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  1. #1
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    The ultimate workshop

    I want to build a workshop that I will hopefully end up croaking in.

    This June the plans are to build a 3-car garage at our resort. Since I will be on the site there are no concerns on the actual construction of the building. Been there done that.

    However, one part of the garage will be my workshop. It will have a L-shaped work bench, plenty of lights, and a small fridge.

    The goal is for it to be an all-round type of shop. You know the kind, anything a person wants done, it can be done here. I grew up in a farm work shop and have a pretty good mind's eye of the layout and tools needed. However, since this will be my last workshop, I have decided to go all out.

    Any ideas on the design of the actual shop, tools, etc?

  2. #2
    Member maily's Avatar
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    Hi Hillbilly, I think the most important thing is to have a nice big workbench in the middle of the floor, or away from the walls so you can easily access any part of the project you are working on. without having to move it around all the time.

    A free standing vice on a very strong pedistal is nother must.

    Personal choice of course.

  3. #3
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    Good idea, I have been thinking about an island type of workbench. Something that can be moved, but heavy at the same time.

  4. #4
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    I should also add, that the goal is to have plenty of work space as I tend to start a project and then another project. I hate putting my projects away.

  5. #5
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    Where is Blackgang, when he is wanted? Quite sure that the 'Ol Fella' will have some suggestions (usable or not!).

  6. #6
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    a. boozer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillbilly View Post
    I should also add, that the goal is to have plenty of work space as I tend to start a project and then another project. I hate putting my projects away.
    Hillbilly, Now I think I understand, you are going to construct one workshop, to allow you to build another one .....and so on! A bit like a Meccano set (or Scalextrix), just keep adding to it!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by a. boozer View Post
    Where is Blackgang...Quite that the 'Ol Fella' will have some suggestions (usable or not!).
    Actually, I would love to have his advice...

  8. #8
    better looking than Ned
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillbilly
    Any ideas on the design of the actual shop, tools, etc?
    Fridge

  9. #9
    Member maily's Avatar
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    I also ensure that the bench is exactly 880mm high and the surrounding floor is level so if something you are making is larger than the work bench, you can measure from the floor and still be accurate.

    One piece 10mm steel top and always an uncut sheet, 1200mm x 2400mm or 1200mm x 3600mm or similar, this gives you 4 90deg reference points to work from and 4 straight edges to work from for measuring etc.

    50mm overhang all the way around the top so you can clamp your project down without having to go under the supports of the bench.

    I have built several bench with lines of 10mm tapped holes, both accross the bench top and the length of the bench top so I can clamp different things on the bench or clamp the project at different points as well.

  10. #10
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    The workshop has to be BIG. It is amazing how much more junk you can fit in a big shed.

    Mailey sounds like your man.

  11. #11
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    A fold down bed, for those late nights working when it is to late to walk to the house.

    Stereo...big one to hear above all the tools.

    An intercom to order food through and a conveyor belt to deliver it.

    Internet with wall mounted screen, so you can look up those last minute details, designs, instructions. Put the screen behind a perspex window to keep it clean.
    I like poisoning my neighbours dogs till they die cos I'm a cnut

  12. #12
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    a big solid bench, a good vice

    easily accessible tools in a lockable cupboard

    anything else is window dressing

  13. #13
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    You've gotta have a pit . I too have this dream of spending my days in a workshop.

    I want:

    3-5 car garage
    Sealed flooring.
    Stainless steel bench's
    A pit, with some defence mech against beasties. This is Thailand.
    Decent Air Con
    Full tool Set
    Welder
    Compressed Air.
    Spray Booth
    + lots of other shit
    Fridge (Cheers Rigger)
    High Tinted Windows
    Flat Screen T.Vs
    Leather Sofa
    And a wife proof lock on the door!

    And I'll start off with a Caterham 7 kit!


  14. #14
    Member maily's Avatar
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    I do not know exactly what you will be using it for, but one I have built had a hole in the middle just big enough to fit a small vertical drill through it so I could drill holes perfectly square in the larger things I was making. I hole never seemed to create any additional problems.

  15. #15
    Member maily's Avatar
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    GT40 Kit is the go, something with balls that looks and sounds tough.

  16. #16
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Two people have suggested metal top benches
    That's OK as long as you don't intend to do any electrical work.

    As for tools then it's Snap-On no question about it.
    They are the best and cheapest in the long run.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thetyim
    Snap-On
    Yep, I want the full set.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thetyim
    Two people have suggested metal top benches That's OK as long as you don't intend to do any electrical work.
    There'd be a wood section aswell.

    Has anyone seen Ironmans workshop from the movie Ironman.


    That the way to go. It was under his house and it had an exit ramp that weaved its way up to the surface from underground.

    I forgot an important piece of kit. A wireless internet connection.

  18. #18
    Tonguin for a beer
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    I would suggest here in Thailand that you make a dedicated area (preferebly seperate) for all you garden and house crap so you don't have to battle around rakes etc. You probably have done that already. Also make a lockable shelving area for your tools and leave a cheap set put for locals to use seeing how they never bring their own stuff to do work or if they do it is in a bin bag.
    Fahn Cahn's

  19. #19
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    The design of your shop needs to cater to the majority of the work you envision doing there.

    If wood working is a major focus you do not want a metal work top. A wooden bench made of 2x6's, (approx), laminated on edge to a width of 34 inches and length of 6 ft. (similar to a butcher block top) with at least a 2 in overhang all around. A proper wood vise plus a variety of dog holes to put square pegs in to work against. These should be along two adjacent edges at least. 4x6 legs wedged into the top. With a bottom shelf about 6 in off the floor. All made of hardwood and this should give you the stability you require plus it is 'movable' to a certain extent with determination. The overall height should be customized to your own height so that you can get power to the top without bending over too much. To get the measurement sit erect, place your finger in the crease between your thigh and groin, stand, measure and walla... a standard and generally comfortable work height. Make sure the top is perfectly square and absolutely flat (like glass, this is accomplished using your plane and a straight edge) this will allow good starting points for checking board level/rock/warp when building up a project.

    An L shaped counter around two sides of the bench for tools/projects etc. cabinets above the counter top. Counter top should be not more than arms length minus the length of your hand. Space between counter and bench approx 1 meter.

    Wood tools, critical is the table saw, the best you can afford with rip fence etc. with tilt blade. Next is a shaper. the rest is up to you, my shop had a hand grinder for sharpening chisels, plane blades and awls.

    Hand tools for wood; a Stanley plane #7 with extra blades (get this while in the US at second hand or auctions), get the oldest "straight" one you can find. These are an absolute necessity for cabinet making, the real old cast iron are the best and these can easily be rebuilt. A good set of chisels, again try and find an old set of Buck in the US while your there.

    Tools required for wood working are a personal choice. The only power tools we had were those mentioned above other than the regular electric drill, even that was seldom used as you find yourself using the hand auger much more accurately.

    Building your own work area and bench are the most gratifying work you will do. Make it personal and perfect it will last forever.

    Do not forget the fireproof cabinet for flammable finishes, varnishes etc. very important if your doing wood since you will have lots of dust and shavings around and fire is always a hazard.

    E. G.
    "If you can't stand the answer --
    Don't ask the question!"

  20. #20
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    Airportwo's Avatar
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    Two very important points:-
    Air flow & lighting................

  21. #21
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maily
    GT40 Kit is the go
    If you're a midget.

    The Caterham would piss all over it on a track as well.

  22. #22
    Member maily's Avatar
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    I agree totally Marmite, but for pose value, hard to beat. I know a guy who is 6'3" and has no trouble fitting in his GT40 at all, it does have a Gurney Bubble though.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by maily
    I know a guy who is 6'3" and has no trouble fitting in his GT40 at all, it does have a Gurney Bubble though.
    It would have to, but I think your statement of 'no trouble fitting' is still a bit optimistic.

  24. #24
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    Excellent thread with solid advice. Thanks.

  25. #25
    On a walkabout
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    Think about ventilation especially if you will be using grinders and or dust making machinery and also I would consider getting as much natural light in as possible.

    I have used those polycarbonate transparent roof tiles creating a window to the sky type of effect (skylight) and to have natural light coming into your workshop would be pratical.

    I am also planning my future workshop and your thread had fired me up again!

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