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New Engine Workshop

bench

New member
Fellas,
I plan on building a new workshop for my engines to run and work on.
Would like to keep it around 400 square feet with a work bench and parts storage.
It also needs lots of natural light so its not a dark hole.
Any pics of your storage shops would be a great help to help me decide what to build.
Thanks
 

John Drabik

Subscriber
Re: New engine workshop

Cant send pictures because shop is a mess right now.
But I can give you advice from my experience.

Try to plan some type hoist arrangement so your back will last longer.
Plan lots of lights and outlets (even a couple overhead outlets)

Roll up hose reel

Paint the floor (assuming it will be concrete) with a sealer. (less dust and oil stains)

That's the stuff that comes to mind right off.
 

Tracy T

Subscriber
Re: New engine workshop

I can tell you right now and everybody here will agree, it aint big enough! they never are either it seems. mine is 672 sq ft walking room only now, they fill up fast! if you are going cement floor pour it BEFORE you move anything in! I didnt have that option, had to pour it in two slabs. moved everything twice, once to side we werent working on then again after the first had cured then again after all was cured.
 

bench

New member
Re: New engine workshop

Drabik & Tracy
Those are all good ideas
More square footage
Over head hoist
Seal floor
Keep the ideas coming felas
 

Peter Holmander

Subscriber
Re: New engine workshop

If you can, go with a nice high ceiling too. Sometimes depending on the project you are working on, it comes in handy. Mine is 11ft 6 inches and years after I built it I wanted to put in a two post lift. I needed 12,000 lb. capacity to pick up my Dodge diesel. The square tube columns just fit between the floor joists. I can almost stand up under the truck when it's on the lift. Most automobiles I can stand right up straight under them.
 

John Drabik

Subscriber
Re: New engine workshop

As long as Im spending your money....

Are you considering any heat or air conditioning? Fire and burglar alarms?
 

grub54891

Active member
Re: New engine workshop

In floor heat comes to mind. Also in floor lighting in a strategic location. You will be able to see under that lawn tractor if need be.
 

Tracy T

Subscriber
Re: New engine workshop

I wish i had put in some floor anchor pots, they come in real handy if you need to do some serious pulling or straighting.
 

bench

New member
Re: New engine workshop

You guys love spending my brides money-LOL
It will have 12' side walls-pole construction and with 12" overhang with soffit as I plan to have side wall exhaust for the large engines.
They are just to loud to hear or talk to others.
Will have a drum type door set up in the truss so as not to lose any head height or lighting that may get hidden by the door.
Size of the building may change to more square feet (larger)
 

Ed Radtke

Active member
Re: New engine workshop

4 foot led lights every 3 feet with a color temp. of 6000 or more. separate 200 amp service if possible and a feed line to the house for backup gen. 400 sf aint near enough!
 

gdstew

Active member
Re: New engine workshop

I have in floor lifts,really like them. I do not like overhead cranes, never in the right location. I use engine lift, rolls to wherever needed, but takes up floor space.

Like others said, finish inside walls, electric, air lines, shelves, etc BEFORE moving in, or it won't get done!
 

reubenT

New member
Re: New engine workshop

My shop is 1800 sq ft and too small. Had to build a storage shed to take a bunch of stored stuff, and now I'm having to build a roof off the side to park my steam truck and antique lawnmower under, to get them out of the way of the new projects. But It's a multi purpose foundry and machine shop with blacksmithing on the side that ends up housing all manner of stuff from all my projects. I think once I can get the middle cleared out I will install an overhead lift to cover the area over the foundry furnaces and molding area, and out to where I can use it to do engine work in vehicles. I just wish I could take it clear over to the big american lathe to handle heavy castings, but I don't have long enough I beams to go that far. And the heavy ones will be rare. But this ain't no fancy shop, just a pole barn out in the woods with a dirt floor.
 

LCJudge

Subscriber
Re: New engine workshop

Most everyone has the right idea.....make it as big as you can! It will fill up fast.

When the tornado took my place to the ground I had to rebuild the shop/buildings. My "old shop" was a 2 story concrete block building. I had a main workshop downstairs in approx. 1/4 of the building (probably about 700 sf) with the balance being storage area. I had a woodworking shop upstairs and some additional storage.

The tornado took it down to the concrete floor and I went back with a steel building. It was one story and measures 64 x 126. I then had to build another building behind it thats 64 x 46......then I had to build another behind it thats 64 x 42. After I built the second building and got it full of junk the wife was in it one day and said "if you don't get rid of some stuff you're going to have to build another building". She, of course, said it jokingly. About a month later one morning a semi pulls in loaded down and a couple of pickups behind it loaded with men. The wife said "what's going on?". I told her "well, you said I was out of room and needed another shop.....they're here to build it". That didn't go over so good.....

My larger building has three 24 x 26 shops in it and there is a 10 ft room that goes at the rear of them all that is a parts/storage/shelving room.

Sadly, after the shop was built we moved all the items from the tornado into the shop and basically just sat them on the floor. It junked the place up and its still junked up today. I may just be lazy or have a bit of PTSD regarding the tornado and just can't get in gear to straighten it all up. Hopefully someday.

Sorry for all this but it leads to my main points:

1. Make sure you have enough room
2. Insulate (and insulate again). Make sure its easy to heat (and cool if you choose)
3. Have plenty of outlets, both 110 and 220. Put them in places you don't think you'll need them because down the road you will.
4. Install air lines when you do construction.
5. Get a little natural light in it. You don't want a bunch of windows that will leak air around them but having one will allow some natural light and keep it from seeming so closed up.
6. Put a large door (I used the roll up type) and a walk in. Make sure the large door is sealed well and insulated.
7. Have water in it if its nothing more than a hydrant. You'll find out how valuable that is when you need water, don't have it and its pouring down rain or you have bad weather.
8. How much time do you intend to spend in the shop? If someone is retiring and they think they may be in the shop several hours a day tinkering, look at a sink and commode if you can tie it to your home septic system or sewage line. Like 7 above, it will pay dividends.
9. Good lighting is a key and you've gotten good recommendations. I agree on the Kelvin rating being at a high level. Personally I like around 5000 K. Others like it a bit higher. I'd never go with the 2500 K level as its more of the yellow light and can play tricks with your eyes (at least it does mine).
10. Make sure you have a good hard surface entrance to the shop. A good thick (8 inches) of compressed gravel or a concrete or asphalt entrance will be a big plus when you need to back up and load an old engine and your truck doesn't sink in at the shop door.
11. Put plastic down before the concrete to create a good vapor barrier. Put some steel in your floor and have it sawed. There's nothing as aggravating as a crack in the floor and you end up with a section of the floor at the crack jutting up 3/8 of an inch. Its tough to roll stuff on it, sweep up the floor and so on.

Many things I've mentioned others have already told you. I just mention them again to stress their importance. I'll probably think of a few more.

A good shop is a blessing and can enable you to have a lot of relaxing time to tinker.

One gent I know also had his shop laid out so he would have room for a refrigerator and a couple of easy chairs. When friends came over they had room to sit, talk and drink their favorite beverage......
 

Attachments

John Drabik

Subscriber
Re: New engine workshop

Put up a separate building for engine and other storage. That way you will have room to work. And if you heat the room your not wasting energy warming up iron your not working on.

How bout a bathroom w/hot water, Remote air compressor location
 

bench

New member
Re: New engine workshop

Fellas,
Those are all good ideas,making a list of all the items that have been mentioned.
This new building will only be for my engines as I do have two other buildings for all my other stuff.
 

Tracy T

Subscriber
Re: New engine workshop

I know its easy spending someone elses money. one idea i like if you want to keep it small is make it two story with a barn style roof. twice the space with the same foundation and roof and by it being two story you have enough height to kick off of both sides and still have head room if you decide to expand later on.
 

Toesmack

Subscriber
Everybody told me to build it bigger, figured 1500 sf was plenty. Have since put up a 780 sf addition. Could use 4,000 more.

Have overhead panel type insulated doors with windows up high for plenty of daylight. Hung the 4ft LED lights on brackets under them for no lighting loss when open. If the doors are not insulated, they are very hot in summer and will suck the heat from the whole shop in winter. Also went 12 ft wide. Would not consider less. You can pull in a 8'6" wide trailer or semi and still walk past.

Installed an inground hoist from an old car dealer, very handy. Only thing I would do differently there is how we installed my buddies. Planted it just below floor level with a steel plate over top. Sliced the plate in 2 with a round cutout for the post. Most of the time you will not use the hoist and it is just in the way. When you want it, just pull the plates raise the hoist and put the plates back in for a smooth surface to walk on. Also makes a handy work platform for your engines. Hoist goes in before the concrete.

All the other suggestions are excellent and are likely spoken from hard won experience.

As to overhead crane, solved that by buying a forklift for "resale" during construction. I did resell it, 20 years later, and replaced it with a larger one.
 

Peter Holmander

Subscriber
I changed over all the florescent lighting in mine to LED last year. Installed a hot air furnace and used round sheet metal pipe for ductwork. Steel beams can be easily mounted high in the ceiling for a chain hoist and trolley. I have them in two different locations. I had two doors installed. A 10 x 10 and an 8 x 8. Wife got me an electric opener for the big door for my birthday. I made adapters for my lift to pick up my golf cart and big rider mower to change or sharpen the blades. Have picked up a couple of big heavy engines with it too. I built mine with a gambrel roof style so I have the entire second floor for storage. Sadly, my wife has taken over up there with her stuff so it's common that my stuff is buried under hers. Being retired now, sometimes I just sit out there and listen to my vintage Pioneer stereo receiver. Like everyone said, make it as large as you can and install shelving. It gets stuff up off the floor and creates free space in the process. If I lost mine like LCJudge did, I'd probably go the route he did and put up one of those steel buildings. Hard to beat those for cost and size. Even when you get it finished, you will never really be done. I'm constantly rearranging mine. Bought a surface grinder a few months back. Made room for that. Bought a bunch of metal storage bins last year for all my stuff. I never throw anything away. Used the bins I wanted, sold the rest on Craigslist and got my money back. My Son in Law says my workshop is like going to Home Depot. I take that as a compliment.
 
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