The major move of 2014…coming home.

4 Feb

I have been tweeting about my shop move but have not shared a single scrap of information about it on my blog- so here goes! From the beginning…

What to do…

In the early fall my mom made the decision to put her house on the market. This meant two things; we as a family would have to go through tons of belongings to help her make the eventual move, and I would need to find a new shop. My existing shop was sitting on her land- in one of two outbuildings. As you can imagine this set some things into motion.

I felt the best way to deal with the new-found dilemma of what to do with my shop was to be proactive. In the event of a quick sale I didn’t want to be stranded, and winter snow always literally blocked in my shop- so I had to figure things out quickly. I bounced between the ideas of storing my shop tools or finding a shop space. I didn’t like the idea of storing my tools too much because it would mean two moves, one into storage and one out to a shop when I did eventually find one. Even though it was the cheaper option I also wouldn’t be able to use my tools if they were piled into a storage unit. I reached out to a friend with a shop space to see if we could work something out. He unfortunately did not have the space for my tools, but through talking with him further, he suggested I ask his friend in the building about storing my tools. A meeting was arranged with said friend and a great opportunity arose- his friend had been tentatively looking for someone to rent 1/3 of his shop! We made plans for my move and to have the space I was to take over vacated. I was elated to come away with an actual shop space and not just storage. I was also glad not to have a car payment- because this extra expense could still be shoe-horned into my budget.

The move…

I moved on November 8th 2014. I was ever thankful to have lots of help that day, so all I needed to spring for was, pizza, a 5x8x5 u-haul trailer and the gas money for my sister’s truck. The u-haul trailer had a very low bed so things worked out- though we did have to take the wings off of the table saw in order for it to be light enough to lift. Moving day itself was pretty great, it was done within three hours and only the drill press had a tumble. I did have to make many trips with my hatchback to get wood, and other miscellaneous tools that were not priorities on moving day (ie. not heavy and easily moved by one person) during the following weeks.

The wall…

The next phase after the move was to build a wall to create more usable vertical space for both shops, among other reasons. The pictures below capture the progress I made during the months that followed- right up until present day!

Farewell old friend

Packing up my old shop.

My brand new shop right after the move.

My brand new shop right after the move.

My little "pickup"

Hauling 2x3s for the wall

Let there be a wall!

The building begins.

The beginnings of a wall

And so began my first real construction project.


The ceilings are roughly 10′ high but 2x3s that were 10′ long were about double the price of ones that were 8′ long… so I went with my wallet.

Sheet rock mania

The first sheets of drywall went up!

Half way there...

It felt pretty darn good to have half of the wall up.

Going vertical...

I was running out of floor space to assemble my walls so I used the existing wall to hold my new studs.

Lucky or stupid...

I then very slowly balanced the wall while sliding it into place…I really should have had someone else to help at this point. I clamped temporary blocks in place to hold one end while I used tap cons on the other side to secure it.

Transparent walls...

The view from the other side of the “wall”

Coming together...

Finally I added in the last section and attached everything together.

Drilling for all you're worth...

I found out that drilling into concrete was difficult, and repeating had a definite tiring effect on the body- and drilling into the ceiling against gravity had a dusty sweaty hurty effect on the body. Ouch.

Up up and away...

Please never… ever again.

The world closing in on my wee shop...

I cannot claim that these walls are plum or true but I can claim they are more trustworthy than the wall opposite in this photo- which is pretty flimsy.

Hardware store, I miss you.

I never thought I had enough sheetrock with the first guestimate run, but little did I know I was one sheet shy- darn it.


Nevertheless I needed to make another trip to the hardware store to get plywood for french cleats and hardboard for the doors which I intended to custom build, so throw in another sheet of drywall why don’t you. I didn’t mind staggering the cost of the build along with the trips to the hardware store.

Wrapping it up...

As agreed upon with my shop partner, the top of the wall just received some plastic so that light could pass through to the other shop. I got out my staple gun and went to town.

So this happened....

I was still moving things into the shop during the wall build, and at one point glass covered every surface- a rare sight in a wood-shop.

Quills and vases and oil lamps oh my!

This was from my previous career as a glass-blower. I had some items that needed permanent storage so I brought it all over and packed it all up neatly into a corner of the shop.

Why not build everything, she said...

Next up I had to fill the two gaping holes in my wall with something door-like

I will never be hired as a contractor...

Doors did result after some cobbling together- but it wasn’t pretty let me tell you. I will never again attempt to build with accuracy using warped construction grade lumber.

Step 1 million, build frame and shim into door way...

I can’t say I will be in a rush to hang doors any time soon either, but lessons were learnt. Also youtube can make anything look easy.

Where did I put that fourth drill down?

As I mentioned on twitter- it took ALL THE TOOLS.

Glee is not just a tv show...

But finally there were doors, and they were hung- damn it.

The more the merrier...

Going against all reason the second door didn’t turn out as well as the first- it works though (that’s me not only lowering the bar, but leaving it there).

Thrifting with style

The final steps were to trim out the doors and wall. Mouldings are pricey so I thought the leftover hardboard cut into strips would suffice. I quite like it actually.


With the wall built it certainly looked bare- so I set to work right away with french cleats. I wanted a wall system that was changeable since I have no real idea if the current layout will work in the long term. The peg board can be lifted off of the cleat and placed elsewhere.

A place to lay my hat...

I also figured out really quickly that I needed to build cleats for bulky items that shouldn’t gobble up work-surface real-estate.

My bad.

One last detail was the other side of my wall…It was not white and kind of darkened the other shop.

Bright whites...

So I grabbed the can of paint I happened to have and brightened up the place.

Ahh that's better

Since the rest of the walls are white it also unifies the space again instead of drawing attention to a dark wall.

Relics from a scout camp...

As a finishing touch I grabbed some items from my old shop and put them up on the walls to make the place more homey.

Mission complete

So this is where I am as of a week or two ago, now it’s time to work IN the shop!

So as you can see the dimensions are long and narrow, my new shop is roughly 10’x40′. I have a shop tour video to share in the coming days so stay tuned! Happy woodworking!


One Response to “The major move of 2014…coming home.”

  1. Judi Watson February 4, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

    Hello from Quebec! Thank you for the update, it’s not easy hauling things around. The doors look great in the end, lots of gyp on that wall, looking forward to your builds AND Spring.

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