Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Greetings from Siberia

Cramming my wife and two kids in with my mom hasn't been as bad as I anticipated and there's light at the end of this tunnel. It has already been one month since we invaded her home (aka the Siberia of woodworking) and it will be another month before we make it to our final destination. One of my favorite features of the new house is the clean, dry and unfinished basement and future home of my car-less workshop.

Since I'm not actively woodworking I've had time to plan out the new shop. I took pictures of the basement with the current owner's stuff in it with the intent of putting them in this post, but it was recommended against doing so. Damn wife and her probably-a-good-idea. This layout from Grizzly's tool will have to suffice.

The basement is unfinished and split almost in half by stairs from the kitchen. To one side of the stairs is the oil tank, boiler, hot water heater, washer and dryer. The other side all prime shop real estate. It's about double the room I had before in half of a two car garage.

There are two support posts that are posing a challenge, but I think I can work around them. The drawing shows the table saw and workbench nestled between them. This looks ok on paper, but I won't know for sure until I'm in.

With with all the extra room, wall space and desire for more hand tool work I see a roubo-like workbench and wall hung cabinet in my future. There's even room for a wood storage storage rack and my miter saw on its own counter top.

What I gain in square feet I lose in distance from the living area. My two biggest concerns about a basement shop are limiting noise from reaching the rest of the house and trapping dust within the shop area. I think I can trap the dust by putting up a wall next to the stairs, being vigilant about using the shop vac and leaving my dusty shoes in the basement.

The noise, I think, is a bigger challenge. The ceiling already has insulation installed with the fibers exposed, facing the floor. This is actually a big part of the noise equation, but I want it to be covered up. I might be able to get free, used OSB. Is that better or worse than drywall? I don't know, but it will let me hang stuff anywhere and its free. I'd just want to paint it white to maximize light.

I've also been reading about resilient channel. It's a metal track that hangs from the floor joists that you attach the ceiling to. This helps keep noise out of the living areas upstairs by disconnecting the ceiling from the joists, which would otherwise transfer vibrations. Sounds great, but neither Home Depot nor Lowes carries it.

I'm still mulling the options for the walls, the floor and electrical. Ideally, I'd install wood floors and walls over the concrete, but this may be a longer term project. I might just start with anti fatigue mats and white paint on the walls.

As for lighting I think I can use the wiring for the existing ceiling hung bulbs and replace them with florescent shop lights. I'm no electrician but I do know a couple people who might be able me guide me on that, as well as adding a couple of circuits to keep the shop vac and power tools separated. Nothing quite as elaborate as what +Dyami Plotke did in his shop, but having a few outlets on two circuits will go a long way towards sanity.

There's plenty to think about for the next month, but until we move in it is all just dreams and theory. We move in on Friday, Dec 13th. Superstitions be damned.

Thanks for reading!