Shop Setup

Getting your shop ready is a much bigger job than I had anticipated. It seems that any unwanted piece of junk in the house migrates to the garage not to mention the cars. Trying to clean out and setup the garage was a major pain.

My first step was to use the area above the garage. When my house was built the garage attic was not insulated or sheeted above the joices. Also, the only access to the area over the garage was a set of fold down stairs in the hallway off the front room. Not a very practical location for getting things stored in the attic!

So I went to the local Payless Cashways and bought a set of fold down stairs, many rolls of R-25 insulation and 8 sheets of 5/8'' particle board. I cut a hole in the ceiling of the garage for the fold down stairs. My garage has 2 X 20 ceiling joices AND I bought WAY too much insulation so I was able to completely fill the area between the joices with insulation three layers thick then lay down the 5/8'' sheet. So I have R-75 insulation plus whatever the value of the sheet is in my garage ceiling! After I installed all the insulation and sheeting then I put the stairs in.

After that I got an air compressor which I knew would come in handy. However, the darn thing made the most annoying noise so I put it in the attic too and ran air hose drops down to the garage. So now I needed to get electricity up there in the attic. Unlike wood, electrical wires do not respond well to smashing and cutting so I hired a professional to put a light and electrical outlet up in the attic area. I also had him control the attic outlet with a light switch down in the main garage. I also had him install the fluorescent lights. He did a real good job. (if you are in the North Dallas area and need someone real good who will not rip you off drop me an e-mail and I'll give you his number).

Here is the Air compressor mounted up in the attic. The Compressor is bolted to the pallet and the pallet is screwed through the sheeting to the floor joices. Pretty sturdy.

This only presented one problem. I had gotten into the habit of checking the air gauge on the compressor occasionally while I worked, Now I could not see it. To rectify that I got this gauge at home depot and put it on the ceiling over close to where the light switch is.

Right side.
I have had the workbench seen here for many years. I used to build Radio Controlled models on it back in the late 80's. It was a 8X4 solid wood door. It was so heavy it had to have ball bearing hinges! I got it for free when the previous owner bought a better door!?

I have had the rollaway toolbox for even longer. It was my second toolbox. I got it in '82. Pretty beat up now but it does the job if you don't mind kicking the drawers shut now and then! :-)
That is my MIG welder under the work bench. I installed a over stove microwave so I had a stove hood left over. It is hanging over the bench so I have a nice light AND a fan if the fried fat smell gets overpowering! :-)

Left side:
Note extra light switch by kitchen door up high. This controls the compressor. You can also see the "trap door" into the attic and all the lights. I kinda overdid the lights but what the heck.

My friend, Ken Duboise gave me one very large bench with a good flat top after he no longer needed it. I took it and cut it in half and added 2X4's as needed to fill in the structure in the middle. Now I have two good benches thanks to Ken! They are not done quite yet. I intend to put a shelf across the middle of both of them. That's what the 2 X 4's are for.

The Big Picture

Later, After I had started building, it turned out that I really should not have cut that workbench in half! I needed a big surface to lay the fiberglass out on. For some odd reason, I thought since I bought all the quick build stuff, that I really would not be doing that much large fiberglass work. With perfect hindsight that was a pretty dumb assumption!

On that note, something else that I really, really needed but did not think I would need is a fiberglass rack. I had seen on several other pages and on the Velocity videos different types of glass racks built from wood. I went to Home depot to buy the wood to build one from scratch but they already had just what I needed ready to go! Closet Hanger hardware! Why re-invent the wheel?

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