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  • #16
    The ceiling tile idea looks like something I should seriously consider - it checks the boxes for all of my concerns:
    - It looks low-weight which is a BIG concern of mine. Looking at the span of some of the truss beams in my shop/garage building I was always concerned that the long 2x4s (wall to wall, mostly to keep the roof from bowing the walls outwards) wouldn't really support the weight of drywall panels.

    - access to the attic area remains - simply move/remove a few tiles as needed. Drywall would be fixed in position limiting access... adding a typical pull-down access stair and crawling through the attic on those wimpy looking 2x4s never appealed to me. I want to maintain access for maintenance purposes - to look for roof leaks, fix the chef's fan attic vent if/when necessary, inspect for unauthorized 4/6/8 legged critters, etc.And it'd make it much easier to add more wiring too.I have conduit already running just above the walls... moving one row of ceiling tiles to access those conduits and/or add more is trivially easy.

    - installation looks a bit easier too... smaller/lighter panels compared to drywall so less grunt work and easier fitting. My trusses and other support 2x4s (diagonals in the corners) create a bit of an obstacle course up there. Especially for panels as large as drywall.

    I can run normal insulation bats between the rafters/trusses along the roof itself; using those spacer duct things to keep the insulation from blocking all airflow on the underside of the roof sheathing. Right now that's an easy installation in my shop... but how to cover/hide the insulation when done has been the question. Until now.

    thanks for the great idea!

    mpc

    p.s. the drywall panels in my shop are screwed to studs like normal... BUT the seams are not taped at all. So it's fairly easy to remove a panel for additional wiring or whatever (potential A/C ducting? ) when needed. Since this building is detached from the "living space" of the house the joints don't require sealing/taping. I believe anyway... the garage attached to the house has one wall fully finished & sealed --> the wall shared with the living space plus a few feet of the walls adjacent to that one. I quizzed the city code inspector (when I had the house A/C installed) and he said that was all code required around here. So even though I've drywalled the detached garage/shop building, taping the joints isn't essential. I didn't fill in the screw holes either so finding the studs is trivially easy!

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    • #17
      Another thing about shop storage: I like to keep stuff put away... and to keep tools with their accessories. The plastic boxes that come with many tools often do a good job of storing stuff and making it obvious when something is missing. BUT those "suitcases" are horribly inefficient on overall space AND require a free/clean tabletop when you actually want to get to the tool. So I only use those for things that I don't use all that often... where I'd likely forget what accessories actually belong to that tool otherwise. Such tools and suitcases live on the top of my wall mounted cabinets... the suitcases are sometimes too large to put inside cabinets and are especially too big for drawers. And I do need a step stool to reach 'em. Larger jigs and fixtures live above the cabinets too.

      Besides the basic roll-around tool cabinet/boxes, one of the most useful storage things in my shop is a wall mounted pegboard "book" for basic hand tools. I've posted pics of it at pegboard pages - see post #7 This puts frequently used small tools right above my workbench and keeps things separated/sorted. That's an old picture; I've moved many of the tools around since then as I've added a few more hand saws. As with the rest of my storage, I try to keep each page/drawer/cabinet/whatever to a particular theme as much as possible. So the "hand saws" pages have been re-worked and are less cluttered looking than that pic shows even after adding two more detail saws.

      And I have a large roll-around auto-shop/machinists style tool chest from HF near the bench that holds all sorts of stuff. Lots of not-too-tall drawers makes it easy to find things that don't "fit" pegboard too well and would end up piled on top of each other with shelves or deep drawers. Things like files, tape measures, rulers, manuals for the power tools, brushes, the Wixey angle gauge, and a few fairly fragile items live in this tool chest. It would also be ideal for chisel storage though I have my "daily use" chisels on the even-faster-to-reach pegboard pages and my nicer/more expensive chisels are in the same cabinet that has my other hand-tool favorites: my hand plane collection.

      mpc
      Last edited by mpc; 07-11-2018, 11:31 PM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by mpc View Post
        The ceiling tile idea looks like something I should seriously consider - it checks the boxes for all of my concerns:
        - It looks low-weight which is a BIG concern of mine. Looking at the span of some of the truss beams in my shop/garage building I was always concerned that the long 2x4s (wall to wall, mostly to keep the roof from bowing the walls outwards) wouldn't really support the weight of drywall panels.
        Yes, most "drop ceiling/ceiling panel" systems are very lightweight -- exactly HOW lightweight depends on the materials (there are a huge number of different kinds, from simple thin plastic corrugated sheets {even CLEAR plastic for recessed fluorescent tube lights} as well as thing plastic coated fiberglas, various "mylar & metalicized" coated molded foam+plastic panels and the cheapest "mineral board") and "styles" of the panels (they're all "lightweight" it's just that with some kinds that term doesn't do them justice, they have so little mass that "featherweight" would probably be a better term). And yes, especially if you're planning on hanging OTHER stuff from the trusses, eliminating the weight of sheetrock/drywall will help. (Hint: it's STILL not generally a great idea to hang HEAVY things {or rig "chain/electric hoists" and such} from generic trusses, especially not near the center of the span -- out near the wall is less of a concern {though not ZERO concern} -- much better is if somehow the weight is more directly transferred to the outer bearing wall; hence wall mounted things rather than ceiling mounted.)


        - access to the attic area remains - simply move/remove a few tiles as needed. Drywall would be fixed in position limiting access... adding a typical pull-down access stair and crawling through the attic on those wimpy looking 2x4s never appealed to me. I want to maintain access for maintenance purposes - to look for roof leaks, fix the chef's fan attic vent if/when necessary, inspect for unauthorized 4/6/8 legged critters, etc.And it'd make it much easier to add more wiring too.I have conduit already running just above the walls... moving one row of ceiling tiles to access those conduits and/or add more is trivially easy.
        Yes, especially if you use a "snap in" system like the CeilingLink product... literally you can just "pull out" part of the lower CeilingLink "T" (inverted "T") channel from the upper one and then remove/replace the panels as needed or desired. Doing things like running Romex electrical wire becomes even easier if you do as I did and run "furring strips" (even if just 1/2" thick) perpendicular to the truss/rafters and screw the upper "T" of the CeilingLink channel to that; that way there are "gaps/channels" in both directions, i.e. length-wise from front to back of building, as well as width-wise from left to right.)

        As for the "pull down stair" things (and you CAN get aluminum ones), they're not meant for regular/frequent use buy a bunch of heavyset people (i.e. not a "party location") nor should typical garage truss "attic" storage space be used for massive/heavy things (you're right in that the trusses just generally are NOT designed for that) -- but as a place to store infrequently needed (like say camping gear, folding chairs, etc) and relatively "lightweight" crap (especially sealed in boxes or those big plastic bins), to be accessed by ONE person at a time... well that's another matter.


        - installation looks a bit easier too... smaller/lighter panels compared to drywall so less grunt work and easier fitting. My trusses and other support 2x4s (diagonals in the corners) create a bit of an obstacle course up there. Especially for panels as large as drywall.
        In addition to the other advantages -- that was the BIG "selling/deciding point" to me -- since I knew I'd likely have to do almost ALL of the install single-handed, and probably across the span of several weeks/weekends; also (as I think I already mentioned) I could do it "little by little" allowing me to shift all of the crap in the garage to one side or the other, etc, allowing me to work my way across the garage.


        I can run normal insulation bats between the rafters/trusses along the roof itself; using those spacer duct things to keep the insulation from blocking all airflow on the underside of the roof sheathing. Right now that's an easy installation in my shop... but how to cover/hide the insulation when done has been the question. Until now.
        Yup! Exactly. Really GOOD R value (not only helps keep the garage warm in winter, but also COOL in summer).

        One note though, the "attic" space, once it gets closed/insulated off, WILL tend to become almost like an "oven" (in summer times, on hot sunny days; and of course a "freezer" in winter {which you want, cold attic prevents "ice dams" at the overhang}) -- well maybe "oven" is a bit of an exaggeration, but we're talking easily reaching 120 degrees F and possibly higher (in case you're using it AS an "attic" for storing things, stuff won't "burst into flame" but certain plastics COULD "melt" over time) -- point is you probably want to install some kind of a "ridge vent" at the peak, as well as a way (screened louvered vents on the gable ends) for cooler air to circulate in, allowing the heat to vent out.


        p.s. the drywall panels in my shop are screwed to studs like normal... BUT the seams are not taped at all. So it's fairly easy to remove a panel for additional wiring or whatever (potential A/C ducting? ) when needed. Since this building is detached from the "living space" of the house the joints don't require sealing/taping. I believe anyway... the garage attached to the house has one wall fully finished & sealed --> the wall shared with the living space plus a few feet of the walls adjacent to that one. I quizzed the city code inspector (when I had the house A/C installed) and he said that was all code required around here. So even though I've drywalled the detached garage/shop building, taping the joints isn't essential. I didn't fill in the screw holes either so finding the studs is trivially easy!
        Yeah, problem with removing & reinstalling sheetrock/drywall is that it tends to not LIKE having that done... And no, as far as I know, no "taping/mudding" (or indeed ANY interior wall panel at all) is "required" by building codes when you're talking about detached non-living-space structures. (Generally with "attached" garages the main concern is a "firewall" on the wall wherever the garage "meets" the living quarters... AFAIK they don't give a crap what/how the rest of the garage is "finished" or not, but of course LOCAL "codes" can vary on that.)

        I chiefly did the plywood because I wanted the durability of the plywood (if lumber crashed against a wall, I didn't want it to go THROUGH the wall panel, LOL...) and also I wanted the extra strength it provided, as well as the ability to basically screw ANYTHING in, ANYWHERE along the wall (up/down, left/right) and to be able to unscrew it, move it rescrew it, etc... without weakening the actual panel. The plywood WAS more expensive (in terms of the panel material itself), but when I figured in the cost (AND effort/work) of trying to prime/paint/finish it... well, the plywood was worth it IMO.

        Plus, when I was a kid (maybe 9 or 10), my brother (3 year older) and I insulated & finished off the walls in our Dad's garage -- with his approval & permission at the time (plus his money paying for the material, we just provided the "free" child/slave labor) -- lower 4 ft in particle board, upper 4 ft in sheetrock/drywall (taped/mudded & painted per his instructions) -- and while it LOOKED good enough, there were several occasions when he had to "patch" the drywall, and a couple of spots where the particle board got damp/wet & crumbled... he "cussed" at those choices several times, and frequently stated he'd REALLY wished he'd spent a little more, and had us install plywood instead.

        SO I DECIDED TO BE "WISE" -- and to learn from that... that is other people's "mistakes" rather than just my own. (Just like I learned -- again from my father's experience -- that I didn't want my workshop to be in a basement, and I learned from other people's houses, that I absolutely did NOT want an "attached" garage, etc).

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        • #19
          Originally posted by mpc View Post
          Another thing about shop storage: I like to keep stuff put away... and to keep tools with their accessories. The plastic boxes that come with many tools often do a good job of storing stuff and making it obvious when something is missing. BUT those "suitcases" are horribly inefficient on overall space AND require a free/clean tabletop when you actually want to get to the tool. So I only use those for things that I don't use all that often... where I'd likely forget what accessories actually belong to that tool otherwise. Such tools and suitcases live on the top of my wall mounted cabinets... the suitcases are sometimes too large to put inside cabinets and are especially too big for drawers. And I do need a step stool to reach 'em. Larger jigs and fixtures live above the cabinets too.
          Pretty much in agreement on all points there.


          Besides the basic roll-around tool cabinet/boxes, one of the most useful storage things in my shop is a wall mounted pegboard "book" for basic hand tools. I've posted pics of it at pegboard pages - see post #7 This puts frequently used small tools right above my workbench and keeps things separated/sorted. That's an old picture; I've moved many of the tools around since then as I've added a few more hand saws. As with the rest of my storage, I try to keep each page/drawer/cabinet/whatever to a particular theme as much as possible. So the "hand saws" pages have been re-worked and are less cluttered looking than that pic shows even after adding two more detail saws.
          I really LIKE the "pages" idea (especially double-sided and the way you "stair stepped" them) -- but I'm afraid that I have to agree with leehljp -- I really can't STAND "pegboard" or the pegboard "hooks" and such -- now SLATWALL, that's a different matter.


          And I have a large roll-around auto-shop/machinists style tool chest from HF near the bench that holds all sorts of stuff. Lots of not-too-tall drawers makes it easy to find things that don't "fit" pegboard too well and would end up piled on top of each other with shelves or deep drawers. Things like files, tape measures, rulers, manuals for the power tools, brushes, the Wixey angle gauge, and a few fairly fragile items live in this tool chest. It would also be ideal for chisel storage though I have my "daily use" chisels on the even-faster-to-reach pegboard pages and my nicer/more expensive chisels are in the same cabinet that has my other hand-tool favorites: my hand plane collection.
          Click image for larger version

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ID:	833804Do you mean a MECHANIC'S tool chest/cabinet/cart (like the blue one at left -- or sometimes two separate pieces, a base chest with a smaller upper chest) ???
          Because generally speaking a MACHINIST'S tool chest (like the "wood" one at right) is a somewhat different beast.. generally they're a lot smaller, not on wheels, and with no base cabinet.

          They DO have some "sort of" similarities, in that they both have relatively "shallow" drawers -- and for the very reason that you note -- keeping tools from "getting buried" -- but generally MACHINIST chests have a lot of very SMALL (narrow) drawers (felt lined like a jewelry box; lots of small tools, precision stuff, etc -- whereas MECHANICS chests tend to have full-width drawers.

          Reason I ask is because -- inheriting my fathers metal lathe and milling machine (and all the rest of the bits & pieces, which he NEVER had a decent cabinet to organize them in) -- I've contemplated possibly buying the Harbor Freight ("el cheapo" imported from China or elsewhere even more dubious) "machinist" chest... and I'm wondering what the quality is actually like (could be decent, could be -- more likely is, given the price -- complete crap). So if you have the one at right I'd like to know what you think of it (quality wise).

          Wondering if it's worth the bother even taking a trip to look at in person (nearest HF is like an hour drive from me, and in a city I usually don't get too often, so it'd basically be a "special trip"); and though I know I can order it online, well it's just not something I want to buy w/o being certain.

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          • #20
            I think my "final" solution for having tools neat and also at-hand has evolved into a pegboard near the assembly table, and a very small, open rolling cart. That stupid little $30 cart changed everything, and the shelves/holders have mesh bottoms so sawdust and junk won't collect. The impacts/drills sit on top, along with any "right now" hardware. Project pieces and other hardware in the middle. Gloves and other "maybe" supplies at the bottom, or stuff I'll need later in the project. Baskets on the side for drawing tools, cutting tools, etc. Things come from the pegboard if needed and the cart keeps them with me.

            I keep some tools in their rotomolded boxes, but only if they are rarely used tools and have accessories to fit with them. Say, the Dremel, or the heat gun, things like that. Higher-usage things live on the pegboard or in zip-up tool bags on a shelf nearby. The most-used like impacts and drills live on the rolling cart now.

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            • #21
              "Mechanics tool chest." I knew "machinists chest" sounded wrong as I was typing it bleary-eyed late last night. I have the US General double-bank roller cabinet. HF's current version is item 64133 or 64281. I bought it many years ago on sale - much less than the $480 current price though I don't remember the exact price. It was considerably lower though; the sale price was well below a typical HF sale percentage so I jumped on it at the time. It's been a good cabinet though it doesn't roll very well. It's especially hard to "park" against a wall as the non-castering wheels face parallel to the wall, not perpendicular to it. So you have to drive it as though parallel parking a car. And thus you need space to the left or right of where you want it parked while parking it. I only move mine when the shop layout is being changed so it's not a huge issue for me. The stuff I have stored in mine likely doesn't weigh even half the capacity of this thing so the drawers and drawer slides aren't challenged by my tools. So far everything works well - smooth, no hints of jams or trying to flex out of shape, etc. One of HF's "gems" in my opinion. I never installed the handle either so I can park other things closer to it. The pics on the HF web site show the handle on the side by the non-castering wheels... looks like it'd be darn hard to steer that way! Oh, one nuisance issue with mine: the key lock is spring loaded to eject the key. So you can't unlock it and leave the keys hanging from the lock... they'll get spat out onto the floor when you let go. That's my only complaint.

              Park one of those near your bench... holds a ton of stuff for easy/ready access. The top can be used to temporarily pile stuff, hold a copy of your plans, and makes a good place for battery chargers. Lots of semi-shallow drawers beats a few deep drawers for hand tools, drill bits, etc.

              I've picked up a couple of the HF "mover's dollies" too when they were on sale - the 30x18 inch ones. They're handy if you have stuff piled up for storage... stack boxes on these things and at least you can shove them out of the way easily. The casters don't lock so they wouldn't work too well for mobile tool cabinets but they're fine for making that non-shop stuff stored in your shop/garage less of a nuisance. Or under that trash can full of cutoffs... or under the boxes of holiday decorations...Side benefit: your boxes are now 3 - 4 inches off the floor in case the garage/basement/storage building gets a minor flood.

              mpc
              Last edited by mpc; 08-01-2018, 10:26 PM.

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