for smaller OPE items like the hedge trimmer and leaf blower, and room to setup a centipede for an assembly table.

 

I’ve got the Powermatic...

http://www.powermatic.com/us/en/p/54hh-jointer-1hp-1ph-115-230v/1791317K

 

Depending on what you are doing and the ability to properly support your piece as your feeding and ejecting it off the tool will really play into what you want. A lot of people buy the table top and do just fine though I have no experience with the Cutech.

 

I built a mobile base for my PM and I can move it throughout the shop. I have not needed the 8” model thus far however I certainly see the benefit of an 8”. 

 

Not to sway you one way or the other I can speak to the quality and ability of the PM and it is easy to change the helical blades, the sound is so quiet as oppposed to the straight blade model. Cuts are beautiful as is the finish. And the gold standard looks nice in the shop too. Dust is really not an issue as you’re getting more of a shaving as opposed to fine dust though because of the mobile base and my mobile DC unit it’s taken care or. You can get the Jet version which is basically the same, albeit not as high end (seriously, who cares?) for I think 150-200 less depending on whether you get a 10% sale. It’s a beast to move, my new shop as my old one is a basement shop and it’s a two person job (3 would be better) but a garage shop....no problem. I was told to buy what you can afford on a machine you need. The moral was don’t buy cheap, buy the best you can afford. Chances are, a year or two later you’ll want to get the better one and take a loss on the settled unit. 

 

Also, as far as I have heard, Grizzly makes a decent quality machine. Good luck

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