Jump to content

Recommended Posts

My dad is looking at building a modest new workshop in his garden.  This will be really light engineering stuff, a small lathe, mill and drill press. The main activities will be related to clock and watch repair, rather than the kind of activities undertaken on here, although I'm hoping to gain use for the odd bit of machining once my life allows work to resume on the car.

My starting points are that good insulation and airtightness will help keep it comfortable and combat rusting of tools & that you can never have too much light. But I'm a great believer in learning from other peoples mistake where possible, so though here is a good place to ask about everyone's workshop experiences, good and bad.

So fire away, what features of your working spaces work well, what doesn't, what would you want in an ideal world?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You say airtightness, but the key to dry space is good ventilation. And of course keeping the wet stuff out in the first place. 

Maybe some insulation will help, but worth trying to position the workshop so it catches the sun. My garage does and it makes a huge difference when the sun is out, even in the winter.

A good damproof membrane will be needed under the floor to stop damp ingress that way.

Plenty of windows, decent electrics and if you can arrange it, decent heating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Airtightness?  No!  Strong recipe for condensation and all that that implies - ask any ventilation engineer (not me)

I live in nearly the dampest part of the UK, and my garage is water tight, but with very ill-fitting doors, so the wind whistles through.

And although in winter I use a butane powered space heater, I get NO condensation or surface rusting.

Warm air that I or my heater exhale is loaded with water vapour, that will condense on a cold metal surface as soon as it cools.     When a car cames in that is wet with rain, it drips onto the floor, so that is damp, but the cold air blowing through is dry, sucks it up and dries it out.

Ventilation is the most imporatnt factor in keeping tools and parts rust free, not the reverse, "airtightness"

John

PS Oh! zetecspit got there first!  I could have said Plus one for ventilatuion and left it at that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm stressing air tightness of the construction so that ventilation can be controlled. Through windows and possibly an extract fan, but in general making it air tight doesn't prevent good levels of ventilation, just the unwanted stuff (that can bring moisture in).

 

There should be minimal moisture ingress, basically latent gains off people, wet shoes and any brews.  He's got a dehumidifier so that should deal with any moisture that gets in and I'm suggesting plaster board walls to give some humidity buffering capabilities to reduce condensation issues.

 

I agree that it's tricky to combat condensation issues in what is likely to be an intermittently heated space, but my thought is that you build it airtight and can then control the ventilation levels rather than make it leaky and get what you're given.  Although if people don't tend to have condensation issues with well ventilated spaced that they hear and let go cold then l'll have a re think

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you need the advice of a good builder or architect.   A workshop that will be appointed as well as a domestic room, and lined with plaster board needs a vapour barrier between the room lining and the outer insulation.     This plastic/foil film should be on the warm side of the insulation, or else the vaour will condense on the cold side and give you wet walls and floors.

Much simpler having a near open brick-built shed! BUt then your dad won't be confortable sitting doing his clock making in an open shed.

John

Edited by JohnD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Difficult to convey on my phone last night, but I do have some idea of what I'm talking about with this!  I'm a building services engineer by trade so have experience with similar problems (have designed systems for labs and archives) and have access to software to do condensation analysis, so I'm hopeful we won't end up with anything horrendous.  I appreciate the help and advice, but I remain hopeful that the strategy of building tight and being able to control the ventilation will be the key to making a warm space work such that when it cools you won't have issues with condensation.

The reason why I'm not sold on the open shed route is the idea that heating this just seems a bit wasteful.  As John has alluded to, open sheds are never going to be particularly comfy all year round and that's why I'm thinking about going a different route.

Anyway,  what sort of layouts do you guys have?  standing or seated benches, any good lighting tricks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, egret said:

Anyway,  what sort of layouts do you guys have?  standing or seated benches, any good lighting tricks?

My garage is cold and drafty. I like your idea of a well insulated and heated workshop :-)

The one thing I like most in the workshop is light, and plenty of it. I prefer lights from different angles, both ceiling mounted light but also on the walls, so you don't shadow for yourself. 

So lightning:, armatures like the one pictured. Plenty of them both on the wall and ceiling. I prefer the closed type as they are easier to clean. For the workbench it must be accompanied by a swiveling light.

 

 

 TCW060 vådrumsarmatur med G13 1 x 36 W-7532013-31

Cheers

 

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good question, while not a luddite, I'm not certain he's embraced the internet sufficiently to want a connection in there just yet.  He doesn't currently own an internet connected device other than the household PC...  There will be plenty of power so chucking in a network cable should be peanuts really.

I like the idea of sealed ip rated light fittings, much easier for cleaning & gives a sense of purpose to a room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, a comfortable workshop should have the same conditions as your living room, esp. if your old dad will sopend time there.

A watchmakers workshop will be a bit different from  garage, with wet cars,  spilt coolant, exhaust and petrol fumes, which are further reasons for good ventilation!   But even a living room needs ventilations as you must know, given your expertise, which also menas that you are not seeking advice on the build but of the comforts it should contain.

Does your dad work standing or sitting?   A warm floor to stand on, and a comfortable chair - but then he probaly already has one that he works from if that's his practice, but for standing the height is critical for comfort.    Whatever the activity a BIG work bench, with LOTS of storage space.  A watchmaker probably needs small drawers, rather than big cupboards.    A good light, esp. over the bench, so fluorescent as above.    I just bought myself an Anglepoise type lamp, that I have mounted IN the bench, by drilling a hole for the stem, that has a large magnifying glass in the shade, so that I can position it over fine work and look through the lens at it, in optimal lighting.

A sink!   Can be nice to wash the hands before you go back into the house, but even better if there is a power supply (not next the sink, but you know that too) for tea/coffee as required.

An intercom!   I suppose today, 'er indoors could ring you up on the mobile when supper's ready, but a dedicated channel easier.     A baby monitor can work like a 2-way radio, and some can include video one way.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×