JoelsBuicks

The beginning of my shop

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JoelsBuicks    239

Hello and Greetings from beautiful Oklahoma, a place I've called home for almost all of my 53 years. 

 

I want to share with you my journey of building a shop.  It's a project started about 8 months ago and like most of my other projects, far from being done.

 

Just to jump ahead a bit, I'll tell you that the concrete is poured and the steel is about 90% complete.  With winter upon us, slowing progress is imminent.

 

It started with clearing a piece of wooded and brushy land, and subsequently removing the topsoil and preparing for a sound base.  The shop will be 96' x 69' and with a peak height of about 27'.

 

The pics below show the beginning and where it is now.  On a subsequent posting I will fill in the 8 months with some more pics and description.

 

Thanks for watching,

Joel

 

PS - That's my 10 year old boy in the first pic.

 

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MrEarl    3,038

Joel, I can change the title of this thread to The beginning of my Aircraft Hanger if you'd like. Man that is huge. So what is going to be it's primary use. Love that you left the trees!!!

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JoelsBuicks    239

I have a lot of Buicks and I wanted a place to be able to spread out several projects at one time.  This shop will allow for that and it's not all open space.  Out of about 6,600 ft2 there will be about 450 ft2 of living space with office area, bed, kitchen, bath and shower.  Next to that will be a climate controlled room of about 450 ft2 with work areas.  The space above this will be a mezzanine for parts storage and for that stuff we all have - we'll probably never use - but we can't bring ourselves to get rid of it.

 

I will have a car lift in here somewhere and in the southwest corner will be a 14' x 26' paint booth with downdraft air flow.  This space will be waterproofed and double as a car wash / buffing area.

 

There is some porch to this building.  Approximately 600 ft2 will be under roof but exposed on one side.  I am wanting this area to be used in the summer for the many dusty sanding activities.

 

I'll talk more about all of this in subsequent posts.  For now, I thought I'd share some drawings.  Much to my chagrin, I guess you have to know where you're going before you can get there - but still, I like to adjust my course as I go along.

 

The pics aren't good but it gives you an idea of what I'm thinking.

 

More to come,

Joel

 

 

 

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JoelsBuicks    239

Ten acres of this farm was given to me by my parents.  My Dad grew up on this property - having moved here in about 1944.  The farm was left to him by his parents but the old farmhouse is long gone.  This place means something to me for many reasons.  I recall a moment in time, nearly 50 years ago, sitting next to my Grandpa while he cracked and cursed those black walnuts for me to eat.

 

Dad's old 1957 Cat D6 made short work of clearing the space for this shop.  The backhoe helped as well.  We needed to remove about 8 inches of overburden before getting something on which to build a pad.

 

Back in the late 30's and 40's, this farm hosted a commercial gravel mine that was used to gravel the local roads.  In certain places on this property, you can take away the top soil and you'll find several feet of mud rock gravel mixed into a clay matrix.  It's probably 65% gravel and when the moisture is right, it will compact to tight, you'll have to use a pick to dig through it.  It is excellent fill material.

 

So, we created our own borrow pit and after hauling about 110 truck loads, we had enough to start.  We used a 2 ton truck with about 7 yards to wheel roll the material in lifts of about 4".  On the shallow end, the gravel depth is about 8" and on the deep end, the gravel is about 30" deep.  It takes just a sentence or two to talk about this but it took us a couple months.

 

 

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JoelsBuicks    239

When you try to do nearly everything yourself, you should be prepared for the long haul.  Life has many other great events and I don't want to miss any of them.  I've attached some pics, not of my shop, but of other worthy activities that keep shop progress in its rightful place.

 

Among many other things, a train ride in the Black Hills, my peach orchard and of course, some fishing time with the boy - the shop can't compete. 

 

Thanks,

Joel

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JoelsBuicks    239

You have only one chance to get plumbing in your building - before you pour the floor.  It forces you to do some planning and to know some particular dimensions - especially if it's going to be coming up through an internal wall.

 

No permits apply here.  It's not a residence and the zoning is agriculture.  I'll use an existing septic system on the property that is so old it's "great-grandfathered."

 

 

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JoelsBuicks    239

There's actually many parts of this project that will have to be contracted.  There's about 90 yards of concrete that goes into this floor.  The floor has thickened edges and will be 4" thick with 3500# concrete.  The rebar is 24" on center and is #4 (1/2").  There is additional rebar in the thickened edges.  I supposed that a highly motivated individual could pour this in sections but this is where I grit my teeth and reach for the checkbook.

 

The floor man did a final leveling of the pad and set the forms using corners that I had measured and staked and prepared the floor for concrete.

 

This building will utilize a combination wood and steel structure.  There will be eight 4" pipe poles that will be on the interior of the building.  These poles will be set and concreted to a depth of 4 feet - AFTER THE FLOOR IS POURED.  To accomplish this, I needed to have these locations "plugged" with something that I could remove, after curing, and then drill through to set the pole.  So, I sawed off the bottom of 5-gallon buckets and then carefully located them within the floor, staked them down and filled them with gravel.  It worked like a charm.

 

In case I forget, the concrete guys raised the rebar and put it on 2" high chairs.

 

   

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Edited by JoelsBuicks (see edit history)
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JoelsBuicks    239

It has always been my desire to have shop that didn't have any internal support poles.  I always viewed them as breaking up a large space into several small spaces.  I guess I still feel that way but to get the area I wanted without a very expensive structure, I chose the poles.  

 

It does rule out the aircraft hangar idea <_<.

 

joel

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buick5563    782

Shoot, you can still have a dance hall with a couple of posts in the middle. It's where you will find me leaning, trying to look cool.

Looks great, Joel.

Edited by buick5563 (see edit history)
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JoelsBuicks    239

As part of my childhood development, my Dad found many opportunities to get me involved in pouring concrete.  It was nothing short of genius.  When you're the low man on the concrete crew, you get the finest opportunities to participate in the most back-breaking activities known to even teenagers.  And, you are the default faulterer of everything not right.  At the end of a long day, if you can get your mind off of the body aches, you can put it to work figuring out how not to do this for a living.  That was me.

 

So, I'll contend that there is not a good time to pour concrete but there are many bad times.  In short, you need some cooperative weather.  In this case, the cooperative weather came when I was out of town for a week on business.  I relied heavily on my 82 year old Dad to oversee all of this and true to good form, he did this I'm sure with more grace than usual, and saw that it was done right.

 

The finish on this floor was specified as a "ringing trowel" finish which is as smooth and slick as possible.  It was saw cut in sections no larger than about 14' x 19' and strategically with the pole locations. 

 

Very soon afterwards, I put two coats of a clear concrete topping that gets very hard and durable.  It's also glossy and cleans easily.  Water beads on it.  There's in excess of $1K worth on this floor.

 

So, some have suggested a dance floor.  Can I suggest a skating rink? 

 

Thanks for the kind words,

Joel

  

   

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JoelsBuicks    239

I need to go back in time about three years and tell you about a bunch of large electric poles that I acquired for almost nothing.  A contractor replaced the wooden poles on a nearby high voltage transmission line with new steel structures.  I couldn't pass them up.  Some were as much as 22" in diameter and 90 feet long.

 

Now what does this have to do with my shop?

 

Stay tuned!

 

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JoelsBuicks    239

I've often thought that 'how we choose to do something' is much more closely related to our capability than necessarily doing it the best way.  But I've always hoped that those two aren't too far apart.  Setting the internal poles for this building is a good example and what I'm really saying is that I'm sure the best way to do this was beyond my capability.

 

The top of each pole needed to be a finite height above that finished floor.  And, each pole needed to be set almost exactly at a certain position in the floor.  Of course they needed to be plumbed - and kept that way until the concrete hardened.  To accomplish this within our capabilities, we decided to do this after the floor was poured.  We used a tractor mounted auger to drill to about 50" with a diameter of about 9".  Then, we placed the clamp on the pipe (see pic) at the right height and moved the pole into position and then braced the pole in two directions to hold plumb.  Keep in mind that the pole was sitting on nothing - the clamp was all that was holding up the pole.  If the bottom of the pole was sitting on the bottom of the hole, it would be difficult to maneuver the pole into its correct position and expect it to stay whilst plumbing it. 

 

Each pole was concreted with a nearly dry mix of concrete and tamped with a blunt rod every 3 or 4 inches until full.  The poles located at the edge of this concrete slab are anchored into the concrete at the thickened edge.  Why?  Because drilling into the thickened edge would take away the strength of that footing. 

 

I'll comment a little later about the materials I used for this but I'm pretty sure most all of them are post-war.

 

Thanks again,

Joel

      

  

   

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JoelsBuicks    239

Wow, can you imagine the upkeep costs of that place?  It would be a nice place to visit but it doesn't look like it will tolerate much dirt and grease.

 

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JohnD1956    2,011

Hemi Hideout,  If that's not proof this hobby is headed out of the realm of the ordinary guy, I do not know what is!

 

But to each his own. 

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JoelsBuicks    239

Although the supporting structure is steel I-Beam, there will be a tremendous amount of wood in this building.  The trusses, rafters, sheathing, and walls will all be wood, primarily 2x6 and 2x8.  The skin will be painted R-Panel - I've yet to select the colors.

 

When it comes to wood, there is the easy way and then there's my way.  The wood in this building will all be sawed on my sawmill and it will come from those electric power poles shown in a previous posting.  In fact, I've got about 80% of the wood already sawed. 

Joel

    

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JoelsBuicks    239

The boards that come from these power poles are very nice but you have to work for them.  First you get all the steel out, else you'll end up spending a half hour re-filing the teeth.  These poles are not creosote but they do have some sort of bad chemical treatment.  I wear a mask.  The wood is very well cured and so it stays very straight.  Most of the boards are sawn to 16 feet in length but I have sawn quite a few 20 footers for this building.  Anything longer than that gets unstable on the carriage.

 

I'm saving a lot of money doing this or else I wouldn't do it.  The value of the nostalgia of sawing your own lumber goes away pretty quickly when it's near 100F.

 

Each board will be later cut to exact length as needed according to the plan.  The idea here is to save on labor for the framers.  I can't frame this building myself.

 

Thanks again,

Joel

 

 

 

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