Downsizing .... big time.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Long Island, NY
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    Downsizing .... big time.

    So right now I got let's call it a 1500 square ft shop which I rent.

    But a few months from now I'll be giving it up and be needing to cram it all into much less space.

    The half of the garage I'm already using is filled with the wood shop. But I still need space to weld and paint (spray). And no the other half of the garage is off limits!!

    Can't build an accessory structure on my property due to zoning.
    Renting another space is out.

    Creative suggestions welcome.

    Current thoughts include moving wood shop to basement and welding in garage. Downside is wrestling 4x8x3/4 plywood down there. Other thought is putting one or the other operation in a trailer. Don't think that a cargo container will keep neighbors happy or be legal.

    This all will be for about 5 years until I can move as far away as I can from this snobbery rule infected suburbia.

    And another factor is that currently I'm in long island ny so it's cold here in the winter ruling out working under a tent.

    To lighten the load I will be selling my mini mill and lathe. Don't use them enough.

    I'm sure there are smarter/ more imaginative folks here to give me some fodder for thought.

    Thank you all in advance.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    ct.
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    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    I’m probably in a slightly different situation,
    but am also limited in space in my one-car
    garage. In order to make space( for more
    stuff) I’ve put-compressor overhead,tool
    storage under lathe,two bench grinders
    and one disc sander stacked vertically,
    welders under welding table( no carts),
    welding table base doubles as base for
    pick-up truck crane,etc.
    There are compromises to be made with
    a small shop.I’ve chosen capability(more
    equipment )over convenience and open
    space.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    40

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    I've started mounting all my tools and tables onto caster wheels just for something like this happening. Caster wheels are a start at least.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    446

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    I have a friend that was in a similar situation. He ended up making a large loading ramp (earth and small retaining wall) about 30 feet in width, to the height of cargo trailers on wheels. He modified the trailers with roll up openings on the side as well as man doors and would just park them there and use them as a shop. He used RV hookups and one trailer even had a small office/restroom. Every now and again the city or a neighbor would make a fuss, he'd move them forward 5 feet, and be back at it in less than an hour usually. They gave up after a few years pretty much, but still come around every so often. Both "trailers" were licensed and plated for road use and were always taken out just last week whenever code enforcement came around. Depending on yard size and the like you could use smaller cargo "trailers" and stairs or a movable deck type deal rather than the ramps. Good luck either way!
    Last edited by SlowBlues; 01-08-2019 at 01:02 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    2,342

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    You can't add another building, but could you add a 2nd story to your existing garage for storage?
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    new york city
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    6,525

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    h; sorry to hear you gotta let some tools go. i'm in florida right now or i'd be all over that.
    i.u.o.e. # 15
    queens, ny and sunny fla

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Roatan island
    Posts
    229

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    Casters on machinery really helps. I put casters on everything. Visit SurplusCenter.com for a huge assortment at very good prices.

    I work inside two 20' shipping containers, one wood the other metal. I grew up in Queens, NY and suspect that zoning makes that a non starter. Unless ....

    Is it legit to have a detached garage plus your regular garage? Putting 2 shipping containers side by side and possibly even cutting a passage from one to the other gives quite a bit of room. Cover the containers with some cladding and a roof to make it look normal for the area. Just an idea.
    To my knowledge, I own:
    50% of all the plasma cutters,
    33% of all the TIG welders and
    20% of all the MIG welders on the island.

    I own 1 of each.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Near Traverse City, Mi.
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    317

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    How big is the lathe? I am looking for a 16x60 or larger.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    69

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    I've set up a pretty usable basement workshop for lack of funds to build the pole barn I want. I put in good lighting and plenty of outlets and have more room down there than I have in the garage to do stuff. I have a mill and lathe and other metal and wood working tools down there.

    One idea for you is to make a collapsable table in your garage or a portable table you can move outside to cut the 4x8 plywood boards down into usable sizes for whatever project you're doing and then take the smaller pieces down into the basement.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    CT
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    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    I have a 2 car garage, half of which belongs to the wife, and half of which is mine for a workshop. The garage is under the house, so no chance of putting anything overhead. I have most everything including my work table on wheels and I roll it out into the driveway when I need room to spread out. At the end of the day I roll it all back in. I can do small projects inside, but if I need to fire up the band saw, I am most likely rolling everything out.
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  11. #11
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    Jun 2012
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    CT
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    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    Around here lots of folks use these to get around the zoning rules...you may want to look into it

    Name:  80006_003_2.jpg
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Size:  141.6 KB
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  12. #12
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    Oct 2012
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    Sacramento, California
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    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    If the HOA fees (fcuk hoas, their inventors, and the inventors mother's) are less than rent, I say screw em and drop a conex.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Long Island, NY
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    218

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fnord5 View Post
    If the HOA fees (fcuk hoas, their inventors, and the inventors mother's) are less than rent, I say screw em and drop a conex.
    Not a hoa issue. It's just that I live in a township where knowledge of tools is akin to devil worship. You should see the dirty looks I get when I got the bike on a lift in the driveway let alone the truck on some jack stands changing pads. Folks around here are accustomed to paying people like me to do stuff that they're too ignorant to do themselves. But they're not accustomed to living with people like me. We're supposed to live elsewhere and not be able to afford to live with their kind.

    My nextdoor neighbor once referred to me as farmer Henry when he saw me (close your eyes if your delicate) riding around on my mower.

    I just say was up fat Ben?

    He gets the message.
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  14. #14
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    May 2014
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    My closest neighbor is over a mile away and runs his own heavy equipment repair truck, so my neighborhood is very quiet... until we fire the tractors up.
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  15. #15
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    Mar 2013
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    1,052

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    I would forget about spray painting completely if you're in that type of neighborhood.

    Other than that it's easy. Wood and welding can coexist in the same place. Make sure you have a dust extractor for wood chips. They will catch fire easily but the wood itself wont. And then some blankets or welding screens.

    You can buy more compact multiprocess machines. Store things on the walls, not the floor. Have things movable if it's on the floor.

    Nobody would know that you're welding if they can't see you. It's grinding that will disturb the neighbors. So no abrasive cutoff saw or unneeded noise.

    Good luck BTW. I was in a similar position years ago and it just didn't work. I had to rent a place but found one at a farmer for not much money.
    Last edited by Pete.S.; 01-12-2019 at 12:43 PM.

  16. #16
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    Mar 2005
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    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    Around here lots of folks use these to get around the zoning rules...you may want to look into it

    Name:  80006_003_2.jpg
Views: 1361
Size:  141.6 KB
    I had one of these a few years ago to store a car in.

    A couple things to beware of...

    They need lots of ventilation.
    At the time of year when it’s freezing cold one day then the next day it’s 50° everything inside will sweat. / rust.

    They get very hot inside especially in the sun.

    Another thing is snow load

    They can and will collapse under heavy snow especially if they are not On 100% level ground.

    The third thing is high winds.

    Make sure you stake it down good.


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  17. #17
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    Nov 2012
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    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    I had one of these a few years ago to store a car in.

    A couple things to beware of...

    They need lots of ventilation.
    At the time of year when it’s freezing cold one day then the next day it’s 50° everything inside will sweat. / rust.

    They get very hot inside especially in the sun.

    Another thing is snow load

    They can and will collapse under heavy snow especially if they are not On 100% level ground.

    The third thing is high winds.

    Make sure you stake it down good.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    john;
    i had a smaller version of the shelter in the picture and was too lazy to lag it down to the concrete. on a windy nite it flew over my six foot stockade fence into my neighbors backyard. i got rid of the canvas and kept the frame for my macaw to hang out on.
    i.u.o.e. # 15
    queens, ny and sunny fla

  18. #18
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    Jun 2012
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    Ct
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    2,222

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    Put things on wheels, and go vertical that's how you maximize space

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    NH
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    650

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    Quote Originally Posted by henry42 View Post
    Folks around here are accustomed to paying people like me to do stuff that they're too ignorant to do themselves. But they're not accustomed to living with people like me. We're supposed to live elsewhere and not be able to afford to live with their kind.
    I'd like to add; live far away from them but they don't want to pay for us to travel to their special utopia.

    I'm with Metalman, if you can't go out, go up by adding a second floor. Storage, painting, woodworking on the second floor with a double door in the gable, big wood projects can be sub assemblies fabbed on the upper floor and put together on the ground floor. I discovered casters about 15 years ago with some bakery frames on casters that were given to me; started with oil drums and scrap bins on wheels, then plasma cart and welding table, fastener drawer chests are next to have casters. I knew a guy that wanted 200 SF more than zoning allowed, the town acknowledged that the 200 SF wasn't going to adversely affect the neighborhood but "rules are for the greater good"... so, he built to the maximum height, he admitted he didn't need it but the cost was worth the "giving the finger to those that crossed him".
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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    636

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    I'd move most of the woodworking stuff down to the basement.

    Handling large sheets of plywood isn't a problem if you lave that operation upstairs where you have plenty of room.

    How often are you ripping sheets down to size? Can you leave the table saw upstairs and then lug the cut pieces down to the basement? What about having the sheets cut for you by the store? I know Lowe's does that regularly, though I'm not sure if they'll be good at getting the measurements as dead on as you'd like.

    Organizing things is the really big problem. I love the french cleat style of wall because you can move things around very easily as your needs change. Also, look to the unused ceiling space for storing long pieces. it's a bit of work to get stuff up there and back down when you need it, but that's hundreds of square feet nobody really uses.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Long Island, NY
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    218

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    I had a client who called this past Friday asking if I'd wait for him as he would be coming after closing.

    No problem I said!

    When he arrived I greeted him outside the shop where I just happened to have my very heavy (1/4" 2x2 main frame - its what I had laying around at the time) 3 tier welding cart.

    So I've already loaded the two welders, 2 cylinders, water cooler and 4 large boxes of welding tools and supplies.

    He was a quick thinker saying I guess you're expecting me to help you lift this into the truck.

    Yup I said!

    Free labor is always appreciated.
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  22. #22
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    Apr 2014
    Location
    richmond, va
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    428

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    Henry,
    I do the up and down thing as well. Most of my stuff is on wheels, table saw is a jobsite hitachi that is taken to the attic via rope when not in use. The compressor is upstairs as well. I just work it out, semi portable goes up and down depending on what is needed at the time. The heavy stuff is on wheels, including a 4 x 8 welding table, I just move what i don't need out of the way. Jacks go on the table, most everything is portable on wheels. The shop will fit my crx when everything is put away. The yard equipment is in a lean to off the rear.
    Regards
    Dave

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    11

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    I feel your pain, I had to downsize from 4800 sq-ft down to a 10' x 15' spot in the garage. As others have said, wheels, racks, shelves, and anything else to get stuff out of the way when you need to move around. I have a big piece of butcher block counter on top of my table saw when it's not in use. I'd think twice about getting rid of the mill and lathe, you might not use them often but when you need them there's no substitute. If you do decide to sell them let us know, I am looking for a small mill.

    John

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Ohio
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    598

    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    Current thoughts include moving wood shop to basement and welding in garage. Downside is wrestling 4x8x3/4 plywood down there.
    That's exactly what I've done. It works. 4x8's are cut down on the drive with a circular saw then if they need to be precision cut from that point, the pieces go down to the basement table saw. That's all you can do sometimes in a hoa "neighborhood".

  25. #25
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    Oct 2013
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    Re: Downsizing .... big time.

    Fellow Long Islander here...

    I don't have much of a solution for you but I certainly know the struggle of living out here and wanting to have a real shop.

    I use a 1 car detached garage and I have done what I can to make every inch of it as functional as possible from the floor to the walls and ceiling I use everything. I also have everything possible on casters.

    Hopefully some day when I have $2,000,000 to drop on a house (never) I can get something with a larger garage. I've considered renting an industrial space but the $3000 a month it would cost me is better spent towards that bigger house i'll never buy.
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