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Where to put a work shop/work area?

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Where to put a work shop/work area?

Old 08-03-2016, 01:11 PM
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Mike Maness
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Default Where to put a work shop/work area?

I'm getting back into R/C after a few years layoff. I've got a few kits in my inventory I want to build (GP Slowpoke 40, GP Pete 'n Poke, Sig Astro Hog) and I need to get a work area ready. I've basically got two choices .. I can co-opt part of the garage, or I can go into an outbuilding behind the house and clear out a space in it. The advantages to the garage is that it's attached to the house (not far away for bathroom/refrigerator), but during weather events (winter, hot summer) my wife could open the door dumping out the warm/cooled air. The advantage to using the outbuilding (16 x 28) is that it's away from the house (no interruptions), and that whatever air temp is in there will remain. The disadvantages are that I'll need to dig a trench for power, and that it is far away from the house bathroom.

For either of these options, I'll need to clean either the garage or the outbuilding (clearing junk accumulation).

For those that have similar options, which did you choose?
Old 08-03-2016, 04:07 PM
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I would use the garage for several reasons:
1) As you said, it's close to the bathroom and no power additions are needed.
2) An outbuilding is not as secure as the garage can be
3) To run power out to the outbuilding, you would need an electrical permit, probably an electrician and an inspector before you could use start using the outbuilding. When you also take into consideration that only specific types of wire can legally be run underground(and they are not cheap), the cost outweighs the benefits of having a dedicated area to work in.
4) A power garage door opener can normally be unplugged, that is unless it's hard-wired in
Old 08-03-2016, 04:20 PM
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52larry52
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If it's not possible to train your wife to not open the overhead door when you are in there working, then the out building is better. A window hung air conditioner will cool you in the summer but you may need heat in the winter. If you are out in the country, then the bushes behind the out building will be your bathroom . If the out building has an overhead garage type door, that's a plus. It's nice to be able to roll out an assembled airplane in one piece for testing or just to check how it's looking during the build. 16' x 28' is good size yet easy to heat or cool. Is it insulated? Costs are going up here, heat, A/C, insulation, lighting, electricity, and don't forget a good shop radio or TV. Of course if your wife took offence to you're request to not open the garage door, you may need a bed out there too .
Old 08-03-2016, 04:31 PM
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aymodeler
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I ended up setting up shop in my basement. Stays fairly cool in the summer and is reasonably warm in the winter (although I plan to add a space heater to make winters a bit more comfortable).

In your case, I'd probably opt for the out-building, especially if your wife plans to continue using the garage as a garage. You will find that there is never enough room in your workshop, and I would guess that the outbuilding will give you more flexibility to expand set up benches, storage, tools, etc. to your liking. Of course, I guess this would also depend on how long a trench you need to dig to get power.

Wherever you set up, be sure to invest in plenty of electrical outlets and plenty of lighting. And a flat, stable building surface is a must.
Old 08-04-2016, 03:34 AM
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I have your 2 options. I like to use the garage to park the vehicle out of the weather so I build n work in the shop. Most newer garage door openers have a vacation mode which deactivates the remotes. If hard wired you can pull the breaker if the breaker box is nearby.


I got back into RC 2 years ago. I just dedicated a work space in the shop for my RC work. The shop is 30x40 and I have all my tools, power equipment and an area for storage. I have a separate meter for the building and a bathroom. The separate meter is an added expense to the electrical bill.


Building in an uninsulated shop can get uncomfortable fast without AC or heat. Here in Texas the temps are hitting 99 so the shop is a sweat box without AC. I run a fan but all it does is blow the hot air around. I'm use to it as I've been working in the shop for 26 years. Now as I get older, I'm checking out those portable, wheeled AC units to replace the fan.


Before you commit to the out building you need to get an estimate on cost to run electric and add any creature comforts you may want. You need electric and water. Then decide if that move is doable. For now, I suggest you start in the garage while you check out if a move to the outbuilding is better.
Old 08-04-2016, 05:09 AM
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Mike Maness
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm sort of leaning toward ETpilot's solution of starting in the garage and switching to the outbuilding later. I won't be getting a separate meter, so I'll end up burying line from the house to the building.

ETpilot, one thing to consider with the wheeled A/C units (or in my case, a wheeled heat pump): they exhaust air to the outside, but there's no incoming air. That air has to be replaced. I tried cooling my garage with one, but the exhaust air had to be replaced somehow .. in my case, it was coming in from the attic stairs gaps and under the garage door. So my 100 degree air was replaced with 100+ degree air from both outside and from the attic. I ran the thing but only got 10 degree cooling in the area around the unit. I ended up having to put a window A/C unit in the garage. Luckily it's hidden by shrubs so neighbors don't know about it. But there's no security when you have a window A/C - but in the Texas summer, security is secondary to A/C!
Old 08-04-2016, 05:39 AM
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Default My Dream Shop

You got some good advice from ET pilot. Just a few years ago I set out to build my dream shop! Then I discovered the County Planning and Code Office! So paid them a visit and after talking with them left shaking my head! Now enter a new Hurricane Building Code and what had started as a semi-pole barn became concrete and steel structure with a substantial increase in building cost! Cost was increased by one 1/3! It is now the strongest building in the neighborhood. It is big, 45' x 60' in the shop area, 20' x 30' in the open but covered area and 12' x30' in the storage, restroom, office and utility room. With the foresight of my contractor, it is insulated, but, due to my shortsightedness, the shop is not heated or air conditioned. Cold in the short winter and hot in the long summer! It has 100 amp panel and is metered separate from the house. Has hot and cold water in restroom. Would I do it again YES, but I would cool the shop and add infra red for model areas. So Mike, I was in the same place as you are now but I knew I did not want the shop in the garage. I also knew this was my only chance to follow my dream!
Leo

Last edited by em14; 08-04-2016 at 05:46 AM. Reason: a couple opps
Old 08-04-2016, 08:46 AM
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First let me say I build on a sheet of drywall or building jig sitting on a card table, and have for years, in a spare bedroom or in my den. I'm inside the Heat/Air Conditioning so that is nice, the bad part is knocking everything down and cleaning up when I stop for the day. I lay the drywall on my garage work bench when not building and most of my most used building tools and paraphernalia are kept in clear plastic tubs. My stock of wood engines, extra are stored in my garage.

That said I wouls start in the garage but entertain several modifications. If you have steel garage doors without insulation an insulation kit is readily available and easy to install. Second depending on construction and cost you could look into a small wall mounted Heat & A/C unit for the garage, my brother found them to be a great solution for his turn of the century home and they weren't that bad price wise. You see several brands advertised on TV but most of the tradition unit manufacturers offer them now. If you are lucky enough to have a window in the garage maybe a window unit would be a viable solution? They come in a variety of sizes and they run for years with little maintenance. A window unit installed correctly could be made to be easily removed and a box fan replace it to exhaust paint fumes for a makeshift paint booth of plastic sheeting or drop cloths. I have seen other builders on this board and others adapt a foldaway engine stand to hold the airplane when painting. You can steal some great ideas cruising building threads!

Mike
Old 08-04-2016, 09:54 AM
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As a soldier all my modeling was always some sort of compromise inside a apartment, garage, tool shed.... bedroon, dining room, balcony

Here in Central Texas (rural so no real codes to comply with) I decided on a out building and my current 16x24 work space /hanger is heated by portable base board type thermostat controlled electric and the cooling is by ONE of the very small walMart window units....

Goal being comfort but more importantly keeping glues, paints, and fuels in a 50F to 80F environment year round

To this end I used a relatively low cost portable building*, wired it myself, insulated and sheet rocked my self, and put solar film on the 4 small and one large windows....102F outside right now and 78F inside with AC on low fan and one box fan circulating the air

* side of the road every where in rural Texas and in the $3000 to $8000 range

Windows and Good lighting are necessary
Bathroom 150 feet away or bushes 10 feet away
Tying into (safely by code) the house 200Amp box with a 60 amp service was NOT that expensive BUT the trenching in Texas Colichi was slow going until son and I rented a Wheel type rock saw...chain type ditch witch is a non starter here

So to the original poster...if you own the property and plan on being there a while...re-purpose the out building is my vote...the added expense is worth the $$$ and effort....can be done in stages as $$$ are available.... small re-frig, small microwave, coffee pot, computer, small crock pot (engine cleaning)

do not have to share space any more with clothes, cars, auto maintenance area, bedroom, dining room, and wife is so happy to NOT smell glue or dope that alone is worth the effort.....when momma's happy EVERYBODY is happy...my opinion
Old 08-04-2016, 09:56 AM
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Mike M, thanks for the tip on the portable AC unit. I just started looking at them and air intake-exhaust was something I was considering. I was thinking in terms of just having it blow on me in place of the fan. Not ideal but maybe better than a fan. I have a window unit at the local airport that I use when working in a confined space. It helps. I may have to try it out in the shop

Living out in the country I get the occasional power outage. So I have 2 window units in the house. I run them by generator when the power goes out. Fortunately they are on the backside of the house. So, mostly, the birds, deer and cows get to see them.
Old 08-04-2016, 05:59 PM
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Mike Maness
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I think for now, I'll start working in the garage. I had the garage mostly cleaned out, but a year ago I got married. New wife found the garage is an ideal place to throw things that she doesn't want in the house. So now, I have to sort through everything in there and attempt to get a space cleaned out. With the Texas blast furnace in full force, it's going to take a while.

One thing I didn't mention was that I have colon cancer and am currently undergoing chemotherapy. On my bad days there's no progress in the garage. On my good days, I work like a madman. For now, the garage makes sense but getting out of the garage and away from the house is a goal. Really need to get moved into a place where I can be by myself for a time.

Thanks everyone for all the replies. It'll take another month or so to get the garage cleared out and a work area created. I'll try to post some pics once I get it ready for prime time.
Old 08-04-2016, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Maness View Post
I think for now, I'll start working in the garage. I had the garage mostly cleaned out, but a year ago I got married. New wife found the garage is an ideal place to throw things that she doesn't want in the house. So now, I have to sort through everything in there and attempt to get a space cleaned out.
Isn't it funny how that happens? Mine did the same thing to me. Now I've been forced to move ALL of my builds into the house(living and dining rooms) and THAT IS DRIVING HER ABSOLUTELY CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Old 08-05-2016, 07:15 AM
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I do have one more suggestion, keep an eye out for long tubes, tall narrow boxes, and the like. They are great for organizing balsa sheets, strips, dowlrods, etc so you can find what you ned fast. Also invest a few dollars and get the Hobbico Builder's Triangle Set. One of the triangles has slots for determining the most common stock thicknesses starting at 1/8" and going to 3/8". I use the heck out of mine and take it the LHS or wherever I'm looking for wood.

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXL456&P=M
Old 08-05-2016, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyerInOKC View Post
I do have one more suggestion, keep an eye out for long tubes, tall narrow boxes, and the like. They are great for organizing balsa sheets, strips, dowlrods, etc so you can find what you ned fast. Also invest a few dollars and get the Hobbico Builder's Triangle Set. One of the triangles has slots for determining the most common stock thicknesses starting at 1/8" and going to 3/8". I use the heck out of mine and take it the LHS or wherever I'm looking for wood.

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXL456&P=M
I'll have to inventory all my stuff from before, but I think I already have most of the items you suggested. One thing I really need to add to my workshop is an el-cheapo drill press. Makes drilling holes straight so much easier. When drilling a motor mount, for instance, it's difficult to get the holes exactly straight and if I'm not careful I'll end up with a crooked bolt or two which tends to bind the motor somewhat. It works, but I'm really tired of not having perfectly straight bolts holding the engine on.

Another thing I really want is a good pair of calipers. There are times I need to check the thickness of a sheet or strip of balsa. I have the triangle set, but I still kinda get messed up at times. Calipers would help that so much, and they're not that expensive.

And clamps! I can never have too many clamps. Maybe small bags of sand or shot to use as weights for sheeting.

Otherwise, I think I pretty well have most of what I need stored in the piles of stuff in the garage. I just have to work my way to the area and inventory what's still there, what needs to be replaced, and what needs to be purchased.
Old 08-05-2016, 06:42 PM
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A good drill press is IMO a necessary item. Along with a scroll saw or/or bandsaw. I agree on the caliper, measures inside, outside and depth. You might try Harbor Freight for these items. They also carry assorted size spring clamps and 4 and 6 inch bar clamps. I have an assortment.

For weight there are many things around the house you can use. I like to cut up my old mower blades. I clean, weigh and mark the pieces. Old batteries great. Weighted baggies come in handy for unusual shaped areas. I also have pieces of railroad track that I have used in model building. I have clutter cause I hate to throw things away. Everything comes in handy. LoL.

Here is my wing build on my current build.

Well, I see this site is once again having problems with posting pictures. Showing up as attachments instead of thumbnails.
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Old 08-05-2016, 07:08 PM
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Getting into the discussion a little late I guess. I've built models on the desk in my dorm room in college, then moved to the bar between the kitchen and the den in my first house. In the next house I started in a spare bedroom but kept getting bumped as we remodeled.I moved to the basement and added lighting and electrical outlets. My wife is claustrophobic so no competition for the somewhat creepy basement but it was a pain getting larger models in and out as the stairs exited through the kitchen. After selling that house and building out in the country I have a moderately large outbuilding. So far the only downsides have been the mosquitoes and the lack of a computer drop. I framed in a 10x24 room in the back of the shop building and insulated the heck out of it. The insulation alone keeps the temp down around 90 even when the outside temp is 104. The kids got me a window unit for fathers day and that keeps it pretty cool. I have the advantage of starting with a building that already had a breaker box and living in the country (no inspections or code although I have tried to build everything to meet or exceed code. Bottom line, if you live in Texas, you want an air conditioner and if yo are in the house you will always be competing for space. The electrical work is a one time expense and a wired outbuilding will add to the value of the property. Additionally overspray on the wife's car will NOT make her happy. It sounds like you have made up your mind but I would still say go with the outbuilding for a long term solution.
Old 08-05-2016, 07:45 PM
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I took over one bay of a three bay garage. It already had electricity, but I added insulation and an AC window unit. I use a kerosene heater to warm it up in the winter. It meets my needs fairly well, though I wish I had a larger table to work on.

Tom
Old 08-08-2016, 05:40 AM
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Here is another idea on what you can use in your building. Around here we still have several competing telephone yellow pages companies dropping phone books off on a yearly basis and they will have stacks of them free for the taking at places like tag agencies.. I save them and find them to be perfect for weighing down balsa wing skins. The form to the wing and apply equal pressure and there are no sharp edges.

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Old 08-14-2016, 07:40 AM
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Having had to move many times, I understand having to re-establish the shop and setting them up. It sounds like the garage is the best option. THat is where I am, and the vehicles get to stay outside!

Temperature is a very important issue. While cold may not be so bad where you are, it is a killer here in the winter. It is very important to understand that many of the glues and paint we use (not CA) are temperature sensitive. Many glues and paints go bad if they freeze. Titebond for instance. Also, if the temps are low, even if you can handle it, the glues will not cure. Such as epoxy, especially laminating resin that has a long cure time. Such as when fiberglassing. I have begun to store many of my temp sensitive items in the house. At least through the winter.

The building board is one of my most important items. Mine is quite extravagant, but it helps me to build straight wings on the larger models I build. I start with a thick, solid core door. THen I put a Homosote top over the door. I have sanded the homosote flat thru a wide belt sander at the woodshop. Then on top of that I put a piece of 3/16" tempered glass. The addition of the glass cannot be understated, and has been a godsend to my building experience. The benefits are many, including protecting your plans, and have a perfectly clean flat surface to build from.

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