A year and a half ago, I set up my home shop in somewhat of a hurry. For one, I was tired of not having a home shop and two, my proposal to build a shaker settee for the August issue was given the green light by my editor, Andrew Zoellner. So, my dad and I took spent a week transforming my unfinished two-car garage into a one-car garage with a one-car workshop.
We started by building a wall down the middle of the garage to give structure and boundaries to the workshop, my wife loves me, but not enough to give up parking in the garage. I know some folks make their shop mobile so they can move tables and machinery when the cars come in, but I’d rather have a smaller space that is dialed in and always ready to go. I have very little time to spend in the home shop. When I walk in, I have to make every minute count.
Anyway, once the shop was framed in and drywalled, we moved to lighting, running a subpanel and organizing the shop. With the shop set up enough to build my settee for the magazine, I got to work. I was kept warm during the build by a 230v heater that doubled my electric bill that month. But, the deadline was looming, so I took the hit and left insulating the ceiling for another day–it was almost summer anyway.
I’m not sure if this happened where you live, but we had about 48 hours of fall in Ohio. It went from 82deg one day, to 52deg the next and we just had our first frost. I’m looking forward to spending more and more time in the shop, but I don’t want to pay that crazy electric bill again. Last week I laid R-30 fiberglass batts on the ceiling of the shop and the walls have standard R-13. I’m hoping the ceiling was the major heat leak and this winter will be a bit more bearable.
Also, I am exploring flooring options. I know rubber mats are popular, have you put down foam or cork to keep the tootsies warm?
What are some of the best improvements you’ve made in your shop for dealing with the cold?
– David Lyell
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.