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Thread: New small commercial shop design help sought!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    New small commercial shop design help sought!

    Many here like to talk shop and come up with great ideas, so thought I would see what you have to say about designing a small commercial woodworking facility.

    I am planning to build with ICF construction. I want the sound dampening and strength vs other methods. We seem to get a lot of tornadoes and straight line winds in my area. The additional cost is minimal and I think it will speed up construction time.

    My main predicament is whether I should put in one or two large garage doors. With the drawing below, I have one. The two garage doors inside are fire proof roll up doors, not standard garage doors. These need to be in place to avoid having to install a sprinkler system.

    BGS Designs LLC floorplan.jpg BGS Designs LLC building.jpg

    So, the large room to the farthest right is the office/showroom and conference room. Walls will be drawn later.

    Next room to the left is going to be the hardwoods shop. I will make doors, face frames and passage doors in here.

    To the left is going to be the panel shop. I am shopping for CNC machines and will install one here. Cabinet final assembly will happen here.

    The room on the far left is the finish room. Finished work will be stored in here until delivery.

    So, is the one door to the outside enough, or would it be much better to have two, one in each shop? I hate to lose the wall space for the second garage door. I am having trouble making this last decision. Time to decide and move forward.

    Looking forward to any advise and thoughts anyone would like to share.

    Thanks - Greg Stahl
    Last edited by Gregory Stahl; 02-17-2016 at 9:14 PM.

  2. #2
    I'm looking at building a similar sized building. 60x120, plus a 26x30 two story office bumped out on an eve end. I've got four overhead doors planned for drive through bays and air flow in the non heating months. I will have one partition wall to separate the production area from the staging area, but that's it. The shop bathroom will be within the office walls, so everything inside will be as flexible as possible. The doors are at opposite ends of the building on the eve walls. Material in, product out. I will not be doing any finishing at the shop for a long time, so I don't need as many walls. A finish shop will go in the addition if/when that happens.

    I looked into icf forms, I can't remember what I came up with for a price, but it was expensive. Concrete has been bonkers here the last few years though. I also looked into tip ups, $180k just for the panels. I settled on stud frame construction. Not my favorite, but I can afford it, and in the tiny town I'm building in it's allowable.

    I built a model. I cut a scrap to scale for the building, made scale cut outs of all the equipment so I could juggle things around easily and get a feel for things. Also take into account adding on, what is easy to move, and what you don't ever want to move. Things like a big CNC can weigh 15,000 pounds, and they don't like to be moved.


    I don't see a dock. I don't have one planned either, but will out one in if I add onto the building.

    My model


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Stahl View Post

    Next room to the left is going to be the hardwoods shop. I will make doors, face frames and passage doors in here.

    To the left is going to be the panel shop. I am shopping for CNC machines and will install one here. Cabinet final assembly will happen here.
    ....
    So, is the one door to the outside enough, or would it be much better to have two, one in each shop? I hate to lose the wall space for the second garage door. I am having trouble making this last decision. Time to decide and move forward.

    l
    I'm not a building engineer. Is the wall between the hardwoods shop and the panel shop structurally necessary? It it were 1 space, would 1 door be sufficient? The open area could also allow for easier reconfiguration later on.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  4. #4
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    Nice drawing! Chief Architect?

    I don't have any input on the building design but you might want to modify your parking area to lead visitors to their door. Also could help to modify design a bit to ensure there is proper big truck access to the shop door. What about a door on the rear of the building, possibly at flatbed height?

  5. #5
    Do you not want a big door on the finish-storage area so you can easily load a truck for delivery?

  6. #6
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    Nice job Martin! I like the arrows showing the feed direction!

    I left a dock off too. I have't grown to the point of loading trucks yet. Most of what I do is residential, so truck and trailer works good for me! I have plenty of property to add a dock on to the back of the building later if needed.

    ICF vs stick is a tough call. I like stick just for the ability to make changes down the road.

    Looking forward to see you build your shop!

    Greg

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Tymchak View Post
    I'm not a building engineer. Is the wall between the hardwoods shop and the panel shop structurally necessary? It it were 1 space, would 1 door be sufficient? The open area could also allow for easier reconfiguration later on.
    It is a fire wall. Somewhere in the fire code it states the maximum size for a woodworking shop without fire sprinkler protection is 2500 square feet. Sprinklers are expensive and they have a monthly fee associated with a larger water connection, annual sprinkler testing, etc.....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    Do you not want a big door on the finish-storage area so you can easily load a truck for delivery?
    I was thinking the space would be better by not having a door, but the door is adjacent to the finish room anyway. I'll have a forklift so I can move product out easily. Might be a concern though---will have to take into consideration.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg R Bradley View Post
    Nice drawing! Chief Architect?

    I don't have any input on the building design but you might want to modify your parking area to lead visitors to their door. Also could help to modify design a bit to ensure there is proper big truck access to the shop door. What about a door on the rear of the building, possibly at flatbed height?
    Yes--Chief Architect!

    I don't plan to have a lot of customers to the shop, so I wasn't to concerned with their entry. I did leave enough space in front of the building to wrap the parking lot around the front of the building later on if needed though--complete with their own parking in front.

    I won't be unloading any trucks at the overhead door. My deliveries are usually all side unload. I do like the idea of a dock on the back of the building, had not considered this. The ground drops away toward the back, so this might work out conveniently. I think I'll frame in a garage door, but fill it in. Later on I can install the garage door if we add a dock or if we expand off the back of the building.

    Thanks!

    Greg

  10. #10
    What's your plan for dust collection as well? Central unit outside? Individual collectors inside? If you can swing it, getting it outside frees up floor space, lowers noise in the building a bit, and it centralizes disposal. Air lock it into a dumpster, or blow it into a trailer and you're lowering your inputs on wasting time emptying bag units. Doesn't seem like much, but we spend way too much time dealing with sawdust currently. Plus it's a job no one likes. The downside is a big collector costs the same with a shop full of people or one dude at a cut off saw.

  11. #11
    Bump.

    Found out yesterday that the county is going to make me sprinkle my new shop. I'm thinking partition walls and just rip them out after inspection. A buddy of mine is a sprinkler fitter, he said $3 per sq/ft was a good rough number for a wet system. I'm already bouncing off the top of my budget, spending at least another $20k on something that will certainly destroy everything in the building that a fire hasn't. Plus the bonus of knocking a head off with a lift and dousing everything is upsetting.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Wasner View Post
    Bump.

    Found out yesterday that the county is going to make me sprinkle my new shop. I'm thinking partition walls and just rip them out after inspection. A buddy of mine is a sprinkler fitter, he said $3 per sq/ft was a good rough number for a wet system. I'm already bouncing off the top of my budget, spending at least another $20k on something that will certainly destroy everything in the building that a fire hasn't. Plus the bonus of knocking a head off with a lift and dousing everything is upsetting.
    Right there with you Martin! The state told me if I keep the square footage of individual rooms at 2500ft or less I would not need sprinklers; so, I am going to do just that!

    Expensive fire doors in the walls, but it will be far less than sprinklers and the monthly/annual costs associated with them--larger water service and annual certification inspections.

    For dust collection I plan to run two systems--have not made firm decision yet. Definitely one external cyclone for sanding machines as they are governed different in the NFPA code. Most likely a second higher horsepower to run everything else in the shop. In the winter, I will exhaust back to the inside. Looking at 15 or 20hp for this machine.

    Slider might run on its own small collector--open bag system. Too many quick cuts to have to spin up large system regularly.

    Greg
    Last edited by Gregory Stahl; 02-28-2016 at 10:13 PM.

  13. #13
    It's complete baloney. Sure, wood burns, but there's a lot less flammable stuff in my shop than my house. Less sources of ignition as well. The liability of the system failing and soaking the shop would be devastating. Granted, that does not happen often, but it does.

    My current plan for dust collection is a 20hp baghouse outside that I've already got, and a few of the small Oneida high vacuum cyclones on the benches to handle the chop boxes and sanders on the benches. Adding walls, even temporary ones, is going to make running that stuff an absolute nightmare.

    I'm planning on dumping the air from the baghouse outside in the summer. Dust collection also serves to cool equipment, so it's sucking heat out of the machine, running it across the ceiling through pipes that are warm, and the dust collector itself makes a bit of heat just from compressing the air. Dumping that hot air back into the shop when it's 80 outside and warmer inside just makes things more miserable. Unless you have AC, then you're just a jerk and I'm jealous.

    Speaking of AC, I don't be able to afford it right off the bat, but I've got room to do geothermal. AC is much cheaper to run if you can cool the condenser with ground water rather than air. Something like four times as efficient.

  14. #14
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    I'm actually surprised at the generous 2500 sq ft limit for sprinkler requirement...here, even in residential work, any building project over 1000 sq ft requires sprinklers. We had to install when we put on our home addition in 2008. Fortunately, they didn't require us to retro-fit the rest of the house, especially the part that has 18" thick solid limestone walls!

    That's going to be a darn nice shop when you get there!
    --

    Equestrian Sports. The most fun you can have with your boots still on...


  15. #15
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    Cyclones in the shop! That is a big no-no, no matter how small. They are forbidden by the NFPA code, have to be outside. Only open collectors are allowed inside a building. Of course, it really comes down to your building and fire inspector. Mine already told me no-way.

    I used to think this is way overboard for a small shop, but one burned down about 15 miles from here due to a dust collection fire. Most dust collection fires happen when there is a cleaning feature that shakes the filters. I will never buy one of these types. Unfortunately, my building inspector is the inspector where the fire happened, so he is really well versed in the NFPA codes.

    Greg

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