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Thread: Small Texas Hobby Shop Build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    5

    Lightbulb Small Texas Hobby Shop Build

    I've been lurking on here for a while now and thought it was time for me to actually post something and be an active participant in the community.

    My wife and I are expanding our family a bit and unfortunately that means my garage workshop is getting the boot in favor of another bedroom and bathroom. The good news is I get to start from scratch and build a new workshop in the back yard.

    I know each shop is personal and really based on what type of projects folks plan to work on, but I'd love to get some insight from other woodworkers based on their experiences. While I don't have many questions at this point, I certainly welcome any and all recommendations or advice any veterans might have.

    Right now I'm getting quotes from builders and trying to provide them with some more detail about the workshop portion of the build. The two question I have are:

    1. Sheetrock or Plywood interior walls?
    2. Are two 110v and two 220v circuits sufficient if they are dedicated to the shop tools?

    Tools:
    Drill Press, table saw (220v), planer, jointer, band saw, dust collector, router table, etc.

    Images:
    Garage ISO - https://i.imgur.com/VOTb9M4.jpg
    Garage Floor Plan - https://i.imgur.com/COdbtwS.jpg

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    Eliot

  2. #2
    Looking at your garage floor plan, are you going to move into the upstairs of the workshop? Don't think I could get by with a 12 x 28 workshop. Mine is 1650 sf and none too big. Would be nice to have an area for finishing, now I have to just stop activity in shop other than finishing when in that step. About finishing your walls, drywall is required by building codes as a measure of fire protection. Waferboard or plywood burns easily, and drywall does not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    1,052
    No shop is ever big enough But in this real world, we make do with what we have. I consider my shop cramped. It's a 23 x 25 2 car garage, but with 2 cars parked in it. I think 12 x 29 is plenty of space, as long as you put in a set of double doors to the garage space. Then you've got lots of room for assembly and temporary material storage for large projects. Make yourself a folding assembly table & use mobile bases on the machines. Just be sure to always leave your wife a place to park.

    As Jim said, drywall is required for fire protection, but adding a layer of painted OSB over it makes a great shop wall. It's durable, inexpensive and you can easily hang stuff anywhere.

    You are going to want to have a sub-panel in the building, so put it in the shop. Then it's easy to add circuits as needed. It's a one person shop, so you don't need a lot of circuits. Consider what you will be running concurrently. The big one will be a dust collector, which should be at least 3 HP & 5 HP is better. That will take a 240V, 20A or 30A circuit. Allow a 20A, 240V circuit for the table saw. Other machinery such as a jointer, planer, band saw, drum sander, lathe, etc could be 120V or 240V, but you don't run those all at once. It's a good idea to have many 120V & 240V receptacles scattered around the perimeter. They could each be dedicated, or you could have just a few circuits, since you won't be running lots of tools one at a time.

    When running large machinery, you'll need to have the DC running as well as whatever machine you're working on, so they need separate circuits. Hand held power tools generally do better with a good shop vac for collection, so you need a dedicated circuit for that. Things like lighting, heating/AC, Air cleaners will possibly also be running at the same time & will need dedicated circuits. I frequently find myself using a small electric heater in front of a piece to shorten drying time & it takes a dedicated circuit. An air compressor needs a dedicated circuit.

    In my shop I have dedicated circuits for all the 240V machines (table saw, DC, compressor). The 120V receptacles are 2 or 3 to a circuit

    Have fun with your build. This is an exciting time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    8,578
    In Texas, would air conditioning the shop be good? If so, include that in your electrical plan.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    3,764
    For the walls, there is a particular kind of primed exterior siding available at big box stores made of 1/2 inch masonite with a woodgrain look. I used it on the interior walls of my old shop. It doesn't even have to be painted unless you just want to because it is a very nice light grey. It is strong enough that you can nail or screw into it directly for light loads without having to locate studs. It costs a little more than OSB but is much, much nicer. I know because I have painted OSB in my new shop and it is just really ugly by comparison. I wish I had used the siding on my new shop. If your only two choices are drywall or OSB, go with the drywall.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Eliot Mays View Post
    I've been lurking on here for a while now and thought it was time for me to actually post something and be an active participant in the community.

    My wife and I are expanding our family a bit and unfortunately that means my garage workshop is getting the boot in favor of another bedroom and bathroom. The good news is I get to start from scratch and build a new workshop in the back yard.

    I know each shop is personal and really based on what type of projects folks plan to work on, but I'd love to get some insight from other woodworkers based on their experiences. While I don't have many questions at this point, I certainly welcome any and all recommendations or advice any veterans might have.

    Right now I'm getting quotes from builders and trying to provide them with some more detail about the workshop portion of the build. The two question I have are:

    1. Sheetrock or Plywood interior walls?
    2. Are two 110v and two 220v circuits sufficient if they are dedicated to the shop tools?

    Tools:
    Drill Press, table saw (220v), planer, jointer, band saw, dust collector, router table, etc.

    Images:
    Garage ISO - https://i.imgur.com/VOTb9M4.jpg
    Garage Floor Plan - https://i.imgur.com/COdbtwS.jpg

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    Eliot
    You need a/c, or in Austin your shop is going to be uninhabitable for a good part of the year (starting a month ago, but often earlier.) Including a mini-split for the shop, otherwise dust would get recirculated throughout the living area.

    That shop is just too small, for the usual complement of stationary tools. You're building it from scratch, so build it bigger. An obvious compromise would be to eliminate the wall between the shop and the garage, and expand the shop into the garage (you can still park cars in there if the stationary tools are mobile.)

    My shop is 700+300sf, a three-car garage plus a wood/jig storage area, and it is somewhat cramped, but everything is mobile, so I can move things around as needed, and with an hour's notice I can still park two cars in there.

    Put in lots of electrical outlets, 220 and 20-amp 120, along the walls. It's easiest to do it now, otherwise you'll regret it later.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    1,052
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    That shop is just too small, for the usual complement of stationary tools. You're building it from scratch, so build it bigger. An obvious compromise would be to eliminate the wall between the shop and the garage, and expand the shop into the garage (you can still park cars in there if the stationary tools are mobile.)
    I don't agree at all that it's too small. But the idea to ditch the wall between the garage & shop is an excellent one. You can use the walls beside the cars for much needed wall based storage and having no wall between makes it much easier to move machinery back & forth as needed.

  8. #8
    On the plywood/rock question, Plywood allows you to get into the wall with a minimum of fuss. Due to the cost of 10' sheets I went with 8' set vertically, a 2' topper and a 1x4 belly band. I put a great deal of thought into my space, but having the plywood I can be in to any section of the stud bays for changes, be it elec, air, gas, cooling lines etc. Haven't had to yet, so fingers crossed

  9. #9
    I've also been lurking here for awhile, and am beginning construction of a new workshop. I would encourage you to put in more electrical outlets. I just gave the electrician a list of circuits to start with. I know I'll be adding more as I spend time in the shop, but I'm beginning with dedicated 220 v circuits for the table saw, dust collector, band saw, jointer, planer, and air compressor, and a 110 v circuit for the drill press and miter saw. All these will be powered from a sub-panel fed from the main panel with a lockable disconnect switch - that will let me lock out power to all the stationary power tools with a single action when the grandchildren visit. The main panel supplies some general purpose outlets and lighting.

    My building is just a shop with no living space, so it doesn't need sheetrock or insulation. But I will eventually finish the interior, and when I do I'll use sheetrock because it is very fire-resistant.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    2,272
    I think you should at least double the electrical outlets with a mix on each wall. I have never heard anyone complain of too many circuits in a shop.

    You might consider internet, WiFi, cable tv and phone service in the shop. I have a tv in my shop and often watch woodworking YouTube videos.

    Also, you may want to consider what type of fire alarms and security. I use a heat sensor in my shop along with motion detectors all tied into a central system.

    The entire question of the various utilities in your building should be carefully thought out.
    Last edited by Larry Frank; 06-07-2019 at 9:41 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    255
    Space under stairs may be a great place to build a sound reducing housing for dust collector and compressor. I agree with others about openings to garage to take advantage of that space. How about pivoting wall units that can be used for storage and to open and close access between the two rooms. Yes to minisplit.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    5
    I didn't think about the code requirements, which I guest makes the decision easier. I might just throw some sheets of plywood over the top in areas that I feel need it.

    As for the size of the shop, it certainly won't be roomy, but it will be about the same size I'm working with now and works. I certainly don't have room to assemble/store larger projects currently, but the one thing that isn't clear on the plans I posted is there is a double wide barn door separating the workshop from the garage. This will give me a "loading dock", assembly, and storage area for larger projects as well as a finishing area, while at the same time keeping the dust contained to the workshop area.

    First Floor Iso: https://i.imgur.com/tEdWIGr.jpg

    I have a minisplit set up currently with three zones; two on the second floor and one for the workshop.

    I like the idea of adding a disconnect for safety. The house and garage will be sharing a 200 amp meter with each having their own breaker panel. I think I'll ask to have a disconnect added for the outlets in the workshop.

    Thank you for all the help gents, I truly appreciate it. I don't suppose any of y'all live in the Austin area? I'd love to tour some other folks "home" shops for some inspiration.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    233
    Eliot,

    There are numerous shop build threads in this sub forum. Many of them are focused on smaller shops, often limited by a garage size etc. For my recent build, and thread, I went through several hundred of past posts and skimmed the titles which looked promising. From that I stole, er borrowed, the great ideas many others had posted, and created a Google docs sheet of my wish list plus links to many categories such as framing, roofing, electrical, lighting, cabinets and storage, etc. Admittedly I’m compulsive about this but if you have one chance to build it, try to get as much right as you can.

    I think you can can find a similar amount of great previous experience if you spend a few hours perusing these old threads over a couple of beers. I found it very enjoyable.

    Jon

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    5
    Just in time! I just bought a 24 pack from Costco.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Snider View Post
    Eliot,

    There are numerous shop build threads in this sub forum. Many of them are focused on smaller shops, often limited by a garage size etc. For my recent build, and thread, I went through several hundred of past posts and skimmed the titles which looked promising. From that I stole, er borrowed, the great ideas many others had posted, and created a Google docs sheet of my wish list plus links to many categories such as framing, roofing, electrical, lighting, cabinets and storage, etc. Admittedly Iím compulsive about this but if you have one chance to build it, try to get as much right as you can.

    I think you can can find a similar amount of great previous experience if you spend a few hours perusing these old threads over a couple of beers. I found it very enjoyable.

    Jon

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    233
    Quote Originally Posted by Eliot Mays View Post
    Just in time! I just bought a 24 pack from Costco.
    You might get into 2015 with that!

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