Monday, February 13, 2006

The GarageMahal

In an earlier post, I brought up the idea of "the perfect home workshop." or as one clever person put it, "the GarageMahal."

I believe that almost anything I could think of could be build in a shop like that. It's just a matter of picking up the machining skills necessary.

Thanks to everyone for their excellent comments.

I've summarized some of the best ideas below.

1. Don't forget to add a water supply,

2. Another thing to consider: How heavy can you build the floor pads? My friend has a couple of bridgeports in his garage that have managed to sink his concrete slabs lower than the ones they are not resting on.

3. One thing you may VERY much like... a cutoff saw of some sort.

4. Another thing, depending upon how large the pieces you will be working on are, another friend installed an overhead crane

5. I cannot recommend enough a laser leveled concrete floor, which is then epoxy sealed. Smooth, level, and sealed. very important.

6. Get an air-compressor. But build a noise-reducing high airflow box to house the compressor. don't 'save' money on an oil-less one, they are crazy loud, a good oiled compressor is good stuff

7. Water. A large wash basin/laundry size sink is very helpful

8. Lathe: A nice size is 12" x 36". Buy a quick change tool post

9. Mill: A Bridgeport is a wonderful machine. Given a choice, go for something other than the "M-head"--you want an R8 taper, which is what a lot of mill tooling is. You can get chucks to use with it (you don't *have* to use collets for drill bits).

10.Tooling can be expensive--all things equal, go for the deal with more tooling thrown in. Collets, 3 and 4-jaw chucks, etc.--all these are expensive,

11.Add a metal-cutting band saw (under $200) and a good ($20) blade for it. Sawing a length of 1" aluminum into 2" pieces gets old very quickly.

12.The 7x10 or 7x12 lathe is a great starter machine that might be worth considering. Buy one for $300, use it for a while, buy a bigger lathe and sell the starter machine.

13.Three phase is rather expensive to bring to a home shop. A converter is a much-less-expensive alternative. A static converter coupled with a 3-phase "idler" motor generates darn good 3-phase for home shop use.

I'm still soliciting advice, so send comments if you've got them. Now, all I need is a boatload of money...


regis said...

obviously, a well-supplied first aid kit.

Safety consideration: at least one telephone mounted low enough that you can get to it if you're on your knees or crawling.

Anonymous said...

Add a charcoal, oil, or gas burning smelter and casting equipment. Create your own aluminum parts from scrap. There are plenty of plans online for building one. A good charcoal furnace is the Gingery one. Also, in typical "Maker" fashion, don't buy your equipment, make it. The Gingery series is an excellent tool. Do a quick search and you will find it. Gingery shows you how to make the furnace, and use it. Then you make your own metal lathe, using simple tools and your furnace. The lathe helps to build itself. Then you can use the lathe to build a metal shaper, horizontal mill, drill press, and advanced attachments for your lathe and mill, included a gear making attachment, and a complete gear set for your lathe. The only piece of equipment that it would be cheaper to buy is the drill press.

Gunner said...

Here Is an example of the 3 phase conversion you may want to do. Friend already has something like this going with the filtering capacitors and a Capacitor/circuit start rather than starter moter start.

The idea is that the big 3 phase won't start one the 2 single phase lines, but once it's going, it will run off of those lines/generate 3 phase. So you just need to use A. a large cap. and switch (button/relay) to do the job or you use a smaller single phase to get it turning.

Anonymous said...

a few ideas
- a ventilation fan (for painting)
- safty equiptment ( fire blanket, bucket of sand, fire extinguisher)
- electronics equiptment ( multi-meter, power supply, soldering iron)
- urinal
- cordless dremel
- drafting table
- anvil
- complet libary of Make Magazine

Jet Black said...

You are going to need 2 very strong workbench's one wood & one steel.With a strict no storage policy on top or around them.
A suitable vice on each of them + jaw guards , overhead power & compressed air drops are always handy , fit the 3 phase power supply & sub board it will save you having to think about plugging in temporary 3 phase equipment that you are bound to hire , borrow or acquire in the future.Lay down some no storage/no stopping traffic paths onto the floor as well.
Blank stickers , a box of marker pens & an assortment of ziplock bags & boxes to store stuff in is also essential.Several battery powered torches should be kept in designated places , should you get caught in the dark or need to find a "jesus" spring/component in daylight hours & a seat with wheels on it :)

RIP Dave , Lindsay will always be selling your wonderful books.


Anonymous said...

Nice Shop , I found this site off of MAKE: blog and thought I would comment on tools needed
An English Wheel , A shrinker /stretcher machine , power hammer .

Heres a nice site with some nice equipped shops :

Anonymous said...

Nice Shop , I found this site off of MAKE: blog and thought I would comment on tools needed
An English Wheel , A shrinker /stretcher machine , power hammer .

Heres a nice site with some nice equipped shops :

Chuck Hoffmann said...

This is a great topic. I'm currently working up my own plan for a home shop, and this is a really big help.

Alex Holden said...

Probably the most commonly used machine tool in my workshop is the linisher (belt sander). It saves hours of sanding and filing.

Charles said...

stainless steel bench tops! I totally forgot to mention those. I had a 'prep counter' from a Taco Bell, stainless countertop, cabinet underneath. REALLY cool, easy to clean, strong, and sturdy

Anonymous said...

Two recommendations:

As soon as possible find a low cost used flat bed type laser. 2000 watt Co2 or beter. The first job you hit needing quantities > 200 you'll thank me! Trumpf, Amada, and Cincinatti are good choices.

Keep an eye open for a 36" "finisher" / sander. Wet variety prefered, with stainless wire brushes. Have used both the Butfering and Timesaver brands with good results.