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New Workshop building

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Daniel Fleming05/10/2020 14:29:07
6 forum posts

Right. Have been kicked out of the garage due to extending the kitchen and need a new home. Looking at a wooden pent shed as the foundation of a new workshop. Will milling machines and lathes etc be happy in this sort of building. Not allowed to put a permanent structure in the front barged due to building regs. Any thoughts would be appreciated.



Journeyman05/10/2020 14:37:01
849 forum posts
152 photos

Have a look at my write up in Journeyman's Workshop did it a year ago so still fairly current.


Oldiron05/10/2020 14:54:47
621 forum posts
22 photos

As long as it has a proper floor and is insulated it should be good. Quite a few threads on the forums warning about unheated & uninsulated sheds.


Dave Halford05/10/2020 15:00:00
1142 forum posts
11 photos

New sheds even expensive ones like new fence panels are full of water, don't rush to fill it.

Howard Lewis05/10/2020 15:37:14
4143 forum posts
3 photos


Whatever you choose, do make sure that it is rigid with well insulated, walls, roof and if possible floor.

My first shop was none of these. It cost me a fortune replacing glass when the thing flexed with doing heavy work on the bench.

If the floor is concrete, have a false floor on it so that your feet do not get cold.

Make provision for ventilation, with a high level vent and one as low as possible. Rust is less likely in a shop that is warm and dry. The low level vent should allow moist air to fall out, rather than build up.

You exhale water vapour, as well as combustion heaters!

Heating should not involve combustion within the shop, so no paraffin, gas, or solid fuel heaters, leaving electricity which can be easily controlled with a thermostat. (I use a 2Kw fan heater in my small shop. ).

Windows are nice, but represent a security risk for all the expensive machines and material in there. What the thief can't see, he is less likely to try to steal.

On the subject of security, the door should be strong, with a 5 lever lock, and hinge bolts. Hopefully it cannot be sprung, the lock picked, or the hinge pins driven out for the door to be lifted out.

No thief is going to spend time breaking into a difficult place, rather than somewhere that is easy.

My shop has a secondhand fire door with a 6 lever lock, and home made hinge bolts.(Woodscrews with the heads turned off )

Even an attempt at a forced entry will cause problems and expense, so give no incentives to try.

Good lighting, with minimal shadows is vital.

Lots of power points, on a ring main, if that can be arranged.

Plan carefully before siting the machines, and leave space behind the Headstock for long material, and for possible Tailstock removal.

You can never have too much storage for tools or material.

Have enough headroom to open the belt cover, at the top of a mill, to reduce frustration!.

Goes without saying that benches and machines should be at heights that are comfortable for working.



Stuw06/10/2020 04:44:37
9 forum posts

Don’t forget to install a steel plastic coated panel roof on top of the roofing felt, it is a good time at this point to trap the kingspan insulation between the panel and the felt of the new shed, it serves 2 purposes,

1, the insulation is good in winter to keep your heat inside the workshop, and serves well in summer to prevent the shed from becoming an oven during the summer,

2, the thieves will stop at nothing if it’s easy to gain access, so the steel panels ( look like tiles and coated in plastic) will stop them ripping the roof off, this happened to me on my garden shed, and caused no end of damage.

the windows need to be protected with a black roller blind from ikea (cheap) which work well from prying eyes, and if your not bad at welding, knock up some burglar bars and install them with dome head coach bolts,

the door (s) must be strongly protected, one lock isn’t enough, get a strong hasp and an insurance lock also, if you have 2 doors for entry, join them with a swing bar and an extra padlock, the swing bar prevents the doors from being jemmid, mine has burglar bars over the door windows and a swing bar to keep them both together just in case.

hinges, if they are not hidden, you can buy clutch screws from wickes or screwfix, they go in but don’t come out.

if your budget is large, then a Swedish summer house is great, the walls are 35 or 44mm thick double tongue and groove, the inside height is better than a shed, this is a big feature since the machines can need the space. These are substantial buildings , mine was £1200 but it needed wiring/ LED lights, the steel roof, insulation, security, painting /treating outside, and I have a dehumidifier. Full cost about 3 grand. Worth every penny.

1 inch thick marine ply on the floor for extra support for the machines.

it fills up quickly so pick a big one think about space to work alongside the machines.

my mate has a shed, and he hits his head on the upper door frame cross member occasionally (unintentionally of course or maybe not)
have fun with the building, you deserve a good space to work in.

not done it yet06/10/2020 07:08:03
5382 forum posts
20 photos

Stevie gtr put up a video of his shed construction - made of very well insulated panels. That seems to be the best way to go - perhaps with even more insulation.

Draught-proof and insulation plus a dehumidifier, used as necessary, (is, I think) the way to go. My workshop has a minimum of 100mm of insulation.

A wooden shed, as stated above, would need complete sealing and a lot of internal insulation (reducing the internal volume). Good luck with your choices.

Vic06/10/2020 09:01:42
2685 forum posts
1 photos

I have a cabin made with 44mm thick timbers. Only the roof and the floor is insulated and I’ve not had any problems with rust.

Daniel Fleming06/10/2020 12:11:49
6 forum posts

Thank you so much for all your responses it is very much appreciated. I was looking a 10’ x 8’ shed, with the plan to insulate and line the walls. I have a electric panel heater to put in and a spur off the main circuit box for the power. I don’t plan to have Windows but sadly double doors can’t be avoided so I appreciate the suggestions about barring the door.
I hope that the shed being 150’ from the road will be helpful in reducing passing criminals but if someone wants to get in they will sadly.
now is the time for planning- and reducing the wish list down to something affordable!



Clive Foster06/10/2020 13:44:59
2533 forum posts
82 photos


Standard sheds tend to be torsionally weak being held square only by the cladding. When well loaded you can have "interesting" effects.

Take a very serious look at roll-your-own costs compared to a standard off the shelf building. The cost of improving an off the shelf shed can add up surprisingly fast. Unless the changes are quite modest there will often be little difference between improved shed and what you'd prefer built from scratch.

At 10 x 8 or so size 2 x 2 framing will be fine but clad inside and outside with OSB sheet before finishing off with shiplap outside to give a very strong structure. Add some extra framing where you'd probably put shelves. Sheds are always lower than ideal for workshops. Basic "ceiling" level, even if its only the bottom of the roof trusses not a proper ceiling, of 8 ft is a much nicer to work in and makes partial boarding out for storage practical.

For doors and windows look out for used household quality double gazed units from someone having a house re-furb. Shed doors are very made down to a price, used household much better with provision for a proper lock. Complete used window and frame if you want opening. Otherwise strip out the glass unit and fix into your own frame, having done both using the complete unit is lots less fuss even if opening is not needed.

Privacy film on the windows is an inexpensive way to keep out prying eyes.

When wiring up provide separate power via motor rated MCB for the machines. Use decent quality distribution boards fixed to the walls instead of standard double sockets. Generally never enough sockets in a workshop.


Edited By Clive Foster on 06/10/2020 13:45:39

Bazyle06/10/2020 13:59:32
5698 forum posts
208 photos

Wood cladding comes in 3 forms - feather-edge with big gaps, tounge and grooved which costs the most but actually wicks moisture up through the tight joints, and shiplap which is the best. In cheap sheds it is harvested from the papier-mache tree forests grown on accountants' hedge fund estates.

+1 for Stevie's construction.

Samsaranda06/10/2020 14:18:47
1018 forum posts
5 photos

If looking for windows to fit in the workshop visit local double glazing suppliers, they always have a pile of assorted new windows which the estimator mis measured when quoting, they are only too glad to get some money back on the mistakes, bargain with them because you are very likely the only customer they will get for what are brand new unused but as far as they are concerned scrap.

Dave W

Howard Lewis06/10/2020 14:49:58
4143 forum posts
3 photos

My shop was built, to my specification, by a friend. Starting point was 8 'x 4' sheets..

10' 9" x 6' 9" external. 19 mm cladding on 50 mm frames with 12 mm ply inner lining.

Roof, 50 x 50 mm bearers on 2' centres with 12mm cladding on both sides, with glass fibre insulation, as used on the walls,

Pitched roof, 8' high at front, 7'6" at rear, to allow room for the belt cover on the RF25 to be opened full, with the head at then top of the column.

After 11 years the felt was replaced by one piece of EPDM rubber, with plastic trims all round. The gutter is on the.back wall, into a water butt for SWMBO gardening activities..

Floor was 3/4 ply on 8" x 2" bearers (spaced to allow the legs of my folding crane to pass under when inserting machines. Corner to corner difference was 1 mm! Door end was 100 mm framing to accommodate the weight of the fire door!

On the walked on area of the floor, are hard plastic mats giving about 1" spacing for insulation, (and for the swarf to fall through. (Needs cleaning about twice a year, if not removed to recover dropped nuts, bolts washers, parts etc! )

Front is against a low patio wall, rear against 6' wooden fence. The end remote from the door abuts a low earth bank, so the bearers are protected on three sides.

Rigid and cosy!

Steel benches came from the scrapyard at work, One, 6' x 2'6" was cut down, together with a shorter one, to 18" wide. The RF25 sits on another 2'6" wide and cut and flitched from 6' for fit between the wall and the warehouse staging that carries the lathe.

Lighting :2 x 5' fluorescents on the ceiling, augmented by two worklights (now with LED lamps ) for the RF25, and another over the big vice on the narrow fitting bench. The lathe has its own 24V 50W Halogen light, on a goose neck, attached to the Cross Slide.

Power supply is via an RCD in the house to a ring main, with 11 metal clad twin sockets. The one feeding the VFD for the lathe is suppressed in case anything were to be fed back into the mains. The RCD has never yet tripped.

Location is East Anglia, UK, so temperate, and low rainfall area.

Heating is by a thermostatically controlled 2 Kw fan heater. Runs for about 10 mins at first then rarely!

Ventilation by a 6" fan set high in the backwall to extract with fixed intake low down on the wall.

In winter, a 60W tubular heater, under the fitting bench, is left switched on. Being small, after a couple of days, the shop feels warmer than outside!

Rust is almost unknown.

Hope that gives some ideas for the new workshop


Joe Sanders29/11/2020 16:06:06
2 forum posts

Howard Lewis, thanks for sharing your experience.

Bazyle30/11/2020 00:02:01
5698 forum posts
208 photos

There have been quite a few threads on this subject so read them all. Most important nowadays is 100% airtight (see passivhaus) and a dehumidifier to remove the result of you own exhaled and sweated moisture. Don't add permanent vents they just let damp air in.

Ian B.30/11/2020 07:48:08
163 forum posts
5 photos

I found a manufacturer locally who had various levels of building. I bought a 10' x 12' on 3" x 2" framing. I had the framing covered in building paper before 3/4" cladding. They erected on the base we laid. I found very well priced Celotex and Kingspan insulation 30mm thick from a place in Powis that sells seconds. Price includes delivery. On the internet by the way. Fitted each "bay" in the framing with blocks of treated roof battening 1 1/2" x 3/4" x 6" long and then cut and closely fitted the insulation to each bay. Clad the interior with 1/4" WBP ply. Comment on the insulation. The roof was done the same as well. Buying the seconds means the 30mm I specified that you have to accept some mix in the batch. Some if mine was 25mm. Less than half the cost from a builders merchant.

So my workshop structure starting outside is 3/4" cladding, bitumen vuilding paper, 1 1/2" still air gap, 30mm celotex/kingspan and finally 1/4" WBP ply. Floor is standard floor sitting on 4 x 4 treated timber with 3/4" WBP ply on top. Electric 2Kw fan heaters useless and expensive. In fact I now use paraffin. Arrgh! I hear. I buy 151 maintenance spray cheap by the box. Just watch out for the dew point. Usually turning heating off long before that is reached. Minimal rust problems and usually because I have been remiss in my routines. I usually have at least one window open a couple of inches all the time I am working.

Sounds painstaking. I suppose it was but the end justified the means. What is it they say: No pain No gain.

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