Restoration Journal

Building the Shop
1. Building Shop
2. Building Stairs and Floor
3. Build Loft Railing
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Building the Shop

Well, the first thing I thought I needed to do when I decided to restore old cars (after deciding which cars I wanted) was to build a shop inside the barn so that I would have an organized place to work in the winter that I could heat without owning the utility company. The shop would have a loft (to organize and store parts from the cars as I was restoring them) above it so I decided to build a set of 4' stairs to the loft. That way I could utilize the loft that was currently unused in the barn.webassets/Unused-loft-space.JPG

 This barn had three old stall which I had previously closed the outside doors to and insulated them well. I also removed and sold the inside doors and put floors in the stalls for storage and work area. After I decided to build the workshop I decided to place it in the back corner of the barn and include one of the stalls. The stall is about 11'X11' and I decided to build a 12'X16' extension to that area to use as a shop. Well, it has been a very long time and a few concussions since I've built anything like this so you have to excuse a few mistakes and the first one was in making my measurement as an inside measurement instead of the outside measurement. Think about it! Six sheets of OSB plywood are 4'X8' or 12'X16" OUTSIDE MEASUREMENT. I measured to have 12'X16' for the inside dimensions initially and, of course, you have to take into account the 1 3/4" on both sides or 3" total of your ceiling or floor joists (depending on where you're standing). Well, I got that straightened out fairly quick and without much damage, except to my ego. Here is a picture of the old stall area that I included in the shop.

webassets/2-Old-stall-area.JPG First I built a 12' wall of 2"x4" stud lumber and three 2"x4"x12' pieces. This comes at a 90 degree angle from the back wall of the barn and is exactly square and plum using a good square and 4' level. Next I built the 16' wall. Now, since both of the walls had studs on 16" centers, there was a lot of lumber and a lot of weight. Now you have to understand that I'm doing all of this by myself. I had a couple of young guys that were supposed to help but both were no shows for whatever reason so I decided to go it alone. I'm 60 and in poor health at times but my Daddy always told me that a man just does what he has to so I started in doing it. That 16' wall was so heavy that I decided to use the gantry crane to lift it and it worked just fine. I attached a strap in the middle of the top of the wall and slowly lifted the wall up. After it was almost straight I was able to shift it around and get the end next to the stall nailed into place and then finally attached the other end to the first wall that I built. After I make sure that both walls were square and plum (straight up and down with the level), I anchored them to the concrete floor with 1/4"X31/4" "Tapcon" Screws.

I put a 10" ledger board against the back wall and, because I like to have added strength I placed extra support beneath it with 2"x4" to the floor. These will also have the pegboard screwed to them so they serve double purpose. This ledger board has joist hangers attached to it every 16" on center starting with the 12' wall I built. This is the ledger board and supports.webassets/11Ledger-Board-wall-installed.JPG To install the joists I used hurricane hangers (Figure 14A and 15A) on the 16' wall as guides for the beams as in Figure 16A and then rested the 12' beam on the ladder in Figure 16B.

webassets/14AHurricane-support.JPG     webassets/15AJoist-support.JPG

I then climbed the ladder and rested the beam on my shoulder and on up the ladder I climbed until I could push the beam up and into the joist hanger on the ledger board.

webassets/16A-joist-support.JPG     webassets/16B-joist-ladder.JPG 

After getting all of the joists or beams installed the last one is a little tricky by yourself so I adapted a hurricane tie for it in Figure 18 and Figure 17 shows the joists installed.

webassets/18end-adjusted.JPG    webassets/17Installed.JPG

Now it is time to take a break but I'll be back to tell you more and we'll bet started on the stairs. I've never built stairs before so this will be an experience. Gene


Now that I've taken a little break, let's look at a few of the tools you'll need. Now these are not all of them but these are the major ones.

Some Tools You'll Need

I thought I'd take a break from the usual post and tell you about some of the tools I used and made my life much easier while doing his construction. First, you need a good stable saw. I used a 12" Sliding Miter Saw from Harbor Fright with an extension roller for long pieces. (See below) Now, one of the most important tools I've used is my Dad's hammer that he left me and a big bucket of his nails. I figure that his nails will never let me down and will always hold strong. Now some of you may think there's nothing to that; but, are you sure? Gene

webassets/1C-12inch-MiterSaw.JPG   webassets/1E-Long-piece-support.JPG

webassets/1DCutting-setup.JPG   webassets/New-fangled-sawhorse.JPG

You'll need a couple of sawhorses to cut the stringers on and a good saw to cut them. I used a circular saw to begin and finished the cut with a zig-saw. Remember that on the stringers you DO NOT want to cut beyond your angle in the steps. That will greatly weaken your entire setup! You'll also want a regular hammer, a dead blow hammer to convince those stubborn pieces, a good tape measure, a few good pencils, a good angle square and some other miscellaneous tools as shown below.



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