Register now to get rid of these ads!

Art & Inspiration Shop Space, how much is enough

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by snoc653, Feb 15, 2024.

  1. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 4,272


    I have done that as well, but then just built more additional space also. What I have done over the years is to purchase something I want at an auction or the old "bargain mart" paper ad. Then as I found a good price or a "deal" on a better version, I bought it and sold the one I already had. Often I was able to sell for about the same price as the better one I acquired, and sometimes even made a profit. So the cost of acquiring a good selection of tools is not always money, but keeping your eyes open for deals. Many of these older tools actually increase in value as time goes by. Had a 10' brake that I bought for $800. Had it for 10 years and sold it for $2000.....had 3 people wanting it....and found out that was too cheap. Look at Facebook today and $2K is about the minimum.....most are wanting $3k+ for them. Then you look for those other tools or upgrades with that "found" money. I had a Coats tire changer. It was old when I got it and I had it a long time. Someone had repainted it. I decided that I would sell it while it still worked well. Put it up for sale and had a buyer within about an hour. Guy owned a business selling Mustang parts and wanted a Coats. He gave me about $1k for it. I think I paid $500 (or so) years before. Turned around and bought a brand new "off brand" because a friend of mine bought one and it impressed me. It would do larger size wheels than the one I sold and its all pretty and shiny.
    My point here is that not everything depreciates with age, and you can acquire good tools without breaking the budget if you just keep an eye out and jump on good deals when they come along.

    The other thing I would point out is that many of us use the term "pole barn".....which refers to using 6x6 or 8x8 posts sunk into the ground in a row. This is difficult to do by yourself and there are large spaces between the poles making it hard to insulate well or hang stuff on the walls. Myself, I prefer a stud wall just like a house uses. They are very easy to assemble while laying flat on the ground. You should be able to easily assemble all 4 walls and stand them up in one day. Puttting the roof trusses on is a little harder and may require help if they are long ones. On a small building such as a 16wide X whatever length, it can be a one man or two man job if you have a friend. With the long ones, like 40 ft. you will need help or a crane. I used 6 ft centers on my trusses and used 2x6 in instead of 2x4 trusses.(Cheaper and just as strong) I put purlins between them to make pairs while sitting on the concrete floor.
    Then when I hired the crane, I paid the 4 hr minimum but it only took about an hr to set all the truss pairs on top of the walls. My son aligned them in back while I did the front. Easy peasy. Don't need a crane with smaller lighter trusses. Add purlins between the truss pairs. Then its just a matter of screwing metal to the wood. So if you are into "work equity", you can have nice buildings for a reasonable cost....and you can do it in stages. Just don't take too long before you cover the wood.

    View attachment 5973770 Sorry, but for some reason it did not attach all the pics at the right places, so here they are. Pole barn framing 6.JPG
    Pole barn framing 1.JPG Pole barn framing 7 crane.JPG

    Now the small 16 x 32 building.
    Paint Booth Framing 2.JPG

    Walls stood up and Making my own rafters instead of using trusses.


    Paint 9 Outside.JPG

    I found some used shop lights for sale cheap and mounted them in the walls and ceiling so there is plenty of light for painting. Took an old small barrel and put it thru the back wall so I can put the lid on it or remove the lid if I want to paint. Then put a squirrel cage blower out back to suck the fumes. I added an intake air thru the ceiling. The overhang in front for the compressor has an opening with a filter which allows air to flow up .....then thru a box and drop down in the booth. Lots of ways to make these things work for you if you plan ahead. Plenty of storage when not wanting to paint.
    Filter in front overhang. Then built box in rafters to funnel air to inside building and another filter there.
    Paint 4 Inside intake.JPG

    Then added a leanto on the back to protect the blower and put a parts cleaning tank out there.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2024
    4274SPEED, 40 Olds, rod1 and 7 others like this.
  2. Depends on how far your woman pushed you out of your house?
  3. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 5,184


    The wall lights are cool...Get busy painting and keep us in the loop...
    ekimneirbo likes this.
  4. I agree with everyone else .....Never Enough Room!

    I moved out here 20 years ago this coming April, the building was 40 x 88 with upstairs heavy storage. I thought I was in heaven & would never need any more room! 5 years ago I added on 16 x 88 & two years ago I put a 40 foot shipping container behind the building.

    Ours is an Amazing Addiction:eek:

    God Bless
  5. '34 Ratrod
    Joined: May 1, 2019
    Posts: 271

    '34 Ratrod

    If it wasn't for this addiction we have all of the parts and cars would either end up in the landfill or be melted down.

    Bill's Auto Works likes this.
  6. Shop space and garage space (semantics- I know) are different in my mind. Garage space never enough. My perfect shop space would in the order of 40 x 50, with a heavy metal worktable, press, drill press, car lift, welders, etc. Enough room to take the body off and do the chassis. Plenty of electrical receptacles.
  7. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 2,663

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    from Upstate NY

    Garage is only 24x30, and has an outlet on every other stud. And it's still not enough outlets.

    I'm just saying, are there ever enough outlets?
    ekimneirbo likes this.
  8. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 2,158

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    50 plus years ago I worked in a service station with 2 mechanics. They had 3 bays plus a small storage area and on office and mens and ladies room. Probably 1800 square feet that was kept well organized and clean. They did everything from oil changes, front end alignments, to engine overhauls in there, so i guess I would have to say that
    is enough space., but I am not as organized as Pete and Mike were.
    rod1 and ekimneirbo like this.
  9. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,289


    We built a lake house thirty four years ago, with plans to expand it to a retirement home. A few years later we put up a 32’x54 ‘ building, with 10.5 and 12.5’ ceilings that would be my forever shop.

    When I actually retired and sold our Chicago house fifteen years ago, it became painfully obvious that I severely underestimated shop size requirements. Eventually I bought a 4’x75’ building about a mile from the house. The building has 16’ eaves, so I put in a couple of four post lifts for storage and long term projects.

    Biggest issue is that it costs a lot to heat.
    Bill's Auto Works and ekimneirbo like this.
  10. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 12,363

    Bandit Billy

    Long and skinny. :cool:
  11. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 4,272


    We think a lot alike..........:D

    Heavy Metal Work Table........check

    Press..........Check (Home made)
    Hydraulic Press.jpg

    Drill Press........(check)

    Big un and little un............

    Car Lift (check)

    Welders......check,check,check,check Miller 350 A.JPG
    ESAB 1a.JPG
    Tig Cart 2.jpg
    Torch 6.jpg

    Room to take the body off........check

    Old Chevy Truck 014.JPG

    Sept 11 069.JPG

    49 Chevy Cab 2.JPG
    Can also lift frames and sit them on the steel table without any help in about 5 minutes. Lot better working waist high than bending over. Cart lets body be rolled out of the way and also work at higher level.

    Lots of receptacles..........check

    leanto x 035.jpg

    Its expensive to pay to have them put in, but doing it yourself only costs a few $$ per receptacle and you don't know where you will have cabinets and where you won' I put the 4 outlet boxes on evey stud and use the ones that don't have something in front of them. Its also nice to wire in a few 220 plugs in different places. Then make a long 220 extension plug so you can weld anywhere in the shop.

    Yep, we think alike on this.:) The guys who say they are perfectly happy with a small shop, just never had a bigger one. ;)
  12. nosnhojguy
    Joined: Dec 9, 2014
    Posts: 79


    It's a skinny building that even a crosley won't fit in. You sure can stack a lot of parts against the wall but then you have to leave a path so they only better be 2 foot wide.
  13. snoc653
    Joined: Dec 25, 2023
    Posts: 194

    from Iowa

    Love the paint both that was posted by Ekimneirbo. I agree, there is never enough shop space as I could fill up twice what I'm allowing myself. I'd have a frame machine and some fabrication systems (benders, brakes, English wheel, CNC machine, lathe, etc.) if there was space for it all. 'll have to make do with the 72X45 as the contractor will be starting the addition on Monday. I will have a second floor of 30X45 for temperature controlled storage and man cave space on the south end. The shop will have a 14X30 paint booth and a 30X30 heated work space with 2 lifts below the storage space. This thread has been a great in helping me decide to pull the trigger and get it built.
    ekimneirbo and Bill's Auto Works like this.
  14. billfunk29
    Joined: Jun 28, 2005
    Posts: 98

    from Minnesota

    I converted a barn into a workshop in my younger days. 40x80 if my memory is working right. It was too big. Kept half the hay loft for part storage. I would go buy a new part that I knew I had. Didn't have time to find it. Maybe if you are better manager?? I like heated floors in my shop (Minnesota) and that gets way out of hand at that scale.
  15. mohr hp
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 937

    mohr hp
    from Georgia

    I think I want 3 spaces: A shop big enough to actually work in, another building to park our 2 daily drivers, and a third for parking cars that aren't being worked, whether finished or not. I want all 3 separated by some distance, so if one is destroyed, I don't lose everything. This is my goal anyway.
  16. downlojoe33
    Joined: Jul 25, 2013
    Posts: 676


    When I had my 30x36 shop built I thought I could never fill THAT much space up. Now there are pathways from the man door to the workbench, around the front of my F-100, the back bumper is against the roll up door, the space between it and my 33 is filled with “stuff”, the outside wall has my magazine racks, paint supplies cabinet, and more “stuff”. Front wall has bead blaster, drill press, welders, sewing machine and table, belt sander, storage cabinet for oil, cleaners, etc. The biggest mistake I made was not making the ceiling high enough for a lift. That was 30 years ago and I didn’t know how convenient one would be then. But all in all, I’m very fortunate to have what I have, and I make it work.
    rod1 and Dave G in Gansevoort like this.
  17. That is sound advice. After years of dragging hoses, there were quite a few times of seeing nice cars destroyed by fire as the owner had his working shop and finished cars in the same building. Even had a friend lose his 50 Merc custom, 61 Pontiac Convertible, and another OT car when his building burned, started by using a torch to burn bolts out of a POS truck on his lift. Had worked on the Merc the day before for him. Strange to roll up on the fire truck to see it happening.
    Squablow and mohr hp like this.
  18. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 12,363

    Bandit Billy

    I designed my current home 16 years ago and it has that, a 3 car garage up front for the dailies, a two car for a couple done cars and another deep 3 car in back that I work in. It's a nice arrangement, until you replace 8 garage doors. That wasn't cheap.
    mohr hp, Squablow and nochop like this.
  19. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 3,836

    from norcal

    If you don’t have a lot you get creative IMG_5547.jpeg IMG_4799.jpeg IMG_6025.jpeg
  20. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,847

    from California

    how much is enough? what a silly question. however big you build a shop it will most likely be full after a couple years.

    I had a 62 Cadillac that as I recall was 18 feet long. I lived in a house that was about as big as a 2 car garage and it had a garage about as big as a 62 Cadillac. I had 2 - 3" clearance in the front and back. the car barely fit through the garage door and I had to slide out sideways to get out of the garage.
    05snopro440 likes this.
  21. 05snopro440
    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,578


    My brother has an old log-wall double garage on his property. At one time, the previous owner owned a 68 or 69 full-size Pontiac with the pointy nose. The car didn't fit by a few inches, so he carved the log wall to fit the profile of the nose of the car. It's pretty funny to see now.
    49ratfink and Squablow like this.
  22. banginona40
    Joined: Mar 5, 2007
    Posts: 773


    Mine is 24 x 40 with 10 ft ceilings, and two story. It suits me just fine, but, if I had it to do over again I'd go bigger if I could with taller ceilings. At the time when I built it, 35 years ago, I did not realize I would want a lift.
    ekimneirbo and Papas32 like this.
  23. NealinCA
    Joined: Dec 12, 2001
    Posts: 3,153


    I built a 30x60 with 14' walls 27 years ago, then added 18x50 about 5 years ago.

    I spent the first 25 years filling it up, now I'm at the point in life where I want to de-clutter a bit and make more floor space. 20231112_101737.jpg 20221113_110529.jpg 20230204_141844.jpg
  24. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 5,184


    2 1/2 car works for now...with the install of the LED lighting and upgraded power , Welding and fabrication get a thumbs up..... 4181357D-C57E-4F8C-A543-6F92B8B02FC4.jpeg E1A62AAA-116A-4439-8BDB-C0C8AEE3F628.jpeg
    ekimneirbo likes this.
  25. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,830


    You've heard the expression: "Too much horsepower is almost enough." Same goes for space.
    X-cpe and ekimneirbo like this.
  26. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 1,754


    I was thinking of expanding my small 1.5 attached garage after my wife psssed in 2020, but quickly gave up on that idea when I looked into the prices. Depending on finishing level, it was around CAN$100/sq ft. So, say a 1,000 sq ft garage/shop was going to be $100K. Covid pricing all but killed that idea. When my girls were young, say about 10 - 12 yrs ago, a friends father built a nice garage/shop himself for about $22K. It was around 30’ x 30’ IIRC.
  27. snoc653
    Joined: Dec 25, 2023
    Posts: 194

    from Iowa

    Without checking the exchange rate, I’d say you could build for less than that today. I’m adding about 1900 sq ft of floor space and another 1350 of second floor for within 10% of your 2020 estimate. It won’t be finished out, but I can take care of a lot of things myself. I found it helped when I drew up the plan, priced out the materials and was able to start building it myself. Suddenly the quotes became much more competitive and reasonable. Do I need the sheet rock on the walls when they finish the addition? I don’t think so, and the areas I want to finish off, I’m capable of hanging rock and mudding. Same goes for some of the wiring. And by taking the time to read the zoning codes, I managed to avoid the need for engineered plans. Just to have have an engineer look at the plans would have added thousands to the project. I know Canada has high import tariffs, but do your homework and price out the materials. Labor is the most controllable part of the project. If you can hire the workers and have them construct your plan with your materials, you’d be able to do it for a lot less.

    My project. It will have a 30X15 deck to hang out and talk cars. I’ll probably move one of the grills down there as well. When the south addition is done, they’ll add 12 feet to the north side and change the low roof to run north south
    upload_2024-3-22_9-48-57.jpeg upload_2024-3-22_9-51-33.jpeg
    ekimneirbo likes this.
  28. dart4forte
    Joined: Jun 10, 2009
    Posts: 453

    from Mesa, AZ

    The key to owning a small shop is to keep everything off the floor. When we moved to Mesa I ended up with a lot of those yellow top totes. Really good for storing items that are necessary but aren’t used that often.
  29. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 2,688


    I get by with close to 600 sq. ft. If I need to pull the engine for some reason I just open the door and roll the car out. Has to be a nice day of coarse. On the other side of the car is shelving full of old Ford parts I probably will not use so I’m thinking of buying a used sea can that I can fill up.

    guthriesmith likes this.
  30. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 2,345



    For 21 1/2 years I have had my '40 1964 Owens Tahitian boat in this shop! Also had as many as 7 cars and 4 motorcycles in there with it. On Saturday 3/16/2024 we loaded the boat on a trailer and moved it outside! In a couple weeks it will be gone to a new home and owner. Amazing how much more room I have now!

    Squablow and guthriesmith like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.