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Old 01-06-2011, 09:23 PM   #1
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help me decide where to make my shop!


I want to build a shop. I'd like to learn more about woodworking, maybe even welding, or nuclear fission, but I need a proper space for it.

My two main areas are the garage or the basement. If I make a shop in the garage, I'm limited in space as it's a small garage, and most likely I will not be able to put my car there in winter. It's nice to be able to just drive off, instead of spending 15 minutes scraping ice and snow off the car every morning. I'd also have to put my shoes and coat on every time I want to go in there. Not a huge deal but a slight inconvenience. It's not heated now but I plan to insulate and run power there anyway.

Another option is I can put it in the basement. I have a half basement as the rest is crawlspace, so if I do that, I lose my ability to ever have a rec room as I'd love to setup a projector and full blown sound system as my living room is not really setup for it the way the layout is. On the other hand, I don't watch much TV or movies, so I could do without it. If I did it in the basement I'd seal that part very well so dust cannot get everywhere. Also if I put it in the basement it keeps all my tools in the house, so I'm not running back and forth for tools all the time. It happens all too many times that I leave the drill or measuring tape in the garage and have to go outside to get it. It's attached, but not accessible from the house. Garages are also easy to break into, so I don't know if I'd even feel comfortable putting all my power tools there.

Both spots have pros and cons, I just can't decide where is best. I'm leaning towards the basement. I could install some vinyl tile or other surface that is easy to broom/vacuum and it could even double as an office as if ever I get married I'll probably lose the one upstairs. Need to plan for the future.

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Old 01-06-2011, 09:27 PM   #2
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help me decide where to make my shop!


Maybe I missed it....but is it a walk out basement ?
PIA to get stuff up & down stairs

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Old 01-06-2011, 09:29 PM   #3
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help me decide where to make my shop!


Nuclear fission....definately the garage, heck who needs heat...

Garage makes the most sense from the aspect of materials coming in and out, managing dust and noise.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:34 PM   #4
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help me decide where to make my shop!


There's no way I'd ever consider welding in my basement, much less any other kind of metal work/cutting.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:35 PM   #5
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Maybe I missed it....but is it a walk out basement ?
PIA to get stuff up & down stairs
Not walk out, there is stairs, and yeah was considering that too, more work to bring stuff down/up and risk to damage kitchen cabinets, if it's something big. Like if I do get deep into wood working and start making large furniture and stuff.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:36 PM   #6
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There's no way I'd ever consider welding in my basement, much less any other kind of metal work/cutting.
Yeah good point, if I do decide to get into welding, I suppose it could be a fire hazard right? sparks flying, etc

Chances are I'll mostly stick to woodworking, but want my options open.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:38 PM   #7
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help me decide where to make my shop!


You could keep the tools in the basement
I've seen fold down work benches/areas in garages
I will have a work area in the garage
But will keep my tools in the basement
Just too much chance of the garage door being left open
And while we live in a quiet area...dead end road....not going to take the chance
I will have a 4' locking tool box in the garage for tools, bolted to the floor
One of those made for the back of a pick up truck - BIG
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:50 PM   #8
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Yeah good point, if I do decide to get into welding, I suppose it could be a fire hazard right? sparks flying, etc

Chances are I'll mostly stick to woodworking, but want my options open.
Sparks, yes, but I was thinking more about the gases & odor than anything else. You could certainly keep the metal work out in the garage & wood work in the basement.


I have to ask, seeing that you are even asking this, you're not married, are you?
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:03 PM   #9
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help me decide where to make my shop!


No, but if I do this, I need to do it now before I get married!
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:31 PM   #10
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Well then I'll let you in on a highly guarded secret.

The secret to a successful marriage is having a workshop that's disconnected from the house, and a minimum of fifty feet away from the nearest egress of the dwelling.

(PS, If you make the shop nicer than the house, I can guarantee you'll never get kicked out )
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:56 AM   #11
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help me decide where to make my shop!


You could be like the guy on the show my wife watches ( I have no idea what it is) but he is building a boat in his basement on his spare time. I heard some guy ask him how he was going to get it out ( I don't think the guy cared).
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:48 AM   #12
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lol I heard something like that, but it was a car. He had to demolish part of his house to get it out. Not quite the way I'd want to do something. That's where having the shop in the garage makes more sense, if making something big.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:47 AM   #13
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You could be like the guy on the show my wife watches ( I have no idea what it is) but he is building a boat in his basement on his spare time. I heard some guy ask him how he was going to get it out ( I don't think the guy cared).
NCIS - Gibbs is the guy
Actually building his 2nd boat (maybe 3rd)
The 1st one magically made it out of the basement
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:57 PM   #14
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help me decide where to make my shop!


You will also want to stain/paint your work and you don't want those fumes circulating throughout the house (I imagine your furnace is in your basement). Cutting and shaping create a lot of dust as well, which will migrate around the house as well. You probably have more headroom in your garage and you may be bale to suspend pieces more easily form the garage roof when you go to coat them. I agree that access is a problem for the basement as well.

I have a three car garage and it's a struggle to be able to get one vehicle in there with all of my tools. Putting all of your stationary tools (and maybe even you layout table) on casters will help. You probably won't have a project going on everyday. If that is true, you keep your vehicle outside for a week and in the garage the next week, once your project is done. For some projects, you should be able to roll your tools back and forth as needed to get your vehicle in at night.

Scuba Dave must live in a tough neighborhood. I don't have a basement (expansive clays in my area make that impossible), but I couldn't imagine toting tools back and forth. I don't expect my house to to be burglarized, but if it is, I'll put a claim on my insurance policy.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:59 PM   #15
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I don't live in a tough neighborhood
But the people that want to steal things usually go to the nice neighborhoods to do so

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