From the Archives
Michael’s Garage Workshop
Submitted by Michael James from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Added on September 28, 2014
In the summer of 2013, we demolished our very small single car garage and built a new two-car, two-story behemoth. The idea being that we had a place for our van, a permanent place for woodworking, and some extra needed storage. We put a partition wall up between the two sides to keep the dust off the vehicle while providing another wall for electrical and tools to go against.
Because we lived in an older neighbourhood, the power to the house was overhead—this became a problem with the new build so we ended up running the main line through the new garage and underground to the house. The benefit for me was having a brand new, full size panel in my shop where I could have as many breakers as I wanted. I have both 110v and 220v lines run and lots of room for more if I choose.
It’s a bit of a General showroom, but I’ve been very happy with the quality of their tools and have purchased both new and used. There’s built-in dust collection along the one wall. I’m still working out all the kinks in that and have realized I’m a bit under powered but it’s liveable. The DC is in a closet that was created by the staircase that goes to the second floor.
All my lumber storage is on the second floor. It could have been developed as a suite but to run plumbing to the detached garage would have been a large expense. Sheet goods are stored along the wall on the car side of the garage.
I’ve built most of the fixtures in there except for the drill press table. I just finished my first real bench—nothing fancy—so I thought I was done. What I’ve learned is that I’ll probably never be done completely. There’s always something to tweak or move or a tool you realize doesn’t need to be there so it will be replaced etc…etc…there’s always something to do.
This is my first real shop so I’m not sure there’s a ton of efficiency at each station but because it’s so small (25’ x 11’), it’s not that big of a deal. There’s a small garage heater that allows me to use the space in the cold Edmonton winters. It takes about 20 minutes to heat up the space from the 10C I keep it at to my working 18C-–not much time compared to the unheated garage I used to be in. That would take all day with the pathetic heaters I used to use.
From the Archives