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Work Shop Design

Posted By: Tony AK49

Work Shop Design - Fri May 10 2019 03:23 PM

Good Morning Stovebolters,

I'd like to hear input on what others think the basics of a workshop ought to be and what you think the best, realistically speaking, size works best.

Things that come to mind are Water supply (hot and cold), Air System, Welding room/space, lift system (2 post type), general work area/bench, small office space. 220V and 120V outlets. Size: a two or three car garage.

Have a great Friday!!
Tony
Posted By: gumbi

Re: Work Shop Design - Fri May 10 2019 05:31 PM

Check out garagejournal.com It's basically a forum going over these exact questions. Everyone post pics of their shop, ask questions on layout, how too's, etc. Great site for learning.

As for what works, just depends on what you need. As much as I would love to build out and expand into a larger space, I am stuck in a 2 car 20'x21'ish space. Have plugs every 4 foot along the walls. More over my work bench area including the plugs that integrate a usb slot for charging. A single 220 outlet for a 60 gal upright Ingersol compressor. Air management can be a whole topic of it's own. My mig welder runs off of 120 and is on a cart so I roll it around as I need.

I don't park in the garage. So one bay is always open for workspace while the other holds my '57. I make do with what i have. At times it can be a little cramped but workable. If I could, a 24x30'ish separate building would be built with a covered carport. One of these days maybe I'll get there.
Posted By: Hotrod Lincoln

Re: Work Shop Design - Fri May 10 2019 05:54 PM

Bigger is always better, if you've got the room for it! I've outgrown my original 24 X 40 foot shop twice, and I'm still building on!
Jerry
Posted By: Mike B

Re: Work Shop Design - Fri May 10 2019 09:20 PM

With a 16' ceiling you have the height to split that height and have the office above in the loft

Push your budget to the MAX for square footage ..AC, heat, compressed air system, and electric can all be easily added later, but it's hard to make the building bigger after the fact.

Try to separate the work area from the storage area so you're not working around finished vehicles.

Put the air compressor outside in a utility closet to keep the noise down.

Does your town/county limit the size you can build? Do you have enough space?

Mike B smile
Posted By: Apache1

Re: Work Shop Design - Fri May 10 2019 10:25 PM

I agree wholeheartedly, MAXIMIZE your square footage at all cost...you will NOT regret it.
Posted By: Wally / Montana

Re: Work Shop Design - Sat May 11 2019 03:13 AM

A friend has a shop where he can drive in, make a U-turn in his old truck and drive out front-first. My kind of shop!
Posted By: moparguy

Re: Work Shop Design - Sat May 11 2019 01:10 PM

One Huge detail Tony may have to consider is ambient temperature. If his shown location is current (Alaska) that could mean a smaller, better insulated building with the compressor inside due to extreme temps outside. If that's the case a great read would be Lugnutz' shop research thread and construction thread here, and here, and here.

This is a very well documented "How To" on designing and building a shop with a ton of input from the members. If one wanted/needed a larger space it should be scaleable to most any size. The tips and suggestions would still apply.
Posted By: EdPruss

Re: Work Shop Design - Sun May 12 2019 03:24 AM

I end up doing most of my work outside including welding. Have to allow for seasonal temperatures, no paint in winter, weld anytime, etc. Tools and storage are inside. A concrete slab would be helpful, rolling tools on gravel is not the easiest. A long 220v extension cord and air hose are helpful. Make room around saw, mill, lathe for long or large pieces that need to be cut down.

Ed
Posted By: Tony AK49

Re: Work Shop Design - Sun May 12 2019 12:03 PM

Anybody use the POLE BARN design for a shop build? Seems that'd be the best bang for the buck compared to most other types of construction. I like the high wall concept for office space and an exterior air compressor. Although I'm in Alaska currently, I'm migrating south (in a sense) to Michigan in July. There's a large barn on the property that's got the leaning tower of Pisa beat as angle's go. I discovered there's water and electric going to it already and will capitalize on that. The barn is coming down and a new shop will replace it. I'm thinking a 30' x 40' structure with three vehicle doors (2 for drive through capability) and a man door a throw in a few windows. I'd love to have a covered overhang off one side to work under and or sit and relax with a cold beverage and BBQ when the urge hits.
Posted By: showkey

Re: Work Shop Design - Sun May 12 2019 01:20 PM

As mentioned Garage Journal has hours of reading on the topic.
Metal building have their own issues...........they are often the lowest cost per sqft...........but............have many flaws or design issues that must to dealt with. The big one is climate control........and the big climate issue is moisture control. By design metal building seem to have their own little indoor climate zone. Given the right conditions it can almost rain inside a large metal building.

With any building there’s is always zoning........so don’t over look it. Many areas restrict the type, size, height of out buildings.
Posted By: EdPruss

Re: Work Shop Design - Sun May 12 2019 02:29 PM

Always plan to use free heating provided by the sun, windows on the south side, leanto for storage on the north side so as to not block the sun, always plan for future additions, leanto, etc. on the north side take precedence over east or west side if possible, always plan entry on south side, or slightly away from the prevailing wind. If an outside slab can be put on the entry side, makes for good outside work place in winter or windy conditions. Obviously, those in Tucson, can look at orientation differently.

A shade device of some sort is useful to at least cover the cab to keep tools from getting too warm, great for keeping snow off, too.

Ed
Posted By: Mike B

Re: Work Shop Design - Sun May 12 2019 07:32 PM

How are you going to orient the building 30' wide x 40' deep or 40' wide and 30' deep?

Work bays need to be about 15' wide and 25' long with work bench and toolboxes outside that area. Storage/parking bays can be smaller 10' wide x 20' long.

Also don't cut corners on garage door sizes...make them over sized if possible. My new 3/4 ton pickup won't go through my house garage door that's 9' wide without folding the outside mirrors first...I wish they were 10' wide doors.

Mike B smile
Posted By: Apache1

Re: Work Shop Design - Sun May 12 2019 07:45 PM

Roll up doors, BIG space saver as well. Just a thought...I believe everything else has been covered for sure.
Posted By: Grigg

Re: Work Shop Design - Sun May 12 2019 08:08 PM

A tall enough ceiling and regular panel type garage door that rises all the way up before turning flat on the ceiling may not take up any more or less space than a roll up door. You can also get marginally insulated panel type doors, not sure about insulated roll up doors.

Bigger is generally better except for initial cost and ongoing expenses like heat and or AC. So "Bigger" might not be the best answer if you carefully consider your needs and desires. A garage just the right size with efficient layout and storage ideas might be better than a jumble of junk in a very large garage.

Not yet mentioned is storage space and use of pallet racks. I have a tall garage and pallet racks on the back wall make great storage even for heavy stuff like engines and transmissions. Having a forklift to make good use of pallet racks is either yet another expense, a luxury, or necessity depending on your situation.
I'm considering rearranging things in my shop to use more pallet racks along one of the long walls keeping workbench space open under them instead of or in addition to racks on the back wall.

If you're planning on a lift that may or may not help with use of the floor space. I can fit (store) 3 or 4 trucks two wide by two deep in my long skinny garage now but probably only 2 end to end (with 3rd on lift) if/when I install a lift.





Posted By: Apache1

Re: Work Shop Design - Sun May 12 2019 09:50 PM

Wait!...there is another consideration...especially in the Alaskan territory having spent a number of years there and experiencing first hand the efficiency and benefits of operating a forced air WASTE OIL heating furnace system....they range in various BTU output ratings...based on total square footage. Although FIRST and foremost an ongoing and unlimited (FREE) supply fuel source must be readily available. Newer furnaces allow for alternative fuels. If one has some basic mechanical knowledge they are not difficult to maintain. Filtration is everything with these set-ups.
Local diesel truck shops, terminals, fishing boats, marinas, your buddies used motor oil, etc...anybody who that wants to have their waste oil hauled off. Obviously, this would be a niche market and would take a little investigative research....but the long haul benefits would certainly be worth the effort.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: Work Shop Design - Sun May 12 2019 11:10 PM

Roll up doors obviously, roll up into their own self-contained housings along a front entrance wall...no interference of any kind....no horizontal awkward track system to contend with. Roll up doors are certainly not a concern when your dealing with a large foot print and ample heating sources, etc. Doors bottom line...you want them out of your way...period.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: Work Shop Design - Sun May 12 2019 11:24 PM

"Not yet mentioned is storage space and use of pallet racks. I have a tall garage and pallet racks on the back wall make great storage even for heavy stuff like engines and transmissions. Having a forklift to make good use of pallet racks is either yet another expense, a luxury, or necessity depending on your situation.
I'm considering rearranging things in my shop to use more pallet racks along one of the long walls keeping workbench space open under them instead of or in addition to racks on the back wall.

If you're planning on a lift that may or may not help with use of the floor space. I can fit (store) 3 or 4 trucks two wide by two deep in my long skinny garage now but probably only 2 end to end (with 3rd on lift) if/when I install a lift."

I don't think he had a warehouse in mind.
Posted By: coilover

Re: Work Shop Design - Mon May 13 2019 12:59 AM

I can't give much input on home or hobby shops but here are some things that may be universal. Have all LED lighting with non ballast type lights preferably 48" which are more available and cheaper than 8 ft. . Have a 4 way 120v AND a 220v outlet at each conduit junction; better to have unused ones that unavailable ones. Do a search on how to run air lines which is briefly, slanting up from compressor and with drains at each drop. Have lifts(s) and/or paint booth in line with a door. Have at least an area with a ceiling high enough to lift bottom of a body higher that the top of the steering column. Three of my buildings are Morton type wood frame with 6" of wall insulation and 12" of ceiling insulation---easy to heat/cool. The finish paint booth building is all steel (fire code) with regular metal building insulation and it's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Overhead doors are the least efficient, sliding barn doors can be sucked in fairly tight, and hinged at the top doors can be refrigerator tight, but need more space. Swinging doors are okay if the hinge post is anchored really well. Also need more space. A deep "janitors" sink near the welding area is handy for cooling and serious hand washing. A compressor drain through outside wall helps cut down on mess. Our shop holds 15 cars/trucks with room to have the doors open plus a deck on one 100 ft wall and one on a 60 ft wall---still need more room . Just scratched the surface and will think of a half dozen more right after I post but there may be just one that helps.
Posted By: John Milliman

Re: Work Shop Design - Mon May 13 2019 11:36 AM

I built a 30 (wide) by 50 (deep) pole structure with a 13-ft ceiling. With a concrete floor. I never finished it (no doors, it was open on one end). But here's a couple of thoughts -- It was affordable and a good rugged start to what could have been a really good shop. BUT I did learn that 30 is too narrow for three bays. Mike B's suggestion of 15-ft wide work bays is spot on. but 10-ft wide parking bays might still be a touch tight depending on the size of vehicle you park in there. I could easily park three trucks next to each other, but working around them, or even opening doors, was tight. Big trucks got to be a problem making sure mirrors didn't line up with the wall uprights or each other, etc or the doors couldn't even open at all. Look at modern aircraft hangar designs -- more width, less depth, no "buried" vehicles.

Not sure as I never tried it but 30 deep by 50 wide would probably be the better arrangement (I was constrained by my location). But if you have to go deeper rather than wider, the "drive through" ability is critical for maintaining your mental health.

The other thing I learned is that bigger is NOT always better.
Posted By: klhansen

Re: Work Shop Design - Mon May 13 2019 12:38 PM

Tony, if that barn doesn't already have a slab that you're going to build on, DEFINITELY consider slab heat. It's so nice when working near or on the floor.
If you're in the Anchorage area PM me and I'll give you my buddy's number. You should give him a call and go visit him. He built a garage a while back and is still working on improving it with things like a compressed air system. It's only a 2-bay, but without all the stuff that he has in it, he could get his fifth-wheel RV in it, along with the tow truck. John's concern about burying things would apply here, but he uses the back of the bays for miscellaneous storage, and he has a mezzanine in the back of one. He lets me use it just about whenever I need to. My garage at home is full of my disassembled '51, much to my wife's dismay, as her car sits outside all year long.
Posted By: lynngrove

Re: Work Shop Design - Sun May 19 2019 11:54 PM

Two years ago I built a 30x40 with 10x10 garage doors. The open work area is 30x30 with a 10' tool and workbench area one the far end.

It has worked out well and serves as our "party barn" a number of times a year.
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