Workshop Renovation And Tour Workshop Projects

With winter coming, I thought it would be a good idea to get some temporary heat for my shop. Before I could think about heating it, I would have to close in the ceiling, to stop the draft from the open eaves and reduce the volume of air in the shop that I would have to heat. Making it smaller and less breezy would make it a lot easier to keep warm.
Last winter there were parts of my house that were still being renovated that I could use as an extension to my workshop – somewhere that I could assemble projects in comfort. I still had to do all of the cutting and other machine operations out in the cold, but to be able to glue things up without the glue freezing or my fingers freezing was certainly helpful. This year, with the rest of the house nearly completely renovated, I don’t have that option.
My first thought was to use plastic that is normally used as a vapour barrier to close in the ceiling: just staple it up and then pull it back down again in the spring, before I put the house up for sale. The more I considered this, the less I liked it. I really don’t like temporary measures, especially when a more permanent one can be done quickly and the end result will not only be better, but add to the value and marketability of the house.
To close the ceiling, I went with 1/4″; thick OSB, as this was the most economical. I used strips of 1/2″; plywood to strap the ceiling, to provide support for the OSB panels. Once the ceiling was done, I painted it a total of three coats. Since the shop was out of commission while this work was happening, I also took the time to do some trim around the window and doors, and paint the walls and garage doors. The result was quite a turn around from the way it used to look.

We’ll start at the end, here’s the shop completely finished:

The shop as it is seen when walking in the front door, facing south:

view of my workshopview of my workshop

And facing east. I have arranged the tools in what I think is the best locations. Seen in this photo is the attic access hatch, where I have some material stored.

Facing north-east, the shelving in the corner where all of the hand tools and various other things I use on a daily basis:

view of my workshop

The router table is set up so that it is in line with the door to the store room. The door can be opened for milling longer pieces.

Facing north, the thickness planer, sanding station, small band saw, compressor and downdraft sanding table share this space. The thickness planer is situated so that long stock can be fed through:

view of my workshopview of my workshop

And facing north-west. I have some sheet goods leaning against the garage doors.

The view from the north-east corner:

view of my workshop

There is enough space around the tools to walk comfortably

The storeroom in the south-east corner of the shop with shelving around three walls will normally stay closed, to keep the dust out:

view of my workshop paint storage roomview of my workshop router table drill press

The drill press and lathe occupy the south-east corner.

The table saw still takes centre stage, as it is the most used tool in the shop:

view of my workshop table sawview of my workshop workbench

My workbench is now in the north-east corner, close to the shelving where the tools are stored. This should make assembly convenient, and encourage me to work here, rather than on the table saw.

After moving and leveling up the workbench, I sanded the finish off of the top. I have found that I like to work on light coloured surfaces, like my table saw, and the top was too dark (and I never did like the colour much, anyway). I then wiped on a coat of polyurethane to give some protection. While I was at it, I sanded the quick release vise and gave that a coat of varnish:

view of my workshop quick release vise

Here are the videos I made during the renovation. Although this appears to be a lot of work, most of my time was spent painting and cleaning, with the actual closing of the ceiling taking less than two days. Much time was spent waiting 24 hours for each coat of paint to dry:

A rewarding project, and I feel good about what I did, even though I will only be in this shop for a few more months. Hopefully, I can keep it clean and continue this new approach when I get to my new shop, wherever that will be.