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Old 10-05-2005, 12:26 PM
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schnitz schnitz is offline
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Location: Wausau, Wisconsin, in a house...
Age: 42
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After looking at your journal, and reading and re-reading your original post, here's my personal tips...

Space is always at a premium. And wasted space winds up as a labor waste. Layout certain areas to do certain types of work. If you blow dry anything using compressed air that you've just parts-washed, plumb a hard line to the area near the parts washer. You can make your own short air hoses. Coil hoses stink in my opinion. Keep all your lengths of scrap steel near the welder, if you have one. Keep your bench grinder nearby as well. Also, keep what you can off the floor as much as possible. Check my journal out, I am typing from experience here.

Lights and outlets are your best friends, have lots of both, and keep them in close range at all times. Extension cords really suck and are a trip hazard no matter what. Outlets should be spaced at no more than 6 foot intervals. If possible, wire double outlets on two separate circuits. As stated earlier, use lots of lights. My wife told me that I needed more lights in my garage. Track lights are fairly cheap and can be pointed where you need them.

If you do not have a breaker box in your garage, now is the time to install one. 100 amp should be enough to power anything you'll do there. Keep one circuit with two incandesant 40 watt bulbs wired into the house so you can see your way out if the garage loses full power (highly unlikely, but, it could happen).

To divide out the garage the way you're thinking, if I follow you, try a deal like hospitals use. That curtain could easily divide and protect (somewhat) anything on the other side of it. Anything is better than nothing.

Gloss white is definately a no-no. Semi-gloss in off white looks decent. Also, paint the walls prior to installing shelves. I'll wind up pulling my shelves just to paint behind them.

That brings me to shelves. Swing up shelves are the best idea, because any flat surface holds crap that brings more crap. Make sure that some are totally adjustable. Take a look at grocery store shelves to see closer what I mean. If a nearby store is putting new shelves in, you may get the old ones really cheap. Keep stuff where it belongs and you will almost never want to leave your garage.

Look at bargains anytime, anyplace. My work is redoing a lot of older air fittings, and a buddy in maintenance is working on getting me a dozen or so regulators and the schedule 40 pipe (in 2 to 4 foot sections--couplers and pipe tape are cheap). I am also getting plywood scaps and scrap steel leftovers from there, as well. Get creative, and the real bargains will even find you. Just look everywhere with an open mind.

In a while, Chet.
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