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Thread: What to do with this space? Office, finishing room, or ???

  1. #1
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    What to do with this space? Office, finishing room, or ???

    I've been thinking about my new shop and what do do with the 6'x10' room the previous owner built in the corner. Originally I had planned to use this room as an office--a place to sit down, a place for the shop computer, etc. I've roughed in wiring for a few outlets and overhead light and was planning to fully insulate even the inside walls and heat it separately from the rest of the building with an electric baseboard heater. That way I could keep it warmish even when the heat is off in the rest of the building.

    Now I'm thinking that maybe I don't really need an office in the house and one in the shop and that maybe the room would better serve as a finishing room. I'm thinking to make this work I could do the following:

    - skip the insulation on the inside walls. The outside walls are insulated.
    - use that white plastic paneling you see in restrooms for the walls and ceiling.
    - install some kind of exhaust fan to outside and an air intake from the shop with a filter of some sort.
    - replace the 3' door with something bigger, maybe a double door if I can find a deal on one or maybe something homebuilt. Make sure the door seals well to keep the dust out.

    For finishing, I usually brush stain and use wipe on poly. Once I sprayed stain and wasn't real thrilled with the mess. I haven't sprayed poly or anything yet, but maybe if I didn't have to worry about the overspray??? I started expirimenting with some other finishing techniques right before we sold our old house.

    Now, the questions: Will this room be big enough to be useful? So far I've mostly built furniture--tables, shelves, an entertainment center, a bed, etc. The EC definitely wouldn't have fit all at once. Making the room bigger would basically mean tearing it down and starting from scratch. Any ideas for the exhaust fan and intake filter? Should I still heat the room with a baseboard electric heater? Anyone have pictures of similar sized finishing rooms to share? Is this a dumb idea? Is there a better use for this room?
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    Last edited by Matt Meiser; 01-23-2004 at 1:09 PM.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a good idea to me.

    I'd consider doing something to the floor as well. Maybe just laying down some closeout roll vinyl. At my old work, we took over the other half of the building which was a cabinet shop. Their finishing booth floor was about an inch thick with dried finish. That was a nasty job for someone.

    Jay
    Jay St. Peter

  3. #3
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    6' x 10' sounds like a pretty small finishing room to me. You couldn't fit 12' trim in there.

    I'd scrap it as a finish room and use it for something else. Redo the room to just past the door and put your DC and compressor in there. Keep the noise of those out of your main shop area. The compressor could have it's own air inlet so it's not sucking in dust from the DC part of the room.

    Man would I love to have that sort of ceiling height.

  4. #4
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    I had just about the same situation in my new shop, Matt. I have a 24 x 24' space and I partitioned off an 8 x 10' room to use as a finishing room. At that time, the shop building had no heat or a/c and I installed a window shaker for a/c and an electric space heater for winter use. When I had the HVAC system installed in the building, I scrapped the window shaker and space heater because I had a separate vent put in for the finishing room. I paneled the room with used cedar fence boards just because I already had them.

    Of course, my situation is different than yours in that I don't build furniture. My finishing is all turnings and carvings and is done on the table or bench tops. Also, the room is two feet wider. as someone mentioned, you wouldn't be able to fit 12' trim in there. For small pieces, however, it would be good.

    Wolf

  5. #5
    I go for the office area its to small for a finishing and having a computer in the shop for drawings and record keeping and ordering on-line
    Mike

  6. #6
    I would also agree that an office or "delicate" tool storage may make more sense based on its size. You could then avoid tracking in "dust" when needing to get some reference book.

    Will you be heating the main workshop all the time? If not, storage of liquids that should not freeze could also be in there.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2003
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    Mossville, Illinois
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    Sounds like a lot of work, but I'd enlarge that little room, looks like you could bring the wall with the door out to where the overhead door is, that would gain you about 2', then maybe make the room longer to accomidate 12' moldings and such. Looks like it's only drywall, shouldn't take more than a day to frame it up, then you'd have yourself a nice bigger finishing room. BTW, I'd be a little hesitant to put the plastic panelling up, I had that in my shop and it was a static magnet. Every little piece of dust stuck to i like glue! I tried everything to eliminate the static cling, to no avail. Looks like you have yourself a nice shop there!

  8. #8
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    It looks like this is the front of the house and is right next to the driveway. You would have to watch out for exausting onto any vehicles outside.
    Dick

    No Pain-No Gain- Not!
    No Pain-Good

  9. #9
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    Close in the window & put a wall across inside even with the left side of where the window is now & a wall even with the left side of the door with a door in it the DC will go behind this door & in the area straight ahead of the present door is where the air compressor will go. Put a door in the end & install a toilet. Of course you may need to move the present door to the right a little but I think you could house all three items real well. Maximum benefit. While doing the plumbing, plumb a deep sink on the shop side of the wall.
    I usually find it much easier to be wrong once in while than to try to be perfect.

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  10. #10
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    What Bart suggests would be my first choice, but isn't always possible given plumbing expenses and potential zoning/permit costs/"fun". For the second choice, it would be used for the DC and compressor as well as storage of "valuables". Barring all that, I'd leave it as an office as Mike E suggested. Having a quiet, clean and warm place to view plans, wind down, do planning and check in with SMC inbetween cuts is a nice thing to have!
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  11. #11
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    I'm with Rob on this

    Seems too small for a finish room. I do have a slightly different idea. Keep the size. Make part of it a small office and the other part for your DC and compressor. When in the office you won't be running those so it won't be a noise issue. When working the room keeps those items quieter. It would give a nice room for your PC and a drafting table. That's one thing I wish I had room for is a drafting table to layout plans and what not. If you are hoping for a few more feet of space you can shrink down to just an area for the compressor and DC.

    For finishing, set you up some unistrut and sliders and create a curtain approach like they do in the hospital. You can keep your overspray to that area and with the unistrut you can expand to meet your needs. When not in use, just roll up the curtain. It doesn't give a dedicated space, but you can protect the tools and stuff.
    Last edited by Scott Coffelt; 01-23-2004 at 5:02 PM.
    Scott C. in KC
    Befco Designs

  12. #12
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    Dust collector and/or compressor storage is a good idea. It could be hardware storage with built-in cabinets. If you are into plumbing, I would put a toilet and a sink in there. It could be a good place to store glue, sandpaper, paints, finishes, etc. - that need some type of temperature/humidity controls.

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