If you were building the dream shop

I'm looking into expanding my current shop. I would like some input from recent shop projects. Comments on things you did right and wrong. What do you wish you
had done. Things you did that didn't pay off. Type of construction. I'm looking for ideas. I'm near Dallas TX. I've talked to the city and know about size constraints, etc. It can be 15 feet tall at the highest roof point.
My existing shop is 20 x 24. This would be incorportated into a larger shop of 28 x 40 or 30 x 40. One of my concerns is the existing slab. It was cracked along the long axis and the back half has slopped into the good old tx black gumbo. I have filled the cracks and the floor has held up the last eight years. Shifts a little in the summer. Do I need to replace the slab? Have a foundation company relevel and install support piers? Ideas? I probably can build part of the expansion and move my machines into the new location. That would free up the existing area to redo.
I'd appreciate some ideas.
Gary Repesh
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 4 Jan 2004 19:35:49 -0800, GJRepesh wrote

Things I did wrong: Built it TOO small. Remember, you always have 20% more stuff than room!
Things I did right: Electrical outlets at 52" above the floor.                                                                                                                     Fans to give air circulation. Bench vice on a grinder pedestal with room around it. Work benches NOT against walls. This way they accumulate much less clutter and you can get to both sides of a large project.
Can't comment on your slab. I had a contractor pour mine and build the shell of the building. That way he fought with city hall and kept it all legal.
Hope this helps.
Roger in Vegas Worlds Greatest Impulse Buyer
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
GJRepesh wrote:

Support piers would be a good idea, with steel columns supporting at least one heavy steel beam which you could put a trolley hoist on to move large tools and objects into the shop. Flat roofs are a pain, but a flat roof would give you maximum utilization of available space. The steel beam could be a mid-span support, with web joists or wood framing above. Lots and lots of lighting, flourescent or low bay metal halide.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Structrual first: any slab that walks around during the year is really suspect. Ok if you are just looking for storage, not so ok if you want to have heated/AC space for machine tools. You don't have to worry about frost footings so I would suggest a new slab with grade beams along the perimeter. A grade beam is an extra deep section along the edges plus a grid pattern if the slab is large. Size is dependent on the building size but 12" deep and 2 rebar for a small building, 18" deep and 4 rebar for a larger building will get you thinking. (I've seen 36" square cross section used on top of pilings in a really sloppy area! For a house no less!)
Details are the normal stuff: -at least 4" thick slab with mesh and some extra rebar. Machine tools are HEAVY and VIBRATE. -Floor slab should be machine troweled. -Put down a coat of epoxy finish. -add some anchor points at corners to allow pulling things (like straightening frames) -Separate service entrence -Use oversize conduit everywhere so you can add circuits later. -Use separate conduit for phone/data/CATV -roof framing should allow unloading a Pickup with a heavy load using a comealong. It really nice to be able to unload a Bridgeport off a trailer without fussing. Or a diesel engine. -Insulate and finish the walls. Sheetrock is cheap, white paint is cheap -the older you get the more light you need. (Ask me why I add this after I spent 4 hours this afternoon adding 3 MORE 600 watt halogen lights!) -consider heat and or A/C, at least in part of the shop. -consider how much dirty work you do (welding and grinding) versus clean work (machine shop) verus dusty (woodworking) verus dead storage and figure out how to keep these seperate
My short list, give me time and I'll add to it! Good luck, wish I could convince the spousal unit and the city to let me do a decent shop!
Cheers.
GJRepesh wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (GJRepesh) wrote:

I'm in Vermont, so I have different conditons, and I don't know squat about TX gumbo, or the best method of floating a slab on it that will hold up. I'd guess go with plenty of steel and use fibered concrete too, but if the ground is iffy, you might want to spend a few bucks on an engineer so that the steel ends up where it will do you some good...
Things I like: I used structural insulated panel walls - they went up quickly, they insulate well, they are very strong, you can put windows in after the walls are up - but we have no termites to speak of (my panels are up 18" on a concrete stemwall, anyway). I assume termites are more of an issue for you, and steel probably looks better by dint of that. I found steel buildings to be no cost savings by the time they were well insulated, I think steel siding is ugly, and they all came from far-away places, such as Texas. This last point probably works in your favor...
I waffled, I whiffled, I agonized, and I cut some big windows. The difference between shop (24x48) with only the man door and 10x10 garage door openings (typical for some shops) and with 5 3'x6' windows is well worth the heat load those windows cost me .vs. blank wall. But, I don't need to worry about air conditioning (open 10x10 door - and, one or two weeks a year, complain about the heat, then go swimming). I've worked in spaces with and without windows, and I am a lot happier with them.
Things I dislike: It's too small, of course. But the budget has limits.
It's two story (11.5' and 8'). The second story really slowed things down. I have room, so I could have built longer, wider, or two buildings; the two story design does save on heat, somewhat, and roofing. The stairs eat space.
Dream-shop budget breaker I don't expect to ever have, since I don't play the lottery: Overhead crane.
--
Cats, Coffee, Chocolate...vices to live by

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

recent
wish you

looking
shop of

cracked
black
years.
foundation
part of

up
http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/slab_jacking/what_is_slab_jacking.ht m
Then trench, tile , backfill and compact soil around the slab so as to keep the sub soil under it from getting wet and having plastic flow.
On new construction, always use rebar--that way if the concrete cracks, it will at least stay together.
--
SVL



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

recent
wish you

looking
shop of

cracked
black
years.
foundation
part of

up
I used this product for our shop, which is 32' X 80' with 12' ceilings. http://rastra.com /
I'm so pleased with the outcome (we withstood the 6.8 earthquake of a couple years ago with no damage, and we're only 40 miles from the epicenter) that we're using the same product to build our house.
Shop has a 6-1/4" thick concrete floor with #4 rebar on 12" centers both ways, plus closer in the doorways to prevent any breaking of the area when heavy objects are brought in with our old tired 3 ton fork lift. The only cracking we've experienced is on the scores, and there has been absolutely no settling. We are heating by hydronics with an oil fired boiler, but I imagine heating isn't one of the things top of the list in Texas. All my airlines are in the walls, poured in the grout. We have a room dedicated to the compressor and the built in vacuum cleaner system, so we don't have to listen to the noise. We put in a full bathroom with tiled shower, a great idea for cleaning up after dirty work, keeping the crud out of the house. I also have a small area walled off with 8' ceilings, but enclosed it right to the ceiling, using the upper area as enclosed storage, which keeps things very clean. I use a ladder that drops on a couple brackets to access the storage area, which has a small door I made from a larger one.
No affiliation with Rastra, just happy with the end product.
Harold
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (GJRepesh) wrote in

Some Idea's: 1. Redo the slab, make it a 'floating' foundation typical of use in soft- soil areas. (Floating foundations are built by creating a steel lattice of the entire floor and footers, which are then all poured at one time. This creates a solid strong structure which will withstand quite a bit of shifting of the dirt underneath.) 2. Pour the floor at least 6" thick if you plan to put machinery on it, 8" would be better if you plan on having larger equipment in the future. The use of fibered high-strength concrete is advisable also. 3. Install plenty of electrical service reserve capacity. If you only need a 200 Amp service now, install a 400 Amp service to make sure you have enough capacity for expansion in the future. 4. Install plenty of outlets. 5. Install plenty of air outlets in the pneumatic plumbing. 6. Run the pneumatic plumbing of sufficient size to allow for expansion. (The price difference between 1/2" pipe and 3/4" pipe is not that much.) 7. Very important!.. Do a full lay-out of the shop, including ALL equipment, power connections, pneumatics, computers, data lines, and everything else BEFORE you start construction. Lots of headaches can be avoided by doing this.
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Monolithic floating slab.
RJ

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's a good list.
In the grand scope of things, concrete is cheap and is a good investment. There's no point in even considering a slab thinner than 6" for a serious shop. Go with fiber mix and/or rebar but don't bother with wire mesh. Doesn't help that much and at worst makes it much harder to remove.
Figure out how big a shop you need, and then either build it bigger, or make sure the design accomodates expansion.
I'm partial to nice clean white drywall with all the utilities concealed.
In the "dense" area with the smaller machines, benches and such I'm installing a group of 120V, 240V, 3 phase and air outlets and an empty box with a conduit run every 4' to 6'.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I painted the floor of my basement shop with water based 2 part epoxy. Well worthwhile, as it makes the floor much easier to clean, esp oil spills. Prep well, read and follow the instructions. Use disposable rollers - you can never get them properly cleaned no matter how much you soak them I also lined the walls with cheap ply and painted with the cheapest white acrylic I could buy. Also recommended as it makes the place a lot brighter and easier to work in. Run air line (I use copper) and more power points than you could possibly imagine using. I used 4 outlet p/points. I also made a crane (there is a piccie in the drop box) as my workshop has 2 levels so I needed it to get the lathe and mill up the back. It is very handy. g
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gary, A good friend of mine makes a living designing and consulting on foundations in the DFW area. He's described the unique challenges your soil poses - apparently it can be very challenging. I'd suggest you call someone like him who might give some advice over the phone. If you wish, contact me off-list and I'll see if he might be able to advise. Jim S.

recent
wish you

looking
shop of

cracked
black
years.
foundation
part of

up
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Each sprinkler head should have its' own heat activation sensor, unless there is some strange requirement for a "dump" system which would flood the entire area at the same time. Please check with local Fire Code Inspection to make sure. If there is enough heat at your Computer Station to set off a sprinkler, you'll have a toasted computer already <g>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

...
Actually, there's a tool head on a pole that can be put into the sprinkler which will stop the sprinkler head. Don't know what it's called - it mates to the same places the thermal link mates. You'd still need to shut off the supply to replace the link, but there is an in-between stoppage method. I expect you'd want one if you have sprinklers.
--
Cats, Coffee, Chocolate...vices to live by

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Very good, Ecnerwal! I wasn't aware of that one. Thanks
RJ
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't know if someone already mentioned it, but 220v power and 3/4" PVC for shop air are the things I wish I had.

recent
wish you

looking
shop of

cracked
black
years.
foundation
part of

up
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For about the 9 millionth time, PVC is not safe for shop air, and I really don't care how many of you are using it and "never had a problem". The stuff shatters, it is not suitable for pressurized gas service, and it has injured and/or killed people. This pretty well covers it:
http://www.osha.gov/dts/hib/hib_data/hib19880520.html
Use copper, iron, or a plastic pipe which is actually approved for air service.
--
Cats, Coffee, Chocolate...vices to live by

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well I've used it 3/4" and 8 outlets for 15yrs in my shop and no problems. Sch 40 has a burst rating of 200psi. You do need a flex fitting at the compressor connection. Stick with OSHA and their BS and you can't deal with the real world.
TBone
On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 03:09:00 GMT, Ecnerwal

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It is not just OSHA. It is plain good sense. 200 psi is not a lot of safety margin for a 120 psi system and the failure mode is a lot more destructive than copper or iron pipe.
Besides, sometime in the last 15 years they even started printing "NOT FOR USE WITH COMPRESSED GASSES" right on the side of most plastic pipe. Guess the pipe makers were getting hit with to many lawsuits from people like you.
Tbone wrote:

--
Glenn Ashmore

I'm building a 45' cutter in strip/composite. Watch my progress (or lack
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well I had friend, for over twenty years, that drank booze like a fish, and drove like he was going to a fire, sober or drunk. That finally caught up with him too. He is no danger to anyone anymore, six feet under. Thankfully when his time came he took out only himself! A gent I work with had PVC in a shop for years to, untill it blew up on him. He was fairly lucky, only one small cut on his face from PVC shrapnel. Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.