NEW SHOP IDEAS

i have the opportunity to set up a new shop in my basement. it measures approximately 20x40, less the stairwell and an area which is roughed in for a full bath. i also have an attached two-car garage with access from the basement.
over the next few months/years, i want to develop areas for turning and general woodworking using tools i now own and some new purchases.
now for the catch. the house was built on a peninsula which is subject to flooding. the basement is really the area enclosed by the foundation which is eight feet high to raise the house up above the hundred year flood plain. in september 2003, hurricane isabel caused tidal flooding which came 4-5 feet up the foundation. since the house was designed to withstand this type of flood, there was minimal damage and the basement was virtually empty at the time. this type of flood could never happen again, or could happen again tomorrow. a lesser flood is almost guaranteed within the next few years.
i can't stand to leave this 800 square-foot concrete block room with a cement floor and 9 foot ceilings just used for junk. on the other hand, i don't want to someday see the same area filled with junk which used to be thousands of dollars worth of machinery, tool and supplies.
i am open for suggestions, ideas, inspirations and advice of any type. a friend of mine has already suggested a raised floor supported on floats which would then rise with the water level. i actually pondered this idea until i had the vision of the drill press coming up through the living room carpet. the point being that no idea is out of bounds.
thanks for taking time to read this, and thanks in advance for any input.
Martin Caskey Millers Island, Maryland
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

Check with your insurance company about how they will cover anything damaged in such an area of the house. Then devise an equipment evacuation plan if they won't cover it, or if you'd rather keep what you have than fill out insurance paperwork Joe
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wrote: : > i have the opportunity to set up a new shop in my basement. it measures : > approximately 20x40, less the stairwell and an area which is roughed in : > for a full bath. i also have an attached two-car garage with access : > from the basement. : >
Use the garage for cutting equipment, the basement for assembly, finishing and wood storage. Wall racking for wood storage, shelving for hand tools/sanders/routers etc. Build a downdraft sanding station, a couple nice big assembly benches, a couple finishing benches. Nice problem to have!
-Brian
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Joe Gorman wrote:

and excellent point - which i should have considered before i even began dreaming of a new shop.
that reminds me, i need to send the flood insurance renewal invoice to the mortgage company!!!
Martin Caskey Millers Island, Maryland
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As a Kansas flat-lander I am not familiar with the type of flooding you get with hurricanes, surges, etc. Regarding your "minimal damage" comment, did water enter the basement during the flood? If so, was it sudden or something that can be pumped (sounds doubtful)?
Even here in OZ we have basement flooding problems that can be controlled with sump pumps. In fact, the soil around our view-out basement is so permiable that I have installed a high capacity submergable sump pump and a backup battery operated system. However, I am sensing this kind of equipment would have to "pump the ocean dry" in your case.
If pumping is not an option, I would be very reluctant to put a lot of valuable machinery and tools in this environment. I would certainly make sure your insurance coverage is good before doing so. If you have direct access from garage to basement, maybe there is a compromise - heavy equipment upstairs and bench , smaller tools down. I certainly wouldn't want to be put into a position of carrying 200-500 pound machines up a flight of stairs in the heat of a hurricane situation.
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RonB wrote:

oh yeah!!! you have to imagine a foundation built eight feet up from ground level with a three story house built on top of that. the basement is all above ground level. it is actually designed to flood without being damaged. there are "flood vents" the size of one concrete block located in all of the walls about 1 foot above ground level. once the water reaches that level, the vents are supposed to release and let the water flow freely through the foundation. this keeps pressure from building up on the foundation. i'm originally from the hills of southeastern ohio, so this concept was a little foreign to me, too. Martin Caskey Millers Island, Maryland
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Novel... I suppose you could rig a pulley system and lift tools a few feet into the air. Or rather than float the floor - float the tools. Wonder what kind of outrigger and sponsons you need to float a drill press.
What about just having a few buckets of cosmoline standing by? If a flood seemed imminent, you'd "waterproof" what ever you could. And then embark on a vigorous drying activity , using the cases of WD-40 you stockpiled, when the waters recede?
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How about a biblical suggestion?
Build an Ark.
When the floods come, load up the ark and float until it is over. Secure well.
When flood is over, put the tools back.
You might want to factor in some room for the wife and family pets as well.
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Here is a maybe wacko idea.
Build a floor in the space that is thick enough to contain enough styrofoam/kapok/ping-pong balls to be able to float all your tools should there be a flood. A truely floating floor ;-)
Might have to invest in light weight tools, though.
--
Frank Stutzman


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In a recent issue of Playboy, there is a cartoon --
He and she, on the rear deck of an Ark. Two-by-two's of Wooly mammoth, saber-tooth tiger, pteradon, several varieties of dragons, etc., in view, aboard.
Caption, underneath: "Honey, I think we may have taken the _wrong_boat_"
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Depending on how much water you could get in the basement and how tall you are, you could build a platform, say 3' off the floor and put the tools on that. If you're under 6' tall, you could put the heavy equipment on that, use the area under it for wood storage. That would protect the equipment from some flooding. I would be sure that the flood insurance would cover a complete loss though.
brian
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Not sure of the arrangement or geology, etc but build a concrete wall surround with an impermiable door system and just let the floods come on. Not sure if cinder block is waterproof, maybe with some coating. You could start with a two foot wall to care for the small floods first if cost is an issue and add a foot every few months as time/money allow. Heck, the door could even be a section that you just close up if you hear a flood is coming and just build a damn across the openiing until it subsides.
You did say any wild idea.
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