Thanks for the compliment on the bench... I can only hope that the sub turns out as well. I haven’t done any modeling since I was in high school – a long time ago. I now have a much bigger budget, but less time to spend enjoying it. So, I had a fun time putting my garage together. I did a fair amount of research looking for the stuff, so if anyone else is putting their shop together you might find the following useful.
I bought one 3’x8’ bench, but once I got the sub I determined that didn’t have nearly enough room to spread out, so I bought two more 2.5’x 6’ benches, one of which is in the picture (I’m actually thinking a about getting one more). The first one was expensive, but I got the second two at a more reasonable price from Global Industrial. They have a massive selection of just about any type of bench (butcher block, laminate, stainless steel, steel etc.) in just about any dimension that you could want. I went for the 1-3/4” maple butcher block because it would be durable and nicer to work on than other materials. The only thing that I was disappointed in was the “penetrating oil finish” which seamed a little lame. I went to CVS bought a bottle of mineral oil. I poured half a bottle on each bench, spread it around with a foam brush, let it soak over night and wiped off the excess in the morning. They look great and are now more durable. If you’re going to order from, Global Industrial, spend the time to figure out what you’re actually ordering. There is such a huge selection that you might not notice that while once series or benches looks like the other, one uses U-shaped steel legs whereas one of the other series uses square steel. I went for the square because it looks better and I assume is more durable.
You can get a stack of these for about $8 and you can get them in a wide range of sizes. I now open bags with lots of parts inside the bin so that nothing can get lost. If you opt to buy vertical uprights for the benches, you can buy shelves and bin rails. Bin rails allow you to hang the bin so that it doesn’t take up any workbench space.
Over course every shop needs peg board. I now have 80 square feet of it. It’s only partially full, but I look forward to filling it. I really liked the ones from Diamond Life (http://www.diamondlifegear.com
). I selected the brushed aluminum finish because I thought that the diamond plate would be too bright for me. The 4’x8’ will support up to one ton and it installs very quickly because edges are bent around so there is no need for spacers. Be careful of to not tighten the bolts too much because you’ll start to bend the aluminum. That’s exactly what I did on the first bolt. Also make sure that you get the pegs which have the plastic clips to prevent them from popping out the board when you remove tools.
My shop is in my garage and its floor was poured in 1928, so it was a real mess. I looked into a lot a ways of fixing the floor and was about to do epoxy, but then decided against it because it is very slippery when wet, is hard to repair when damaged and would be very hard on my back while I’m standing for hours cutting slots. So I decided to go with the diamond plate plastic tiles from Swiss Trax (http://www.swisstrax.com
). I have a large garage which is two cars wide by over two cars deep. All 800 square feet were installed in one day with two people. It looks great and is great on my back. We had a very cold winter in Boston (the garage is heated) and my kids and dog love to go down there and play. This is one purchase that my wife couldn’t argue with… it basically added another room to the house.
While doing my research I found that many people put foam underlayment underneath the tiles to reduce noise. When I got my tiles, I laid some on the floor and walked on them. The sounded a little hollow and I could hear some grit on the floor being ground. So I bought some underlayment at Home Depot (the stuff you put under floating wood floors) and it work great. Note that the tiles aren’t solid. That’s why they are soft under foot and don’t become cold like the concrete. They are designed to bow slightly in the middle when there is pressure on them which tightens the seams. Even though they are not solid, they are rated to over 5,000 psi which allows you to not only drive on it but also use a floor jack.
There are a lot of parts for the sub. CostCo has really nice rolling chromed wire shelves for about $80. I have seen much more expensive versions, but these things are a steal.
Rolling Tool Cabinet:
This is more for my automotive tools, cars, but this is where I keep my sockets and wrenches. I got relatively large (42” wide by 5’-3” tall) stainless steel cabinet with full extension ball bearing slides. While not cheap at $600, it’s much less expensive than an equal sized version at Sears or one of the home centers. I also spent a fair amount looking at used ones on Craig’s List, but no mater how hard I tried, I couldn’t beat it. The only thing that I’ve seen that’s nicer is Snap On, but I wasn’t going to drop three or four grand for it and the used ones are still 3x what I paid. It’s made in China and distributed by CostCo, but don’t let that put you off.
I looked around for a nice bench light and chose the one in the pictures above. They are made by Woodhead and I got them at local electrical distributor for about $80 a pop. Note that the polycarbonate lens already saved me once. I was moving the hull and wack. Without the lens I would have had glass everywhere.