The great shop move of 2022
I should have known that something was up when I had decided to put a little extra effort to dress up my shop with paint and moving my lumber rack. But due to a set of unexpected but not unwelcome events, my wife and I were given the opportunity to privately purchase a home that checked almost everything off our 'dream home' checklist. So naturally we dropped everything, sold the house, and schlepped our way to the new place.
I assumed I would be able to get the shop up and running within 3-4 months after moving in, but that ended up taking about 9. I guess the joy is in the journey right?
This was my first look at the new shop real estate. It was a bump from our previous 2 car garage to a 2-1 configuration. The previous owners were already in a semi-packing mode, so the place was packed.
Despite the additional bay, I would like to keep one bay open for our minivan (it rains a lot here, and wet kids are awful) to make it easier to load.
First day with the keys! So many possibilities, but I knew there was a long road ahead.
First step was to seal up and coat the floor. This was something I always wanted in the old shop and I knew that if I wanted it done, it would have to be done before we moved in. I won't lie, it was expensive. Out the door it was just a hair over $4k, but I justified it by rolling it in with the cost of the house. We saved a lot by doing a private deal, which was also eased the justification.
Flake going down here. We went with the Penntek system since the polyaspartic is a lot more durable vs epoxy. I wish I could say it went down flawless, but it was march and we had some areas of high moisture on the outside of the garage doors. So instead of extending all the way to the bullnose in front of the doors, we just cut a line just outside where the door lands. Not ideal, but it got me everything inside.
You can't smell this photo, but I sure can. After application it smelled outrageously awful. We kept the doors cracked by about a foot for 2 days and it still took about another week for the chemical smell to die down. To fully disappear took about a month.
Taking a step back in time, this was the last view of the original shop 'all cleaned up' for the home showing. In reality I was never this clean. :D I had just finished moving my lumber rack to the wall on the right and repainted a good portion of the remaining unfinished sheetrock.
The CNC/outfeed table was a new addition that required pivoting my tablesaw 90 degrees to the left. For the majority of my life in this shop the tablesaw sat directly in the empty space in the middle of the photo
My shiny new lumber rack. I got all the hardware on a labor trade with a friend. I think all together this is a $400 setup the best I can tell.
I call this phase the get-everything-out-of-the-house-for-pictures phase. Once photos were taken, I cleaned up all of the chuck it in the garage into our temp storage unit.
Cleaned out. It felt so strange to stand in an empty garage to think it would become exactly that, a garage. You can see the battle scars around the electrical panel. I had completed a full panel swap literally 5 months before so that I could install an RV outlet for EV charging.
So many memories from this place. I love the hopes and dreams of finishing the primer by the house door, but time said it wasn't meant to be. But onwards and upwards to the next adventure!
First few loads of stuff. Naturally tools were one of the first things to move over.
This is what happens when you need to return the moving truck at 4 and you're pulling in the driveway with the last load at 3:30.
The chaos barfed over into the shop side. Just trying to separate shop from house at this point.
Establishing the parting of the ways. General garage stuff on the left, shop stuff on the right.
A new shop means a few new tools right? I was determined to quiet things up a bit in the new house, so I bought the Harvey Dust Processor. Despite the pretentious name, it's actually very quiet and more than enough operating at one tool at a time.
Being initially highly motivated, I got to work pulling lumber off the floor. I opted to put the rack on the far side out of the way because it should have good access to the main garage door, and won't be this big thing over my head in the machine side of the shop. Do not let the cleanliness fool you, it doesn't last long.
First step in shop setup was establishing tool locations. I moved all my crap out so I could get a good idea of space needed. I mocked everything up in Sketchup as well as I could, but nothing beats getting in the space physically. I was restrained by future power locations and whatnot, but I like the feel of this so far.
Next step was getting better lighting. The old garage light situation was a single bulb outlet in each bay. I kept those so I can step out to do garage stuff, but I added 10 of these 8' Chinese LED fixtures off Amazon on their own circuit. Cost wise they were about $20 a piece, but they feel a lot cheaper. So far they're all going strong, but we'll see how they hold up over the years.
I wanted to ensure that the shop lights can't be turned off from inside the house, which is where the existing garage light switch is, so I will have a switch for these by the door inside the garage.
Now into the good stuff. The belly of the beast!
The house panel is a SquareD Q0 with a 200A service. It looks full but in actuality I've got good headroom. The two 240V circuits on the top left are basically unused. (electric stove and hookup for a hot tub) The plan that I got cleared for is an 80A sub and a 60A EV charger to run right outside. (which area already installed at the bottom of this picture. SHHHHHH!)
Using tape to mock up where everything is going to land....ish.
Got the sub panel roughed in. Went 2 stud bays over because for whatever reason the bay inbetween was not a standard 16 on center. I went with another SquareD QO so it would match the main, despite the fact that it was 1) more expensive than a Homeline and 2) nearly impossible to find with all the shortages.
Pulling the feeder for the sub SUUUUUCKED, but was good. The hard 90 was not the best choice, but left a good amount of space on the bottom knockouts for other circuits.
First conduit was a great way to realize what I had signed up for. I worked in the university electrical shop when I was in school, but they never let me bend conduit. But I bought a 3/4" bender with an app to help with the calculations and went to town.
The number of circuits I was running required a double line on the home run.
This was an existing 20A circuit for a garage freezer. I was just rerouting it to the other side so I wouldn't have a fridge in the middle of my shop.
Now we're coming together! You can see the up and over to get to the middle of the garage.
These were fun to measure out and whatnot. I was still a little long on the outbound one, but was too tired to redo it.
You can see my dedicated shop light switch and the redirected circuit for the fridge.
Dedicated 120V circuit for the CNC and a 240V for the jointer and tablesaw. Really liking the conduit for ease of work vs wiremould in the last shop.
This is "done" and ready for inspection.
Inspector came and was even impressed with the conduit work. There were two issues he flagged with the initial, which really ticked me off. One was the fact that I had to use the TR outlets, which suck. The second.....
Was this SOB. Since the garage is considered an 'outdoor' space, I have to have GFCI protected circuits. Since my circuits branched all over, I didn't want to try and do the single GFCI to handle downstream stuff, so I just bought the breakers. Fun fact, did you know it's often cheaper to buy the GFCI/AFCI combo vs the GFCI? I was hesitant at first as I have heard bad things about AFCI breakers in the past, but I've been running my tools for over a month now and haven't had a single false trip, so they seem to have got their crap together.
Once I made the swaps I passed with flying colors.
I really liked having the windows on the garage doors to let in natural light, but I did not like living in a fishbowl. I figured I'd try out some of this static cling window film, and it worked incredibly well.
Took three rolls for all the windows.
I added a ceiling reel for power and it's amazing. No more dragging cords all over the shop for the router/ROS/circ saw.
Next problem we're looking at is dust collection. Everything in my shop is 4" except the CNC which still expects a 2.5" port. Instead of paying Rockler $18 for their reducer, I paid my neighbor $1.25 to print me one with his Ender3.
For the main lines I decided to try my hand at designing some simple mounts and utilizing the CNC to cut them out. They turned out great, and I bought the blast gate plans from Katz Moses to use as well. They worked great, but are a lot bigger than I expected. I hope they hold up well over time.
The dust collection routing was about as good as I could do it without directly obstructing my lighting, which I wanted to avoid for both aesthetic and functional reasons. I tried to keep the bends as wide as possible with only 45 degree joints used to make the 90s. My only oops was that I was so laser focused on the CNC port splitting off the Tablesaw port, that I didn't realise I could have come from the other side of the pillar where they're all mounted. Does it reduce my airflow? Probably. Enough for me to tear it all apart and do it over? No.
I also wanted to add the large overarm hood collector for the sawstop, but the price was always more than I wanted to spend. Thankfully Darrell Peart (yes, that Darrell Peart) was selling his for a few hundred bucks. So I took a mini roadtrip up to Seattle early one morning and picked it up. It was cool to meet him and see his shop.
After 8 months and more clean/messy cycles that I can count, I finally am at a point where I feel like the shop is operable. I didn't get every step on photo, but I think I got to cover the main points. There is still quite a bit to do, but at this point I can run every tool with proper dust collection and have power wherever I need it.
First steps going forward will likely be putting a temp wall up over the single door to seal it off and insulate, figure out tool storage, get a minisplit installed for heating and cooling, and sorting out the hidden mess to the left.
An unexpected bonus is the old TV from the previous house. I never thought I'd be a TV in the shop kind of guy, but it has been sitting in the office against the wall since we moved in, and I figured it would at least get used out here.