New Basement Workshop Pics #1: Floor cured & Ridgid R4511 unpacked

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Blog entry by shimster posted 01-18-2011 05:11 AM 2602 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of New Basement Workshop Pics series Part 2: Table Saw Assembled. Next: dust collection & shelving. »

This may not look like a woodworking post at first glance, but do read on….

I’m afraid to look back at the date of when I last posted to LJs regarding a suggestion on finish ceiling height in my basement dig out. Well, After 9 months of design/ planning/ construction, my basement is dug out & the slab is poured. A brief history of events: Our house was built in 1852 & had 5 foot ceilings & dirt floors when we bought it. It had an old boiler (70’s) that vented up a central (secondary) chimney. This chimney was interfering with future 2nd floor new layout. The boiler was quite inefficient, needed to be replaced & ungodly large. I went with a direct vent boiler that freed up a lot of real estate in the middle of my basement, and allowed me to demo the chimney in question. Demoing a chimney that had been venting an oil burning furnace and a coal burning furnace prior to that (for over 100 years) while living there with a young son and ‘environmentally critical’ wife was begging for trouble. Relatively speaking it went OK. The manual labor of hauling the chimney and digging out the basement was substantial, but the worst part of the ENTIRE renovation was the dust. The dirt in the basement was unspeakably dry. You would sneeze and dust would come up into the air and not re-settle for 3 hours. Imagine two laborers digging this out for 9 hours a day? It had to be a combination of our antique house having more cracks than a Rex Ryan press conference, and our upstairs having negative pressure. I managed it as best I could and dealt with the fallout coming from the pillow next to me. The concrete pour had to begin with ‘lengthening’ the existing foundation walls deeper with a detail my structural engineer and I came up with to not undermine the structural integrity of the foundations since they were not deep enough to withstand digging underneath them. This resulted in a 20” wide x 10” high curb around the perimeter of the basement and the main central chimney. I’m not too concerned about the loss of real estate this curb creates as I plan on building workbenches/ shelving on top of this and utilizing it as much as I can. Design around it.

Net / net? I have a ceiling height of 7’-9” to bottom of ceiling joists. I pushed this hard and dug out an additional 12” than planned to obtain this. It’s as deep as I could go without putting NASA on retainer. I pick up another 8” to 10” if I count the voids between the joists. This is proving to be a perfect place for lighting, etc.

The heart of my new shop is my new Ridgid R4511, that I have broken down and relocated down to the basement piece by piece. Thanks to PurpLev’s 1-person assembly instructions, I hope to have her spinning by weeks end.

I’ll be addressing layout & dust collection in future posts. Thanks for looking. Comments welcome!

-- Less is More.....expensive

6 comments so far

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 3298 days

#1 posted 01-18-2011 05:31 AM

Looking 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 PurpLev's profile


8550 posts in 3920 days

#2 posted 01-18-2011 05:01 PM

Looks great! I kinda like that curb look, it adds some character to it, especially if it’ll have cabinets on top.

I would personally look into installing some lights in the ceiling joists, but then cover them and the ceiling with drywall to get better lighting in there. as the open ceiling joists will not really reflect the lights. you’ll lose 1/2” height for that, and the open joists, but gain much better lighting.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 3219 days

#3 posted 01-18-2011 05:13 PM

Wow, with that kind of effort just to get the shop floorspace established, the rest of the adventure ought to be spectacular.

I’m looking forward to following along!

-- Smitty

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3195 days

#4 posted 01-18-2011 06:23 PM

Looks great. I can see lots of work involved. Remember that concrete will be drying out for a long time so watch your table tops for rust flashing.

-- Life is good.

View shimster's profile


96 posts in 3278 days

#5 posted 01-18-2011 11:24 PM

Thanks guys. Howie: You are correct sir. If you see the dark gray spots on the floor, that’s it still drying out. 5 days ago it was all charcoal gray. Today it’s 95% white. Lucky for me, my TS has a granite top, and the air is so dry here in New England at the moment, I’m not too concerned with rust…....Yet.

Great tip; thanks fellas.

-- Less is More.....expensive

View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3588 days

#6 posted 01-19-2011 04:40 PM

I worked in a low ceiling basement for several years (about 7’ to the bottom of the joists). Knowing that I was building a detached workshop, I never got around to this, but I always thought that spraying the ceiling white would have significantly improved the lighting down there.


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