First of all, congratulations!
Does your contractor/architect/designer know that you intend to load up
this new shop with several tons of cast iron? Has that been calculated
into the design of the girders and joists? You'd rather find that out
sooner than later.
There are sources of supply here in my area for wood flooring for trucks,
rail cars, etc. Utility grade, generally (here at least) something related
to oak. Pretty inexpensive, durable stuff. Sometimes sealed, generally
not 'finished' in the sense of what you would have in your den, although
you could, if you wanted. All depends on what you are going for. In
trucks, it's often laid on edge, like gluing up a workbench top. That
would add a lot of rigidity to the floor, and it would last forever.
My shop has to be able to revert to being a garage, when we sell the place.
So concrete is what I live with. And since everything gets moved around,
often, I don't use the padded mats, although I should. Wood floors are
reputed to be much easier on feet and knees, as well as on edge tools
responding to the call of gravity.
If I had the choice I would definitely go for a wood floor -- probably
tongue and grove pine over plywood or thick tongue and groove pine straight
on top of the joists. Wood is much nicer on the feet and legs than concrete.
Also, it is VERY nice to be able to screw things down to the floor. You
could either leave the floor unfinished or paint it. I suppose you could
also do some sort of clear finish but if you do I would aim for something
like oil so that it still looks OK once it's been dinged up.
Given that an average new house floor should be designed to support things
like pianos and fish tanks I doubt that you will need anything extra in the
way of framing BUT it is certainly worth checking. Of course if you plan to
install a 700 pound 14" tablesaw then that would be another story!
700 lb. Powermatic is about the heaviest thing. I will either locate it
on a girder or over a pair of joists with special support for it.
I will check into some type of cheap flooring boards. That may be the
cheapest and best alternative.
Bruce Hooke wrote:
This may be bucking the trend but given the choices available today, I would
use a CLP Urethane. It's flexible and durable. I would color it white as
well. This would provide the feel and all of the benefits of your wood
floor plus the ability to clean spills easily.
WOOD!! <G> It's easier on dropped edges and your legs.
Check local dealers (NOT BORGs) or chains like Lumber Liquidators, for
lower grade hardwood floors. It's got more discoloration and knots
than higher grades, but can often be had for a buck or so a square
I'm in a basement, with horse mats placed on concrete, and would kill
for the opportunity to work on a wood floor all day!
I have 3/4" T&G A/C Plywood painted with 2 coats of oil-based enamel "floor
and deck" paint. I mixed a can of white and a can of gray because I felt the
generic blattleship gray was a bit dark.
If you are already comitted to a standard framed floor, and aesthetics are
not a concern, I don't think that you can beat it for simplicity, cost and
It's not pretty, but it has all the benefits of wood and sweeps up very
well. I will probably recoat with the same in some areas only because I have
been sloppy with glue and shellac drips.
Since the price is going to vary by material and labor, I'd personally
go with "standard" 1 1/8" underlayment and the best industrial sheet
flooring that I could justify... something that would be warmer and
softer than cement, handles rolling cabinets and tools well and
(hopefully) takes less maintenance than a wood floor..
I would use wood too. My knees are shot after a day in the basement on
concrete (rubber mats help tho).
If I had your situation, I would try to plan the layout as carefully as
possible and then make provision for dust collection ducts under the
floor where possible and also electrical needs (220 etc) where you want
them. Also, dust collector outside the shop. And a separate finishing
room with good venilation.
Maybe you have done this already?
You have a lot of us jealous!
Best of luck!
I'm seeing a transition in kitchen appliances from grouping the main
appliances in a triangle so it's easy to work through preparing a meal with
less walking around to one where each task is set apart into (ideally) 4
sections each of which becomes a work station since now more than one
person helps prepare meals. (The Not So big House) Naturally I'm looking
at the shop to see how this translates to making my life easier in the
shop. Since you have a chanse to start a shop from scratch, how did you
determine the layout?
The minimum work triangle is still in fashion as far as I am concerned.
In the kitchen the preparation center including sink, dishwasher and
waste cans are in a large island that can be used by more than one
person. There is 3-4 feet on each side of the island to allow for wheel
chair access if it should become necessary. The stove/oven and refridge
are behind the worker at the sink making a small triangle.
The shop is not so well defined. My plan is for the table saw to be
placed in the center (18x25 feet). It has a big sliding table on the
left and a router under the extension-they share a fence. There will be
a European style work bench behind the saw operator and an assembly
table off to the side of that. I hope to have the thickness planer and
thicknes sander aligned relative to height so they can share the infeed
and outfeed tables. They will be along a wall that will also have an
SCMS. I don't think the extended bench will be at the same height as
the planer - but it would be nice if it were. I would like the jointer
near the saw because I often go between the two when working on a rough
piece of lumber. There will be a cyclone in the far corner( to keep the
noise out of my face). Another corner will have a small spray booth.
Drill press and jig saw float on wheels. Hand tool storage will need to
fit in whereever it can. Probably in drawers under the tables for the
sander/planer/SCMS. The shop is on a crawl space about 18 inches above
the garage floor. I can back the wagon up to a 6 ft door common to the
two and use the shop floor as loading platform to get supplies in as needed.
Hope it works!
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