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volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/2/20 7:49 a.m.

I've gone and done it.  I've started working on my new shop.  Phase 1 is nearing completion, and the floor plan looks roughly like this (inside dimensions):

This 18 x 27 building is going to be the high bay.  It has a 12' ceiling in the center for a lift, plan is for a 2 post job.  Concrete slab will be poured in a week or two.  30 days from then the slab will be epoxied and the lift put in.  Huzzah.

The left wall in the plan view above is solid, however the right side has 3 posts there spaced as indicated (dimensions in feet).  Right now the plan is to close off the front 8' long section with a wall (and probably a man-door), leaving the last 20' open to what will be a later phase of the project- a 20' deep by 20' long low-ceiling multi-use area.  That will likely get a concrete pad at some point, too.

So now the question is...I've got a totally blank slate.  How do I set it up?  Lights, shelves, work bench...where to locate the lift?  The largest vehicle I'll probably use the lift for will be a full-size car, about 20' long.  I'm planning on doing a roll-up door at the 12' opening, with a chain lift, to avoid overhead issues with the lift.  I like LED lights but have issues with the ones currently in my other shop- they interfere with the FM radio.  So recommendations on ones that work with FM radio would be appreciated. 

Thanks for the input, y'all!

I've got a 20X20 shop, admittedly with a post dead center, and it is tight for doing actual work. I'd say center the lift in the 18' space, and I'd probably stay close to the roll up. Then you have tons of storage and work space, and can raise the project car trapped on it to gain access. 

It's hard to say, but if the lift were at the back, you'd have to keep it clear to have access to it. 

3'deep work tables all around, and I've always dreamed of a 4X8 (or bigger) steel table for all kinds of fabrication. One with maybe a 3/4" thick top and serious castors. That's what they had in the fab shop I worked in, and it was divine. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/2/20 11:08 a.m.

Is this mostly for cars? Or will you use the space for other stuff as well? (woodworking, fixing the lawn mower, building a boat, etc, etc) Wil you store a car in this space when not working on it or no?

Will you have long term car projects up on the lift or will you generally try and keep the lift open in case a running car needs maintenance?

 

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) UberDork
7/2/20 11:46 a.m.

Garage Journal is your friend.

In my shop, I put the hoist deeper into the shop, so that with the roll-up door down, I could have both car doors open and not hitting a post.  at 27' depth, you may not have much luxury in how far forward you go. I think I went another 5' in with the hoist, but my shop is 37' deep.

When I poured the slab, I put 2" foam under it to keep the cold Canadian Winter earth from sucking the heat out of my snow shoes. Except I did NOT put any under where the hoist posts would go, to provide an extra 4'x4' section of concrete (and an extra layer of re-bar) under the posts.  Except because the excavator's idea of level would work on a much smaller planet, it ended up being 8" of concrete under the hoist.

Lots of plugs, and have them all 20A 110V plugs.  One 50A 220V welding plug (or two, if a welding extension cord is more expensive).

Insulate it.  It will be quieter for your neighbours, and much happier inside in the heat/cold.

Big ass barn fan to blow out fumes.

Compressor - I have mine in its own wee building out back. Saves floor space, and if I'm whispering in the shop, I can't hear it running.

My build is here: SkinnyG's Workshop

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/2/20 11:48 a.m.

This will be mostly for cars.  I may have to take in the bucket tractor for the occasional maintenance a few times a year.  I have a separate dedicated wood shop, and I'm not into boats.  I also have other garages for vehicle storage. 

The lift will probably get used for long term projects, but it'll need to do double duty for any maintenance.  That said, I have some ramps for oil changes and such and don't mind laying on my back. 

I like wheelsmithy's idea of positioning the lift closer to the roll up door, so if need be I can roll another car under one that's on the lift.  For a 20' long car, figure I'll need 12-13 feet between the door and the centerline of the car.  That leaves around 14 or 15 feet in front of the lift.  I was thinking I might want to not put shelves/ workbench on that 18' long wall, to leave it clear for doing engine swaps and whatnot.  I'm also thinking about offsetting the lift to one side to allow for room for a wider work space on one side, and just enough room on the other to work between the lift/ car and the wall. 

I do have a nice hefty 3' x 6' metal table I plan to put in there. 

rustybugkiller
rustybugkiller Dork
7/2/20 11:48 a.m.

I doubt you will have room for a bench along the back wall. My shop is 31.5' front to back with the lift post 15.5' from the back wall and 16' to the door . When I had my single cab f150 with 8' bed on the lift I had some room between the bench and the grill but not a lot and about the same at the door end. I'm very happy with were mine is positioned but if I didn't have the extra 4.5' I would put a bench on the sides.

Led lights are the answer. I despise fluorescent lights.

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
7/2/20 2:33 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) :

20 foot long cars are going to be more and more rare but you might have/ get a pickup that requires that much space.  
 

You might think about putting the lift to one side in case you ever get a motorhome and need to work on it.  
I also like the idea of dedicated storage area, an attic  maybe?  Parts, tools, body pieces, that aren't that heavy can be stored there.  
Racking is a must. I never seem to have enough shelf space. Especially when engine building.  Do not put things behind doors. If you do you'll tend to forget where they are.  A glance should show you your inventory. Yes bins work if they are labeled. 
Most of my equipment is on wheels and a few of my things like the welding table.  It's on 2 heavy steel wheels and I just stick my floor jack under  the other end and pull it to where I'm working.   Use that approach and you can free up a massive amount of space.   
 

My shop is 30x50  and it quickly filled up. 

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/6/20 8:37 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

My pickup is a crew cab dually, but I don't anticipate putting that on the lift other than do do tires or a brake job; nothing where I'll need to go under it.  Same with Mrs. VCH's Suburban.  The Plymford is about 18 feet long, and I have occasionally dabbled in big old land yachts, so that's why I use 20 foot as my reference.  The old "122" wheelbase" deals.

I'm at the point in my life where I'm trying to only work on cars that inspire joy, not on appliances. 

Mrs. VCH came out and stood in the shop with me the other day and we discussed it a bit.  Concrete hasn't even been poured yet, so we have a little time to plan. 

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/6/20 8:49 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) said:

I'm at the point in my life where I'm trying to only work on cars that inspire joy, not on appliances. 

I like that. 

PMRacing
PMRacing UltraDork
7/6/20 9:44 a.m.

I've been laying out my garage with SketchUp. I spent a couple of hours doing the tutorial videos to learn the basics. I've been able to put in the basic layout of the garage then play around where workbenchs, shelves, and the hoist will go, and tile floor pattern layouts. I also used it to figure out deck designs for our house too.  Pretty easy to figure out and you can then try multiple layouts before physically moving stuff.

Or you can go old school with graph paper and cutout pieces for equipment.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/6/20 10:06 a.m.

2 things I always want more of in my shop: 1. bench space 2. space to walk on both sides of the lift. (In my case both could be solved by better organization and keeping the junk down, but better planning would've helped).

How wide is the lift? its probably every bit of 12 feet wide outside to outside. Give another 2 feet to walk past on either side and you're at 18 quickly. I think you will want to center it or maybe offset to one side by like a foot. 

If I were you, and looking at your usage plans, I'd place all my tools on the left hand wall. (in the pic you posted). I'd put them generally in order of most used to least used starting at the top left corner and going down. I might even line that entire wall with a 2 ft bench, with sections that are super solid for a vice and sections that could fold up and out of the way if needed. Keep in mind you probably want some good distance between a bench grinder or drill press and the car on the lift. 

I'd leave the far wall empty, or simply hanging storage. Put your solid metal table on high end lockable casters and park it back there. Like you say, if you need to park an engine rebuild or something in there, in front of the car lift space is best. 

Then I'd center the lift in the remaining space. Don't compromise the functionality of the lift or the lift access because you think you might be able to get a car to go around it or something like that. This garage is for the lift, embrace it. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/6/20 10:10 a.m.

Concrete hasn't been poured yet? Run the pex lines for radiant water. Just do it. I wish I had. 

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/6/20 11:36 a.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

It really doesn't get _that_ cold here in MD, and I'm not really keen on embedding stuff in my concrete (other than rebar).  The ultimate plan is to toss in a DIY minisplit for heat/ cool.  If I can knock off the chill in the winter and keep it from being sweltering in the summer that's all I need. 

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
7/9/20 4:31 a.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) :

I'm with Robbie on this.  Put PEX in the floor. It's simple and very cheap to do. You can use a hot water heater to keep the floor warm ( and wash your hands etc. ). Cheap, efficient.  Fast to do.  
 
Then I'd buy a window air unit  and put it through the wall. Buy it in the fall and a big one ready to plug in is $250.  The nice thing is they are getting pretty standard sizes.  So a decade from now when the efficiency  has significantly improved you can upgrade cheaply. 
  Use your window spaces to admit light and on nice days fresh air. 
 

An I beam with a chainfall on a trolley is nice, then again, you can probably use your lift to say, pluck an engine from a truck bed.

Tons of outlets. 110, 220, air.

 

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
7/9/20 6:52 a.m.

There's more to radiant floor heat than just running some pex in the concrete. You really need insulation under the slab and around the vertical edges too or you're wasting money by heating the dirt below/air around the outside.

A mini split will heat and cool well enough in VCH's climate and be much easier to change temps quickly.

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/9/20 8:31 a.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Plus you need some way to circulate the water.  Hot water alone will move...very slowly. 

We put mini splits in the in-law suite and our main house a few year's back.  They're practically silent, very efficient, and work well from 10 degrees F to 100 degrees.  Which are pretty much our extremes here. 

Lighting is my big concern now.  I've heard the Barina LEDs everyone raves about can be problematic with FM interception.  I'm wondering if any LEDs are acceptable in this regard, or if I just need to put in some sort of a filter between the Mains and the lights &/or radio to deal with this. 

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/9/20 8:40 a.m.

I use the LED lights from the "best fixture ever" sticky thread on GJ and no issues with FM at all at least in the cars. I don't have a dedicated radio in there, always off bluetooth or *gasp* cd's

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
7/9/20 8:46 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to STM317 :

Lighting is my big concern now.  I've heard the Barina LEDs everyone raves about can be problematic with FM interception.  I'm wondering if any LEDs are acceptable in this regard, or if I just need to put in some sort of a filter between the Mains and the lights &/or radio to deal with this. 

I used 2ft X 4ft "troffer" LED panels from Amazon and have no issues with FM reception (18V "jobsite" style radio) in my shop.

These maybe?

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/9/20 9:19 a.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Man, those are trick.  What did you use for the 0-10v dimmer?  Looks like these don't just wire into 120vav.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
7/9/20 11:55 a.m.

Mine are not on a dimmer. Most of mine are wired in pairs, with two pairs over the primary work space being on the same switch. So if I need less light or more light I just flip more switches.

The lights themselves are 120v, hardwired with typical 12-2 romex. For whatever it's worth, the ones in my link say they are 120V down in the "technical details" section.

 

***I actually found an old email for the ones that I bought and it looks like they're no longer available if I follow the link to the listing. I paid about $150/pair. These look like a better deal than I got, and definitely better than the first link.
 

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/9/20 12:46 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Yes, I see that now.  A bit confusing at first.  What color temp did you get?  I'm looking at options of 3500k, 4000k, and 5000k.  Leaning towards 4000k- not starkly white, but still bright. 

Looking at these.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
7/9/20 1:11 p.m.

5000k for me. I want bright, white light in a working environment.

FYI, The ones you're looking at have fewer lumens which may/may not be an issue. It does likely mean less efficiency (assuming the same wattage) if that matters. 120 lumens per watt is about the minimum threshold for "highly efficient" LEDs these days

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/9/20 1:11 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) :

Those look nice, although they may be tricky to surface mount as they are usually installed in a suspended grid. What kind of ceiling do you plan to install?

Also, instead of a 2x4s in a pattern of some sort, consider a continuous row of 1x4s run along each side of where you plan the lift posts to be.  It'll provide more of the "light from everywhere" feel and greatly reduce shadows. 

4000K is usually a good compromise color temp.  5000K feels harsh to me.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/9/20 1:29 p.m.

Man, you are missing so many things already.

  • Super-cool room under the floor to store arms and stuff like in Mr & Mrs Smith.

     
  • Secret room with secret entrance hidden in bookshelves.

     
  • Lights and camera setup for webisodes of "Volvoclearninghouse's Garage" 

     
  • A spiral staircase up to the roof-top deck/lounge.

OK I am not helping.

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