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21.09.2014 admin
The T&G plywood floor rests on pressure treated sleepers glued and nailed to the concrete.
I didn't go into how I raised the ceiling joists in the article because it probably won't be relevant to most of the readers, but I'll share a few pictures here.
If I was going that far, I thought I should do something about the rotting gap-prone doors.
But adding a raised floor would mean that the low ceiling joists would get even lower, so why not raise the ceiling while I was at it? Shop makeover for the sake of some hand toolsThe breaking point was a set of carving tools. Upcoming magazine featureYou can read about my journey in the Tools and Shops issue due out this fall, but it won't tell the real story. Hard, mean, nasty, sweaty, dirty jobThe bigger truth is that it was a hard, mean, nasty, sweaty, dirty job. Of course each step meant new tools, unfamiliar materials and a sometimes steep learning curve. I chose strap hinges because they look cool and are a lot easier to mount than mortised butt hinges. There's an exploded drawing of the doors and a detail of the threshold in the Tools & Shops issue due out next month that will hopefully give you all the information you need.
Now nearly everything has its own place, the space is insulated, the six four-tube T-8, 4' troffer lights come on with the flick of a switch, the 9' high suspended ceiling is bright.
I looked at alternatives for heating and decided to try a couple of 1500W plug-in electric heaters. Fabuladico writes: Looks like a dream shop to me, although you must live in a warmer climate than I do.


I replaced the old roll-up doors with carriage doors in one bay and a walk-out door in the other. I screwed a 2x4 along the rafters to give the joist a secure perch while I lifted the opposite end in place and nailed it.
A folding ladder provides access to an attic with less head room, but much more storage space than the random boards that used to span across the open ceiling joists. By the way, I have never been happy with the meager lighting so now was the time to fix it. The idea of one small improvement leading to an unending parade of others until it became so overwhelming that nothing was ever accomplished. I had purchased them while making a lowboy (that's another story), and my first thought was that I'd have to keep them at work so they wouldn't rust in my unheated home shop. It will have some nice pictures and beautiful illustrations and hopefully a lot of information for folks who are looking to improve their shops.
I made a poplar frame and skinned each side with plywood which created a big torsion box similar a hollow core door. I installed the doors by first lag screwing the hinges to the doors then setting the doors in place. A comfy plywood floor, high ceiling, and white walls with plenty of light make for an a nice place to work.
I marked the final length and correct angle on the end of each joist and cut one at a time and raised it. Between the framing nailer and the powder-actuated nailer, my arms and wrists really took a beating. It's certainly more expensive than fiberglass batts, but it should do a good job of eliminating air flow which is a big culprit in heat loss.


Patrick McCombe (right) not only edited the article, but was also my chief technical consultant and electrician on the project.
And if I was going through the trouble of installing a walk-out door and pair of carriage doors was I really going to be happy with a cold concrete floor? It was then I asked myself if I was going to get serious about my home shop or sell my equipment and let it fully revert to it's former life as a garage. The magazine article doesn't elaborate, and it would be nice to keep the same basic proportions (My doors are a bit wider)and look of your originals.
I used shims to center the doors and hold them in place while I lag screwed the hinges to the 4x4s. It also didn't hurt that I bought a shed to house all of the non-woodworking items previously cluttering the shop. The idea was to isolate the studs from the cinder blocks to eliminate a thermal bridge from the locks to the drywall.
I started in April and took the final photos at the end of August, but there's still some work left to do. Instead of cutting individual mortises, I used a dado blade to run a groove along the inside edges of the frame parts.
I also framed in a long opening that I later divided into 3 windows using glass salvaged from the original doors (as much for sentimental as economic reasons).



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