LumberJocks

From small barn to wood shop

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by NickinWI posted 10-29-2018 01:25 PM 1104 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View NickinWI's profile

NickinWI

16 posts in 52 days


10-29-2018 01:25 PM

Hey everyone,

I’m new here so hopefully this is the right place for this post. I have recently purchased a new (to me) house in Wisconsin with a small neglected barn on the property. After some deliberation on what to do with it I decided to make it into a wood shop instead my original plan to use the basement since the basement stairs location isn’t very conducive to moving lumber in and projects out.

The barn has a cinder block lower level that was originally used for horses so it is half concrete and half dirt with one horse stall still existing. The garage door to the lower level is falling apart and inoperable. There is also a 40 amp sub panel and a yard hydrant in the lower level. The upper level had a functioning overhead door and a 1/2 plywood floor, half of which was in good condition with the other half in sub par condition. About 4 years ago a tree punched some holes in the roof and they were never repaired resulting in some rotted rafters roof deck and floor on that half of the barn.

I’ve already started the restoration process and am doing everything myself so it’s as I have time available but figured I’d document it so I have no excuse not to take progress pictures which I’m notoriously bad at keeping up with. That being said I don’t have too many progress pictures up unto this point.

The plan is to use the upper level as a wood shop with the dust collector, compressor and such in the lower level. I have a new insulated overhead door on order and will be installing that in the upper level and moving the existing plywood overhead door to the lower level to seal the barn up for the first time in well over a decade. Long term I will be insulating and heating the upper level but before that I need to house wrap and install siding over the existing plywood paneling.

The roof before any work

Sistering up some of the rotted roof rafters

Installing the new roof

All finished

Added a walk door and window so that I didn’t always have to use the overhead door. The window is just installed temporarily until I do the house wrap. The upper windows on each end will be removed since the ceiling will cut through the middle.

Installed 3/4” plywood over top the existing 1/2” floor

That’s where I’m at now, next on the list is the rough framing of the ceiling and knee wall and then I can get started on all of the wiring.


26 replies so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

5124 posts in 913 days


#1 posted 10-29-2018 01:53 PM

should make a very nice shop :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5124 posts in 4161 days


#2 posted 10-29-2018 03:08 PM

Looks as if you’re well on your way. Keep us posted.
Remember——-you need lots of elec. supply, and at least 2 240 volt accesses, plenty of light, etc. Do it now while you have a chance.

-- bill@magraphics.us

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

3171 posts in 1682 days


#3 posted 10-29-2018 03:57 PM

How wide is the barn? Any concerns with load bearing? I don’t see any columns.

Electric will become an issue. 40A may be OK. FWIW I ran my entire shop on a 60A subfeed (that included a 5HP compressor beast).

An electrician familiar with shop equipment will know what you can/can’t do.

You’ll get lots of electrical advise here, but I can’t tell you how strongly I recommend hiring an electrician. Pulling a permit can open up a can of worms regarding the rest of the building so that’s up to you.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View fly2low's profile

fly2low

54 posts in 298 days


#4 posted 10-29-2018 07:44 PM

That will make a nice shop
Where in WI? I grew up in Tigerton – and if you don’t have to look that up you are in a very select group

-- Rich Gig Harbor, WA

View NickinWI's profile

NickinWI

16 posts in 52 days


#5 posted 10-29-2018 07:52 PM



Looks as if you re well on your way. Keep us posted.
Remember——-you need lots of elec. supply, and at least 2 240 volt accesses, plenty of light, etc. Do it now while you have a chance.

- Bill White

Bill, thanks for checking in. I will definitely be going overboard on electrical since outlets are cheap and I haven’t yet figured out where tools will go exactly. I’m thinking each side wall will have a 20 amp 120v circuit with upper and lower outlets every 4 feet or so. Then also a 20 amp 220v circuit on each side wall with probably 2 outlets each side. Then a 120v ceiling circuit with 3 outlets. And I’ll add any floor outlets as needed since the lower level ceiling is open.

View NickinWI's profile

NickinWI

16 posts in 52 days


#6 posted 10-29-2018 08:05 PM



How wide is the barn? Any concerns with load bearing? I don t see any columns.

Electric will become an issue. 40A may be OK. FWIW I ran my entire shop on a 60A subfeed (that included a 5HP compressor beast).

An electrician familiar with shop equipment will know what you can/can t do.

You ll get lots of electrical advise here, but I can t tell you how strongly I recommend hiring an electrician. Pulling a permit can open up a can of worms regarding the rest of the building so that s up to you.

- rwe2156

The barn is 26’ deep and 24’ wide. The upper level deck is 22.5’ wide. The rafters are site built using 2×4, so not the strongest but the barn has been up for over 40 years and is straighter than some houses I’ve seen, so I’m not too concerned. It will also be better off when I add some collar ties for the ceiling as well as the knee walls. To keep weight down I’m going with a steel ceiling instead of plywood or drywall.

40 amp definitely isn’t ideal but running a new line is cost prohibitive since it’d be over 100’ so I’m pretty confident I can make it work. I’m plan to go with as many 220v tools as possible to reduce load balancing issues and will put a light switch up stairs for my compressor so I can make sure it doesn’t kick in at an in opportune time such as when the lights are on, with the table saw, and dust collector running. I did pick up 6 48” LED lights that only draw 3 amps total so that should help.

I appreciate the recommendation on an electrician but I have quite a bit of experience with home wiring. I’m more than confident that I can install everything up to code and likely more cleanly than many electricians who just want to get in and get out as quick as possible.

Thanks again for your input.

View NickinWI's profile

NickinWI

16 posts in 52 days


#7 posted 10-29-2018 08:06 PM



That will make a nice shop
Where in WI? I grew up in Tigerton – and if you don t have to look that up you are in a very select group

- fly2low

Hey Rich, I am about 20 miles northwest of Milwaukee and go ahead and mark me down as one of the few because I actually went on an ATVing trip up to Tigerton with a buddy a while back.

View mathguy1981's profile

mathguy1981

83 posts in 105 days


#8 posted 10-29-2018 08:31 PM

+1 to all the guys telling you to run electric NOW while you’re still in the rough stages. Also, you might consider dust collection. You don’t know where the tools will go, but based on your outlet placement you’ll have a good idea on where the big ones will….Just a thought. Lots easier to run 4” pipe now then later, and you can always move it if you don’t glue the fittings.
You might also consider where/how the DC will vent..outside or inside with filtering.
Good luck! I’m envious of your space.

-- Two thumbs and counting

View NickinWI's profile

NickinWI

16 posts in 52 days


#9 posted 10-29-2018 09:03 PM



+1 to all the guys telling you to run electric NOW while you re still in the rough stages. Also, you might consider dust collection. You don t know where the tools will go, but based on your outlet placement you ll have a good idea on where the big ones will….Just a thought. Lots easier to run 4” pipe now then later, and you can always move it if you don t glue the fittings.
You might also consider where/how the DC will vent..outside or inside with filtering.
Good luck! I m envious of your space.

- mathguy1981

Thanks for the comments. You’re definitely right, I will be running all the electrical before closing up the ceiling or walls. I’ll also plan on steel for the ceiling and plywood for the walls secured with screws so modifications will be possible. As for the Dust collector I’m not too concerned with that right now since I plan to put it in the lower level and have all of the inlets come up from the floor. The lower level ceiling is currently half open and half closed, but I have no qualms taking down the plywood ceiling in the half that is currently closed up. I go back and forth on venting outside vs a filter. I think I might set it up as a convertible outlet. The reason being that most of my free time to work on projects happens to be in the winter and I don’t know that I want to exhaust all of my heated air outside when it’s well below freezing.

View johnstoneb's profile (online now)

johnstoneb

3060 posts in 2374 days


#10 posted 10-29-2018 09:37 PM

Double the number of 220 outlets. You said 4 do at least 8 and preferably 10. I did 4 in my shop thinking that would be plenty. Right now I could use 2 more. I have plenty of 110V and the tools run on 110V but I would prefer 220V for them.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View NickinWI's profile

NickinWI

16 posts in 52 days


#11 posted 10-29-2018 10:26 PM



Double the number of 220 outlets. You said 4 do at least 8 and preferably 10. I did 4 in my shop thinking that would be plenty. Right now I could use 2 more. I have plenty of 110V and the tools run on 110V but I would prefer 220V for them.

- johnstoneb

Thanks Bruce, So would you say just add a 220v to each lower duplex box making probably 12ish total? I’ll also add one in the floor wherever the table saw ends up? At less than $4 a piece the cost isn’t an issue and it’s not much more wire to just pull some extra into each box and connect them to an outlet.

View NickinWI's profile

NickinWI

16 posts in 52 days


#12 posted 10-29-2018 10:36 PM

Not much progress lately, just countersinking and screwing hundreds of screws through the plywood floor. To avoid double handling, I cut to size and put the corner screws in when unloading the plywood but still have all the field screws to do. The laser level makes it easy to find the floor joist since it is a continues 24’ long 2×8 for the full width of the barn. I highly suggest getting a laser level if you don’t already have one because once you have it you inevitably find uses for it.

Below are a few other pictures just to give everyone an idea of what I’m working with.

View Clarkie's profile

Clarkie

466 posts in 2042 days


#13 posted 10-29-2018 10:40 PM

Hello Nick and welcome. You reminded me of the shop I had out in the country years ago. It was on the 3rd floor of a barn that was over 130yrs old. I had over 2 thousand square feet and the ceiling was 38’ high. She had massive timber framed beams, sliding door on the side and window at each end. Had it wired and made a lot of sawdust up there. You’ll find the guys and gals here very helpful, again, welcome aboard, Clarkie.

View NickinWI's profile

NickinWI

16 posts in 52 days


#14 posted 10-29-2018 11:54 PM


Hello Nick and welcome. You reminded me of the shop I had out in the country years ago. It was on the 3rd floor of a barn that was over 130yrs old. I had over 2 thousand square feet and the ceiling was 38 high. She had massive timber framed beams, sliding door on the side and window at each end. Had it wired and made a lot of sawdust up there. You ll find the guys and gals here very helpful, again, welcome aboard, Clarkie.

- Clarkie

Clarkie, sounds awesome we have a lot of barns like you’re describing around here, I sort of wish we had found a house with one like that but on the flip side the maintenance seems a little daunting.

View NickinWI's profile

NickinWI

16 posts in 52 days


#15 posted 10-30-2018 12:41 AM

How important is having water on the main floor?

I have they yard hydrant in the lower level and I could easily tap off of that to run a supply line up to a utility sink and then run a drain down to the sump crock. I would obviously have to drain the supply line at the end of the day in the winter but during the summer it could stay live all season long.

showing 1 through 15 of 26 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com