Sunday, November 27, 2016

Workshop Remediation Completed

Ugh. Back in January, this tale had been started and left "to be continued". Well, blog posting being relatively low on my task priorities, the tale continues. The shed- topic of the last post- was a major detour. It did help clear the shop area out so the work there could proceed. The ceiling was the first task. I don't like drywall and wanted to maximize ceiling height, thus exposing the joists and using  rigid foam insulation with panels between the joist was the initial plan. Cost of solid foam panels to achieve required R value vs high density roll insulation changed the plan to a lower height of the panels between the joists. A visit to my local salvage yard gave to solution to the panels in some corrugated steel panels that required minimal cutting to fit as needed. The last photos on the 5/22/15 post show that part of the job in progress. Here are the finished ceiling photos. I would have loved 10 foot ceilings, but at least I can stand a sheet of plywood up straight.
The next step was taken care of by Dale, a general contractor who also does as much- or as little- as is requested. I had framed the rough openings for the new windows and gutted enough of the existing interior walls that he could re-wire and place a glue-lam beam to support the portion of the load bearing wall that was being removed to improve the workspace.

Here is the area (studs only) where the glue-lam was installed.

Next was removing the vinyl coated tile (VCT). The floor covering was there  when I purchased the property, so I was not sure if it was made/installed in the post-asbestos era. A Home Depot purchased asbestos testing kit confirmed that the tiles and glue were not a health hazard to remove. It was a chore to remove with some portions of the floor much more adherent than others. A concrete floor refinisher had given a reasonable quote on prepping and placing a epoxy finish on the old concrete. That was accomplished with an adventure component (he had to come back and re-apply the finish), but in time for Dale to do his work as scheduled.

I had taken some vacation time to finish the ceiling, and do the interior walls in the late summer. Vacation times can be difficult to re-schedule at my clinic, so there was some anxiety around the floor and interior structural work timing. I was able to install drywall and the wood wainscoting during the time I had scheduled to be off work.
Having tables and machines on rollers and being able to vary the height on my two modified festool tables made the next part of the task much more manageable
Here is drywall stage.

Once the interior was sufficient far along that I could start moving stuff back in, I could address storage. In my younger days, I would have built the cabinets but sometimes bought rather than built is the way to go. I wanted this time to store shop stuff in as portable and space-efficient manner as practically possible and metal tool chests with their thin metal drawers, caster wheels and large load bearing capacity could do a better job than anything I could make. Lowe's had roller cabinets on special, but by the time I had returned to buy them, they were back at regular prices and reading reviews dissuaded me from buying at that price.  As I still had plenty of work to do, I decided to monitor Craigslist for used SnapOn boxes as, other than price, that seemed to be the toolbox of choice. After 3 wks of searching, I found a box at a good price and not too far. Great box, except for weighing 400+ lbs, but that's why it's sturdy.

SnapOn would have been overkill for the remainder of our storage needs, but Gladiator cabinets were a good value on special when purchased.

Harbor Freight boxes are a mixed bag. Their glossy red stuff is well-built if the color is tolerable, but their black boxes were purchases I would not do again.

The last of the boxes was a Kennedy, which I found on Craigslist and is a good value if purchased used.

It seems that most woodworking shops have tools on the walls rather than in cabinets. I went with the latter approach as it is easier to keep clean. Drawers still need to be labeled and organization completed. As of the time I'm getting around to this post, still a work in progress.

Once the shop was functional, It was time to build stuff for the house again. The first project in the new and improved shop was a combination bench that could serve both as a reading reclined couch and a sitting bench as well as provide more book storage. Next post or else I'll fall hopelessly behind in keeping up with this blog.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Storage Shed

Much has happened since the last post. As with all home improvement projects, the battle plan does not survive encounter with the task itself and this years work turned into a conflict with two fronts; military buffs know how that usually goes. This was in addition to deciding I wanted to read 50 books in 2015. Thus blog writing ceased for the remainder of the year. At the time of the last post, we were figuring out where to store the contents of the gutted space. Our TV room  and an adjunt storage space were able to accommodate some of the displaced stuff. There was still a great deal of construction material which needed storage. This brings us to a major change in the original plan.
The property as purchased came with a small shed which was used mostly to store leftovers from previous projects, yard stuff and other basically detritus. Walls were concrete brick but only 4 feet high and the roof was a simple low angle gable 7 feet at the peak.

While it remained watertight, the plywood door and plexiglass window made it at times a shelter for various neighborhood critters. As I was clearing junk out to make room, it became very clear that the storage shed needed major work; much more than my workshop needed additional space.
Thus the plan for bumping out the east wall by 6 feet was abandoned in favor of rehabbing the shed.
One thing that had been stored there that was both valuable and useful was about 200 linear feet of treated 2x6's. They were put to use as wall framing and trusses so the shed could have 8 feet high walls and a more PNW appropriate roof pitch. I preformed the wall portions and cut the angles for the trusses over a three day weekend. I thought I could tear the old roof down and get the structure to frame and roof stage over the following week. The battle plan went drastically awry when removing the old roof showed one wall about ready to fall over and another wall needing work as well.
The last time I had done any masonry work was 16 years ago. A wall that needed replacement and a proper foundation together with a slab and another wall that needed repairs as well were well beyond my minimal masonry level and free time. Fortunately Dale came to the rescue. He's the contractor who was going to do the shop extension. While he is a licensed general contractor, he mostly works on one man jobs and is sort of a neighborhood treasure as he does not advertise and relies solely on word of mouth for projects. He came the day after receiving my frantic call, looked at it and agreed to squeeze the job in that week. As it turns out, while he does masonry and concrete infrequently, he's pretty good at it.
So I was back in business. Dale helped me put in the roof beam and trusses and plywood sheathing and even helped me finish off that part of the task on the fourth of July. Like I said, he's a gem; the photo below is us working on 7/4.  As we were putting up the roof, I got nostalgic. One of my favorite photos is of our sunroom at frame stage. It was taken with B&W film.

Twenty years later, the color and digital version

The rest was pretty straight forward but time consuming and at times physically demanding. It was a fun little project; kinda like making a tiny house- minus the plumbing and electricity. I was able to incorporate a couple of old colored glass windows that were previously in the shop area and would not work in the revised shop area.
The shed once completed was able to store much of the materials to be used in the shop remodel. Once those materials were installed and detritus removed, DW would have plenty of space for a potting area. As the project progressed it became clear that rehabbing the shed was a better use of time and money than adding on to the workshop.

The interior now

Now it's back to the shop area.