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Woodworking shop set up for general DIY & maintenance work?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 365
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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I'd be very interested to see pics and read descriptions of anyone's general homestead shop that serves for things like: metal work (welding etc), small-engine work, electronics, woodworking.  Meaning, the typical variety of things that homestead shops usually encompass.  I don't care whether you live in the country, in the suburbs, or in the city.

If you feel like sharing, you can use this thread or go to this one that's established specifically for homestead shops:  https://permies.com/t/62659/homestead-workshop-shed-situation

I'm eager.
 
pollinator
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This is my nemesis for sure. I live in Maine so a covered area...any covered area...is a prime location. I can use my barn which has power, light, tool storage and welder hook up, BUT I cannot park my equipment in there overnight because it is needed for my sheep. So I really do need a mechanic shop to do what I need to do. 2 big bays would be nice, and must be insulated and heated; as again I live in Maine.

I have actually been thinking a WOFATI may work for my needs. I want something that is super easy to heat, yet I only need light from one end (the garage doors).

But atlas I realize this is not really what you wanted, solutions to problems with pictures not half-baked ideas.
 
Posts: 178
Location: ALASKA
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I have a 24X24 concrete floored heated shop.  Generally use it for woodworking and small equipment stuff(lawnmower, weedeater, chainsaw etc and also have the welder in there right next to the man door so I can pull leads outside if weather permits.  No door big enough to even pull a riding lawn mower in, much less the tractor or a vehicle.  I do have an attatched 24X24 pole shed that can be used for that.  Winter time is tough to work on stuff outside as it gets bitterly cold here.  I bought a construction heater that runs on propane and another that uses fuel oil if I absolutely have to work on something outside.  At least it keeps my ungloved hands warmer.
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 365
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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I understand the uncomfortable possibilities, Walt - in fact, given that i live in winter country, I feel what you're saying.  But it sounds like you're pretty well set up, generally.
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 365
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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chicken fungi homestead trees wood heat woodworking
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Travis Johnson wrote:But atlas I realize this is not really what you wanted, solutions to problems with pictures not half-baked ideas.


Well, at least you and I are in the same ball park in terms of ideas.
 
Walt Chase
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Location: ALASKA
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Joel Bercardin wrote:I understand the uncomfortable possibilities, Walt - in fact, given that i live in winter country, I feel what you're saying.  But it sounds like you're pretty well set up, generally.



Oh, definitely blessed to have the shop I do.  Only occasionally do I wish for a heated area to work on the truck or tractor.  Thankfully they don't break down often.  Mostly have to do maintenance or troubleshooting on the snow plow, but have figured out how to do it outside and stay warm with the construction heater.  I have put plastic sheeting up on the pole shed to keep the wind off and heat in while I worked on something outside that will take hours or multiple days to finish.  There is always a work around, or as I grew up hearing "there's always more than one way to skin a cat".

I have a good amount of woodworking tools and that is my passion and strongest talent.  I can do everything from carpentry to furniture and am blessed to have the skills and equipment to do that from standing tree to finished product.
 
Travis Johnson
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I have a bulldozer and skidder so they are always breaking down! Just yesterday something went on the dozer and the temp dropped from 47 degrees to below zero today. Steel tracks in mud do not go well together (a bulldozer will freeze to the earth if it is not parked on wood or concrete) yet without it being able to be started, I am screwed. I might be able to pull it forward onto blocking with my skidder, but we shall see.

Today more then ever I need a mechanical shop!
 
gardener
Posts: 1219
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Here's my current suburban shop, in the garage. It's a little cramped as I have only one garage bay to work with, but at least it keeps everything secured and out of the rain. I made the workbench years ago from two sheets of 3/4" plywood, two 4x4's and a few 2x4's. It's not the biggest bench, but was there was enough room there when I rebuilt a Kohler KT17 lawn mower engine. My welder is on a cart with drawers and a 50ft extension cord, which is plenty to roll it out into the driveway with room to spare. My cutting torch is strapped to an old hand truck.

I hope to one day have a workshop to accommodate the tools I currently have plus tools like a table saw, band saw, drill press etc. so I can make more things.
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Joel Bercardin
Posts: 365
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Hi James.  I like that MIG cart with drawers — mine hasn't got that.  Yeah, I've got a 240v MIG too (a Lincloln MigPak 180).  Good luck with your future plans to incorporate the wood-related equipment.
 
James Freyr
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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Hey thanks man. I picked that thing up at northern tool. I liked the idea of all my welding gear/tools in one roll around cabinet. The bottom drawer is big enough for a welding helmet, or a welding jacket, but not both, so my welding jacket sits on top and doubles as a cat bed.
 
Travis Johnson
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James you suck...I wish I had a Northern Tool close by, the closest one is 900 miles away! (In case the written word is hard to decipher I say this 100% in jest) When I worked for the Railroad I visited them a lot. I even saw a Chinese Bulldozer they had which I thought for $20,000 might not be a bad purchase.

That being said, a few things I have noted in my life is that "fabricating" means either subtracting parts, or adding parts, it is that simple. Most of the time the parts for metal work are actually small and then put together later. Most of the time this means drilling the right hole here or there for a bolt, or other device. For wood it is the opposite, as parts are bigger and just get bigger once the project is put together.

I would think a shop that was functional would incorporate these thoughts, and thus be T-shaped; 24 x 24 on the initial room, and the attached room in the back being 12 x 16; would be practical to build, heat and functional. Would a 100 x 150 work? Sure,but be practical to heat, cheap to build, etc? Probably not. So we put the welder, cut off saw, lathe and mill on one side of the shop with a trap door going through the back wall to a rack out the back. On rolls, just open up the trap door in the wall and roll in your full length of steel. Easy peasy.

The same thing is done on the other side of the shop with a radial arm (or chop saw), planer, jointer, etc. Like the steel side, that side would have a trap door going outside to a wood rack where you open a trap door and roll the wood in on rolls to go through the planer and chop saw. I had a woodworking shop like this once and it worked well. The back room would be a "finishing room" so to speak, for the smaller tools like sanders, shapers,routers, tablesaw, drill press, table to apply paint and finish, etc. On the back wall of the main shop would be the tool boxes for wrenches and mechanic work.

The shop itself would not have to be a WOFATI, but probably earth-bermed to help shed that wind sucking heat out of the building. This would just leave the front open for doors.

With two big bays one can hold the tractor for storage, OR the wifes car...I know how that works, while the other bay is cleared and a long term fabrication or woodworking project is done there.

Additional expansion would be possible by just expanding the building outwards so that the main bay becomes 4 down the road (48 x 24 for the main shop).

Shapers, drill press, sanders, etc could go upstairs in the loft. There smaller projects could be assembled. Downstairs equipment could be drawn out for work in a bay for big assembly, welding, etc, while the other bay is used for long term mechanic works to tractors, skidders or that @#$%%^^&** bulldozer that always needs to be worked on!

The table saw could go upstairs or stay down depending on its size and
 
James Freyr
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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Heh! funny! Jest taken, no worries

I like your thoughts on shop layout. One day I'll have a shop, and I'll definitely be putting some forethought into the layout. It may end up being a square or rectangular building, but I certainly don't want to just start filling it with tools without thinking about the layout and how it can function best. I'll get there one day.
 
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