Planned upgrades

The plan right now is to plan for a new shop. I don’t know when it will happen, but I think it is now a when, not an if. The rot on the exterior wall seems to have had at least a partial impact on the support structure. Unless I eventually want the shop to collapse, I’ll need to evacuate. I made a temporary repair to the roof to limit future damage, but the loss of the water diverter this winter really did some damage. It actually broke at the bend, where rust took it’s toll. The other half is still embedded under a row of shingles. I bought an item meant for another purpose, but it is a plastic piece that would basically serve the same purpose. I used subfloor caulk (what I had) under, then inserted it under a row of shingles above the old one. It was secured with galvanized roofing nails and more caulk around the nails. I also caulked the tabs so that water could back up and under the shingle.

There is a trick I’m going to use in the new shop in place of permanent power. I have always tried to find a solution like RVs use, with a male power receptacle attached to the side of the building. In absence of finding one, or making one, what I’m going to do is to use an all-weather outlet cover, and cut a small hole for 2-3 cord ends to come out. Combined with all-weather outlets on the house, I can theoretically keep the shop plugged in at all times. This could be beneficial in the winter with freezing temps, if I can find a plug-in thermostat.

Now, the big question would be what I do with the interior electrical. If it isn’t a big deal to be done, I’d like to have standard outlets. This could come in handy if I ever do have power run. It would also just be plain cleaner. I would put in two sets of outlets at each spot – one for each extension cord. I would no longer have a ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ capacity extension cord, but two of the same size and as big as possible. If I’m using say the table saw and dust collector (vac now, hopefully DC later), I just make sure they are plugged in one on the top row, the other on the bottom row. I could do this now with strips, but it would be uglier, and perhaps costlier long-term. Especially if I then have to add outlets anyway. For some reason though, I have the feeling that as soon as I get this shop built, I’ll be moving. That always seems to happen, right?

I’m still designing the new shop. I had an idea for a way to increase my space without (I think) technically being within guidelines. This involves moving the lathe outside, but for some reason the simple act of offsetting the door to one side has significantly decreased my virtual room. It’s hard to understand why, at least on the surface. I am planning to have some loft storage capability. My dust collection components, my home DIY stuff (drywall, etc) and hopefully some plywood storage. I had also hoped to put a dust collector up there, but with a standard gable-end construction, I don’t think it will be tall enough. If I go gambrel-end, it could be. But that’s added cost, time, and potentially compromises a design feature. We’ll see.

On the agenda for this shop and the next are smaller wall cabinets. I get too restricted by having the large one. Smaller ones would allow me to have certain things in certain spaces, and allow for storage of things next to, and above, in more places. Doors, this time, too. With the LR32 system, I have no excuses to not start practicing.

New shop – planning update

If you remember, there was a significant amount of paperwork difference to go from a 12×12 to a 12×16 space. The reason for that would be to ask for a zoning variance. Due to the rules involved, I had to ask for an estimate in doing a site plan to submit with my request. I got my answer – an eye-watering $800. Combined with the variance fee, that’s $1000 before I even get started. As you can imagine, I don’t feel it is ultimately worth it.

So, I think that definitively ends the quest for a bigger shop on this property. At this point, I’m slightly disenchanted with building another building of the same size. Yes, it will be better, but at what cost? My shop now has issues, but a majority can be fixed for a fraction of the cost of building new. It just wouldn’t be quite as easy. Part of me says that I’ve gone this far, I could finish the job. Part of me wants to start from scratch. None of me wants to spend money doing either.

For now, status quo rules.

New shop – more planning

I did some more research today on variance requests and the process. What I gleaned from the previous hearings is that I could have a good chance of being approved for a larger shop. However, there are a few hoops to have to jump through for it to happen.

It’s a hard decision, I could remake my workshop with no paperwork, no hearings, no additional funding to pay for variances or inspections, or any of that. Four more linear feet though would be a huge help.

Having to get a permit for power may impact what kind of foundation I use as well, and it is appealing to just keep doing what I’m doing.

Just some more thoughts. No real updates here aside from getting some advice on what to do. I’m researching foundations, the need for house wrap, all those little things you may not consider.

New shop – initial planning

I’ve added a new category that will be in effect starting with this post. It should make it easier to follow along with the design and eventual construction.

I am thinking about applying for a zoning variance to see if I can squeeze out anything additional for the footprint. I don’t know how these variance applications work, and what I’d be likely to get, if anything. I could apply for the full 16×24, but in all honesty getting just four more linear feet would be a big help.

In the absence of getting any additional floor room, I’m considering an area where I know I have room for more – height. Codes stipulate I can go up to 15 feet in height, and I’m weighing the options. The shop now is a gable end construction, and if I had to guess, it’s about ten feet high, with a shallow pitch. That’s why I can’t really put anything above the ceiling. I could do another gable end, but higher. It wouldn’t really give me any storage room, but make the walls higher and able to fit more. Not my first choice.

I could do a higher gable end with standard ceilings, I think. Standard construction, top plate, another bottom plate and go up a few more feet. Is that standard construction? Something that looks really interesting is gambrel end. The kind that looks like a barn. I think it would give me the maximum amount of storage capacity, but I would need to read up on how to make the roof. I would have eight foot ceilings (an improvement!) with a loft area for storage. I would almost be able to stand up in the loft in the middle if I build to maximum height.

What would I store in the loft? The one bin (of dust collection) that is already up above, plus the bin of drawer slide hardware would go up there. Or in the old shop. The problem is, I’m not sure what else. I don’t know the true benefit. I can’t really put any woodworking equipment up there. Except…perhaps…a true dust collector? Hmm…

OK, so the gambrel end definitely has some merit, and I think that design is what I’ll do. Now that I have that idea in my head, it’s time to start asking some questions and do some investigating.

If I build the thing myself, I’d like to have real doors this time, with perhaps some window panels. I was thinking of an outward swing French door, something that seals up nice. If I can’t add permanent power, I also need some sort of capacity to use extension cords with the doors closed up tight, to cut down on heating and cooling costs. I’d like to have at least one window, perhaps two (depending on the door).

As more thoughts come to me, I’ll post more.