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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As promised a while back, I finally got my shop cleaned up enough to take some pictures.

My shop occupies one half of my walk-out basement. 24' long, 16' wide. Within that space I have to keep all my tools, all my supplies, and any of my raw materials that can't be stored outdoors.

To complicate matters, I don't have enough sense to choose one area of craftsmanship and concentrate on that single one. I like to get involved in "all of the above": woodwork, steel work, machining, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, masonry, mechanics, electronics, hydraulics, and even sewing. As you can imagine, a lot of them don't mix well. Fine woodwork can be ruined by a tiny bit of sulfur cutting oil, and an electronic circuit board doesn't like to be contaminated with metal filings/grinding dust. So it can be tricky juggling all the tools and raw materials in a single small space.

But it's probably an overall blessing, as I have poor habits when it comes to making messes. I'm a packrat by nature, and I'm perfectly comfortable surrounded by piles of debris. I'm not a hoarder. But I could turn into one if I'm not real careful. So at least the overall scope of my mess is limited by the size of my workshop.

With that introduction, here we go:

Standing at the bottom of the stairs, looking southwest toward the carriage doors:
Building Wood Window Interior design House


Turning to the right, there's a workbench along the west wall. Across from that workbench is an island composed of the lathe, the mill, and a series of cabinets with a workbench on top of them.

Wood Motor vehicle City Art Toolroom
Motor vehicle Public space City Industry Engineering
Motor vehicle Engineering Electrical wiring Gas Technology
Retail Market Public space City Engineering
Wood Toolroom Retail Engineering Factory


Walking around the island counter-clockwise:

Factory Engineering Gas Industry Machine
Motor vehicle Wood Selling Textile Market
Building Wood Interior design Floor Engineering


Standing at the workbench near the big vise, looking across the open "workspace" area, we have the 18" bandsaw and the mobile welding cabinet. The welding cabinet contains the TIG/arc welder, welding supplies, the big argon gas bottle, the little plasma cutter, and associated things. The frame of the electric shop press is hinged the to side of the welding cabinet, and swings open/away from the cabinet when in use. My 12" and 24" wood lathes are stored back in that corner, standing on end. And you can just see the anvil on its stand, which can be dragged to wherever you want to use it.
Property Building Window Wood Floor
Computer Gas Computer hardware Electrical wiring Machine


Looking toward the island workbench we have the port-a-bandsaw that I keep mounted in a stand, and the various drawer cabinets of small parts/tools/fasteners. Some are repurposed office cabinets, some are custom made. But they work very well. I have a fairly large volume of very many different types of objects, and this keeps them both compact and easy to access/find.
Building Wood Automotive tire Asphalt Engineering
Electricity Engineering Window Art City
Product Motor vehicle Engineering City Computer hardware
Cabinetry Wood Drawer Wheel Shelf
Wood Gas Metal Machine Hardwood


One strategy I've found effective to make the best use of space is in utilizing overhead storage a lot.

I have several seldom-used powertools hanging from ceiling joists, and I just pull them down to use them, and hang them back up when I'm done.

And I keep all my long lumber and some pipe/conduit/allthread in two different overhead racks. They're completely out of the way, and they're pretty easy to see what you have and get access to it.
Wood Industry Gas City Machine
Window Building Wood Beam Ceiling


And for convenience, I really like auto-retracting cords/hoses. I have a retractable trouble light, a retractable air hose, and , though not retractable, I keep a heavy guage 25' cord coiled up and stored overhead. If you are going to make a habit of rolling thing around the shop, it helps to keep cords off of the floor when possible. And power tools are almost always used up higher in the air, and the cords are less hassle when plugged in from above instead of from down on the floor.

Motor vehicle Electricity Wood Wheel Gas


I took lots of pictures and I'll be posting a shop tour on my YouTube channel, but I suppose this will do for now.

Bob
 

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WOW! I am almost at a loss for words. I'm sure I will have questions when I really study these pics later when I have more time, but 2 things stood out. One, where in the hell is there floor space for the actual project or repair job? Second, MAN, you REALLY need another room or building to store your stash of materials and supplies! I get the need to "hoard" building stock but I don't want to keep it in the shop at all times. I'm thinkin' a 20' seacan would be just right for your needs.
 

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Love your angle grinder storage, with the guards still in place no less!!! I work bare handed so I rarely remove the guards on mine either. Heck if I did I would for sure set my pants and shorts on fire [or worse!] Did you power your shop press? I see a gauge on top of it and a cord going to it so,,,
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Love your angle grinder storage, with the guards still in place no less!!! I work bare handed so I rarely remove the guards on mine either. Heck if I did I would for sure set my pants and shorts on fire [or worse!] Did you power your shop press? I see a gauge on top of it and a cord going to it so,,,
I can't imagine running those high speed grinders with no guard in place. Blazing hot sparks going everywhere, and no safe direction to grab it from. I've never even considered it.

And very perceptive of you with the shop press. I did electrify it myself. I inverted the standard pump-style 20 ton jack, modified it to receive pressure input into the base of it, and hooked it up to...





you may be surprised....






an airless paint sprayer. It's a plug-in hydraulic pump that puts out right around 3,000 psi. It worked so well I was genuinely surprised. I had the idea a few years ago, and thought "I can't be the only one who has thought of this." But I can't find any record on the web of anybody else trying it, so maybe I'm the only one dumb/brave enough to give it a try!

I videoed the process and put it on my Youtube channel, and it's been my most popular video. Check it out if you care to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
WOW! I am almost at a loss for words. I'm sure I will have questions when I really study these pics later when I have more time, but 2 things stood out. One, where in the hell is there floor space for the actual project or repair job? Second, MAN, you REALLY need another room or building to store your stash of materials and supplies! I get the need to "hoard" building stock but I don't want to keep it in the shop at all times. I'm thinkin' a 20' seacan would be just right for your needs.
Until a year ago, I only had a 36" door, so larger projects weren't even possible. Now I have a 9' door, so larger things are possible. I can pull the 4020 straight in and work on it, but that's about the biggest thing I can work on without rolling things around and reconfiguring things to make a big open space. It's not convenient, but it's what I got. And it's workable.

Thanks,

Bob
 

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...
And very perceptive of you with the shop press. I did electrify it myself. I inverted the standard pump-style 20 ton jack, modified it to receive pressure input into the base of it, and hooked it up to...

you may be surprised....

an airless paint sprayer. It's a plug-in hydraulic pump that puts out right around 3,000 psi. It worked so well I was genuinely surprised. I had the idea a few years ago, and thought "I can't be the only one who has thought of this." But I can't find any record on the web of anybody else trying it, so maybe I'm the only one dumb/brave enough to give it a try!

I videoed the process and put it on my Youtube channel, and it's been my most popular video. Check it out if you care to.
What a great idea to use airless paint sprayer. I hate to admit, my garage is filled unfinished projects. One is a bottle jack that I had the idea to electrify and use on a engine hoist. Then I got married, and I don't think I've used the engine hoist since. I think my neighbour borrowed it 10 years ago (I should ask for it back); he's got my metal bender too. In fact, a lot of the projects are from that era... 30 years ago.
My question is; was there already a port to connect the sprayer to, or did you drill a port?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What a great idea to use airless paint sprayer. I hate to admit, my garage is filled unfinished projects. One is a bottle jack that I had the idea to electrify and use on a engine hoist. Then I got married, and I don't think I've used the engine hoist since. I think my neighbour borrowed it 10 years ago (I should ask for it back); he's got my metal bender too. In fact, a lot of the projects are from that era... 30 years ago.
My question is; was there already a port to connect the sprayer to, or did you drill a port?
I had to drill a port into the jack base to a point underneath the pressure chamber, then drilled down from the floor of the pressure chamber to meet it. Then tapped the outer hole to 1/8 npt to attach a high pressure hose.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
These pictures could be a game; "First one to find Ball-peen hammer!".

Looks like a well used shop. I hope my shop looks similar in the coming years.
Lol. If you zoom in you'll see that you're actually looking at a "stack" of three ball peen hammers aligned in their rack! I don't recall how or why those ended up there, away from all the other hammers, but that's their home now....

Bob
 

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Is Waldo in your shop somewhere too? lol. Kidding aside, great repurposing with the paint sprayer. How well does it work? Do you use a spool valve to control the cylinder, or is it an on/off deal for the pump? While not as "outside the box" as yours, I just used a small high pressure pump/resevoir from an early Massey pull type combine belted to a motor. I have the relief set at 3500 psi, which gives me 30 tons on the ram.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Is Waldo in your shop somewhere too? lol. Kidding aside, great repurposing with the paint sprayer. How well does it work? Do you use a spool valve to control the cylinder, or is it an on/off deal for the pump? While not as "outside the box" as yours, I just used a small high pressure pump/resevoir from an early Massey pull type combine belted to a motor. I have the relief set at 3500 psi, which gives me 30 tons on the ram.
I put a large lever on the jack's regular release valve, and the electric pump draws from the jack's regular "jacket" reservoir. So to press I close the release valve and turn on the motor. The motor cuts itself off around 2800 psi, which is about 6 tons of force on the ram. If I need more force than that then I use the hand pump up to the jack's 20 ton rating, 10k psi on the gauge.

As I said I have been surprised at how well it works. A lot of times projects like this are idiosyncratic and fragile. They're often either too much hassle to actually want to use it, or they don't stand the test of time. This is dead simple to use and has held up well for two or three years now. Close the valve, turn the motor on, and the press starts moving. Turn the motor off when you're done, open the valve for the RAM to retract.

If you want more than 6 tons, then wait for the motor to turn itself off and just grab the hand pump and start pumping up for more pressure. It only takes seven or 10 pump strokes to go from the 3,000 psi mark up to the 10,000 psi mark. Because in that case there's almost no ram movement it's just added pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wondering how you heat the shop.
The coldest day of the year here is generally in the 'teens, maybe even the '20's. So I don't have bitter cold to deal with. The shop sits underneath my forced air heated house, and the majority of the exterior walls are against earth. So it never gets too cold to work in. Or too hot to work in, for that matter.

Come to think of it, it's ideal from a heating/cooling perspective. I guess I've taken that for granted until now.

Thanks,

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The coldest day of the year here is generally in the 'teens, maybe even the '20's. So I don't have bitter cold to deal with. The shop sits underneath my forced air heated house, and the majority of the exterior walls are against earth. So it never gets too cold to work in. Or too hot to work in, for that matter.

Come to think of it, it's ideal from a heating/cooling perspective. I guess I've taken that for granted until now.

Thanks,

Bob
Not that anybody should care that much, but I'll share this here, because it's made a big difference to the usefulness of the shop: I used to have real difficulties with lack of ventilation. Many shop activities (spray painting, welding, ripsawing, grinding, etc) create fumes and smells that used to make their way upstairs and upset the Mrs. It really is a problem if your whole house smells like smoke or paint fumes or whatever. If momma ain't happy, "ain't nobody happy" and all that.

So a couple years back I came across a louvered exhaust fan (about 16" in diameter) intended for an industrial setting and installed it into the wall that separates the basement from the crawlspace. Now, whenever I'm doing anything that generates fumes, I turn on that fan, and it draws fresh air in through the outside doors, diagonally across the shop space, and ejects it into the crawlspace, where it filters harmlessly away.

It has made a big difference in complaints from my wife, and the air flow is even decent enough that I can get away with welding a bit of galvanized metal from time to time. I wish I had done it sooner.

Bob
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I hear ya! Exhaust Fans are important. I put mine on a timer so in summer I can open a window at night and suck in some cool air for an hour when I'm done for the day. Also for venting paint, welding and really bad fart fumes. [Without it the noxious gasses come back to haunt you every couple of minutes courtesy of the ceiling fan!]
 

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My wife tells me I'm a hoarder, I remind her I'm not a hoarder, I'm a collector of everything. She is not convinced. It takes good organization skills to do what you have done.
 
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