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Old 11-14-09, 12:57 PM   #1
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Update on "The Studio™"


Why this picture means anything at all: My shop has been an ongoing project since I bought the house in 1999.

The shop is an independent structure, just 10'X20', but was the original home for the folks before building the house where I live. The building was even moved, manually, using logs as leverage from a spot 20' away to where it now sits, 35' from the house.

When I took posession of the property it was in very poor shape, half the floor caved in, raw and uninsulated save some cardboard applied in a vain attempt at protecting the inhabitants from harsh Colorado weather.

My vision for the space has changed over the years, but one aspect of it has never changed: it is solely mine. While the rest of the house down to my bedroom is shared, the shop has always been mine alone, a "man cave" if you will.

As a professional carpenter it has served as my tool storage and temporary workspace, with the help of a portable propane heater served as my brother's first residence in CO, with further efforts and some insulation it became my place of residence while going through a divorce, a refuge from sleeping with a woman who no longer loved me, yet still close to my children.

All sentiment aside, the main purpose has always been utility, an aspect hampered by the unfinished state. Once things stabilized for me, I took the project on to make it into what it should be: an independent entity. I'd had two conduits trenched in by a friend, one for power, the other for data...and still it sat for years powered only by a power cord stretched across the ground and WiFi for both phone and internet connections.

Progress was slow, just as materials or funds became available. Temporary lighting sufficed for a long time, the floor was shored up, windows were replaced with thermal panes and enlarged, workbenches built of recovered materials eventually got painted, full insulation and panels were installed, switch and outlet boxes installed, wiring was drilled and pulled, drywall was applied, pegboard was purchased and installed, trim nailed up, underlayment and vinyl flooring went down...all that I was awaiting was a permanent installation of power.

Recently I met an electrician/musician/communications specialist on a jobsite, formed a friendship and made an agreement to have him help me finish up the wiring job. Just yesterday, at noon, permanent power was applied, a few minor issues worked out...and then there was light! Rolling up the now unnecessary temporary power cord was one of the happiest moments in my life. Sure, it's still rough and needs more finishing and polish, but now I have heat, light, data, phone and audio either complete or with just minor work needed, and I can move on with my home-based bicycle repair business in the Spring.

Here's a few pics to show just how far this structure has come, both personally and physically.














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Old 11-14-09, 01:15 PM   #2
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Sweet! I am a sucker for wraparound workbenches and pegboards and hooks. I'm drooling over all your storage. I've had my eye on some prefab garden shed type thingies (with french doors) as a potential art studio (am currently using a corner in the spare room, and it sucks - I want a space that is purely MINE.) But I have to work on buying a house first.

By the way, what have you done for ventilation? (assuming you use solvents in there in the winter.)
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Old 11-14-09, 01:52 PM   #3
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Sweet! I am a sucker for wraparound workbenches and pegboards and hooks. I'm drooling over all your storage. I've had my eye on some prefab garden shed type thingies (with french doors) as a potential art studio (am currently using a corner in the spare room, and it sucks - I want a space that is purely MINE.) But I have to work on buying a house first.

By the way, what have you done for ventilation? (assuming you use solvents in there in the winter.)
That is one of the unresolved projects, but one I've planned for.

One of the switches at the door was to be for an exhaust fan, but once I started checking into it, I realized it needed to be an explosion-proof fan. Read: expensive, especially with the automatic shutter to seal it off from outside air when not in use. The circuit is still there and my plan is to build an enclosure on the end of the building for a dust extraction system. I have a nice one by Grizzly, and once it's plumbed in will serve dual duty as an evacuation system by just opening the vent. Technically not explosion-proof, but anything super caustic would be used outside anyway. I can also open up all the windows and the cross ventilation is very good.

I should show you some pics of the prefab shed I finished out for my Dad. It has the double doors on one end and is designed as an artist's studio, unlike mine designed for tinkering.
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Old 11-14-09, 01:57 PM   #4
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tools, TOOLS - I LUVS TOOLS!

Can I move in thar? I'm sure Ming would love it!
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Old 11-14-09, 04:25 PM   #5
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That's a fantastic man-cave. What is the base structure made from? It looks like either rock or large concrete blocks. Love the shot in the winter. It looks like the perfect place to hang out in when it's cold and snowy and drink some hot chocolate
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Old 11-14-09, 05:24 PM   #6
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That's a fantastic man-cave. What is the base structure made from? It looks like either rock or large concrete blocks. Love the shot in the winter. It looks like the perfect place to hang out in when it's cold and snowy and drink some hot chocolate
It's built of roughsawn lumber, conventionally framed.

The foundation is the real issue. Poured with a very shallow footer, the ground can freeze and heave, which is why the floor slopes from one end to the other. Oh well, not much I can do about that now.

The block wainscot is probably the main reason it's still standing. Splash from the roof dripline tends to rot out most wooden siding, as does snow sitting up against it. Considering how little maintenance was done to it over the years (it was built in 1970), I've no doubt it'd be sitting on the ground by now without it. If the weather holds out I'd still like to fill in the unused side door with block and siding.



Oh, and thanks Alfster. This is the first Winter I'll have hardwired heat, a 220V baseboard register under each window. My electrician told me that just one would've been adequate for the space, but placing them under the windows creates a convection envelope that should help efficiency as well as make it nice and toasty in a short time. Still, I'm keeping the heat set at about 50-55F. The point is to keep it from freezing, yet still comfortable to work even when dressed for the outdoors.

I do have a small beer fridge out there. I'll have to check into a small coffeemaker for it too.
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Old 11-14-09, 05:53 PM   #7
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Very Cool. Me Likey!
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Old 11-14-09, 10:23 PM   #8
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Moar pics.











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Old 11-14-09, 10:27 PM   #9
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Where is your bed?
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Old 11-14-09, 10:43 PM   #10
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Damn, dude, that place has come a long-ass way since you had to push **** out of the way to even open the door. Excellent work!
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Old 11-14-09, 10:53 PM   #11
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Did you cover up the fishing hole in the floor?


It's looking awesome.
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Old 11-14-09, 11:07 PM   #12
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I should show you some pics of the prefab shed I finished out for my Dad. It has the double doors on one end and is designed as an artist's studio, unlike mine designed for tinkering.
Hey, that would be cool, if you have some available. I'd like to see that.
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Old 11-15-09, 03:40 AM   #13
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Holy crap. Is that a current picture? Like yesterday? It's short sleeve weather here in Ohio.

The older I get, the more I hate snow.
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Old 11-15-09, 09:28 AM   #14
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Holy crap. Is that a current picture? Like yesterday? It's short sleeve weather here in Ohio.

The older I get, the more I hate snow.
I know a good system has been hitting the rockies since Friday, but that sure seems like a lot of snow in the pic. We're at the bottom edge of that weather system and the town got 2 inches. Hopefully the ski hill fared better. Still a looong way from opening.

Oh, and snow rules. I love everything about it - the look, sound, feel. Maybe when I get old enough to break a hip while slipping on it I might get tired of snow. Hopefully that's about 40 years away.

Oh, and that is an awesome man cave! Color me jealous.
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Old 11-15-09, 09:58 AM   #15
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Where is your bed?
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Old 11-15-09, 10:38 AM   #16
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Hey, that would be cool, if you have some available. I'd like to see that.
I'll look for some.
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Where is your bed?
Don't laugh...I spent a Winter in there with nothing but a propane job heater for warmth. It really sucks when the propane runs out in the middle of the night. Now with the heaters wired in, I could just throw a mattress down for a quick temporary guest quarters.
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Holy crap. Is that a current picture? Like yesterday? It's short sleeve weather here in Ohio.

The older I get, the more I hate snow.
No, that was just after painting it the same colors as the house. There's some snow here now, but only a few inches.
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Damn, dude, that place has come a long-ass way since you had to push **** out of the way to even open the door. Excellent work!
Thanks Alex. It has come a long way. Now it's almost decadent.
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Did you cover up the fishing hole in the floor?


It's looking awesome.
I guess it did kinda look like an ice fishing shack in that pic. It'd be easier to name what part of that building I haven't worked on than what I have. At first it was only usable as a bear-proof trash storage, then a shed, then a tent...now a fairly respectable studio workspace.

My electrician went between complaining and laughing at the sheer number of outlets and devices we wired up. Six independent lighting circuits (Five since one pair we tied together, though I may change that back later), three heaters with a thermostat, fourteen data ports, 220V dryer plug (in case I want to plug in a welder), hardwired audio cable, switched exhaust fan, phone and somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-50 outlets. Some small houses don't have as much copper, but I figured that you can never have too many available plugs.
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Old 11-15-09, 03:11 PM   #17
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Nice job! I like the tile on the floor, makes it all cozy-like. OMG on the snow! I really want to go for a snowshoe hike right now.
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Old 11-15-09, 04:54 PM   #18
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Nice tools.
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Old 11-15-09, 08:01 PM   #19
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Nice job! I like the tile on the floor, makes it all cozy-like. OMG on the snow! I really want to go for a snowshoe hike right now.
Thanks Shadiyah.

It's actually cheap dollar store vinyl peel & stick. The pattern was only due to them not having enough of one type. Shop work is rough on flooring so I wanted something cheap and easy to replace. Hard to beat $0.25/tile.

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Nice tools.
Thanks pcad, though of course I need more.
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Old 11-15-09, 08:47 PM   #20
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You need a digital torque wrench.

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Old 11-27-09, 05:36 PM   #21
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Before


Middle

Yesterday

Today

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Old 11-27-09, 05:57 PM   #22
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Impressive!
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Old 11-27-09, 09:57 PM   #23
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Impressive!
Thanks!

You should've seen it when first I laid eyes on it...the house too! The place was a wreck, neglected for years, rented out to shady characters after the builders passed away and repaired with duct tape and baling wire by the son that was just interested in the rent check. Holes in the floor, horrid wood paneling everywhere, chimneys on the roof caving in, three layers of carpet...the place looked like a crackhouse. We've made a lot of improvement both inside and out, though there's always plans for more.

I'm just glad to get the exterior of the studio wrapped up. There's still a bit to do inside, but it's heated now so I can do that even if it snows.
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Old 11-27-09, 09:59 PM   #24
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holy crap... it's snowing...

how's the heating in that place?
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Old 11-27-09, 10:06 PM   #25
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holy crap... it's snowing...

how's the heating in that place?
It doesn't get that warm, but warm enough for work.

The baseboard heaters are above the bench under the windows. It helps the heat from escaping, but it would've been more optimal to put them on the floor. I'm looking into hanging a small fan from the roof peak to push the air back down. If that doesn't do the trick, I may just put a cube heater under the portion used for my desk. The only time it feels cold is sitting at the computer.
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