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Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

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  • Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

    My shop is a disaster but retirement has changed my available time for it and my motivation. The 2 bay garage is 22X24 and is a 1960's build with a true back alley and a cracked floor. The wife's Honda is in the first bay and that makes my shop better! Of course I'm joking a bit as way of introduction to active participation in the community.

    The dedicated car bay does have a few positives. When needed there is almost always a 11X22 wide open space available. The messy shop is contained. Most important, many of us understand the proverb about happy wives from real experience, ;-) .

    The garage has a modern overhead gas heater, plenty of panel space, and the neighbourhood is friendly and safe, great beginnings. The near future includes shop wiring and lighting, insulating, and sensible layout for a guy who walks with a cane and needs to limit how much he lifts.

    These problems will be a theme in my future threads. Life in the shop happens best between my knees and as high as I can reach. Designing must accommodate the need to sit often. Don't get me started on cold shops and concrete floors.
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  • #2

    Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

    Originally posted by Canuck Bob View Post
    My shop is a disaster but retirement has changed my available time for it and my motivation. The 2 bay garage is 22X24 and is a 1960's build with a true back alley and a cracked floor. The wife's Honda is in the first bay and that makes my shop better! Of course I'm joking a bit as way of introduction to active participation in the community.

    The dedicated car bay does have a few positives. When needed there is almost always a 11X22 wide open space available. The messy shop is contained. Most important, many of us understand the proverb about happy wives from real experience, ;-) .

    The garage has a modern overhead gas heater, plenty of panel space, and the neighbourhood is friendly and safe, great beginnings. The near future includes shop wiring and lighting, insulating, and sensible layout for a guy who walks with a cane and needs to limit how much he lifts.

    These problems will be a theme in my future threads. Life in the shop happens best between my knees and as high as I can reach. Designing must accommodate the need to sit often. Don't get me started on cold shops and concrete floors.
    I share your concerns for mobility issues, yeah, I'm old. Looking forward to hearing about your solutions.
    The difference between a master and a beginner: The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

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    • #3

      Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

      I've seen people go to the fabric store and get long lengths of sheer fabric. Install a curtain rod down the centre of the shop and hang floor to ceiling sheer curtains. The move out of the way easily when needed, but otherwise function as a great dust shroud, keeping dust and dirt off of your wife's Honda!

      I have concrete floor in my shop. Some people have put down cheap laminate click flooring, or even better is the newer vinyl plank flooring, to make it softer. Me, I have long lengths of thick rubber conveyed belt from a local factory laid down strategically like carpet runners. Most of the time I am standing, it is on a rubber belt. Also, I buy the cushion insoles for my work shoes.
      MartyFromKingston likes this.

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      • #4

        Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

        Costco has some great LED shop lights. They were on sale in the U.S. last year for $20, but are ~$45 in Canada. They have no bulbs, just a diffuser and can be set for motion detection. I am slowly switching my old fluorescent fixtures in the garage to the Costco ones. I find the light quality much superior and with the motion sensor engaged I do not get nagged for leaving the lights on in the garage.
        Canuck Bob likes this.

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        • #5

          Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

          Ryan and Rory both gave you great suggestions. To that I'd add ensuring you have safe and adequate electrical power (you mentioned the panel), with plenty of outlets - both 120 and 240 volt - placed at hip height so you don't ever have to bend down to plug things in.

          Getting the right tools and machines will be an important issue, for the simple fact that you, like most of us, have limited workspace. So start first by deciding what sort of work you plan to do. You sound as though you've already been woodworking, so may have already got this issue covered. My advice woule be to take your time and don't go out and buy everything all at once. As well, there are some wonderful deals to be had in the used equipment listings here on this forum, so I'd suggest you always check here first. As a general statement, the older used machinery was usually made to a much higher standard and can be found at considerably less price than new ones.

          Hand tools are also a very important part of the equation, and a decent workbench is something that everyone, regardless of what they make, needs to have.

          Oh, yes, and ensure you have a nice, stable stool to place in front of your workbench, as it makes life in the shop that much more comfy!
          All the best,

          Marty

          Secretary of Kingston Wood Artisans Inc. https://kwoodartca.wordpress.com/

          Master Mistake Fixer (because I've made them all... at least once)

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          • #6

            Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

            Thanks. I should have been clearer in the description. As far as tools go I'm set up fairly well. My shop has been in limbo for 20 years because of medical issues and a joyful happening.

            It started with dual hip replacement in 98 then the adoption of two angels from China. I had just turned 50. We moved to this house when the girls were young, they are now 15 and 17. Wow, did that happen fast. For the last decade I've been fighting cancer. No sob story here. Due to a trial chemo drug I'm in full remission. This has left me the luckiest family man imaginable. However I got a real arse kicking as well.

            The first woodworking tasks will be the honey do list and build the shop. Here are some ideas and concerns.

            The panel is not an issue. We rerouted the power feed from overhead to buried for the house. My house panel is now a sub panel to the shop. Rory has convinced me to ditch my ancient fluorescents for leds.

            Heating concerns. A deep freeze shop is just not inviting. I'm planning to keep things around -5 and turn up the heat when I enter the shop.

            How do woodworkers deal with all the stuff that should be kept above freezing. Anyone use a heated cabinet or similar? Carrying totes back and forth is not appealing at all.

            How many workers don't sheet the inside walls, at least initially. Right now the plan is to cover the walls with white vapour barrier and 2' spaced 1X4 horizontal strapping over the top done up with bevels for french cleats.

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            • #7

              Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

              I'm slowly adding those costco led lights to my shop. Amazing compared to my older 25 year old fluorescents. As I get older I find I need more light to read those tiny millimeter scales and the leds certainly fit the bill.
              Nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems.

              Glenn from Winnipeg

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              • #8

                Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

                my double car garage/wprkshop(no car ever) is heated constantly also with natural gas.
                it costs a negligable amount, we didnt even a change on the gas bill. its well insulated but it is attached to the house by the back wall.
                i would leave your heat on all the time, maybe at a lower temperature(15 maybe)

                i have laminate flooring in my shop, pretty beat up now after 12 years but it does serve its purpose very well. it covers about 90% of the floor. equipment rolls on it very nicely
                Kelly2008 and Bryan @ Woodstock like this.
                my shop is a beaver lodge
                steve, sarnia, ont




                1940's Craftmaster Lathe

                https://www.facebook.com/artistryinwoodca/

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                • #9

                  Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

                  My shop shares storage duties with our two vehicles and the big thing I've noticed recently is that when the snow that gets dragged in with the cars melts, its started to cause issues with rust forming on bare cast and steel surfaces. This is unheard of in dry Calgary but I think all the salt from the snow on the roads has made this issue worse in recent years. I find myself squeegeeing the melt water out at the door regularly to try to avoid the humidity and condensation.

                  John
                  Shut up, wretched cricket of doom...

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                  • #10

                    Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

                    Originally posted by John in Calgary View Post
                    My shop shares storage duties with our two vehicles and the big thing I've noticed recently is that when the snow that gets dragged in with the cars melts, its started to cause issues with rust forming on bare cast and steel surfaces. This is unheard of in dry Calgary but I think all the salt from the snow on the roads has made this issue worse in recent years. I find myself squeegeeing the melt water out at the door regularly to try to avoid the humidity and condensation.

                    John
                    What temperature do you maintain it at and would running a dehumidifier help?

                    I find I get rust issues on bare metal especially where closer to the floor. I keep my garage at 7°C until I need to turn it up. Saying that, I don’t park the car inside and yet I still get rust. (Guessing from having no heat or ac and only low/sporadic heat from Dec to March.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

                      Originally posted by Canuck Bob View Post
                      Thanks. I should have been clearer in the description. As far as tools go I'm set up fairly well. My shop has been in limbo for 20 years because of medical issues and a joyful happening.

                      It started with dual hip replacement in 98 then the adoption of two angels from China. I had just turned 50. We moved to this house when the girls were young, they are now 15 and 17. Wow, did that happen fast. For the last decade I've been fighting cancer. No sob story here. Due to a trial chemo drug I'm in full remission. This has left me the luckiest family man imaginable. However I got a real arse kicking as well.

                      The first woodworking tasks will be the honey do list and build the shop. Here are some ideas and concerns.

                      The panel is not an issue. We rerouted the power feed from overhead to buried for the house. My house panel is now a sub panel to the shop. Rory has convinced me to ditch my ancient fluorescents for leds.

                      Heating concerns. A deep freeze shop is just not inviting. I'm planning to keep things around -5 and turn up the heat when I enter the shop.

                      How do woodworkers deal with all the stuff that should be kept above freezing. Anyone use a heated cabinet or similar? Carrying totes back and forth is not appealing at all.

                      How many workers don't sheet the inside walls, at least initially. Right now the plan is to cover the walls with white vapour barrier and 2' spaced 1X4 horizontal strapping over the top done up with bevels for french cleats.
                      Wow, that’s quite the tale of trials and tribulations with not one, but 2 gold finishes. I hope you are able to get this shop setup to your dream space.

                      If if you need a warm cabinet, you could use an old fridge or make an insulated cabinet heated by a standard lightbulb. (Suggest you cover the bulb with a safety cage)

                      as for the floor, what about doing a subfloor for the shop side with taper edge to the car side for cart/equipment access (or just no tripping).
                      Not sure about your budget, but your local co-op should have horse stall rubber sheets. These are heavy rubber sheets approx 4’x8’. We actually use them in a welding shop. Tough and welding sparks don’t bother them. And if you drop your prized plane or chisels...no damage . They butt together well also.

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                      • #12

                        Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

                        Originally posted by ShoestringMariner View Post

                        What temperature do you maintain it at and would running a dehumidifier help?

                        I find I get rust issues on bare metal especially where closer to the floor. I keep my garage at 7°C until I need to turn it up. Saying that, I don’t park the car inside and yet I still get rust. (Guessing from having no heat or ac and only low/sporadic heat from Dec to March.
                        Typical Calgary winter humidity is 20-25% (one cold snap and dewpoint drops to -15C or lower), so the quickest way to dehumidify a garage is leave the garage door open for an hour or two.

                        I don't heat my garage unless I'm out there working, so temperatures range from +5 to -5 C depending on the outside temperatures (its mostly but not completely insulated, temps tend to be close to the slab temperature which is +5 C). The problem is that if the roads are snowy, the cars collect snow/salt, then it drops off the car inside the garage and melts leaving a pool of water near the garage door (it pools because the outside temp freezes an ice dam at the door, allowing a level to build behind the ice dam, I have more than adequate slope for drainage to the door). A dehumidifier would only work if I heated it full time above freezing so the dehumidifier didn't freeze. Since we've decided to use the garage for vehicle parking in the winter, the best way to manage humidity is to squeegee the water out as it builds up and chip away at the ice dams to minimize the pooling.

                        If we didn't park cars inside, there would be no issues with rust here even without heat.

                        John
                        Shut up, wretched cricket of doom...

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                        • #13

                          Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

                          Originally posted by Canuck Bob View Post
                          I'm planning to keep things around -5 and turn up the heat when I enter the shop.
                          Might consider keeping it above freezing point so that you would not need to worry about water-based glues and what not freezing.

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                          • #14

                            Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

                            Thanks to everyone. The car thing is a long established status quo in the family. I have not used the shop in the winter except during chinook conditions, warm westerly winds above 0. I plan to keep the temp setting below 0 so tracked in snow does not melt or it becomes an icy swamp. As noted above when conditions are right the floor drys quick when the garage door is left up a bit and the person door is open. Any rust is negligible it is so dry here. Fortunately my big door faces due west and gets full chinook wind. I try to shovel out the clumps as they are dropped from the car.

                            Finding a cheap thermostat that is settable below 0 is tough. I'm going to try an old mercury switch thermostat and calibrate it to run down to -10. I'll report on the success after it is tested. I'm encouraged by the report that full time heat is not too expensive once insulated.

                            I've moved from oilpatch sales to fixed income so on a strict budget. I'm also cheap by nature. After consideration the long shop wall on the shop side will get covered in OSB. The other walls will be insulated and covered in plastic vapour barrier for now. The insulating will start when spring weather arrives.`

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                            • #15

                              Re: Happy to share my small garage shop with my wife's Honda!

                              Hi Bob,

                              First of all, I am perplexed by your apparent joy about sharing your shop with cars. No matter. I feel a word of caution is required given what you have said about your intended usage.

                              My attached 2-car garage is fully insulated and heated with a gas fired garage heater (Small forced air Beacon Morris "Brut" furnace). I do not use external air for combustion and rely on the leaky garage door to provide the necessary make up air. While this may not be as efficient as an external air system, I don't notice much of a difference in my annual gas bill.

                              I keep it at a minimum of 12C. It is NOT recommended to set your furnace below 12C, due to condensation and corrosion issues in your heat exchanger and exhaust piping. Check your furnace manual and you may find some wording to that effect.

                              http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81O59ysV0lS.pdf


                              ​​​​​​​
                              Cheers
                              Randy

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