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Garage and Shop Talk

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    Like the tread title says; Garage and Shop Talk.

    I’m starting a thread to talk about all things garage and shop. Buildings, basements, sheds, wrenching in a driveway, tools and tricks etc…

    Part of hobby is building, fabricating, storing and repairing our rigs. Goes with the territory.

    Some of us have garages and workshops, some only have driveways to play on and others have nothing at all, but still want to accomplish the end goal of building a wheeling rig, mild to wild.

    let the thread begin!


    Personally, I do not have a garage. I dream hourly about owning a garage.
    Many of you know I have a basement work shop jammed full of machine tools, to the point of not being able to work safely anymore. Ive outgrown my space years ago, and stress over my lack of space is something fearse. All of my welding is done in the driveway when weather, seasons and time align like the stars in the sky. Waiting for these so called stars to align is frustrating. Same with wrenching on my truck. My driveway has seen a lot of action through the years, many-a-rig have been lifted, fixed and modified there. We’ve had a few wrench-a-thons. But again, weather dictates as do the seasons. I’m tired of waiting around to get things done.

    I can’t complain to much. Having a driveway to work in can take you far. Ultimately a a garage is a way better environment to work in.

    I got fed up with not having a covered space to wrench and work in, so I rented a workshop/garage. Good rental price, but quite a distance to drive if I want to play. The current situation is growing old.

    Recently I was looking at out finances and realized we could build a garage in the backyard. I created a few floor plans to accommodate the machines I own and space to park the Tacoma and work on it.

    Obviously the bigger the garage the better. Id build the maximum size garage I can that the city bylaws would allow. I could care less about the then limited backyard space. The wife didn’t share my ideals. Anyway long story short, due to circumstances beyond my control, the garage planning was thrown back into the dusty heap of desires. So I’m back to square one… dreaming of the day I get my garage.

    It got me thinking of garage sizes. Obviously the bigger the better.. Right? But most of us are not in that situation. The biggest garage I would be allowed to build as per the bylaws would be 20’x30′. I could do quit well in a space that size. Then I looked at 16’x30′ and 20’x20′ to give us more backyard. I could squeeze in that space and still be happy… I think? Maybe not.

    Anyway, it will be a long while before I can think of building.

    What is your situation?



    I really think 20×30 would be a lot nice to work in than 20×20. Most Toyota’s are 16ish feet long depending on model. With a front bumper sticking out and a hitch at the back you get tight for space.

    I’m spoiled because my wife and I rent out of parents place still, and it has a 2 bay 30×30 roughly. Most of one side is filled with equipment for work as you see in most of my pics. But even working in the one bay it’s enough to get done what you need. If you have stationary tools though stuff adds up fast. One guy I saw on another forum had all his tools on casters so he could roll them out.

    When you’re limited in space you’re a lot wiser about where you place things and effective use of storage though.

    Ive though about adding another sea can on my parents property and framing them in with a roof and sliding door. It’s very far from the house though and tough to get the power I need for a compressor and welder etc.



    30×30? That’s a great size, too bad you don’t have the run of both sides of the garage.

    almost all of my machine tools are on castors, and can hydraulically lift and lower to contact a full footprint on the floor. My shop is so small and the tools are too big for the space. Even with castors its hard tome and Tetris machines in the floorspace given. My lathe is not on castors because it needs to be level to avoid bed twist. Im fussy about the lathe running true. I’ll throw post some pics when I get a chance.




    ryan, i worked out of an 11 x 21 for a number of years before i built my present shop. thankfully my lot size n bylaw bull$h!t let me build what i’ve got.

    how much backyard space does your bride want? no, i’m not bein’ a dick with that question. just trying to figure out what sqr footage you can work with.

    evan’s on the right track with your equipment on castors. for that i’d allow 36” depth so with that # in mind i feel the minimum width of building would be 14′ inside. minimum length i’d put at 28′ inside. with a work bench across the end, leaves 10ish feet clear for work space.

    if you’ve got a minute sketch out your lot out line showing the house on it n post it up. i’ve got a couple of other ideas also.


    My garage is 13 or 14′ x 40′.   I could fit the Taco and Tundra in there if I really wanted to, but also have 4 motorcycles, 2 bicycles, all my tools, work bench and beer fridge in there.

    still too F-ing cold to work out there right now.  I have a construction heater, but not patient enough to wait for it to warm up.

    When I moved in to the house, I filled the garage and it took me 3 months to organize it so I could park vehicles in there…


    i remember us replacing my first drive shaft in your driveway 😀


    3 Months… I hear ya Steve. We just moved in and we have the same situation as you and countless others did and will. Thought it would take a lot less time to clear garage for vehicles. LIFE GETS IN THE WAY! Unfortunately my vehicle’s battery gave up the ghost yesterday am. Nothing a lunchtime trip to Costco with Sweetie and 20 min in work’s parking lot couldn’t solve. Fueled by good spirits (not the liquid kind) and Costco hot dogs! Thank the wrench gods that nothing went snap/crack due to the chill. Good motivator to get on clearing the garage. I am very grateful for finally getting a garage even though it has shrunk. Hey Ryan/Kev. Still remember “Dave’s freezing wrench day” in your driveway a few Novembers ago. Can’t thank you guys enough. And yes, even you Kev. Eventually we’ll have the house warming, but I’ll be more stoked for the garage warming party (esp after the gas heater gets installed)!

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by dave.

    so when you thinkin’ for the shop warmin’ shenanigans dave? are crusty ole reprobates welcome? if so, let this one know.

    good spirits?? there’s other kinds than the liquid kind, i did not know this thing.


    I’ll chime in here.  When Sam and I looked at our house to buy it in 2012, I didnt need much convincing past the shop.  It’s an oversized double car garage approx 24’ wide, 32’ deep.  With enough time spent stacking, I have fit at one time Tacoma, Grand Caravan, 3 atv, 4 dirtbikes, and 30-years worth of my dads spare parts for cars he doesnt own.  Space was very tight, and squeezing both cars through the single bay door was fun, but I didnt have to scrape 1” of ice off anything once the freezing rain went away.

    I made myself a floor plan back in September while I was trying to figure out my new setup.  With Redee going under the knife all winter, I had to make sure I was prepared.

    1. work space all 4-sides around Redee (roughly 14ft long x 6ft wide)
    2. open space to “explode” some assembly should I need to disect it
    3. Occasional parking for Sam’s focus should an exceptionally bad storm roll through
    4. working space for an ATV as my neighbour and I flip broken kijiji shit for fun


    With the current setup Ive hit my targets, and technically the Taco fits inside with 1-inch to spare…exactly 1” when tbe front bumper is touching Redee’s rear tire.  It fits, but not well enough to perform any work.  Protected parking only.

    Changes I desire?

    Cheaper heat!!  Stupid electric heater is too expensive to run.

    Taller ceiling height, or steeper pitched roof to utilize as overhead storage.  Anybody dreaming of a hoist?  Not with 9’ ceilings you aren’t.  Man-cave loft….somewhere to sit and drink a beer, but not have an old grimey couch impede on working space.

    Running water would be sweet, but I’d give it up for cheaper heat haha.

    More overhead lighting.  I find myself grabbing a trouble light 95% of the time I need to work on something.


    @toys – sweet setup.  I tend to be like your old man…  I had 77 Cordoba parts 15 years after I scrapped my last one…


    @slick_yota I’ve already become my old man. I’ll be pulling Toyota parts from my garage for years to come.

    When I moved from London to Shelburne 6.5 years ago, I moved boxes of 4Runner parts both new never-installed, and used from many donors. I Didn’t own a 4Runner at the time, was a full year after I moved in I bought Zombie’s ‘87. Apple didn’t fall far from the tree.


    lol!  At least now I’ve had the same Taco and Kawi for the last 10 years, so all my parts are still relevant!

    I wheeled with zombie back in the day.  that runner was killer!



    A couple rough scale sketches I was playing around with to get an idea of garage sizes and floor plan for the tooling. Im not crazy about the garage sizes. I’ll outgrow them in no time. The machine tools displayed are not the complete list. I still have 2 more vertical bandsaws, a Ridgid 500 pipe and bar threader, chop saw, scroll saw, 2 blacksmith anvils, 2 forges tongs hammers and tools, engine hoist, plasma cutter, a big steel welding table 3’x8′, 12″&6″ sheet metal shears, compressor, 2 more tool box top cabinets, and a 3d manual router duplicator for making gun stocks and other things. Im probably forgetting a couple tools.. LOL

    Anyway, then there’s the collection of 2 sets of tires for 3 vehicles, tons of steel plate, tube, bar stock, truck parts, and a bunch of other crap. Snow blower, lawn mower, garden tools, bikes and such currently live in 2 sheds. One shed would be deleted to make room for a garage.

    Looking at this “list”, I’m realizing I don’t need a garage, I need a complex.

    I’ll post my house lot drawing, in a bit

    *Update: added my property survey drawing. I added a proposed driveway extension, deck and biggest allowable garage as per bylaw.

    Even with a 20’x30′ I’ll outgrow it immediately. Im sure the wife would like her piece of the pie.

    Id sell the place and move to the country to gain more land and ideally an out building , but the real-estate  prices are unattainable in this neck of the woods + the wife wouldn’t want to be farther than a 10 minute drive to the box stores and work. I’m hesitant in dumping money into a garage that would not suit my needs. I could sell some of my equipment, but I use the stuff, not as much as I could if given space… Chicken and the egg situation. Renting a space in town is ridiculously expensive and zoning for light industrial (to run a welder and insurance liability) is harder to come by as far as “small-is” unites go. Heat hydro are above and beyond rent. Besides, I want to walk 10′-20′ to a garage from my front door, not commute to a space like my current situation (40 minute drive one way)


    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by 4307.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by 4307.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by 4307.

    Nice sketches!  But I agree, you’ve already outgrown both floor plans.  Give yohrself maximum allowable (building permit) ceiling height and create a “storage loft” for lesser used tools (or just the lighter ones), snow tires, bikes, garden tools, wagons etc…  storage which casts no footprint to “workable” space.


    I have a massive mezzanine.   it’s the width of the back of the garage and 6′ deep, then 16′ x 5′ up the one side.  One of my compressors resides up there, hardwired in. You can see the ladder going up to in this pic – it’s pretty heavy duty:


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