Building my shop-- part 3

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Blog entry by Randy posted 05-08-2011 12:49 AM 2479 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally, there is some steel in the air. I consider myself a mature adult, but i am really feeling like a 6-year old child waiting for Christmas.

There are a few things that i am contemplating at this point and i would love feed back.
1. Lighting—4-48”inch double fluorecent strips? 8 footers? Any suggestions?
2. air conditioner—18000 btu wall unit? Anyone have a good history with these things?

Ok, here is my progress.

The next 3 pics show the building with both walkthrough and the garage door installed.

My dogs do not know what to think about any of this.

Thats pretty much it for now, hopefully we will skin the building sometime next week. Im working really hard to cashflow this project and it is getting a little tight. It may slow down a bit once i begin wiring.
Thanks for looking

-- RKWoods

17 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 4128 days

#1 posted 05-08-2011 01:55 AM

Whay do they call it a “Building”, when it’s already done built? Lol.

As far as lighting goes, I would go with the 4’ers. They are easier to store and to maneuver when changing out bulbs.
Are you planning on using “brand new” light fixtures or going with used fixtures? The reason I ask is, flourescent lighting is being transitioned to energy efficient and in the near future the old bulbs will no longer be avilable. What this means is, the old ballasts must be replaced with new energy efficient ballasts. So if you go with old “energy unefficient” fixtures be sure to stock up on bulbs.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Randy's profile


397 posts in 4901 days

#2 posted 05-08-2011 02:31 AM

Thats a good point DIY, maybe they should be called builts. As far as the light fixtures go, i was planning on buying new ones. I need to do some research now, because i have no idea what a ballast is.

-- RKWoods

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 4480 days

#3 posted 05-08-2011 02:40 AM

Looks Good :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path [email protected]

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 5215 days

#4 posted 05-08-2011 03:30 AM

Congratulations! You will really enjoy your “dream” shop.

re: lighting. Nothing beats natural light. Don’t skimp on windows. Yes, this reduces wall space, but having good natural light trumps all. That said, be sure to use the electronic ballast T-8 fixtures. Select bulbs with the highest color rendering index (CRI). “Cool white” bulbs are the poorest choice. Being able to see the true color is important. A few incandescent bulbs in the ceiling also helps to boost the CRI.

Electronic ballasts operate at very high frequencies, like 21,000 HZ. This is above the human visual and audible range, thus no flicker or hum, or “strobe” effect.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Grandpa's profile


3265 posts in 4129 days

#5 posted 05-08-2011 04:03 AM

My shop is 11 years old. I was doing the same thing you are doing but it was 11 years ago. I finally went to a local supply house that has electric components, A/C & heat supplies and plumbing. I asked the man there what he would recommend. I told him what I was going to do in the shop etc. I do not heat it unless I am in it. I do not cool it at all. I just have to get tough. Actually I can bring it up to temperature in about 20 minutes. In the summer I have 3 overhead doors that get opened and a fan is turned on. After some discussion he finally said we buy from a larger supply house so let me fax this to them. They have a man that specializes in this stuff. Let him earn his money. My shop was 30’ x 40’ with a 10’ side wall. They looked at our request and in a few days they sent back their recommendation. They recommended 7 cold weather flourescent lights (8’ long). These were expensive but the bulbs were going to be more than the fixtures as I recall. I think they were going to cost me about $750 for the total. I had to think about that for awhile. I ended up buying 9 regular indoor flourescent fixtures that were used with a lifetime supply of used bulbs. I have been doing okay with those. They will fire in the winter and I do okay. If I were buying new fixtures they would have to be the 4’ kind and of course as others have pointed out you should get the best at the time. I thought I might be able to give an idea about where to begin and also about how many fixtures you might want. I have added some 4’ fixtures since then.

View Randy's profile


397 posts in 4901 days

#6 posted 05-08-2011 04:29 AM

good advise 8iowa, I agree with you on the natural light. My plan is to install 4 36×36 windows. 3 on the N.wall and 1 on the W wall. East wall faces the fence and South wall faces the alley. I would like to have one on the south wall but i am concerned with vandals and i really dont want people peeping in on my equipment.

Grandpa, thanks for the input. I think the hardest part is trying to determine why there is such a big price difference in some of the lights. Lowes has some for around $40, but im not sure on quality. I have a couple of weeks before i have to make they purchase, so i guess i will be doing research.

-- RKWoods

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4144 days

#7 posted 05-08-2011 04:49 AM

2 thoughts; I see a lot of flouro fixtures on Craigs list for very little $. Second, I painted walls and cieling with gloss white Behr paint from HD. It really improved the lighting and dust doesnt adhere to it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 5215 days

#8 posted 05-08-2011 05:03 AM

I’ve purchased several 2 bulb, 4 ft T-8 fixtures at Lowes for around $26 each. In my 24’x28’ shop I have nine on the ceiling along with six 200 watt incandescent bulbs. They are on separate switches. Regardless of how cheap they are, the magnetic ballast fixtures are a poor choice.

I agree wholeheartedly with gfadvm about painting. White paint on walls and ceiling really enhances the lighting.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Randy's profile


397 posts in 4901 days

#9 posted 05-08-2011 05:17 AM

good advice on the white walls, Its not an issue with mine because the walls will be covered with white insulation. 8iowa, when you say magnetic ballast fixtures are you referring to the $26 fixtures you bought at lowes? Why are they a poor choice? Inquiring minds want to know.

By the way, I just looked at your shop and wow!! Very nice. gfadvm-same goes for you.(nice video)

-- RKWoods

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7228 posts in 4648 days

#10 posted 05-08-2011 05:35 PM

Hi ya Randy,

It’s been a while since I’ve heard anything out of you, or talked to you. Your new shop is coming along nicely, and you’ll be making sawdust in no time…It’s gonna be nice to work in there.. I won’t give you any advice on how or what to do….sounds like you’ver got plenty of good advice already…The choices are yours, and yours alone… I know you will make the right ones…Just watch out for all the “banditos” (I know there are plenty of them in Levelland…lol). I know one thing: Smith & Wesson makes a pretty good “equlizer”. Just a word of caution…don’t let anyone in your shop that you don’t know. Just be no one… Rick.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View Grandpa's profile


3265 posts in 4129 days

#11 posted 05-09-2011 05:02 AM

Levelland? Isn’t that where for excitement the kids gather around a water puddle after a rain to watch cracks form. At least my Levelland friend told me that.

I think you get what you pay for. Go to an electric supply place and buy good fixtures. Why spend thousands on a shop, thousands on tools and a hundred for lighting to see? I did buy used fixtures but if I were buying new fixtures they would have to be the best ballists. 4 ft bulbs and fixtures are cheaper to buy and cheaper to maintain because there are more of them out there.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 4740 days

#12 posted 05-09-2011 07:40 PM

Randy, You really need to hurry up and get this project paid for so you can start buying tools to fill it up.
Lookin good.

Are we there yet, huh, huh, are we????

Grandpa, if you wait for it to rain for excitement in this part of the country, you will be awefully bored.


View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4320 days

#13 posted 05-09-2011 09:52 PM

That will make a wonderful shop building. Most of our plants over the years have been metal buildings and I don’t have any problem with them. It’s very easy to run electrical conduit, hang lights and air lines, and hang dust pipe in a metal building.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Randy's profile


397 posts in 4901 days

#14 posted 05-10-2011 12:13 AM

Thanks Rick, luckily in the 6 years i have been in this house, i have only had one theft. Someone stole my water bottles off the front porch. Grandpa, we dont know what rain is. We need it desperately, but i hope it will hold off for one more week so we can skin and insulate the building.

Kent, Dont worry. One of my primary motivators in starting this project was my lack of space for a new bandsaw and D.C. Ive actually been spending some time researching bandsaws. The downside to all of this is i’m spending all my money on the building.

-- RKWoods

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2080 posts in 4093 days

#15 posted 05-20-2011 09:00 AM

You never stated the dimensions (or I couldn’t find it), but it looks like a 40×40 ? If so, then with 1600 sf and plus the high ceilings, you will need 3 tons or so for your HVAC. Are you planning on heat pump ? (since you are in Texas).

Three tons is 36,000 btu. If you are 30×30 (900 sf) you will need around 1 1/2 to 2 tons. Get an HVAC to calculate and quote for you.

Mini splits stop existing around 24,000 btu’s. If you are 40×40, this 2 tons would be a stretch.

PTACS (wall mount) go up to around 15,000 btu’s. That will not stretch even if you are 30×30.

On the lights, yes go with 4’ T8 electronic ballast, but go with the 4 foot 4-bulb. I have some of both and the 2 bulb 4-footers are wimps.

Nice project. You will enjoy this for many years. Good luck.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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