Big garage workshop

This article describes my big garage workshop as of January 2014. I have since made a lot of changes, most notably painting the walls and ceilings.

Through a convoluted set of circumstances, I have a large garage building out in the country. The building is 30'x40' (8 x 12m) in size. It used to be rented out, but isn't anymore. Rather than leave the building completely unused, I figured I'd use a lot of my "extra" equipment to set up a rudimentary second workshop there.

I have my original bandsaw, and my original 6" jointer in there. Both machines obsoleted by building better homemade ones. Also my homemade table saw, which isn't as good as store bought ones. My goal is to set up a basic workshop in the building without spending a lot of money because I'm not sure how much I'll use it once it's set up. It's a 45 minute drive to the country to get there, so not terribly convenient. And being so large, it gives me an appreciation of the coziness of my basement workshop.

A number of recent articles were related to this shop. Here you can see the dust collector I bought cheap, and the simple table and my green homemade table saw

Here's some of my light stands, and, in the back left, a storage shelf

In this photo, in the far corner, partially obscured by green Styrofoam and red plastic is the cabinet with wood hinges, which is there to keep a water tank from freezing.

Not all the lights on the ceiling work, and some hum loudly. Also, the metal walls don't reflect much light, and the building has an awful lot of echo. I want to try some things to reduce echo a bit, and try to fix the lights, maybe paint the walls. With 16.5' (5m) high ceiling, a scaffold would be best for those jobs. I could buy a suitable scaffold for about $850, or I could build one. Leaning against the wall on the left is the material for one. I also brought along my pantorouter (on the table with the blue tarp) to cut the joinery for that scaffold. Update: Built the scaffold

Another shot of where I have my tools set up. Mostly obstructed from view in this photo is the quickie workbench, with the radial arm saw on it. I hadn't used that radial arm saw in years, so I moved it out of my workshop to make room.

I always felt that my basement workshop was a bit too small, but with this building, it occurred to me that a shop could also be too big. Lighting, heating, and echoes are much less of a problem in a small space.

The workshop has a very powerful but loud propane heater mounted to the ceiling, plus a wood stove below it. The wood stove is enough to keep the building warm, but the propane heater is good to get it from -5°C to about 15°C quickly. The stove has a hole on the back to blow air through an internal cavity. I rigged up a bathroom fan to blow air in. That fan turned out to be a bit loud, so I made this baffle to cut down on noise a bit. There's actually a hole through the middle of the fiberglass insulation, but even so, it cuts down on noise quite a bit.

At left, the view from the shop, right, the shop seen from further back. It's out in the country. Many people commute from this far into the city every day, but for me, 45 minutes each way is further than I like to drive. Taking the stairs to the basement is a much nicer nicer commute.

I'm planning on doing more articles and videos relating to setting up this workshop, but I need to figure out a way to cut down on the echo to make it a good place to record. I'm sure there are good solutions that cost a fair bit of money, but I'm not keen on spending a lot of money on a shop that I'm not sure I'll use much. A clip-on microphone alleviates the echo a fair bit, but I'd rather not have to deal with that.

The above video was from January 2014.

I made another video about the workshop in February 2015:

Articles and videos at my big garage workshop:

Making tool holders
part 1 and part 2
Building a better
mouse trap
video surveilance

See also:

To my Woodworking website.