The New Shop – A Solid Foundation

Eight days. It’s hard to imagine I’ve gone from bare ground to a fully functional foundation, but that is indeed where this project is at when I finished up Sunday evening.

I had planned on just doing two stacked blocks on the down-slope sleeper beam, but still couldn’t get things quite level. I ended up having to use three on the two front supports, and two on the two back supports. This brought the beam level at last. The middle beam is just a single layer, and was pretty close to level and in plane.

Once I had the sleeper beams and blocks where I think they needed to be and picked up the 2×6 PT boards I needed for the floor (I ended up miscounting, so I had to make a return trip later). When I added the two perpendicular end boards, and the two outside parallel boards to form the square, I noticed the rear of the middle sleeper was too high, and the front too low. It also turned out to be that the down-slope  sleeper was too low in the back. It took about an hour of adjusting and checking, but I did get them all dialed in on Saturday morning.


I cut all the parallel floor joists to 141 inches, and was able to nail them in place to the down-slope (now referred to as left) perpendicular outer joist. I used hot dipped galvanized 10D nails and bought a new framing hammer. I really didn’t mind the manual aspect of this, because where wasn’t too much to nail in. I used three nails at each joint, so less than 100 nails. I also pre-nailed them in place which did cut down mistakes and time later on. Waiting for my wood treatment to arrive, I left things at that juncture Saturday evening.

The wood treatment arrived from Amazon early Sunday, so just after noon I was able to spray the cut ends of the joists and nail the other perpendicular side on. Now it was time to check for square, and unfortunately I was over five inches off. That was easily sorted, but by doing so I had moved the far right corner off the sleeper beam entirely. So, I had to use a car jack to lift up the floor, and shifted that beam back to cover the corner. With the floor square and supported, I used treated deck screws to secure it in place to the outer beams.

I then used the extra 2×6 I had to make blocking. I installed them in a manner that it would be easier to put the plywood in place, but forgot the plywood really needed to be installed perpendicular. Oh well. The blocking is in and the floor joists are rock-solid stable. The joists were then screwed down to the middle sleeper beam.

That’s where things stood as I finished up Sunday evening. The floor joists were extremely solid, little to no bounce when I tested them. The whole assembly was square, and perfectly level in both directions. That in and of itself is going to be a huge upgrade to the shop – having drawers open by themselves has been a headache.

One huge happy point to leave on in this entry: my neighbor has been checking in with me as I build, offering me encouragement and we’ve been talking about stuff pertaining to the common fence we share. He helped me out by cutting down some of that awful weed that masquerades as trees, and also let me borrow his framing nailer. What a guy!

I took Monday off from working on the new shop, instead using the evening to continue to clear up all the cut down brush. I’m working on getting the next step lined up today. I am approaching a point of no return, where the next several steps have to be done in very quick succession, or materials get damaged.

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