I have been quiet for a few months as I have been doing a lot of traveling for work, but also moving to a new house. My wife tells me we are moving to a new house, and I guess there is a house there too, but I only have eyes for the shop.
I am finally going to have enough room to work. Going from my small 2 car garage which was just barely the size of 2 cars, this is an almost unimaginable amount of space. The floor is roughly 32 by 40 with some lost space on the end for the entry way and stairs to the finished upstairs mother-in-law style area. Translated, its roughly 3 cars wide by 2 deep, plus a work-space.
In addition, the house has a 3 car garage, so I can bring the working cars home and drive them more often.
The garage has 3 doors, so there is enough room in between the cars to not worry about door dings. Of course the first thing I moved was the mustangs, even before sweeping out the garage.
The garage attached to the house used to be the previous owners only place to work on his cars, so it had a small work-space and shelves that were pretty run down and falling apart. The first thing I did was to replace them with some quality cabinets so I could have a few minimal tools in the house as well as get the household tools out of my shop. The days of co-mingling tools is over. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture before I tore the originals out. Too eager I guess. Just a ghost of an outline on the wall left behind.
New cabinets arrived from Home Depot. I went with the Pro line from New Age. I like the heavy duty feel and the heavier gauge steel with the Pro line, even though it comes at a premium cost.
They installed pretty easily and fit in the space perfect. Step one done, with household tools moved to their new home. Plenty of space to move around without worrying about the cars too.
I should have finished the wall behind them before installing. Since I didn’t I just taped it off later and put some paint and texture up so it wasn’t quite so ugly.
With the garage out of the way, and the household items moved in, I was ready to focus on the shop. The previous owner built it about 2 years ago, but never finished it. The sheet rock was only on the roof and the walls with the doors. The plumbing for upstairs wasn’t finished, and it had no 220v wiring. That aside, it was a pretty good blank slate for me to work with.
I had to start by getting things out of my old garage and basically get things moved and consolidated. I piled everything in the middle of the shop, away from the walls so it wasn’t in the way of the sheet rock hanging. This took up most of my floor in the old garage, yet it looks like nothing in the new one.
Next step was to consolidate all the parts and cars. I emptied out the storage unit and moved the 65s to the new shop.
Planning ahead, I placed an order for a new Eastwood blasting cabinet. Since these take a lot of air, and my old compressor was the biggest I could find on 110v was still too small, I need to have 220v installed. That, of course, also leads to other opportunities, so I need to break the 220 barrier.
I am having some remodeling done on the house before I move it, so I had them start with a few things on the garage. First, 220 all around. I had them put 3 drops in, plus a box on the ceiling for a lift. I didn’t take pictures before she drywall guys got to it, but you can see a few of the drops here. The last one is in the corner where the compressor will be, back by the water heater. You can also see the drop on the ceiling, where the lift will get it’s power. All the junk keeps getting pushed back to the middle as it keeps trying to spread out.
Drywall is up and I am starting to get things put together again. These Costco shelves are great, along with the Costco storage bins. I need at least 2 more. Probably more than that. Or maybe I need to get rid of some junk. Crazy talk.
Not having dealt with 220v before, I should have done a bit more research. Without adequate guidance, the electrician put in 3 different kinds of sockets, hoping to meet whatever needs I might have. Probably best just used as a placeholder without exposed wiring as I figure out what I need.
The compressor ended up needing a 3 wire setup with only about 20 amps. I got a 4 wire setup with what I find is referred to as a dryer socket. To get it all right with no shortcuts, called them them back out to change it out and provide the correct pigtail. This is permanent, so no shortcuts or adapters or anything.
All of that is fixed now and the door opens, plumbing works, walls are complete. Notice the 65 is also on caster dollies. Those are awesome for moving a car around a shop like this. They slide in the side and self jack. I can push it around the shop anywhere I need it by myself. Highly recommended.
The next major addition is a lift. This is the most anticipated part of getting a new shop. I got tired of working under the cars on a creeper with jack stands. Best investment ever.
I had a ET Hydraulics, a local installer, supply and install it. Fortunately the concrete was thick enough that no additional work was required there. Post install, need to get the electricians back to wire it in, then a final round of hydraulics installers to bleed it and do a final run check. Coordinating different crews is difficult if you want them all there at the same time, evidently.
With the lift in place, the electrician wired it in. ET Hydraulics came back for the final setup and inspection, plus some instructions on how to operate it.
With all of that done, the last major piece is getting the air system installed. I opted for RapidAir as the components used for the plumbing and connection points. It’s a little more expensive than just some other solutions like copper, but it goes together nice and turned out really well.
With a 10 foot roof, I opted to run a pipe at 8 feet around the side and back walls of the shop, with 4 foot drops for connection points. I also ran one line across the center beam for a drop point to connect my hose reel to on the ceiling near the center of the shop.
Each drop has a quick connect point and a drain valve on the bottom. The pipe is hard line with some sort of plastic coating inside and out. I designed my layout with their online tool and it assembled all of the parts I needed to get it done. For buffer, I added one more pipe, but it turns out it wasn’t required. Excess is preferred over shortage.
The new blasting cabinet arrived. It took some time to assemble, but when complete, I feel its much better designed and implemented than the Harbor Freight version. No surprise there, right? I have to order an adapter for the hose to get the vacuum to connect before I can call it done. I also need to do the final air connection. I am contemplating a fixed hose on the cabinet of 6 feet or less terminating in a quick connect to the wall.
With air drops put in convenient locations, and the lift online, I am about ready to start working on cars again. Just as soon as I can get this last storage rack built and make some floor space. Another work surface would be nice too. Projects tend to accumulate on my workbench.