Floors Walls And Ceilings

Standing in one place for hours on a concrete floor can strain your feet and legs. An old piece of carpet or a commercial anti-fatigue mat provides a cushion that can he easily moved about the shop.

Since most workshops are set up in basements or garages, concrete floors are a common feature. Yet for anyone who has to spend much time standing on concrete or sweeping it clean, the material can prove both uncomfortable and inconvenient. The hard surface is particularly tough on tools that are dropped accidentally.

Simply painting a concrete floor with a paint made specifically for the purpose will keep down the dust and make the surface easier to clean. Adhesive vinyl floor tile can be laid down as well. Yet many woodworkers prefer the comfort of a raised wooden floor. A simple floor can be constructed from sheets of 3A-inch plywood laid atop a grid of 1-by-2s on 12-inch centers. Not only is this type of floor easier on the feet, but wiring for stationary power tools can be routed underneath the raised surface in V2-inch plastic or steel conduit.

Unlike the walls of most homes, those of separate workshops seldom are insu lated. If you live in a northern climate, you can increase the thermal efficiency of your shop by covering its walls with wood paneling or sheet material, and filling the gap in between studs with insulation. Wood paneling in particular creates a warm, comfortable atmosphere. Interior wall covering will make your shop quieter too, since the walls will absorb some of the din of your power tools. As a bonus, you can conceal wiring behind the walls. Make sure the basement walls do not leak before covering them with insulation and paneling.

To hide the exposed joists, ducts, and wiring above your head, consider installing a ceiling. A suspended tile ceiling, in which the tiles sit in a framework of supports hanging from the joists, is one popular option. In a large shop, a dropped ceiling such as this will also help retain heat. Acoustical ceiling tiles are an inexpensive alternative; the tiles are attached to furring strips that are nailed to the joists.

SHOP TIP

Making the transition to a raised floor

If part of your shop has a raised floor, you can make a smooth transition from the lower concrete floor with several beveled 2-by-6s laid end-to-end. Cut a rabbet in one edge of each 2-by-6 to accommodate the plywood floor and the 1-by-2 grid underneath. Then bevel the opposite edge, forming a ramp to facilitate moving items from one floor to the other. Nail or screw the plywood to the 2-by-6s.

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