Blackjacks shop makeover


Blackjack

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Dec 16, 2018
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Kenai
For far too long my shop had been nothing more than a glorified storage shed. Like many 2020 led to many plans being changed and for my family and I it was no different. We had hoped to spend time in other parts of the state on the weekends but ironically the Kenai peninsula was the only real place open (and crowded) and that left us at home for the most part. So my better half convinced me that it was finally time to work on making the space what I needed it to be. Yes a place for storage, but a multi-functional workshop where I can work on the Jeep of course but our other vehicles, home repairs, woodworking (that I need to improve in greatly) and for my other hobby collecting vintage edged tools (aka Axes and Pulaskis).

This thread is to show what I went through trying to figure out one how to lay one out to be functional, some ideas for storage that I picked up and hopefully inspire others to offer some feedback and share their ideas as well. Shop layout can be a personal thing, but I hope sharing what is working for me (or not) and have others chime in will help others as well.

The first real problem that had to addressed is that at some point one of the previous owners had converted the back of the shop into basically a bedroom. It was walled, had a ceiling and was wired and insulated. The shops Modine heater was in this space as well and had not been in working order for some time. So first order was to yard that all out.

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Blackjack

Blackjack

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Kenai
One of the challenges was this summer was a fairly wet one so that meant I was stuck moving things around many, many times rather than outside to get to whatever area I was working on. The next thing to address was storage. I needed shelving to store the usual suspects, totes of Christmas decorations, camping gear, spare parts and equipment for repairs on the house and the like. What I decided on was an overhead shelf that wrapped two thirds of the shop walls. It is constructed of 2x4 boxes that are screwed and lag bolted to the wall studs and uses lag eyes, chain and turnbuckles tied into the ceiling joists.

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Blackjack

Blackjack

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With the shelving up I could now work on getting stuff off of the floor making room for workshop type things. One thing the shelf did was give me a place to secure the Modine since it was attached to the ceiling of the added in room I removed. I figured out all it needed to be pressed back into service was a new fan motor, a thermostat along with a cleaning. It is almost too small at 30k BTU but so far it has worked pretty good. The real test will come in late Jan-Feb when temps dip in the negative double digits. I leave it set at 46f when I am not working in there to keep stuff from freezing.

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Blackjack

Blackjack

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Next up is figuring out some kind of useful layout for tools and benches. I started with my roll cart and a cabinet that I am going to use for storing automotive type tools and stuff like electrical, testing tools etc. To the right of it is a Husky cart that will house other hand tools, a junk drawer for tubes of silicone and the like. On the left wall for now is a Husky adjustable height rolling table the wife got for me. I was not sure about it at first but it has proven itself to be quite useful. Under it will be where my small roll cart will store.

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DrDmoney

Just another guy with a Jeep
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Nice work! I’ve been tackling similar issues with my shop, since we bought the house 10 years ago my shop has been the place where everything goes when there’s no other place to put it, unfortunately it’s also where I stage material and tools for other projects along with my hobbies. Vertical storage and organization in the form of proper shelving and totes seems to be the solution so far. My biggest challenge is I’m only home on weekends so a lot has to be done while working on other projects but being able to find the tools I need and materials to work with is paying off in the end. I have also employed a used “Shark” sweeper robot to help with the clean up afterwards, it also finds those little screws and nuts that used to be lost on the floor.
 

Irun

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Nice work! This is one of my goals as well. I've recently added a dedicated 100 amp panel in the garage, along with a 240 volt 50 amp plug, as well as a 120v 20 amp plug. Now I can add HVAC to the garage. I've also gone as far as to put in two large HD steel shelves and started putting everything possible into labeled plastic containers. If only I could stop hoarding Jeep parts I'd make more progress! ;)
 
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Blackjack

Blackjack

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Messages
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Location
Kenai
Nice work! I’ve been tackling similar issues with my shop, since we bought the house 10 years ago my shop has been the place where everything goes when there’s no other place to put it, unfortunately it’s also where I stage material and tools for other projects along with my hobbies. Vertical storage and organization in the form of proper shelving and totes seems to be the solution so far. My biggest challenge is I’m only home on weekends so a lot has to be done while working on other projects but being able to find the tools I need and materials to work with is paying off in the end. I have also employed a used “Shark” sweeper robot to help with the clean up afterwards, it also finds those little screws and nuts that used to be lost on the floor.
Yeah organization is something that I have lacked in for some time knowing full well that it costs time and adds frustration to any job I need to do. I still have a ways to go but what I have done so far is making a difference.
 
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Blackjack

Blackjack

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Nice work! This is one of my goals as well. I've recently added a dedicated 100 amp panel in the garage, along with a 240 volt 50 amp plug, as well as a 120v 20 amp plug. Now I can add HVAC to the garage. I've also gone as far as to put in two large HD steel shelves and started putting everything possible into labeled plastic containers. If only I could stop hoarding Jeep parts I'd make more progress! ;)
I hope to tackle the electrical this coming summer. I only have an extra 50 amp service on my meter but that should run most anything that I am looking to put in the shop anyway. Clear plastic totes have become part of my organization strategy. And I do not think you call yourself a real Jeep owner if you are not hoarding parts.
 
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Irun

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I hope to tackle the electrical this coming summer. I only have an extra 50 amp service on my meter but that should run most anything that I am looking to put in the shop anyway. Clear plastic totes have become part of my organization strategy. And I do not think you call yourself a real Jeep owner if you are not hoarding parts.
I made the mistake of buying a mix of clear and black totes. The clear ones are obviously easier to spot some stuff. What really helps is I used blue painters tape on each of the totes and labeled the contents. That has helped me significantly reduce the time I spend looking for something I know I have, somewhere!
 
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Blackjack

Blackjack

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I made the mistake of buying a mix of clear and black totes. The clear ones are obviously easier to spot some stuff. What really helps is I used blue painters tape on each of the totes and labeled the contents. That has helped me significantly reduce the time I spend looking for something I know I have, somewhere!
Yeah colored totes can be a pain. But 3 inch painters tape and a fat sharpie are your friend for sure.
 
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Blackjack

Blackjack

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Next up was peg board. I had to scrounge for this because the current offering at Home Despot is garbage. But I was able to find three sheets of good board, make frames out of 1x2 and hang them up. The right corner of the shop I am thinking where I want my benches for machine tools, bolt bins and part storage. Unfortuately by the time I was ready to start this the price of lumber skyrocketed up here so for the moment we will improvise. I need room for a drill press, 1x30 belt grinder, two bench grinders and a bench top band saw. So I had an old desk that I had made into rolling stands that I just added a scrap of 5/4 ply and some plastic dressers to make do for now.

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Blackjack

Blackjack

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So fall had set in and it was cold and wet, So lighting and a quick coat of white on the peg board was next. The shop had nine ceramic fixtures, eight on the ceiling and one by the man door. So four of the ceiling and the door fixture have 100 watt LED bulbs. The other four fixtures have those winged LEDs from Home Depot. Under the overhead shelf at the rear I added three four foot LEDs. This works pretty good so far but I will play with this some more over the winter and see what I like and don't. Lighting is all too important but technology has not only made lighting more affordable, but the amount of light for watts consumed has changed everything. I have only two circuits currently in the shop so the amount of lumens I can put in there now without even taxing the circuit is amazing.

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Blackjack

Blackjack

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And we cannot forget the all important wall art. My only two wall hanger axes a Marshall Wells Hand Made double bit, a retired USFS Pulaski and a vintage Warn Jeep locking hub. And a Jeep outhouse poster because Alaska.

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Blackjack

Blackjack

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The wife found me an old military dresser for a few dollars and I found a 3x8 foot sheet metal topped work bench for (insert monster garage voice here) zip, zero, zilch, nada. The workbench is not exactly what I want but it will work just fine until I can get the time and funds to change it. When warmer weather comes this summer they will get some paint and put in their (mostly) permanent place.

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