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Old 12-29-2014, 06:04 PM   #1
christopher.layton
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Default Hood River Workshop

Backstory:
Just as the One Car Garage Woodshop got off the ground we got new jobs and moved to the small town of Hood River, OR. We found a great little 50s rancher that’s well-maintained but never been “updated.” This is great news, and the house retains its built-in cabinetry and most of its fixtures from the 50s. We moved in over Labor Day and life has been full of new jobs and unpacking.

What I now have to work with:
A Garage:
I have an attached single car garage that will be used as—gasp!—a garage, at least for now. It snows here, and having our main car in a garage is important for my wife (and, therefore for me). This has a bench that I will use for storing tools and supplies for most household repairs. It won’t receive a whole lot of attention for now.





A Shop:
Yes, a shop! and look at it:


Okay, it needs some serious work! The roof needs replacing, as well as the siding (if you can call the plywood that now clads the shop’s exterior “siding.”) But, remarkably, it’s dry inside. And that’s a good thing because I do need a place to store my tools in the meantime. It’s just shy of 20 x 20. And, when I found it, it was a mess inside too (most of the junk came with the shop):





I am excited to have the space, though. I will update as I go. Keep in mind that I the pace will be slow during the school year, but come breaks I will be getting at it!
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

The shop will function as a woodshop during the summer months and during school breaks, and also house my Vanagon when the weather’s bad or when I’m not working in the shop. It’s a tight fit for the van on the east side of the garage.

Over the past few months I have thought about how best to use the space, and about which order to tackle projects. Any exterior work will wait until summer. I’ve cleaned out most of the junk, and stored some of the “it may not be junk, we’ll see” in the lean-to on the west side of the shop (beyond the concrete block wall in the pictures).
So that wall in the middle of the shop. It’s sitting on a concrete footing but is not load-bearing.I think that someone added on to the shop at some point (which would explain the funky roof). I decided to make a bench to separate the full-time woodworking half of the shop from the part-time Vanagon storage half. It’s a tight fit, but still much larger than the One Car Garage that used to have.





Tight fit! (also, look: My wife got me a HF 44” Box for my birthday, one step closer to becoming a real Garage Journaler).

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Old 12-30-2014, 01:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Welcome to the Hood!
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Chris: how do you like living in Hood River? the few times I've been in that town i really liked the area and the people. it isn't an easy time this time of year around here to pull everything outside and do some work on your shop and garage so maybe put painting the cement block walls with a good sealer on the top of the list for late spring or early summer.

those kind of walls usually always weep some moisture so it doesn't help keep your stuff from rusting when you probably don't heat your shop during the winter.

are you building a nice workbench on that stub wall? i'd love to have that much space instead of leasing what i do, but some day i'll be moving out of the city and have some of my own.

i also like that view of the mountain over the top of the shop.

good luck
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

NICE! Happy to see this thread pop up.

Can you post a few more exterior pics? And, if possible, draw up a floor plan (literally a napkin sketch would do) to help us visualize the space?
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by rieferman View Post
NICE! Happy to see this thread pop up.

Can you post a few more exterior pics? And, if possible, draw up a floor plan (literally a napkin sketch would do) to help us visualize the space?
Yes I second the thought about more exterior shots and a floor plan. It's hard to visualize what you have. I have missed your posts in the other thread and some of the projects you did. You mentioned a a teaching position. What level?

Thanks
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Old 12-30-2014, 03:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Thanks for the welcome guys. We are enjoying life here, my wife's family lives here is is very helpful—especially with watching our toddler while we work. Because of the family connection, we'd already spent quite a bit of time up here. If you're not familiar with Hood River, it might come as a surprise that it's quite a resort-town, and acts like one economically. We feel fortunate to have both found stable family-wage jobs here, since so much of the town is seasonally-driven. I teach high school english (my first time doing that!) and will be teaching a high school woodshop elective (more on that later) for the spring term.

drivesitfar: thanks for the tip on the paint: This spring / summer paint, a new roof, and new siding is in order—at the very least. Maybe garage doors too. I am thinking of building some carriage doors for both bays.

rieferman and captain14: here are some better pics! The one's I had sure didn't communicate all that much
Some pics of the shop—Exterior:
South side:



East side:

North side:


A lean-to on the West side—full of junk and kid's toys:


A floor plan in the next post!
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Old 12-30-2014, 03:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Any thoughts on the construction sequence originally? What was first, then what was added later? In the Fire Service that type is construction would loosely by called
vernacular construction from Frank Brannigan's Building Construction for the Fire Service.

Now it is yours. The bay doors face an alley? How about a view of the mountains from inside the shop. We are waiting to see your ideas here.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Yes, the bay doors face an alley, not paved. Really quiet area though, so that's nice. The mountain is a bit obscured by the neighbor's house across the alley (nice guy though, should be on here, his garage is shaping up well too).

I don't have any more evidence than what I can see, but I think the cinderblock building on the west was first, and the east half was built second. The partition wall on the inside is built on a concrete footing that I think was originally the outside wall of the original building. The floor is definitely a different pour on the east side. I get the sense that the east side of the shop was done ... low budget and without permits. The shed leans on the property's fence, which means the water runoff lands in my neighbor's yard. At this point it's not a huge concern since the house next door is vacant (too bad too, since it used to be a cool architect-designed MCM house) but it's not very neighborly and not a long term solution

Here's a quick and dirty floor plan:


The structural post is smack in the middle of the shop, and I plan on a bench over the half wall on the concrete footing. The half wall will make a good spot to run some electric for now.

A couple more shots inside:





Talking with my wife, we both agree that a 4-bay shop would be better down there, but I'm not sure how far down the road that will be since I have a kitchen remodel and various other house projects ahead of it in line. This is still better than anything I have had, and I want to make it usable.

Last edited by christopher.layton; 12-30-2014 at 07:07 PM. Reason: added photos
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Take your time designing and building your shop. We can offer suggestions as you go. Every shop is a work in progress.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Great space with lots of potential :-). Hood River and surrounding areas are simply gorgeous. I've driven my Westy to the Hood a few times on windsurfing trips with my buds. I recall replacing a water pump usng a picnic table as a bench back in the day. No such issues after doing an i4 Audi conversion.

Looking forward to your build..good luck staying on the kitchen reno job if you're hanging out here a lot :-)

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Old 12-30-2014, 11:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Welcome to the separate-workshop-outbuilding club!

Looks like you're going to have a great time making it your own.
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain14 View Post
Take your time designing and building your shop. We can offer suggestions as you go. Every shop is a work in progress.
Thanks, this one will take a while out of necessity, but it gives me time to think on things.
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:32 PM   #14
christopher.layton
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denwood View Post
Great space with lots of potential :-). Hood River and surrounding areas are simply gorgeous. I've driven my Westy to the Hood a few times on windsurfing trips with my buds. I recall replacing a water pump usng a picnic table as a bench back in the day. No such issues after doing an i4 Audi conversion.

Looking forward to your build..good luck staying on the kitchen reno job if you're hanging out here a lot :-)

That's a good looking van!
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:27 PM   #15
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

WOW! I love that shop building!! I would be so excited to have something like that to bring up to where I wanted it. It looks like a great place for a woodworking shop. I would not make very many cosmetic changes to it, rather leaving it suitable for sawdust. I love the size of it. I also love the lean to for wood storage and other items related to woodworking needs. That would just about make me a real happy camper if I had it just where you have it now. I could spend all/most/or at least a great deal of my time on that for about the next year!

Congratulations, and I will be closely tuned in. I am also going nuts over the VW wagon bus. I have always wanted one just like it.

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Old 01-05-2015, 11:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Thanks Cristopher ... You and I both know the commitment required to keep a Westy in reliable travel shape. My kids simply adore the bus. :-)

I really do like your shop layout. Have you considered removing the center post and replacing with an LVL with end posts? Seeing your wood working tools, I know the PITA a center post is when ripping down 4x8 sheets. Your shop/ parking bay is what I would consider a perfect combination of compactness balanced with working area. My 16x24 is taking an enormous amount of work to maximize storage, while keeping the floor free.
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Looks like a great start! I'm looking forward to seeing how you organize your tools in the allotted space as I'm struggling with that problem at the moment.
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Old 01-16-2015, 04:07 PM   #18
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

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Looks like a great start! I'm looking forward to seeing how you organize your tools in the allotted space as I'm struggling with that problem at the moment.
Thanks! Me too. I think the tool organization plan will take shape as the space starts to come together. I learned a lot in my last garage, where all the tools nested under the bench, and I will definitely use some of those ideas again here to keep the floor pretty clear. The one exception will be my table saw. I use it so often that it will be nice having it handy for quick cuts.
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Old 01-16-2015, 04:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denwood View Post
I really do like your shop layout. Have you considered removing the center post and replacing with an LVL with end posts? Seeing your wood working tools, I know the PITA a center post is when ripping down 4x8 sheets. Your shop/ parking bay is what I would consider a perfect combination of compactness balanced with working area. My 16x24 is taking an enormous amount of work to maximize storage, while keeping the floor free.
I have thought about removing the post. Actually, if the funds work out I would like to take the entire roof off and go with a shed roof with some transom lights facing south (toward the house) to let in natural light. Either way the roof and exterior will have to wait until summer when I'm on break.

On a completely unrelated note, today's xkcd comic made the grammarian in me smile.

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Old 01-16-2015, 04:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: Hood River Workshop

Nice.
I've spent quite a bit of time in HR in my twin van.
Almost bought a place there a couple years back.

My shop is slightly larger but has the same problem with the post. And I'm trying to cram a bike shop in there too.

WP_20141212_13_48_32_Pro by buildyourown, on Flickr
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