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Building The Shop & Layout...

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Since I don't yet have a stand-alone shop in the back yard I converted my 20’ x 22’ two car garage into my workshop. The first obstacle was power as our home only had a 100A load center. Rather than installing a new 200A load center, I used the 2 open breaker locations to feed a 60A sub-panel which would provide me with additional breaker space for the required circuits (Figure 1). I now have six (6) 240V, 20A receptacles on 2 circuits and fourteen (14) 120V, 15A duplex receptacles on 3 circuits. The lighting was also upgraded to include three (3) 8-foot long high output fluorescent ceiling mounted lights.

shop electrical

Figure 1     

After wiring was completed the walls were insulated and sheetrock was hung and finished. The ceilings are pure white and I chose a light beige color for the walls. I would have preferred to use 3/4" tongue and groove pine on the walls (and will use that when I build my dream shop) but for now chose the more economical drywall (Figures 2-5). 

shop picture   shop picture

Figure 2                                                                 Figure 3   


shop picture   shop picture

Figure 4                                                                 Figure 5       

The last thing I wanted to do was epoxy the floor. I've seen floors finished with epoxy and they look sensational. Plus, oil spills clean up easily and a finished floor doesn't seem to hold the fine sawdust like a porous unfinished floor. I rented a floor scrubber and spent a Saturday evening going over it with a variety of cleaners, degreasers and the garden hose but the many stains proved too stubborn. Fearing that, in time, the epoxy would peel and leave me with a bigger mess I elected to forego the floor finish.

My shop is small and loaded with tools and accessories but at the same time remains quite functional. Accessibility and layout are based on a simple philosophy of  frequently used items being within arm’s reach and infrequently used items being placed higher (while still being readily available). With the exception of my drill press and band saw, all my tools are mounted on home-made stands with heavy duty casters so I can wheel them around easily when they are needed (Figure 6). Given the size constraints of my shop I try to plan projects carefully so as to accomplish similar tasks when a certain tool is setup for operation. I do not have a central dust collection system but my 2HP system works well when connected to my major tools and a good ‘ole fashioned broom and dustpan handles the rest.


Figure 6   



If you have any questions or comments about this blog entry please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail. Thanks and be safe when working with tools!!!




burgie picture

Robert Burgoyne, also known as "Burgie", has been doing woodworking for nearly 30 years. He started learning at an early age in his grandfather's garage and continued while working with his father in construction. The hobby has now become a business with Creative Landscape Accents. Burgie builds  high quality woodworking projects for the outdoors and also enjoys making decorative accent pieces for inside the house. While not working in his shop doing woodworking Burgie enjoys computers, restoring his old 1964 Chevy C60 2-ton dump truck and riding his Harley-Davidson Road King throughout beautiful Colorado.



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