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What's the best shop idea ?

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Hal H

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#1
What's the best idea you did to improve your shop, or idea you've seen.
A piece of equipment, shop layout, new lights, or anything else ?

Hal
 
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T Bredehoft

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#2
Lights. I've converted almost completely to LEDs, strips on the ceiling, four photoflood reflectors, a couple of close-up units. I can see what ever I want, don't have to move a light or a fixture to see better.
 

intjonmiller

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#3
High density storage. I'm in a 1950s excuse for a one car garage, and I do wood and metal working, so every cubic inch counts. Mismatched cabinets picked up from various sources over time was not a bad way to start on the cheap, but ultimately resulted in a LOT of wasted space where they didn't fit the space efficiently. Wasted space + growing tool collection = stuff everywhere and nowhere to work.
 

FOMOGO

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#4
Along the same lines as Jon, loft/mezzanine storage areas, ceiling height allowing. Keeps your work areas clear and usable. Mike
 

Groundhog

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#5
I partitioned off a small area (6'x10') with a single 5' high wall in a corner to make an area to do sanding, grinding, polishing, etc. It is pretty amazing how much grit it keeps out of the rest of the shop.
 

MetalMonkey

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#6
HEAT! Had an NG heater hanging from the ceiling at my last house in the two car garage/shop. Here at the new-to-us place I have a 30x40' shop, but no real efficient way to heat (no NG available)...
 

MozamPete

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#7
One of the most useful things I did was mounting a number of plug sockets along the front of my workbench - great for plugging in the hand power tools, power supplies, charges, etc which are only needed occasionally. Nice to have power available exactly where you need it.

These were just a number of old sockets that I had replaced in my house when tidying up the kitchen.

IMG_1650.JPG
 

Hal H

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#8
Metal monkey

Have you checked into propane ? Fill your tank in the summer when the price of propane is at it's cheapest.

Hal
 

Hal H

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#9
Pete

Nice vise, is that a quick release lever under the handle ?
What voltage are you outlets ? The placement of you outlet saves having the cords run all over the top of the bench.

Hal
 

wlburton

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#10
My default wall covering in all my shop spaces is peg board (painted with a light colored semi-gloss paint to make it easy to keep clean and to brighten the space), even where shelves, benches, or cabinets will be going. That makes every non-covered wall space available for hanging tools and materials, even under benches and over doorways. The photo to the left shows part of one wall covered with some of my tools for removing dents from band instruments. I keep some smaller and more fragile tools and supplies in drawers and plastic parts boxes or on shelves, but with peg board everywhere I can fit a huge number of tools--along with steel, brass, aluminum, and plastic rod stock--into a relatively small space.

Bill
 

MozamPete

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#11
Pete

Nice vise, is that a quick release lever under the handle ?
What voltage are you outlets ? The placement of you outlet saves having the cords run all over the top of the bench.

Hal
Yes, a 6" Record No.36 quick release vice - it had been badly abused in the past but I got it back to a usable state http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/record-bench-vice-restoration.48067/

South Africa have a nice chunky 240 Volt, 16 Amp plug as standard - great for the workshop and the power tools, a little less space efficient for all electronics in the house - Multiplug adapters get pretty large. They are starting the process of changing to a new smaller plug as standard - hence why I replaced these sockets in the kitchen to fittings which had both socket type on them - but that is going to take decades to catch on.
 

intjonmiller

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#12
My default wall covering in all my shop spaces is peg board (painted with a light colored semi-gloss paint to make it easy to keep clean and to brighten the space), even where shelves, benches, or cabinets will be going. That makes every non-covered wall space available for hanging tools and materials, even under benches and over doorways. The photo to the left shows part of one wall covered with some of my tools for removing dents from band instruments. I keep some smaller and more fragile tools and supplies in drawers and plastic parts boxes or on shelves, but with peg board everywhere I can fit a huge number of tools--along with steel, brass, aluminum, and plastic rod stock--into a relatively small space.

Bill
When I built my custom cabinets for my shop I made the backer out of peg board instead of solid melamine or plywood so every cabinet can have pegs when appropriate. I find it far more useful than a giant pegboard across the wall (where a cabinet should be). Best part was finding three sheets of white pegboard in the cull lumber section at Home Depot because a corner had been damaged on all three, like someone ran the pallet into a rack or something. Less than 1 square foot of damage, but 70% off. If I hadn't seen that when I went to pick up materials for another part of the project I doubt it would have occurred to me to use it in the cabinets.
 

wlburton

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#13
When I built my custom cabinets for my shop I made the backer out of peg board instead of solid melamine or plywood so every cabinet can have pegs when appropriate. I find it far more useful than a giant pegboard across the wall (where a cabinet should be). Best part was finding three sheets of white pegboard in the cull lumber section at Home Depot because a corner had been damaged on all three, like someone ran the pallet into a rack or something. Less than 1 square foot of damage, but 70% off. If I hadn't seen that when I went to pick up materials for another part of the project I doubt it would have occurred to me to use it in the cabinets.
I've used pegboard in the back of a cabinet before too, which is a great idea, but I was referring mainly to situations (an unfinished basement or garage) where there wasn't any wall covering to start with, and using full sheets of pegboard instead of drywall, plywood, or chipboard--about the same price but with total flexibility for "tool hanging."

Bill
 

Hal H

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#14
In our old shop it had become very dark from years of welding, grinding , wood stove and just time.
It was like working in a cave. We had the ceiling and walls painted white.
What a difference that made. It was like you opened the big sliding doors and let the day light in.

Hal
 

ch2co

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#15
I will echo heat, lots of light, and plenty of power outlets. I have the added advantage of a bathroom and kitchenette attached. VERY convenient. :cool:
 

Rustrp

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#16
Expandale walls! We always need more space for the new acquisition we will design a job for some day soon. :D
 

Sewdude

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#17
Lights are always great! Leather machines, belt sander, lathe, milling machine, band saw all are on wheels! Nice for cleaning or rearranging when new equipment jumps in your truck! LOL


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

th62

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#18
Dust and dirt flying around in the workshop is an inherent problem. I don't get to use my workshop a lot these days so to keep my tools clean and free of dust I haung clear plastic sheets ocer the shelves, everything stays nice and clean now.
 

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Rex Walters

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#19
My current house had an unfinished 20' x 20' shed out back (which in hindsight was probably the deciding factor in it becoming my current house!). Being short on time I paid contractors to install an electrical panel, lighting, interior walls, and paint.

In addition to putting in LOTS of (LED) lighting and chest high utility outlets, I thought I was incredibly clever to have them make one of the interior walls out of 3/4" construction grade plywood rather than gypsum wallboard. Now on that wall I never have to look for a stud when hanging tools or whatever on the wall. It doesn't take paint nearly as well, but who cares in a shop?

Now in hindsight, I was incredibly stupid to have them make three walls out of gypsum wall board. Most of them have half sheets of 3/4 ply screwed into the studs.

Other things I can recommend for any shop:

  • Vinyl floor tiles to cover the concrete floor. Saves tired feet and dropped tools. If I did it over again, I'd choose a flat surface rather than the diamond pattern I've got now: easier for carts/whatever to roll over, and easier to find dropped parts.
  • These things with 1/4-20 all-thread are great for hanging shelves and other things from exposed beams/rafters: https://www.mcmaster.com/#threaded-rod-plates/=16x30bg
  • If your wifi signal reaches the shop, a Sonos Play:1 speaker for streaming music (or ballgames with MLB.tv)
  • Ikea solid bench tops and construction grade 4x4s make great work benches.
 

Downunder Bob

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#20
Yes, a 6" Record No.36 quick release vice - it had been badly abused in the past but I got it back to a usable state http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/record-bench-vice-restoration.48067/

South Africa have a nice chunky 240 Volt, 16 Amp plug as standard - great for the workshop and the power tools, a little less space efficient for all electronics in the house - Multiplug adapters get pretty large. They are starting the process of changing to a new smaller plug as standard - hence why I replaced these sockets in the kitchen to fittings which had both socket type on them - but that is going to take decades to catch on.
Yes a nice chunky 240 V with 16 Amps we have the same in Australia. Although plugs and sockets are 10 and 15Amps. Traveled around southern Africa in 2014 but don't remember Ladysmith.
 

Hal H

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#21
Never move into a shop with out having the walls, ceiling painted and the floor finished.
It's amazing how fast a shop fills up.

You guys a posting a lot of nice shop tips.

Hal
 

MozamPete

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#22
Traveled around southern Africa in 2014 but don't remember Ladysmith.
Not surprising, Ladysmith is about 1/2 way between Joburg and Durban but is bypassed by the main motorway so you wouldn't go there unless you were intending to.
 

tweinke

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#23
Never move into a shop with out having the walls, ceiling painted and the floor finished.
It's amazing how fast a shop fills up.

You guys a posting a lot of nice shop tips.

Hal
I will second that, just have almost finished putting stuff back after wiring and sheetrock, painting. What a pain in the rear.
 

markso125

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#24
If you run a lot of steel parts look at getting yourself a magnetic nail sweep, they are only around $30-$40 USD. I have found its a lot easier to clean up the floors with one of those then it is trying to get steel chips out of everywhere(it even pulls chips out of the cracks in the floor). They also have a quick release built in so you just have to hold it over your metal bin, pull the release and all the chips fall off.
 

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Rustrp

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#25
I think many good ideas have been mentioned. One that hasn't been covered is the time it takes to overcome our procrastination to accomplish a shop project that's beneficial to everything that happens in our shops. It could be anything from painting a wall (white preferred) to installing an electrical outlet or a light. The paint and light helps with the vision and the outlet helps with the time saved stringing an electrical cord, along with the safety factor (trip/fall) involved. My experience has always been; Why did I wait so long!

My shop is for my business but even with 3.500 sq. ft. I still deal with the 10# in a 5# bag syndrome (addiction) to acquiring metal working equipment, along with not sell something I no longer use. With the exception of my old Lodge and Shipley lathe and 1980's Bridgeport mill, the remainder of my shop equipment is sheetmetal/welding fabrication related, but this still requires isolating grinding (abrasive) projects from shears, brakes, and anything that has a way or gib coated with lubricant.

Even when I do the shop layout to scale prior to moving in, I still encounter space issues or find myself walking around something which adds too many footsteps to the process. A few pieces of equipment require a forklift bigger than my 5,000# lift so I try to position things one time. Losing 200 sq. ft. (more than most hobbists work space) on my last move has been a struggle. After moving my sheet storage rack about a year ago, I discover I need to turn my shear 90° from it's current position. It's only been about two months since this epiphany so hopefully I will get this done soon. I'm hoping a pivot on one anchor bolt will prevent running new electrical.
 

Tailormade

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#26
Those threaded rod plates look pretty cool, and might not be to hard to make if you've got a drill and a welder.

However, I feel like for most people's needs, unistrut attached across however many rafters or joists (depending on your shop situation) with fitted plates inside and bolts or chunks of all thread through them allow for really nice and fairly easy hanging shelving or whatever else you have to hang. I did a lot of this in my previous home shop, if pictures are needed to make it make sense, I'll try and find some pictures of those.
 

zmotorsports

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#27
Never move into a shop with out having the walls, ceiling painted and the floor finished.
It's amazing how fast a shop fills up.

You guys a posting a lot of nice shop tips.

Hal
Agree 110%. When I built my last shop in the early 90's I ran out of money right about the time I was getting ready to do insulation, sheetrock and lighting. I opted to move in my tools and equipment and work to generate some revenue then I would finish it. My sweet wife talked me into just finishing it before moving in. As much as it pained me to do, I borrowed about $5k to completely finish the shop including taping, mudding and paint. I then moved in and went to work in which I was able to pay off the small signature loan in about 3 months.

At the same time a couple of friends were building shops and opted to wait and finish as they could afford it. One NEVER got done and he is now finishing it off so he can move. He mentioned how upset he is that he is finishing it off for someone else to enjoy but he never did. The other friend finished about half of the shop but never moved the tools and equipment to finish the other half. That was 25+ years ago.

I concur that I would never move in and start working until the shop it completely finished.

Mike.
 

zmotorsports

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#28
The best shop idea I've had to increase my enjoyment was actually my wife's idea, not mine. Last July (2016) my wife snapped one day at the junkyard neighbors I had and how badly our neighborhood was deteriorating. She said we were moving and she wanted me to have a larger shop and a place to store our coach indoors and I could tell there was no changing her mind this time.

I have been absent for many months now trying to get into our new home and construct my new shop. The best idea was in fact to move and build a bigger shop so I am not tripping over myself trying to work.

My new 3k square foot shop behind our new to us home on 3/4 acre lot.


Concrete scheduled to pour on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. They are currently hanging sheetrock. Hopefully be in the shop working and making chips soon.

Mike.
 

intjonmiller

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#29
Mike, I'm in Riverdale by day, Layton by night. Let me know if you need a hand when you're ready to move in to that beautiful new shop. I'll PM you my info.
 

Silverbullet

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#30
That's the best idea , BIG BIGGER BIGGEST . The better your shop will be depends on the size. I never heard anyone complain there shops so big they cant work in it. The more room the better the storage and working area. Keith Rucker on YouTube built a excellent shop building , separating the wood and metal shops. It's the best shop layout I've seen for the hobby or working man.
 
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