My lazy workshop build

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Sporky McGuffin

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Afternoon all - these threads seem to be popular, so I thought I'd add mine. The big caveat up front is that I did darned close to none of the work myself - we bought a new house and were having it refurbished (stripped out to floor joists, an extension, internal rearrangement and so on), so I had the builders make me a workshop at the same time. All with planning permission as we needed that for the extension. Much of this happened over lockdown, and we were still living 20 miles away in the old house, so the photo record is a bit patchy as the builders were more focussed on actually building the thing, and we could only visit with good reason (which included things like delivering a toilet to site that had shipped to the old house instead of the new) to begin with.

My last house had a lovely garden room style workshop; the only real disadvantage of it was the low ceiling so as not to need PP, so the new one was just a teeny bit longer and wider, but quite a chunk taller. I also wanted even better sound and heat insulation, so we set the size at 7.3m x 4.3m internally as that nestled neatly between the RPAs of some TPO'd trees.

First the rickety old sheds were cleared, and a hole dug for the foundations. I'm not sure how they got a mini digger up the steps, and I'm not minded to ask.

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Concrete slab went down, pumped via some very long pipes from the mixer at the front of the house (I'd guess it's 45-50m away). I missed that bit entirely, so next the walls went up. At this stage it looked chuffing enormous.

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Then the walls went higher and roof timbers went on.

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Then we missed the bit when all the insulation went into the inside - next visit the ply lining was all in place. I might end this post here and start the next one afresh.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Ply! I did check and there is a good chunk of insulation behind the ply. Also a bit of a dog, but we got her back out.

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Next visit the electrics were in, and they'd put up my air cleaner, which was nice. I celebrated by starting the dust extraction ducting. I did that bit myself. I actually rather enjoy the ducting installation; it's a nice combination of planning ahead and then botching it finished. For the previous workshop I even did sums to get the sizes right, but as this one is barely larger and almost exactly the same layout I didn't do sums. I did have to recut pretty much every piece though - just an extra 30cm each way messes up everything.

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Next time I got to site the builders had rather kindly fitted all the flooring tiles for me - these are Plasfloor. I finished the ducting. I hope you all like pictures of ducting in various states of installation; there will be more in the next post. I'd brought a few assemblies over from the last workshop but had to rebuild most because of the higher ceiling.

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Sporky McGuffin

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Gosh but ducting is ace. Actually I'll spare you most of the rest of the ducting photos; next visit the skirting boards were in place and I did more ducting. Also this time a different dog snuck in. At some point I'll have to work out how to stop that nonsense. Dogs in a workshop. Just silly.

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Actually, that's it until the day all the machines arrived. I didn't take any photos of that because it was quite a long hard day - three flights of steps to get up to the workshop - and the machine movers didn't seem to be enjoying it much. They cheered up a lot when the scaffolders helped. One of the latter pretty much carried the bandsaw up the steps on his own, which was rather impressive.

I will add some photos of the finished event. Unless they're meant to go into the workshop tours bit?

Anyways, it's a lovely space. Roof is that black membrane stuff. It stays delightfully cool all through summer, and in winter a little oil-filled radiator keeps it entirely usable. Very good sound insulation too - even with the dust extractor and CNC machine running, from outside it's barely audible. So overall I know paying someone to build it was cheating, but I still think it was a darned good idea. Comments and questions welcome. :)

[edit] Forgot to mention - part of the planning application/approval (we had a brilliant and very helpful planning officer) was that it should look "in keeping with the area, and of a domestic appearance". This was solved by wood cladding the whole thing. You might have guessed that was coming on account of the bits of blue timber stuck on the outside walls. This is the finished article:

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You can see the biggest flight of steps there. The number 45 is a joke about the narky rear neighbours (all our other neighbours are lovely), who'd complained to planning during the work that we were actually building an entire new house at the back of our garden.
 
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Ozi

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Serious envy building up, show it full of lovely new machines and racks of good wood and muttering will definitely set in.

More seriously well done, must be a joy to work in hope to see some of your work posted :)
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Serious envy building up, show it full of lovely new machines and racks of good wood and muttering will definitely set in.

More seriously well done, must be a joy to work in hope to see some of your work posted :)

Thanks - though I've actually been quite restrained machine-wise, only a new tablesaw since we moved in January. Oh, and the router table that just arrived. Everything else is carried over; hopefully that'll quell some of the muttering!

I see why it's a lazy build now.

I was just looking at the piccies thinking......hmmmm, I wonder what he's like when he says he's busy?

Busy is the day job; the workshop is a space for quiet/noisy contemplation and occasional woodwork. I had a period of making electric guitars, some of which turned out quite well, and at the moment I'm mostly making boxes, though my output rate is pretty low. I have a plan for a music-theory-themed box which may or may not work out to be my next build.
 

Jameshow

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Gosh but ducting is ace. Actually I'll spare you most of the rest of the ducting photos; next visit the skirting boards were in place and I did more ducting. Also this time a different dog snuck in. At some point I'll have to work out how to stop that nonsense. Dogs in a workshop. Just silly.

View attachment 120896 View attachment 120897

Actually, that's it until the day all the machines arrived. I didn't take any photos of that because it was quite a long hard day - three flights of steps to get up to the workshop - and the machine movers didn't seem to be enjoying it much. They cheered up a lot when the scaffolders helped. One of the latter pretty much carried the bandsaw up the steps on his own, which was rather impressive.

I will add some photos of the finished event. Unless they're meant to go into the workshop tours bit?

Anyways, it's a lovely space. Roof is that black membrane stuff. It stays delightfully cool all through summer, and in winter a little oil-filled radiator keeps it entirely usable. Very good sound insulation too - even with the dust extractor and CNC machine running, from outside it's barely audible. So overall I know paying someone to build it was cheating, but I still think it was a darned good idea. Comments and questions welcome. :)

[edit] Forgot to mention - part of the planning application/approval (we had a brilliant and very helpful planning officer) was that it should look "in keeping with the area, and of a domestic appearance". This was solved by wood cladding the whole thing. You might have guessed that was coming on account of the bits of blue timber stuck on the outside walls. This is the finished article:

View attachment 120904 View attachment 120905

You can see the biggest flight of steps there. The number 45 is a joke about the narky rear neighbours (all our other neighbours are lovely), who'd complained to planning during the work that we were actually building an entire new house at the back of our garden.
Nice! did you not want another window left of the patio doors. I'd want to look out across the garden whilst dovetailing!

Cheers James
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Nice! did you not want another window left of the patio doors. I'd want to look out across the garden whilst dovetailing!

My previous had windows along the front side, but I actually like less of a view and thus fewer distractions. I am easily distracted, which is why it's taken me a while to take some rubbish photos.

Right. Walking in and turning left, the tour commences with DIY stuff, fastenings, small bits of sheet goods, and a bin.

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Next is my bench, which is a bit rubbish on account of I knew nothing about workbenches when I designed and built it. Poplar legs, beech worktop, ply panels to make it less wobbly. Houses a fanless PC, Echo Show, homemade Class T amp, and tool boards. The Beta cabinet houses chisels, cordless drill, driver bits, measuring and marking stuff, and so on. The green lamps were meant to go into my office, but I bought the wrong size. They're quite useful here.

Yes, there is a soft toy owl. I will post a build thread about him once that project is complete. It'll be super-classy.

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Clamps and the nice bits of timber. Also a robot bumblebee with a ducted fan in it.

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A lathe. For making round things. Scrap bin below.

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Mitre saw, with a ridiculous looking dust tent, which is brilliant.

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Another Beta cabinet, this one with my Tormek on top. Houses other sharpening stuff, lathe stuff, and sanding stuff.

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The big CNC machine, a K2 3295. Rewired and I built a new control box because K2 were a bunch of bodgers and the original actually caught fire. Currently in the middle of cutting ventilation slots into one of the doors of our media cabinet. Though not actually running when I took the photo.

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Sporky McGuffin

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We continue! Next is the little CNC machine, a Bungard CCD2. For making circuit boards, and engraving. Currently in limbo as it only works with a creaky Windows ME PC.

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The dust extractor - bit of a bargain, my machine moving chums were in the area when this didn't sell on eBay. Cheeky offer and £70 to transport it most of the length of the country.

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Planer thicknesser; an Axminster PT206 I think. A good friend. Not normally hidden behind sheets of ply.

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Pillar drill - I used to make guitar pedals and drilled a few hundred aluminium cases with this. The lever on the side is a variable speed control. Marvellous.

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Bosch GTS10XC table saw, my second one. Foolishly sold the first and bought a big Electra jobby which just wasn't right for what I do, so very happy when this was 40% off in an Amazon sale. I made a spectacularly ugly stand for it, which is still missing a door 6 months later.

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Stuff for the bandsaw stuck to the wall. Fascinating, I am sure.

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First machine I bought, a lovely Axminster bandsaw. Another good friend.

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That's about it. It's usually more organised, but the router table is in construction.
 

Ttrees

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Great job on the workshop build, nice and solid, no shortcuts taken there to my eyes.
You must be nearly getting to that cozy stage, as it appears you need another bench.
Quite an unusual assembly of kit you've got there!

Edit, now things are making sense.
Ooh a proper cyclone, and at a bargain from the sounds of it, super jealous .;)

All the best for your new workshop.
Tom
 

Ttrees

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It'll be interesting to see what you get up to with the CNC added to the traditional
mix of things, likely quite a possible money maker being able to customize some stuff.
Tom
 

Sporky McGuffin

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The CNC is a brilliant and infuriating tool. There are things that'd be very hard to do any other way (eg guitar fretboards with fret slots that don't break through the edges), and things where halfway through the cycle you realise you could do it with just a blunt screwdriver and some harsh language. Also you can do a lot of damage very quickly. The music themed box is likely going to involve some CNC work.
 

WoodYewToo

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Mr McGuffin, I'd be interested in seeing some of your guitar / bass builds - when you have a chance. Thanks
 
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