Workshop Build -Advice Required

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PlacidCasual

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Hi All

Long time lurker, recent member and first time poster.

Over the last few years I've done a lot of diy that has involved wood but I wouldn't call it woodworking. I did a woodworking course last year and this year I'm building a workshop and have a few questions.

I've got a 4m by 6m concrete pad I'm planning to build a workshop 3.15m by 5.850m outer dimensions. Block wall to 900mm, double glazed to approx 1.8m a 1.4m wide French door. Roof OSB with felt a 250mm fall over 3.15m uninsulated. I'll clad the outside block work and gaps between windows with softwood TnG cladding.

Now I'll have electricity but I'm not planning on any heating. What humidity do people aim for when storing wood and tools? I can imagine it would be easy to store all my tools such as they are (old diy hand and power tools at the moment) in a cupboard with a small oil filled heater to keep the inside temp up.

At the moment I have a blank canvass to design on but it would be easier to take advice early rather than kludge a fix later.

Final use for workshop will be mainly woodworking, supporting diy tasks, the occasional bit of home brewing and extracting honey.

Thx in advance for any comments or advice.
 

RobinBHM

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Hi welcome to the forum.

If you are building onto an existing slab, but in from the edge of the slab, you will need to be careful to detail the damp proofing arrangements.

If you build on the existing slab, are you confident the slab will be strong enough to take the load, as it wont have any foundation underneath. Im sure builders on here can advise.

Fix vertical battens on both blockwork and studwork to create a 25mm cavity and then fix your cladding over that. Include breathable membrane and insect mesh. The tyvek website has detailed timber frame construction details.
 

PlacidCasual

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The slab was laid last week by an experienced grounds work foreman, 100mm hardcore 200mm concrete and it won't be that heavily loaded. Good point about the damp proofing. The roof will over hang by 0.5m but still need the water to drain away from block work properly. Thx about advice for cladding will check that out.
 

Robbo3

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PlacidCasual":32vr1zih said:
I can imagine it would be easy to store all my tools such as they are (old diy hand and power tools at the moment) in a cupboard with a small oil filled heater to keep the inside temp up.
Even a light bulb (incandescent not LED) should provide enough heat to do that. It works for home made wood drying kilns.
 

sunnybob

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Living it wet welsh wales you definitely need a dehimdifier if youre not going to heat.
 

PlacidCasual

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sunnybob":1axq663s said:
Living it wet welsh wales you definitely need a dehimdifier if youre not going to heat.

Yeah that was my opinion too. As I alluded to I can probably protect my tools if I keep them in a cabinet with a little warming. Protecting everything else like benches, any stock wood or part built work will be more important.

I struggle to get the house down below 50% humidity but it is big and old and draughty.

What is a "good" humidity to store wood at, I appreciate that my be a very general question that requires some very specific questions answered.
 

sunnybob

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I dont have technical books to quote, but for me, humidity does not seem to affect the wood and I dont honestly understand the passion of people who try for very low numbers.
I live in Cyprus, its nearly full summer now and today my workshop has been almost 40c (front wide open and still too hot to work for more than an hour at a time) and humidity at 65%. The wood doesnt twist or sag. I can cut it and glue it fine.
In our winter, we get huge temperature swings during the day, from around 2c at dawn to 20 plus at midday but anything to 97% humidity on the dials. i still have no problems with any wood I have.

But steel tools, oh yes, they definitely react to humidity, and the cast iron tables are complete pain to keep clean.
 

beaver

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Hi welcome to the forum
I agree with robin, make sure you use the Tyvek, its great stuff. and if you have not already purchased the timber I would consider shiplap over the t&g, my experience is it will last longer. good luck with the build.
 

PlacidCasual

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Where will I find Tyvek? I've checked the local usual suspects. Screfix, Wickes and Toolstation. I'll check my builders merchants and timber merchant.

Edit: quick check reveals my local building merchants does it..
 

gregmcateer

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sunnybob":1oqzu9z1 said:
I live in Cyprus, its nearly full summer now and today my workshop has been almost 40c (front wide open and still too hot to work for more than an hour at a time)

Yeah, alright already - we got the message, you lucky b£|$%^" :lol:
 

sunnybob

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A quote from my youth...
"the harder I work the luckier i get" LOL.

But seriously, my point was that people are always telling me the wood cant be worked at more or less than a certain percentage humidity and must be kept this way and that way, and acclimatised before cutting.
I dont do any of that, and the conditions here as far as wood is concerned, should make every plank curl into a ball and cry. but it doesnt.

So why not? Why is humidity so important in the UK and meaningless here?
 

gregmcateer

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sunnybob":1wxfnu3n said:
A quote from my youth...
"the harder I work the luckier i get" LOL.
=D>

Just jealous, Mr Bob, I'm just jealous. Actually, SWMBO and I are thinking of warmer climes for the dotage years - Might give you a shout.

sunnybob":1wxfnu3n said:
But seriously, my point was that people are always telling me the wood cant be worked at more or less than a certain percentage humidity and must be kept this way and that way, and acclimatised before cutting.
I dont do any of that, and the conditions here as far as wood is concerned, should make every plank curl into a ball and cry. but it doesnt.

So why not? Why is humidity so important in the UK and meaningless here?

I'm not sure either - clearly a box that needs a lid to fit, or a very large bowl could / would distort and cause problems. Likewise the impeccable segmented work of Mr Chas would be de-kiltered (if that is actually a word), but most stuff I attempt to make round would probably benefit from a bit of warping to hide some of the mistakes!

Maybe it's coz the UK is weather-obsessed? (hammer)
 

whiskywill

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sunnybob":2pyksbjx said:
Living it wet welsh wales you definitely need a dehimdifier if youre not going to heat.

I live in the same wet Welsh Wales and my workshop is a double garage attached to my house. It is insulated, but not heated, with standard gappy up and over garage doors and I don't get any problem with rust on my tools or cast iron machine surfaces. When the rain is very heavy it even runs down my drive, overshoots the drainage channel, and soaks part of the garage floor.
 

custard

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sunnybob":1niqhr1l said:
Why is humidity so important in the UK and meaningless here?

Interesting question.

The best explanation I can come up with goes along these lines. Woodworking over the past few decades has been heavily influenced by the American experience, and as YouTube extends its grip that influence only grows.

American woodworkers, in particular East Coast woodworkers, see much bigger seasonal variations than we do, consequently they have to reflect that in their working practises. This has led British woodworkers to believe they need to be more vigilant about timber movement than is strictly necessary.

Sure, timber movement is still relevant in the UK (and in Cyprus), but it's not the absolutely overwhelming factor that it is in, say, New Hampshire.
 

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