Retroanaconda

Building a Workshop

297 posts in this topic

I did just notice I can now post pics now my account doesn't need aproval to post, I may try post but I can't re post the whole blog, I know it's around 1000 photos so far haha, I may start a small one on here when I get something more substantial done :)

Yes please ! We all like a build thread to follow :) and lots of helpful knowledge people on here if you need it too :D

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very impressive build so far Kimberly!

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Knocked together a new personnel door this weekend out of some spare timbers. Used up some spare cladding too, hence the patchwork quilt pattern. It's deeper than the old one (and much, much heavier) so I'll get some parliament hinges and hopefully get it hung shortly. Should be a lot more secure than the old one (which had started to fall apart), it will have double mortise locks on the closing side and hinge bolts on the hanging side to resist crowbar attack ripping the hinges out.

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Looks like that should withstand Scottish weather's best efforts ;)

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Small update, a couple of weeks ago I had a digger in and dug a trench across the garden 24" deep, then laid in a conduit. Today an electrician came and ran some chunky SWA and hooked up a consumer unit in the workshop fed from a 40A circuit breaker in the house. I had him do this bit as it involved meddling with the house CU, I'll do the rest as it's now easily isolate-able from the house.

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I've then this afternoon hooked in the lighting circuit and the part-completed ring main to this consumer unit. When I get a chance I will finish the ring around the building with some more double sockets, and also add two dedicated spurs for compressor/welder. I also have two further spare ways in the CU.

Nice to have proper power in at last and not be running off an extension lead any more!

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I was going to start a new thread for this but then thought it was better off as a continuation of this one.

This weekend saw me obtain a new toy, in the shape of a decent air compressor.

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As floor space inside the building is tight, my plan is to construct a 'compressor shed' at the rear of the workshop to house it. Currently there is a handy gap between the building and the hedge which should accommodate such a structure.

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There are a few threads on other forums (mainly in the USA) regarding this and from those I've picked up a few issues that I may come across.

  • Airflow and cooling - I will need to ensure adequate airflow through the housing in order to keep the compressor at a sensible temperature when it's working hard or the ambient is high in the summer. The positioning of any vents and/or fans will need to take into account the built-in cooling fans on both the motor and compressor so that I am working with their airflow pattern and not against it.
  • Air intake - The consensus seems to be to take the air supply from outside the structure, I guess this will help keep the temperature down but I will need to think about filtration and noise attenuation. The compressor is a V-type with two cylinders, each has a separate filter however I should be able to hook up a duct to bring in cool fresh air from outside simply enough.
  • Temperature - The nature of the British climate means I will have to think about condensation, I hope to fully insulate the structure in an attempt to limit this. It will also mean that if I have problems with starting the compressor in colder weather then I can put a small tube-type heater in to take the edge off. The insulation will also help with noise

Construction wise I am thinking pour a concrete slab (with DPC), then frame up some walls with 2" x 4" timber and tongue-and-groove cladding to match workshop, roof can be a simple sheet of 18mm marine ply with a sheet of EPDM rubber as a waterproofing layer. Insulation wise, I can put 50mm of polystyrene in the walls easily enough, likewise the roof with a bit of internal 2" x 2" framing. I've got plenty of that breathable membrane stuff left over from doing the main workshop. I was thinking of having the roof sheet hinged where it joins the wall of the workshop (suitable flashed to seal it), then I can lift it up onto a stay for access to the compressor for switching it on/off/draining condensate/servicing etc. - the only problem being that it would have to be built around the compressor and dismantled should it ever require moving.

All very theoretical at the moment and I need to get out there and start taking some measurements before I go any further, suspect I will need to cut the hedge back a few feet at the nearer end and there's a fair bit of earth to remove to get me to the required depth.

Any thoughts? Has anyone constructed a similar housing for an air compressor?

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the trick to sound proofing is to use a outer skin then a air gap then a insulated inner skin, the holes in the outer skin and inner skin need to be offset so the sound has to 'bounce' to get out. the more offset the holes the better. you could then fit a fan in the inner hole wired to the compressors cut off so that the fan starts as soon as the compressor does. you could also wire it via a time delay relay so it runs for a short while after the compressor switches off. then the other obvious thing to do would be to have a isolator switch in the garage so that you can turn the whole lot off when your not in there so a leaky tool or fitting doesn't have the compressor starting up every few hours. last you should think about extending the tank drain outside so you can drain it every day without having to actually get to the compressor.

Edited by qwakers

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I’d second drainage without having to actually open up the doghouse; I bought a Lidl boroscope and stuck it in my compressors inspection hole (ooo eer) and wished I hadn’t!  Despite how much I’d tried to be meticulous about draining the tank overnight, it was still quite rusty.  Mind you, I have no idea what corrosion protection (if any) the compressor manufacturer applied

 

So my plan is: fit an Autodrain valve on the compressor tank.   These are N/C valves that will open at a programmable interval and ‘fart’ a little air and hopefully entrained moisture out.  This will be run off a fused switched spur from the main compressor supply, that way whenever the compressor is powered the valve will be on too.  I’d still like to have the ability to manually drain the tank, so will probably rig up some form of manually operated ball valve, run to outside of the doghouse

I’ll put a manual drain valve at the lowest point in the pipework too, and upgrade that to autofart ™ later if necessary.

If it all sounds a bit VapourShed, that’s because it is.  I think I mentioned in your other thread that I’m CAD-ing some planning drawings for a new workshop. Hoping to get these submitted early in the New Year.  If and when approval happens I’ll start a proper thread.

Matt

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Make your compressor shed big enough to get in and do minor stuff on the compressor when it needs it.. also make it big enough so that you can put that lawn mower and sundry garden tools in it.. save clutter in the main workshop.

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Thanks folks.

I was going to run the compressor power supply through an isolator switch, and I may still do so, but the manual makes it pretty clear that one mustn't use this to control the machine, and must only switch it on/off via the built in switch. I presume this is to do with the bleed-off and to protect the motor. While it's still in warranty at least I will probably go with this suggestion.

Extending the drain to an accessible point makes a lot of sense, thanks. Autodrain sounds good too, I know you can get drain valves that open when the system is depressurised like on the filter bowls, these could potentially work in this situation. There will be at least one drop leg in the 22mm copper to give me somewhere else to drain from.

Size-wise, I am limited by the space but it will be big enough to comfortably house the compressor and allow me to stand alongside if necessary. The mower/strimmer etc. live in another shed, where the compressor is temporarily housed. Only because I could more easily reverse the van to it than my main workshop to unload the thing.

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Our receivers at work have auto drains, they periodically open and the air goes through the air drier and oil separator before the water goes down the drain. The receivers are inspected under pewter and still have internal rust, I don't think you can completely stop it although they are in much better dentition then a stand alone compressor we have in a far shed that only ever gets drained when the guy comes to do the inspection... that's expected to be condemned in the next year or two :D

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Ashamedly it's taken me more than a month to get around to making a start on this, however the rough area has been dug out to accommodate the concrete slab.

 

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Next weekend I will hopefully get into town with the trailer and pick up a bulk bag of ballast and some cement so that I can get it framed up and the slab poured. I also need to re-profile the top-side drain round the building and pipe it underneath this slab before I pour it.

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I have the 200litre Clarke tiger model, fortunately having a large shed I have it inside and I built an adhoc insulated cover out of 100mm celotex board. Very light and easy enough to lift off and gives  a fair degree of noise suppression too. For ventilation I stitch drilled a series of vent holes high and low to get some circulation going. My outlet pipe work is a 1" bore hydraulic pipe that connects to a copper pipe system (22mm), this runs around 3 bays (each 4.5m) of the shed; a vertical run to the top purlin then piped with a 150mm fall every 4.5m which at the end of each run is a drain off. By the time the air reaches the triple filter set (I use an airfed mask when spraying) there's very little moisture left, in fact I don't think I've ever seen moisture in the bowl of the first filter. I also have a "boost" available with another 100litre 3hp  which connects in through its own filter setup...comes in handy.

 

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Plan foiled by heavy rain Fri meaning that my attempt to extract the trailer on Sat morning ended in failure, and I then got the car itself stuck after unhitching. Got it out but made a mess :(

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Didn't help that I had to drive over the area where I backfilled the cable trench - which is understandably soft! Will try again next weekend and get a rope on it if necessary.

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A couple of weeks ago I managed to extract the trailer and pick up the bits I needed which allowed me to get the framework shuttering in place.

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Then finally today the weather allowed me to get the slab poured. I put a pipe underneath to carry water from the top-side land drain through and away downhill.

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When I get a chance the next step will be to frame up the walls, kind of need to get it watertight as soon as possible to limit the chance of leaks into the main building now that I've brought the slab surface up to the same outside as inside. There is a slight fall away from the building to help with this.

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With the glorious weather this weekend I was able to make good progress.

Got the frame roughly laid out:

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Wrapped in breathable membrane and clad in shiplap same as the main building:

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A layer of insulation, in this case 1" polystyrene that I had laying around. There are battens to space it back from the membrane so as to maintain an air gap:

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And then finally this afternoon I got the compressor moved in. Had to do that in order to get the final piece of wall in place properly:

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The roof is not finished yet, I've attached it at the hinge and flashed it to the wall but I need to put the covering on before too long. I then need to sort a few more things before it can become operational:

  • Run power supply in from consumer unit (30A Type C MCB).
  • Add remote drain point for receiver (depending on how much of a faff it is to reach).
  • Install air line back into the building.

Once the unit is up and running I can observe airflow patterns and add ventilation/ducting as required. 

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Yesterday I got the compressor wiring finished. The workshop power comes in from the house CU on a 40A circuit (10mm SWA) and then the compressor has a 32A radial circuit from the workshop CU in 6mm T+E to a suitably rated isolator switch, into which the compressor's own cable is connected. The MCB is a type C to allow for the startup current, I also swapped the 16A one feeding the welder's circuit to a type C as well.

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So with power sorted I checked it had oil in it, turned on the supply and pulled the on switch. It whirred into life quite happily - I was actually surprised at how quiet it was. It's loud if you're standing over it but inside the workshop it's there but not oppressive. I ran it up to pressure and cycled it a few times - the lights dim a little when it kicks in but they do that when I use my chop saw as well so not too worried about that. I will have to see how the type C MCB copes on cold weather startups, but hopefully the insulation will help mitigate that somewhat.

Ive hooked up a temporary airline setup into the filter/regulator to allow me to spray the chassis (when the paint arrives), in due course I will run a permanent copper pipe into the rafters with a couple of attachment points.

Shelving

With this weekends plans for painting scuppered I thought I'd finally sort some shelving for the long wall of the building. I'd been meaning to sort something here for ages but never got the round tuits lined up to get it done.

Supports are made up from 2" x 1-3/4" and pick up on each wall stud. Height wise it's set so that I can walk underneath without feeling like I'm going to hit my head on them.

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The shelf itself is 18mm hardwood ply, I took an 8'x4' sheet and ripped it lengthwise into three pieces 400mm wide. This gives a good depth of shelf while not projecting too far into the building and specifically not blocking the lights.

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Part filled with junk already.

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It doesn't quite go all the way down the wall yet as I'm not sure how I'm going to sort the other end, I would like to carry it on right round and along the gable wall too but there are some clearance issues with the existing shelving to think about first.

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Looking good !!

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What sizes screws did you use on the stud work James? 

I'm going to replace my garage doors with a stud wall and a single door now the weather has turned.

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Do you mean the framing of the stud walls themselves, or the shelf brackets?

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The walls are all done with 4" nails, very few screws.

The studs are fixed to the floor and wall plates via a mixture of: 1. nails into the stud end through the plate (not so strong), and 2. double skew nails from the stud side into the plate (very strong).

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