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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Tampa Bay, FL
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    New Workshop - Need lots of good advice

    We've just purchased a new home, and one that presents a great opportunity to design a workshop with a relatively clean slate in a great space.

    The home we are purchasing is near the beach, so is built up to withstand hurricanes. In fact, it's built to withstand Cat 5 hurricanes, and is easily the strongest home construction I have ever seen. This is what presents me my opportunity for a great workshop.

    I will have a ground floor space of approximately 45' L x 17-21' W. The really interesting part is the 17' high ceilings.

    I would like to put in a storage area over the workshop, to cut down on the massive amount of air volume I will have to cool in Florida (I'll be installing a number of split AC registers), as well as for lumbar storage, jig storage, etc...

    My first question is how high should I leave the workshop ceiling under the storage area? Is 10.5 feet sufficient? (I'm thinking that will give me 6' of headroom in the storage area after the floor/ceiling is built.)

    Also, I'm looking to install an H-hoist on two added steel I-beams, as I'll have masonry walls/ceiling/pillars that it can be attached to. How much extra clearance would I have to allow for that?

    Anyway, thanks in advance. I'm sure I'll be posting lots of questions (and a number of pictures) over the next year, so hopefully this will be interesting for more than just me.
    If you drive at the speed of light, do your headlights work? - Steven Wright

    If a man points at the moon, an idiot will look at the finger.

  2. #2
    So will you shop be in the wipe out zone if there ever is a high water/flooding situation? Maybe I have it wrong but Im envisioning a house sitting 17' off the ground and you are building a shop in the space below?
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  3. #3
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    Yes, indeed the shop will be in the "wipe out zone". That would suck, but it is what it is. Probably only an issue with storm surge greater than 10'. The hoist will give me the ability to lift the machinery off the ground and support it underneath. Might work, might not.

    Really not any different than my present workshop that is in my garage, also in a flood zone.
    If you drive at the speed of light, do your headlights work? - Steven Wright

    If a man points at the moon, an idiot will look at the finger.

  4. #4
    I like your idea for "upstairs" storage. Pull down staircase or permanent?

    Seems like a 10 ft ceiling is more than high enough, unless you are thinking of ceiling fans. (I drool over those Big Ass Fans - they move a lot of air and could be an alternative to AC where I live.)

    A ceiling hoist would be handy from time to time. But I wouldn't personally get enough out of it to make it worthwhile.

    Other ideas...
    * Have you considered installing a finishing room? Would let you work on something else while your finish is drying. Would also let you use a spray gun without crapping up the whole shop.
    * Are you considering dust collection and/or compressed air? Either one would benefit from a separate sound proofed closet/room.
    * Have you considered a sink and commode? I'm constantly carrying stuff into the kitchen to clean and really wish I had at least cold running water. If you dont have sewer, you could buy/rig a sink with a tank underneath that you empty when it fills.

    Good luck!
    Fred
    .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Western MA
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    51
    my advice is to not put your shop in the flood zone.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Lefort View Post
    my advice is to not put your shop in the flood zone.
    Dude lives in Tampa, not Billings, guys. He doesn't have a lot of options.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    Dude lives in Tampa, not Billings, guys. He doesn't have a lot of options.
    True, dat.
    If you drive at the speed of light, do your headlights work? - Steven Wright

    If a man points at the moon, an idiot will look at the finger.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    True, dat.
    Yeah... I don't think they realize that for the most part, the "flood zone" is everything south of I-10. Although I've often fantasized of a workshop/treehouse... if for nothing else, the irony of chopping wood IN a tree.

  9. #9
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    OK, I'll post updated plans a little later. I'm still hoping for someone to let me know that my space between machines is adequate. I'll post some measurements with the plans later.

    I've reconfigured the entrance which has given me some additional width around the drum sander. I originally chose the Jet 22-44 Pro to get the 3HP motor, plus I'll need it to be moveable. Now I think I can put in something a little larger, and stationary.

    What do people think of the Woodmaster 3875, or 3875-X2 drum sanders? I won't have the room for a true wide belt sander, as much as I'd love one. I think the 50" width model would be pushing the space I have for it, though it would be tempting.

    Is the Woodmaster a step up from the Jet 3HP version? I like the DRO in the Jet (I love the one I installed in my present Jet 16/32, but I guess I could install one in the Woodmaster too, though one more thing to have to do.
    If you drive at the speed of light, do your headlights work? - Steven Wright

    If a man points at the moon, an idiot will look at the finger.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    OK, I'll post updated plans a little later. I'm still hoping for someone to let me know that my space between machines is adequate. I'll post some measurements with the plans later.
    ...
    Alan, I can tell you what I did to determine the space between machines. First of all, I made a scale layout from a large piece of paper with paper footprint cutouts for each machine, workbench, etc. Then I positioned them all for my first cut. To determine the desired and minimum space between machines (to give enough room for walking and carrying things) I stacked up some big cardboard boxes to represent a couple of machines and walked and moved things between them to see what felt comfortable. I cut paper circles for both the desired and minimum and "walked" the circles through my shop layout, adjusting things as needed.

    I also made cutouts for infeed and outfeed space so I wouldn't have any unpleasant surprises. I made many floor plan variations before locking in a design. During the process I even decided to adjust some walls and door positions. (I did this planning after I decided on the building size but before I started building.) It was good to do this before planning the wiring and lighting as well.

    layout_paper_2.jpg

    To me, it was far easier and quicker to move pieces of paper around than to do this on my computers even though I had high-end CAD and modeling software and the expertise to use it efficiently.

    JKJ

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    2,996

    Wink

    I believe Grizzly has some free software that plans your shop layout around their tools and the space needs. Your similar size tools should need similar spaces.
    Bill D

    on edit:
    I have no idea if this is any good or not. but hey its free. So be thankful.

    http://www.grizzly.com/workshopplanner

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    What is the optimal height, in everyone's opinion? My present ceiling is 8'11", and it's definitely too low.
    If you drive at the speed of light, do your headlights work? - Steven Wright

    If a man points at the moon, an idiot will look at the finger.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    I have 8' now. In my "ideal shop", it would be more like 10' if it were a flat ceiling.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    I like your idea for "upstairs" storage. Pull down staircase or permanent?

    Seems like a 10 ft ceiling is more than high enough, unless you are thinking of ceiling fans. (I drool over those Big Ass Fans - they move a lot of air and could be an alternative to AC where I live.)

    A ceiling hoist would be handy from time to time. But I wouldn't personally get enough out of it to make it worthwhile.

    Other ideas...
    * Have you considered installing a finishing room? Would let you work on something else while your finish is drying. Would also let you use a spray gun without crapping up the whole shop.
    * Are you considering dust collection and/or compressed air? Either one would benefit from a separate sound proofed closet/room.
    * Have you considered a sink and commode? I'm constantly carrying stuff into the kitchen to clean and really wish I had at least cold running water. If you dont have sewer, you could buy/rig a sink with a tank underneath that you empty when it fills.

    Good luck!
    Fred
    .
    I much prefer A/C to ceiling fans, although those Big Ass Fans are impressive.

    I am definitely planning on a finishing room. I spray lacquer a lot (I already built a nice portable spray booth with an explosion proof fan that I use in my present workshop. I'll modify things to be permanently installed in a finishing room.)

    I have a 5HP Oneida cyclone. I definitely want to make a small "soundproofed" closet for that and for my air compressor (which actually bothers me more. Something about its noise is more obnoxious to me.)

    There is plumbing roughed out, so I definitely can have a utility sink quite easily. A bathroom won't be as easy, but I'd like one.

    I installed two fixed hoists in my present workshop. I use them a lot (I have a bad neck and back, and it's getting worse every day). I definitely want an H-hoist. I've also thought of building a lumber rack which can be lowered from an opening in the ceiling to be accessed and then raised so the floor of it becomes part of the ceiling. This may be needlessly complex, but it would be very cool and very space efficient.
    Last edited by Alan Lightstone; 08-20-2017 at 6:41 PM.
    If you drive at the speed of light, do your headlights work? - Steven Wright

    If a man points at the moon, an idiot will look at the finger.

  15. #15
    If I was building my dream shop, I would do 10 feet at a minimum.

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