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Thread: New Shop Input

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Adair, IA
    Posts
    34

    New Shop Input

    I've been away from woodworking for about 4 years as we built our house and improved our acreage. I'm now to a point where I'm able to get my shop back in order. I have a new 50' x 80' post frame building with an 18 ft ceiling. My plan is to insulate and line the entire shop and then create an enclosed 24' x 50' woodshop on one end. I really don't want that ceiling height in my shop so I'm considering 10' ceilings with storage above. In my last shop, which was 24'x32'x10', I used OSB on the walls and steel liner sheets on the ceiling. I really liked the ceiling as I felt it reflected lighting well. Have any of you installed steel liner sheets on the walls and ceilings of your shop? I like the clean industrial look of steel but am concerned about noise and echoing sounds if I install on the walls. Anybody have any thoughts and willing to share?

    Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    1,653
    I have not worked in a shop lined with steel, but, I, too, would be concerned with the noise factor. I used 1/2" sanded ply to line the walls of my shop. I like the look. I particularly like the flexibility it gives. When I needed to add an electrical outlet, I simply took down a few sheets to make running the wire easier and then put them back up when I was through with the installation. In addition to that flexibility, there is the flexibility in hanging things on the wall. For most things, I don't need to hit a stud. If I change my mind, a little wood putty makes the screw hole disappear.

    I do have concerns about the 10' height you're planning for your ceiling. My ceiling is about 9.5'. Not every day, but more often than I'd like, the ceiling is too low for what I'd like. For example, moving a full 8' sheet of plywood vertically means it can only be lifted up about 1.5', less than that when going under lights. When working on a tall cabinet on my workbench, I have to orient it between the ceiling joists. Given that, I would go with a 12' ceiling height. That would still leave a lot of room for storage above the ceiling.
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    56,945
    If you do steel on the ceiling, get the perforated version so you can put up black burlap prior and allow some sound absorption into the insulation. Noise on a hard surface like that could be untenable, IMHO.
    --

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

  4. #4
    I would also be concerned about reflected noise. Specifically to reduce noise, I went with OSB on my ceiling with acoustic ceiling tile screwed into that, and blown in cellulose above. People with shops tend to comment that my shop is noticeably quieter than theirs with the equivalent equipment running.

    I have 9' 8" ceilings in my shop (a 9 foot wall on 8" cinderblock) which works fine, other than when I have 10' lumber leaning against the wall. Myself in your situation, I'd pick the 10' ceiling to have more headroom in the storage above. If you use the storage frequently you likely will appreciate not ducking more than an extra 2 feet of shop height. It all depends on which is more valuable to you, more shop clearance or storage headroom.

    Unsolicited advice section I would do 50' x 26' (or even 28' or 30') for the shop size. I have often wished my shop was 2 feet wider, with my layout of stationary tools, cabinets and benches around the perimeter, and a center island of table saw & outfeed assembly table and other stationary tools.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    56,945
    Andrew, I've been working with acoustic tile on my shop ceiling for a couple of years now and it's a game changer relative to sound levels. I hope I can duplicate that in my new shop!
    --

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

  6. #6
    I have plywood walls and 5/8 rock on the ceiling of my 30x30x10 shop. I find the 10 to be adequate for clearances, but I am not handling a lot of sheets as I break them down on the trac saw. In my shop I have 16 4 leds from Costco (2016 models), switched in quadrants of 4. They are flush mount and the place is very bright for my old eyes. I spend to much time under hearing protection in my shop and am sure that if it was metal walls/ceiling I would be unable to take the protection off. By trade, I am a pipe fitter/welder and spent to much time in concrete rooms beating on hollow steel pipe with hammers so it is amazing that I can hear anything Net/net, Id add additional lighting for the cost of purchase and operation and eliminate the steel ceiling.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Western Nebraska
    Posts
    4,214
    We build shops, and the steel liner is popular. Most of our builds get used for agriculture so figure some degree of industrial use, what would be considered very heavy use by woodworker standards. I have never heard a noise complaint because of the steel liner. Lots of metal working going on, which is much louder than most woodworking. I'm no expert, but I think all the angles of the ribs on the steel panels and things in the space attenuate the sound. Fibreglass insulation touching the back of the steel panels also decreases the echos when we're there installing, and I prefer to install it that way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Adair, IA
    Posts
    34
    Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I'll take some time to think about it ��

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