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Woodworking shop set up for general DIY & maintenance work?

 
pollinator
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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.
 
pollinator
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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
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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
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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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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!
 
master steward
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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
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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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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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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.
 
Posts: 274
Location: St. George, UT. Zone 8a Dry/arid. 8" of rain in a good year.
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Okay, so I have this idea.  If someone takes it, I just ask for 5% of the profit.  That's fair.  I will share none of the loss, if it fails, though.  

So these pictures are from 2016, I've added some more stuff since then, so I'll clean the garage later and snap some current photos.

My idea is to make inexpensive modular wall mounted tool organizers, which include the tools with them.  So for example a wrench unit would be just a set of wrenches, similar to what's on the wall in the photo.  Nothing special, just some dowels (I mostly use sheet rock screws, or finishing nails (if the tool has a smaller hole to hang from than a screw allows).
Units could be added as needed, or as funds became available to expand.

2nd idea.  Go to new home builders, show them a very well thought out, and well built unit (similar to the pictures, but I literally just grabbed tools and started hanging them to the wall in a not so organized way.).  My thought is, if a person is going into a new home, and sees the eye candy, it'll help the home sell?  That's my thought, anyhow.   Maybe even harbor freight tools, just to keep the cost down.  Most people who are really into tools, are going to have their own tools and storage for them anyway, but a lot of people want to look like they have tools.  Catch my drift.  It's the man cave sort of mentality that I'd be trying to profit from.  It could probably be done for less than $1k including labor and a good amount of inexpensive tools with the mounting.  I'm not talking about the bench or shelving below, just the plywood wall where the tools hang.

I get complimented on the design when people see it.  A shallow cabinet could be framed around the entire unit if one wanted locking storage, but that'd be too much more work in my opinion.

Super simple, just a 1/4" sheet of plywood cut to fit the space, and again just screws and nails to hold things.  Peg board sucks, in my opinion, and the brackets are overbuilt monstrosities that are completely superfluous.  In my opinion.  lol
For the sockets, and smaller bits, I just used a 1" X 4" board of pine cut to size, and screwed it to the wall like a shelf.  Then it's the same basic thing with the screws and nails holding everything in it's "right" place.    Of course the screw drivers I just drilled holes through the board.

Super easy to keep organized, and easy to tell if anything is missing.  

Rolling tool boxes are nice, especially if a person keeps things tidy, but I personally like seeing everything on the wall, and just being able to grab it right at my work bench.  Messing with drawers (that most often I see as a jumbled mess of what will fit in them), is just not to my liking.  Rolling tool boxes are great for security as well, but most people I've seen leave there's unlocked anyway.

Not that I really "work" wood, but it is a working area where lots of stuff gets done.  

More pictures after it warms up a bit, and I get motivated to go tidy things up out there.



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Joshua Bertram
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Location: St. George, UT. Zone 8a Dry/arid. 8" of rain in a good year.
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A wise man once told me, and this was an old German neighbor of mine.  "The bigger the bench, the bigger the mess."  So, so true.  A smaller bench would probably be a better idea.

The lights on Amazon are really pretty good for the price.  I've had them hanging for about 4 months now, and no problems.  I even see a few people having great results with them growing microgreens indoors.
I also got a 60w screw in fixture hoping it would really brighten up stuff, but I'd rather have 3 more of the 20 watters if I had to do it again.
Here's the 10 pack for $63 on amazon.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F64ZR75/?ref=exp_onthegrowfarms_dp_vv_d

and since I mention the washer and dryer, here's why they're in the garage.  https://permies.com/t/94355/Turning-single-family-home-duplex#773553


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Here's how it looks HALF the time. Just keeping it real. :)
Here's how it looks HALF the time. Just keeping it real. :)
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Just a little straightening up, and it's back to normal. Less than an hour to to get it in shape.
Just a little straightening up, and it's back to normal. Less than an hour to to get it in shape.
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The other side. I added the shelves above a couple of years ago.
The other side. I added the shelves above a couple of years ago.
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Closer
Closer
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The sockets, and stuff that I didn't want to hang vertically.
The sockets, and stuff that I didn't want to hang vertically.
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Keeping it simple and inexpensive
Keeping it simple and inexpensive
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I try to keep the bigger stuff like power tools easy to grab right under the main bench.
I try to keep the bigger stuff like power tools easy to grab right under the main bench.
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The other side under the bench.
The other side under the bench.
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Worst thing is I keep a washer and dryer in the garage now. I rent out 80% of the house...sacrifices...
Worst thing is I keep a washer and dryer in the garage now. I rent out 80% of the house...sacrifices...
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Storage, and chemicals/paint on the other wall of the garage.
Storage, and chemicals/paint on the other wall of the garage.
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Got this cool table on Craig's list several years ago for $10. Railroad tie for a makeshift anvil.
Got this cool table on Craig's list several years ago for $10. Railroad tie for a makeshift anvil.
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Really impressed with the inexpensive lights from Amazon. Only 20watts per bulb, and $7 each (if you buy 10).
Really impressed with the inexpensive lights from Amazon. Only 20watts per bulb, and $7 each (if you buy 10).
 
Joel Bercardin
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Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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S. Tenorman, welcome to the thread.  That's not a shop for show — appears that you actually use your shop for quite a range of things... handyman, mechanic, home-maintainer, things made from wood, etc.  Same sorts of things I do.  Nice bench vise, a compressor, cordless drills, various wrenches & other hand tools.

I look forward to any more pics you upload.


Edit: Hey, looks like you were uploading more shots while I was replying. Kowabunga! There's a lot happening there.

Looks like you may have the same or similar Lincoln MIG welder as I have. You must either do a good job of managing sawdust and oil & grease, or you take your welder out of the garage when you make sparks, eh?
 
Joshua Bertram
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Joel Bercardin wrote:S. Tenorman, welcome to the thread.  That's not a shop for show — appears that you actually use your shop for quite a range of things... handyman, mechanic, home-maintainer, things made from wood, etc.  Same sorts of things I do.  Nice bench vise, a compressor, cordless drills, various wrenches & other hand tools.

I look forward to any more pics you upload.


Edit: Hey, looks like you were uploading more shots while I was replying. Kowabunga! There's a lot happening there.

Looks like you may have the same or similar Lincoln MIG welder as I have. You must either do a good job of managing sawdust and oil & grease, or you take your welder out of the garage when you make sparks, eh?



Hey, thanks Joel!  Like the rest of my life, it's just all an illusion.

Oh man, I love my 110v Lincoln welder.  Bought it when I was 16 (almost 30 years ago now), and all I've ever done to it is refill the wire when it runs out.  Never had any issues with it.  Never hooked up gas, just use flux wire, and it's one of the best investments ever.  Self taught, from library books (no youtube back in the day).  I dream of a 220 gas Miller......but really I just can't justify one.  The little lincoln can do pretty much everything I need.  (Speaking of tools/welders, I actually also have a Ready Welder that hooks up to DC batteries.  Hooked up to 3 12v in series, it claims to be able to weld 1/2" in one pass!  So, if I ever need to construct a skyscraper, I'm set!)  (It's for Jeeping mainly, in case something breaks on the trail.)  I just sold an old 220 stick buzz box (from Montgomery Wards!) and an oxy-acet setup this last year.  I hadn't used the stick in over a decade, and never bothered to use the oxy for anything ever (I inherited both from my Grandpa).  I kind of regret getting rid of the torch....

Although I have been guilty of doing some really small welding repairs in the garage, most of the time I do take the table outside and use it out in the open air.  Actually, and probably more often than not, I lay stuff down on the concrete driveway more than I use the table.  The table is a little too small for a lot of things.
I've learned that a leaf blower does wonders for cleaning out the garage!  hahahaha  I used it right before I took the pictures as a matter of fact. Gets all the dust out of all the corners, hard to reach spots.  

Correction on the table picture.  It's a section of railroad steel that's formed into an anvil, not a "tie".  I did not make either, but it's been super handy to have it.


I'd still like more things like a metal chop saw, a plasma cutter!, a drill press, and probably a million other things, but I make what I have work.  It's been enough to get everything done I've needed, albeit not as pretty or as efficient as if I had a better selection.

I was surprised when I saw the comment asking for more pictures.  lol,  I thought to myself I way overdid it with them already.


I mentioned this guy's youtube channel in another thread a long time ago, and there are probably hundreds of comparable channels, but Jeremy Fielding has some really cool DIY projects for homemade tools and such.


Whoops, I just reread your first post and saw the link to the other thread.  Maybe I should have posted this there?  I did a search and this seemed like the best place, I'll have to look at that other thread.

More pictures on this thread isn't a bad thing, I'd like to see anyone else's stuff/shop/shed too!  I love pictures!  :)

Thanks for making the thread, and am happy to share.  If you want to see something specific, I'd be happy to snap some more.

 
Joel Bercardin
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S. Tenorman, great to see how you're managing things.  I used to keep mid-size bottles with my oxy-acetylene rig, but I wasn't using the O/A often enough for that. I kept the regulators, torches, etc, but switched to smaller bottles. I use O/A for cutting and for bending & forming steel bar or rod stock, for brazing, and occasionally for pre-heating thicker steel before MIG welding. I've got a Lincoln MIG-Pak 180 (240v) but sometimes, working with winter-cold steel, seems to me there's some advantage to preparing the metal bringing its temp up to around 700* F before MIG welding.

Also, I've had Jeremy Fielding's site bookmarked for a number of years. I like how he communicates the principles & possibilities of electric stuff, and his creativity in repurposing components.👍🏼
 
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