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Thread: The new shop build

  1. #1
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    Default The new shop build

    Well, I've pretty much been in lurk mode around here for the last year or so, since I lost my boat shop to fire last August. After completing some other projects that I had to clear off my plate, we're starting on the new shop at last.

    Unlike last time, where I went with a PVC framed "temporary" gothic-shaped shelter, this time we are building a much more permanent structure. It's going to be a 48'x36' post frame, with three 12' bays, 48' deep. The posts will be set on 20 14" site-cast reinforced concrete column piers, and there will be a insulated concrete floating slab floor.

    Here's a front elevation to show what we have in mind.



    Yes, maybe the arc-top doors are a bit much, and perhaps they'll be replaced with something more prosaic in practice, but they do look nice in pixel form! Besides, they remind me of the doors on a certain engine house on the Island of Sodor, I always admired those.

    SWMBO was not entirely pleased to give up a large chunk of the backyard for the footprint, but I couldn't resist the lure of that flat and level grassy surface. To go further back on our property and build in our jungle-like forest was just too daunting a task for me. Here it is, staked out with batter boards and strings in place. Note the blue dots, each of those will be drilled out with a 30" earth auger to a depth of 5 feet for the pier forms.



    Shooting the elevations gave me a chance to use my wonderful old Warren-Knight builders level, "liberated" for me by my late FIL from the engineering offices of the Campbell Soup Co -- thanks again Paul!



    For the footing pier forms, I intended to use standard Sonotube along with commercially available "Bigfoot" base forms, but there are some downsides with those. Both the base forms and the tubes are quite $$ in the large size we needed. Also, the paper tubes can't be left out before they are filled, as they don't weather well, and they can't be back-filled before pouring. We started thinking about alternatives, and settled on using recycled plastic drums. Two 15gal drums would make the column, and half of a 55gal would serve as the base. They take only minutes to put together, and at scrap prices, cost only about $20 per pier.



    That's all for today, next we'll be renting a track-steer with an earth auger and blowing some big holes in that grass.

    Tom

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Good to hear you're building!

    A friend has a shop very similar in design to this & it works really well. It's bigger (60x60') though - but he's had 50+ ft. boats in it. Right bay is shop (all stationary tools like table/band saw, etc.), left bay is storage for wood & other stuff, center bay is the work bay - where the boats go (unless a little one which can fit in the shop area). There are walls between the bays.

    Since he insulated the walls & ceiling/roof, only the shop bay has real heat. The left bay is unheated & the center bay is kept warm enough by the heated right bay - but supplemented by a salamander for a few minutes in the AM during cold weather.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    What a lovely shop she'll be. I'm already envisioning open sheds to either side.

    One to hold two boats on trailers, or one trailer, and some kayak racks... or... or...

    And the second to hold timber on racks.

    As to the arch-top doors? Yes, they're a bit of an extravagance. But not a huge bit. And they really do take the design to a different level. Personally... I'd say absolutely worth the effort.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    I'm green with envy! Your shop will be a beaut.
    My present shop is big enough to build my small boats, but I need a boat-barn to store them all. My problem is that's I've got no flat ground to build it on. Plenty of land but it's all sloped. Putting in the necessary foundation or back filling an area in a no starter.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    sure will be following as i love barn builds. for any info you might need you could check out garagejournal.com . there are a lot of barn builds on it. good luck

    jim

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    I am very impressed with your "Boat Barn"! It looks very good to me. I like a boat shed that has character! I have done a similar building for my own boat building projects. One thing I added was a special second foundation under the main building bay that consists of a pit under the boat. This is covered by planked removable hatches which allow for accessing the under side of a boat for dropping a rudder or working under an inverted hull build. It works very well for us.

    I wish you good fortune with your project.
    Jay

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    So glad to see this thread! Good on ya.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Tom, GREAT GOALS!!!

    when i built my barn i factored in a couple features that have proven very helpful

    * 14'h x 12'w clearance from end to end provides access to any vehice legal(w/o permit) on public highways which includes RV's

    * centrally placed I-Beam across the above mentioned 14x12 space for lifting whatever(will have 2 if i ever build another barn to facilitate lifting and rolling projects over)

    * 220v service on both ends as well as in the middle provides the ability to use any tools/machines commonly found in a shop

    * there are drilling services that have bits that flair when bottom depth is reached similar to your design points

    * in my next build i will factor in anchor points in the slab floor(they can be retro installed but are cheaper up front)

    * in my next build i will pour an apron on both ends

    * i got talked out of having a 3/4" drop for ALL doors not just the big overheads which i did insist on(blowing rain WILL get in under even the best of thresholds)

    * i have full RV hookups inside(sewer & water are below finished surface level)

    * my original design used a roof line similar to yours but my builder explained it required more labor and support posts for the raised area and that a clear span can be quite handy

    i love stirring the pot...

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    I have been working in a 30 X 40 purpose built post and beam shop for 30 years.
    Get rid of the posts. Buy freaking huge I beams and thank yourself every time you don't bump into a post.
    SHC

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Until the (glorious!) warm and dry last couple of weeks, it's been a very wet year here in the Thousand Islands. That being the case, I thought the extra money required for a track steer (rather than a wheel unit) to power the earth auger would be well spent. After it was arranged with a near-by equipment rental place, it showed up on a bright and warm morning. Nice machine, four cylinder common rail engine with a turbo the size of a grapefruit. I like old machinery as a rule, but there is something to be said for all the electronics and hydraulic controls -- even air conditioning -- how very decadent!



    We needed to blow those 30" holes down to 5' to get below the frost line, so with that, we went to work. The first hole went fine, dry clay for the first couple of feet, then increasingly sticky from there down. Following the advise I'd been given, I kept the rotational speed up and the feed down modest, and pulled out to spin-clear the chunks regularly. When I started on the second hole though, trouble reared it's ugly head. Drops began appearing on the cab's glass front window. Rain? On such a bluebird day? No -- that's hydraulic oil -- s***!!! I shut down, got out and looked, and the cause was obvious -- the hoses for auger motor had gotten pinched between the mount and the lift arms, and had been cut.

    So, I had to make a call to the rental place, and they promised to send out a mechanic. That shot a good few hours, but when the guy showed up, he immediately agreed that what happened was not my fault -- that was good news! He was good at his job too, and he had everything that he needed with him. In a very short time we were back in business, now with the hoses tied with rope to stay out of harms way.

    So back at it we went. It took a little practice to get so you could keep the drill plumb as it went down, but we got the hang of it. Before we knew it, we had twelve of the twenty holes dug. On hole thirteen though, we got a surprise. When working in Canadian Shield country like here, you never can be sure about how far down it might be to bedrock. This new footprint is only about 60 ft from our house, which has a full basement throughout, and there is no exposed shelf anywhere near us. Nevertheless, after going down about four feet on this hole there was a new, solid banging noise, and the drill would go no farther. That was it, every other hole after that, as I worked back closer to the road, hit bedrock, some at as little as three feet. Here's a picture of the bottom of one of those holes, a rock face that I think we can safely say no human eyes have ever seen.



    Forgive me, but I'm a bit of a rock nerd, and as I cleaned out the bottom six inches or so that the auger won't remove, I noticed that the clay there was oddly striated. I took a picture of those bottom sediments (with a quarter for scale) and sent it to my geologist son. He said that it was a prime example of "varved" clay, and that it was most likely deposited there at the bottom of a Pleistocene glacier lake -- pretty cool!



    Here's some shots of what our yard looks like now -- oy! vat a mess!





    Next -- I'll be welding up the re-bar armatures that will include threaded sockets for the post anchor brackets.

    Tom

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Why can I not see any of your images? I'm looking forward to seeing them....
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    Why can I not see any of your images? I'm looking forward to seeing them....
    They show fine for me!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    Why can I not see any of your images? I'm looking forward to seeing them....
    Gee, I don't know? They are hosted on Google+ -- so maybe I should check my privacy settings again?

    Tom

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    I'm seeing them fine.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Maybe my computer is blocking them? It's super slow lately. I'll check again when I'm home tonight.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  16. #16
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Its great to see your boatbuilding activities coming back to life after such a knock.The best advice on this thread is in post #9.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Nice looking shed Tom. I’m interested in the plastic drum pier forms that you are using and where/how they are used - if you have a slab floor I’m wondering why you need the pier forms? Here in Oz we’d just drill the footing holes and pour them (essentially using the holes as the form) with re-bar sitting proud to tie into the slab re-bar and then pour the slab over the top.
    Larks

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    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    Why can I not see any of your images? I'm looking forward to seeing them....
    Does this work?...





  19. #19
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Tom,
    Interested to see how your " site-cast reinforced concrete column piers, and there will be a insulated concrete floating slab floor. " will work!
    No grade beams?
    Any control joints?
    Is this system your design, or is there an engineer involved?
    I love those "side bays for tool/material" designs!!
    Cheers.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    I checked on my computer here at home and it's showing fine. A lovely structure. I love the barn look it has. It's going to be one heck of a nice shop. My brother's building one as well now but won't post until he's further along. Afraid of criticism or something. Keep at it. It's looking great.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  21. #21
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    This is going to be fun to watch.
    A ship is safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

    http://www.seadreamerproject.com
    http://www.youtube.com/c/SixPointsWoodWorks

  22. #22
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Late 50's Ford 600,800 with 700 series loader? Awesome project. I'm always hunting for clay. Hard to find close to the surface in my area.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Quote Originally Posted by raycon View Post
    Late 50's Ford 600,800 with 700 series loader? Awesome project. I'm always hunting for clay. Hard to find close to the surface in my area.
    Good call, that's Henry, he's been a family member since my Dad brought him home new from our local Ford tractor dealer in 1956. He's a model 640, and I added the Ford model 19 loader about 25 years ago. My Dad taught me to drive Henry when I was about 10, and I taught both my boys to drive him too. If my luck holds, I hope to teach my grandson on him too in a few more years.

    Tom

  24. #24
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    The building is going to be timber framed, but with "built up" timbers made with stacked 2x8's and 2x10's. It will all be local white pine, cut at one of our many Amish sawmills. Those guys do nice work, are a pleasure to do business with, and produce the lumber at $.45/bf -- pretty hard to beat. I'm also doing it that way because it cuts down on moving a lot of heavy chunks about. I'm working mostly by myself, and I will grudgingly admit that I just don't have the grunt that I had 30 years ago. Also, I have a big, powerful Delta/Rockwell radial arm saw with roller tables on both sides. I should be able to do almost all the cutting required with that one machine.

    This will make for a fairly light structure, but with lots of sail area, so I want to make sure that it is securely tied down. I want to have two 1/4" steel angle brackets at each pier, bolted down to the concrete, with the posts through-bolted between. However, as the bents will be assembled on the slab before raising, I don't want a lot of 1/2" studs sticking up out of the surface. So what I decided to do was to weld up #4 rebar armatures to be cast in the concrete. Four of the full length bars would have long 1/2'x13 coupling nuts welded to their ends, and these would be flush with the finished surface. This would be handy for frame raising too, as I will make four extended height angles to act as "backstops" when hoisting the bents.

    That called for a simple welding jig, so you see it here.







    Next, we'll be preparing the holes for setting the forms.

    Tom

  25. #25
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    So now to prepare the holes for setting the forms. Our water table is crazy high after the wet, wet Summer have we had, so first we have to de-water the holes with a pump.



    Then dump in 10" of crushed limestone.



    Then compact the hell out of it with the "spirited application" of an 8" tamper.



    Getting into and out of the holes called for a "special purpose" ladder, so we whipped one up.



    And here's a delivery of a few more of the plastic pier forms.



    So here's all twelve of the deep forms set. They still need to be plumbed-up in their final positions, but we're getting there.



    The other eight holes are on bedrock, so I will drill and pin some rebar into the granite. Then I will have to think of a way to scribe the footings so they can be cut to match the irregular rock surface -- anybody got any ideas?

    Tom

  26. #26
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    I don't have Amish mills nearby, but I do have a couple of local mills. Roughly the same BF price too. Better wood, locally sourced at a better price - what's not to like?

    Will you have a frame raising party? I've done a couple & they are great fun. Get the bents up in a hurry too!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  27. #27
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Bedrock piers: figure the height, use the builder's level to sight a frame around the hole & measure down to the bedrock?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  28. #28
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Don't scribe the footings. After installing the pins, pour in just enough cement to level it, let it set up and then set in the footings.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Why do you need to pin into the bedrock? And, why do you need a footer if it's on bedrock? Did a soils engineer tell you to do this?

    Jeff

  30. #30
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Quote Originally Posted by ulav8r View Post
    Don't scribe the footings. After installing the pins, pour in just enough cement to level it, let it set up and then set in the footings.
    That's not a bad idea! I might just do that...

  31. #31
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Why do you need to pin into the bedrock? And, why do you need a footer if it's on bedrock? Did a soils engineer tell you to do this?

    Jeff
    Well, you're right, I probably could do without the pins, but there is ground water in some of the holes and that makes it hard to get the rock face clean for good adhesion. And of course you're right about the footings too, but (not knowing I would strike bedrock) I made all the plastic footing/piers in advance, so I might just as well use them now. Also -- if I took the footing forms off the pier columns, some of them would then be too short to reach batter board height.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Well, I lost a full week by being called away by "work-work" -- you know, the kind that pays the bills. Back into the fray now though...

    In order to position the forms exactly where they need to be, I located new string line points, offset 7" (the forms are 14" in dia.) from the center lines. Then, it was just a question of getting the forms plumb and in the right spot. Then I back-filled carefully around them, checking to be sure that they weren't knocked out of wack.



    Oh, and here's a picture of the base forms before they were dropped in, The small holes around the rims are there to insure that no large air pockets can develop when they are filled.



    All twelve of the deep holes were done the same way, then it was time to address the "bedrock" holes. A problem arose when the tail end of tropical storm Nate came through. We got about 3" of rain from that, and it damn near filled up the holes, and raised the water table still higher. This was going to make it just about impossible to clean the rock faces off to insure good adhesion with the concrete. So, the best I could do was pump the holes out, one at a time, then quickly drill the rock and hammer some anchor pins in before they re-filled.



    For no particular reason, I decided that three 1/2" rods, 10" long, would be about right. It takes me about 5 minutes to drill each hole to about 3" deep. Then the #4 rebar is driven in with a 4 pound hammer. I love the sound that the steel makes as it's pounded in -- it rings, and each ring is at a slightly higher pitch as the rod effectively becomes shorter as it goes in. It makes me feel like an old Irish navvy, driving steel into rock.



    So that's how it's going. I'm expecting a visit from the county building inspector today, he's supposed to sign off on the forms before they can be filled, Times are changing here even in far-northern NY, we never used to have to deal with that sort of stuff. I've got a bunch more of the rebar armatures to weld up, but hopefully we can be ready to pour maybe late next week. No telling how much longer "concrete season" will last here now.

    Tom

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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Nice job so far

  34. #34
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    The weather has been holding nicely, and work has continued. We have positioned, plumbed, and back-filled all the form tubes. The back filling had to be done carefully so as not to knock the forms out of position, so a lot of stone was shoveled in by hand -- time consuming. At long last though, they were all in place and trimmed to final height.



    We cut a whole bunch of plywood plates to position the rebar cages in the forms.



    Ordinarily it would bother me to use a whole sheet of 3/4" for a throw-away job like that, but we cut those from a sheet we found floating in the river this Spring -- a freebee

    The hole in the center is made to accept one "Bigfoot" base form that I bought just to use as a giant funnel.



    The only other thing we needed to do was to get the building inspector to sign off on the form work. I didn't see him when he showed up, as I was welding rebar cages at my old shop. He left me a little note though -- I guess he didn't mind my "different way of doing things" too much.



    I have scheduled a delivery of 7 yrds of concrete by transit truck for Monday morning, along with the rental of a concrete vibrator. The plan will be to back the truck in between the forms and fill them straight from the shoot. That will be a nervous day, and I'll be relieved when it's done.

    Tom

  35. #35
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    Default Re: The new shop build

    Wonderful! What a cool inspector.

    Peace,
    Robert

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