At Last

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Project by EarlS posted 04-06-2014 01:04 PM 3114 views 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

If I knew how to set a post to music this one would have Etta James “At Last” playing in the background.

We moved into a fixer-upper a little over a year ago which meant the woodworking equipment was covered up and put away until the shop made it to the top of the list. Finally, in November it did. The initial painting, trim, doors, and such that come with getting the easy stuff out of the way on a renovation was finished. Time to get into the woodworking – new stairs, bar, kitchen cabinets, the list is endless. which meant I can work on the shop!!!

One of the reasons we bought the house was the detached 2-car garage that came with the house – perfect size for a shop and my truck. While the garage was built a year before we moved in, it was in sad shape: no lighting, no windows, no insulation, OSB on the walls, wiring that was not up to code. As an extra challenge the sill plates for the walls were sitting on the slab, at grade which meant all of the water that accumulated around the slab was seeping under the wood into the garage. The floors pitched to the outside which meant there were puddles of water every time it rained. Lastly, we live on a steep lot which meant the garage had a tall retaining wall around the back and side that was falling down.

I hired a masonry and hardscape contractor to install the correct type of retaining since I didn’t need another back surgery related to retaining walls. Once he finished, I started on removing all of the OSB, installing 3 windows, wiring, getting it insulated, and installing an electric heater.

There are 12 LED can lights in the ceiling that provide plenty of light and the electric meter doesn’t spin like a top when the lights are on. The local utility also has a 50% rebate on them which helped considerably with the cost. I also added 10 outlets on 4 different circuits so one circuit won’t get overloaded if I have more than one thing running at a time.

I used the blue board Sheetrock that resists mold and mildew. Since I was the only one working on the project, mudding/taping took the longest time to finish. After priming and painting, the walls were complete. I added trim to the windows and doors.

I spent many long hours reading about options to deal with the low spots and puddles on the floor. Finally, I settled on tile – yes tile. I tiled the entire garage except where my truck parks. Basically, I made that area the low spot so all of the snow melt or water from the truck should remain in that area and I can squeegee it out. I used silicone caulk along the edges to ensure the water stays there.

I wrapped things up by installing commercial rubber baseboard and sealing it with silicone caulk as well. A new door with windows in it also added some more natural light. Once it warms up I will apply some of the epoxy floor paint to the area where the truck is parked.

It’s been a long process but hopefully all of the water problems are solved and I can get to doing some woodworking again.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

19 comments so far

View Robsshop's profile


923 posts in 3858 days

#1 posted 04-06-2014 01:27 PM

Congrats on your new space, looks like it will be a great start to a many projects. Good luck !

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View mloy365's profile


447 posts in 4013 days

#2 posted 04-06-2014 02:03 PM

Congrats on the nice shop. Look forward to seeing the pics as cabinets etc start going up.

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View johnstoneb's profile


3158 posts in 3055 days

#3 posted 04-06-2014 02:05 PM

That space looks good. When putting the epoxy paint on the concrete use a muriatic acid etch before the paint. The TSP that most epoxies recommend will not get the concrete clean enough and the paint will lift especially in the wheel tracks. I used epoxy on my floor and it has lifted where I drive vehicles in and out. If I had used the muriatic acid instead of TSP I think the adhesion would have been much better.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View KelvinGrove's profile


2063 posts in 2795 days

#4 posted 04-06-2014 02:38 PM

Looks like a great place to hang out. I’ll bring beer and be right over!

Makes me want to have a clean out party in my shop.

-- Tim P. Calhoun GA. If traffic is passing you on the right, YOU ARE IN THE WRONG DAMN LANE.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3749 days

#5 posted 04-06-2014 02:50 PM

That is going to be a great shop. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View jim65's profile


1020 posts in 2816 days

#6 posted 04-06-2014 05:28 PM

Great space, I have tiling also, very easy to clean and resistant, even paint wipes up well with a little thinner. You need to be careful that you don’t drop tools or router bits, the tiles hold up well enough, the bits don’t… Enjoy the shop! and the huge amount of space!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 2493 days

#7 posted 04-06-2014 07:00 PM

Congrats man, that is a great space you have there.

-- steve, simple and effective

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3073 days

#8 posted 04-06-2014 07:20 PM

very nice space,congrats.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View dgage's profile


60 posts in 3853 days

#9 posted 04-06-2014 08:24 PM

I love how you roll out the equipment when you need to use it. Very nice shop when you kick out those pesky vehicles. :)

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1335 posts in 2818 days

#10 posted 04-06-2014 09:14 PM

Gotta love some open real estate like that. Something tells me you’ll have that place in a state of chaos in a week or two. Good luck!

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2890 days

#11 posted 04-06-2014 11:05 PM

Wow! Color me jealous!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View degoose's profile


7279 posts in 4237 days

#12 posted 04-07-2014 09:36 AM

Not really seeing a finished wooden project.. but the workshop looks great…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View recycle1943's profile


4794 posts in 2505 days

#13 posted 04-07-2014 09:53 AM

I can only dream about having that much room to move about.

Oh – your ‘work shop’ looks awesome, I can make saw dust but it never looks that good

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View EarlS's profile


4009 posts in 3231 days

#14 posted 04-07-2014 11:20 AM

degoose – strictly speaking this is not a “finished wooden project”. Having said that, the work involved in building a shop is very similar to the kinds of things we do in woodworking. I also consider this to be the kind of “behind the scenes” effort that typically is not considered when we look at all of the finished projects posted on this board. Creating a work space is not something that happens in a day or a week. It takes the same kind of time and effort to build a well-laid out shop as it does a “finished wooden project”.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

837 posts in 4791 days

#15 posted 04-07-2014 11:20 AM

Yep, I’m officially jealous. I did actually get my wife to walk the back yard with me yesterday to decide where the new shop is going to be built. Now to get her to buy in on WHEN it will be built.

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

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