Long road to ruin

It’s not been a real fun week or so for me, not with the shop nor with my health. The last time I spent any amount of time in the shop was last Saturday, and it didn’t end on a real positive note. I had a nasty bout of a stomach bug, and my neck has been up to it’s usual hi-jinks. All-day headaches aren’t very fun. What’s caused me to really step back however is a problem that has come back up from a previous encounter – carpenter ants.

I pulled most of the ceiling and it exposed a bit more damaged wood, which I mostly pulled (what I could get to easily). On Saturday night however I learned that the ants are much more active in the evening, and it was a reception line around the top of the walls. Being the reasonable man I am, I slung diatomaceous earth anywhere and everywhere to dry the little buggers out. As such I got on everything, including some tools. Hopefully it won’t damage it too much. It really got me to pull back on any potential projects and consider what I’d rather spend my money on.

In that respect I’ve started to seriously weigh the idea of building a new shop. Or buying one. While I had daydreamed about building a 16×24 shop, if I’m serious with myself a new shop here would have to be nearer 12×16. Half. A smaller shop at that size is still a decent bit larger than what I have now, and is cheaper to build. 12×16 also keeps me under the permit limit (which I thought was 150 sq ft, but is now 200). In fact, as long as it is one story, I can have it up to 35′ tall. I think a modest shop with some loft space would be sufficient. Something very nice that would come out of this is that the shop would finally be level. The downsize is obviously the cost. I’d probably be looking at at least $3000 to build it simply.

One additional advantage of building a new space is that while I would gain a bit more space, I get to use it more efficiently. I’ve already done a mockup in Sketchup and discovered that two doors make a great use of the space. One large door at one end that the saw sits in front of, and a regular door on the side for regular access. So instead of only gaining about 48 sq feet, it’s more like 80 because I don’t have to move the table saw. Again, though, finances are a problem. Space really isn’t, as I do have a spot across from the current shop that it could sit. That area isn’t quite completely level, however with good engineering the shop would be. The old shop could be used temporarily as storage for yard equipment, including a riding mower I may be buying this year – another mark against expenses.

I haven’t been back out to the shop in the evening to see how well my mother earth recipe worked. I haven’t really been back out to the shop much at all, which gives you my mindset right now. It’s a bit of a low spot for me.

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