Converting a Garage into a Wood Shop + #1: Oh No! Forced to Move, and Set Up Another Work Shop!

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Blog entry by CaptainKlutz posted 11-30-2019 03:43 AM 433 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Converting a Garage into a Wood Shop + series Part 2: Converting Wasted Garage Space into a Storage Attic with Hyloft Racks »

This is blog about the journey to convert a normal useless garage (in a rental home) into functioning wood working space. As well as any interesting shop projects that might happen along the way.

No promises to make it interesting, or funny. But I promise it will full of Klutz mistakes, stupid human tricks, and the occasional oops, when the bird of paradise carps on me as it flies overhead.

Long story short: I got sick 6 years ago, and haven’t worked full time since. Forced into early retirement with only part time consulting work to pay bills, so am just a poor broken grumpy old man these days. I work wood (and occasionally metal) to forget about all of life’s trouble. This move will make the 3rd ‘new’ shop in last 6 years. Will be 5th work shop set up in 20 years since relocating to AZ.
Am I worried? NO! All my shop tools and most storage is all on wheels!

This move is a depressing down size everywhere; in house and garage. Sucks to be poor. I had 2+1 oversize garages with 10’ ceilings, not long ago. Now I have 20×26x9 for everything. Even the garage door is smaller, had 8’, now have 7’. Working sheet good is going to be harder. :-(
Shouldn’t complain, I know some folks with only back porch or part of 1 car garage for working wood.

This is a pic of the 2-1/4 car space I have to work with:

For this move, I rented a 5×8 trailer and moved all my tools with my bare hands. Here are 1st tools to tarnish the new space:

If you didn’t notice any power outlets, there is good reason. There is only ONE 120v GFCI outlet for power, and it is shared with both bathrooms. Shop power addition added to TODO list. check. The half empty breaker panel is located on outside wall of house, opposite where the tools were getting parked. Will be easy to punch a hole in wall to install a couple outlets. Maybe more if can get access in attic. :-)

I spent 5 days, with only couple of trips per day that my health would tolerate; hauling all my tools, and wood into new space. Was able to get some help from my 18 yr old son and one of his friends to help move my work bench.
Click for details
That monstrosity weighs over 900lbs fully loaded with tools. They also helped me take down 400 bdft of lumber from wall racks, and stack it on dolly’s for move. When my old shop was empty, there was s single walking path from driveway to door into house, so we could move in the washer/dryer into laundry room.
Have too much stuff. It was too embarrassing to take a photo of garage crammed full. Sorry.

Thanks for reading!

See you next time when I add storage above the garage doors, and start getting boxes/totes off the floor.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

2 comments so far

View robscastle's profile


6548 posts in 2766 days

#1 posted 11-30-2019 10:23 AM

Did you say this is a rental property?

-- Regards Rob

View stefang's profile


16862 posts in 3896 days

#2 posted 11-30-2019 02:19 PM

I can understand your dismay at downsizing, but you can still do most anything with 520 sq.ft., especially if you have most of your machine tools on wheels. I’m sure you will get used to it after awhile. My shop is less than half yours and I still have every major machine packed in and then some, and it allows me to do large or small projects, although they are mostly small these days. I will admit that I would dearly love to have twice that space, but what I have works ok.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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