Workshop Extension and Journey
This journey is two-fold, It involves the recreation of a period 1970s lounge, and a total rebuild of the Crusty-Cave workshop. I plan to document both. The lounge thread is already well underway and can be found here.
This marks the start of the workshop thread.
And, so it begins ....
Those of you who are long term members may recall in 2013 I converted my garage into a workshop. The TV collection was sensibly displayed in a second spare lounge but as time passed, more and more sets came my way, soon it developed into a nightmare scenario. This had a serious impact on the hobby, I could neither move sets around or view them. To get anything to the bench was like playing "shuffle the monster TV", you know, like one of those travel puzzle games you had as a kid.
The impact of this was that very little if any TV repair work in the last 18 months took place. By Dec 2019 I'd had enough, I thought something had to change. For a growing number of years I had the urge to recreate a 1970s lounge, I think this has a lot to do with a couple of things. First, an absolute fondness even if somewhat rose tinted, child's perspective of that decade. Second, uprooting from my 45 years down south, relocating to the N.E. and within a short space of time losing both parents, no roots to the past, no anchor, no one who knew me into my past and a greatly reduced number of friends due to relocated distance. Nothing familiar, so I'd build something familiar, an anchor.
January 2020 came the decision, I don't need to tell some of you this next truth...... collecting colour TV's, eats space at a phenomenal rate! Therefore, my 50+ collection needed to be reduced by at least half for any semblance of sanity to return. Despite keeping half the collection, this goal has been now been achieved. As no doubt those who are following the 70's lounge thread, this has allowed me to go out and purchase the furniture I wanted. It meant I could partially set out the lounge and see what the end project will be. Its not perfectly set out as around the walls are the remaining collection (25+ TV's an numerous VCR's) stacked. I can't get the new large display cabinet with bar, in there, so the next phase needs to happen.
The final piece of the plan is scheduled to start, the workshop extension. The workshop which is currently about 18ft x 8ft is going to be extended giving me a total workshop space of 35ft x 8ft. The new addition is set to start construction in mid September and completed by mid October, weather permitting. This means I have to dismantle my main bench and equipment as where it resides, will be an opening to the new area. The plan currently is to have that set out as a period showroom for the collection of TV's VCR and laserdisc players, however nothing is set and I may change my mind once its complete and move things around.
Still With Me?
Hopefully It won't be too long before I'm back at the bench fully reinvigorated for television repairs and as I've tested the waters for long Youtube videos, more space to film the repairs. If and when normality returns to the world, I also had an idea of inviting guests over for "Vrat Repair days", these (if agreed) would form part of a new Vrat series of "Meet the Ratter-engineer" videos. And who knows that long held plan to hold a "Great North East summer barbecue & TV repair fest", may even come to fruition. Gotta dream a!
For now a photo of the mess as I start to dismantle the workshop main bench, I've got three benches (four if you count the studio) but none are now accessible. It's a tad depressing to see it in this state as those that know me, know I always keep a fairly tidy workshop.
I'll post pictures of the building phase as it happens, for now if you've made it this far reading my rather long winded ramblings, thank you. ?
Bench and wall cleared ready for knock through once the extension is in place. It'll be a while before the next update. As you can see from a glimpse beyond the window, I've 5 trees, many shrubs an over 15ft of dirt to remove. ?
Looks like you had to move an awful lot of stuff in there! I guess one downside of having 50 odd different TV's is the amount of spares, scrap boards etc that you need just to keep them all going.
It's very easy to become overrun with stuff and I definitely think it was a wise move to downsize the collection.
I too dream of one day building a nice workshop. I'm not in a position to do so at the moment, so for the time being, it's very much a makeshift affair in the back of the garage which had a roof leak last winter. My R&TV books all grew grey fur coats!
Have you thought what arrangements you will have in the new space? I think for me it would be a large main bench- mainly for TV work, a second bench for VCR's & smaller stuff and a soak test area. Plus a separate room for storage. As I get older, I don't want to be lifting the dead weight of a TV from the floor onto the bench- it does my back no favours!- so TV storage would need to be at bench height with perhaps a bespoke trolley to convey the set from the store to the bench.
I would like to make it into a typical '60's/ 70's workshop, so wooden floors, period fluorescent lighting (T12 tubes of course!) period MK sockets, Anglepoise bench lamp. Lots of wood and general 'brownness'.
2 channels of 405, on band 1 & 3 distributed around the workshop, plus another channel for test card 'C'. Made much easier these days by the advent of the 'Hedghog.
Along side that the same for UHF distribution. I might push that to 4 channels- two with programs, one with test card 'F' and one with my favourite IBA CH4 test card.
In fact, just building the distribution system would be a fun project in itself let alone the rest of the workshop.
Ah, all just dreams at the moment, but one day... Consequently, I can enjoy reading about building your workshop, I hope it progresses smoothly! Keep the write-ups coming once work starts.
All the best
One of the preliminary tasks is to clear the site, there were 5 very large Leylandii trees to remove. One very large one was on the corner of the current garage workshop and the rest formed a hedge between our neighbours, luckily they had already put up a fence a while back.
Today I remove the majority of it all by hand saw, which killed my elbows. I cut the main trunk on the corner one but decided to leave the others to someone with a chain saw. The stump by the corner will have a rustic top attach to form a beer table.
Now I've got to chop up this mountain of tree debris and get it dumped.
Is the garage an original feature, next doors garage looks identical?
I'm guessing it dates from a time when cars were a lot slimmer than they are today?
Yes its original. Our house and the other attached semi were the first two houses built in the road 1935, the others followed thereafter. The garage had an inspection pit, when we moved in I had a Merc, I tried unsuccessfully to get it in. Probably the owners had an Austin A10 or similar back when they bought it.
Austin A40 (or even A30) surely, Chris? Unless you meant an A110 "Wessy" ?
The sectional garage here (now just a hoarding area) was fine when I had my Renault 18 and subsequent Datsun Sunny estate - but whilst I could *probably* squeeze "The Panzer" in, I wouldn't be able to get out of it because unlike my previous BMW, this one hasn't got a sunroof!
Whatever you do, try not be tempted into burning the Leylandii - they can burn very fiercely indeed. The people who bought my parents' house learned that the hard way when they had a bonfire too close to the Leylandii hedge my father planted after we lost the row of elm trees at the bottom of the garden in the late 70s. It's quite a shock driving towards your old home and seeing a fire engine parked outside.
And hopefully, your tip won't be like mine:
Never heard them called "greedy boards" before.
Gosh Chris it looks like your place has bay windows at the back. Very upmarket! I don't think I've seen that before.
Generally the front of 1930s properties had all the 'show' with fancy bays, leaded lights, and decorative timber beams beams, whereas the backs were often pretty plain.
Incidentally, I found the Haynes 1930s house manual to be a very useful source of info and advice. I've had my copy ten years or so. I was going to recommend it but it seems to be out of print and has subsequently rocketed in price to a ridiculous £45. Eek!
Gosh Chris it looks like your place has bay windows at the back. Very upmarket! I don't think I've seen that before.
Hi Steve, this is our second 30's place with front and back bays. As I mentioned in the lounge recreation thread, we used to have a 1934 bungalow, that was white rendered with black beams on the outside, very postcard looking.
I'm going to have to dig out the deeds of this place again as I recall that the house originally had a name. Whats more it was spookily appropriate, something like PYE or Bush house. John PYE were the builders, but I clearly remember saying to my wife what a coincidence that my hobby and the house name sort of meet.
We were thinking of naming it "Buddleia House", I brought a cutting with me when we move from down south. I nursed it and trained it into a spectacular tree, then took further cuttings and planted two further bushes. The smell is incredible and the flock of butterflies we get is crazy. The house is now a point of reference as nearly all the front gardens are the same, for cars.
This is the front of our house, view as approached and view out the front door.
It looks very idyllic ? very nice
After 8-weeks of initially getting the quotes, the workshop extension will finally commence construction next Monday 21st September.
During this long wait I've all but removed 5 trees by hand bow saw, decided to not wait for the chainsaw gang, now just stumps remain. I Removed the bulk of the trunks an repurposed them. All the branches and foliage taken to the tip, it filled an entire medium low load truck. The remaining low stumps I cannot do by hand alone, these will need to be chain sawed out, not something I'm confident to do on my own. I then dug the site down by about 8inches (you can see the exposed bricks on the back of the garage) then relocated the 18ft x 8ft4" x 1ft square of soil by bucket, to another part of the garden, using the felled logs to make raised flower beds.
My inner self of 25 forget that my actual 50+ body was no longer in sync. Although I ached it was so rewarding to climb into bed after a days manual graft, never has it felt so soft and comfy.
Now its over to the pro's to build, some might wonder why not let them do it all The simple answer is its costing a packet as it is, doing the site clearance and levelling myself, saved me a fortune and as I had 8 weeks to to wait it gave me something to occupy myself with.
I plan on taking daily progress photos and I'm considering doing a Youtube Vlog, we shall see.
You need a friendly neighbour with a tractor to help you with the stumps!
when I built my new workshop there were a couple of seemingly small Conifers that had to come out, I always feel bad cutting trees down, and they put up one hell of a fight! There was me an my brother swinging from the trunk trying to make it give way after cutting as many roots as we could see, eventually it did give in. It certainly takes it out of you doing all this kind of work!
when we built my Dads office/shed back at our old house I did a time lapse video of it, using just a basic Sony Handycam, I think it came under the settings called interval rec and frame rec, I think I set it to record 5 frames every 30 seconds, it worked quite well, but filled about 3 tapes!
The Before & Clearance: July With 8-week wait for build start
The Start 22/09/20
Not much to post about except posts, concrete ones. My garden is likely to attract the druid types for a stop over as they trek south for the winter solstice at Stonehenge. Stopped by poor weather (rain) which becomes a recurring theme.
A little progress made the weather has improved, though more bad weather was on the way. Frames for base, sides and roof constructed. Again stopped by poor weather, rain!
Base, walls and roof sections erected
Weather held us up, but managed to get the construction wrapped and some insulation, still need to install 100mm to roof, temporary cover over roof. Amazing how warm it felt already with just the current insulation installed. Once its fully done, windows installed and my large radiator it'll be toasty.
Waiting for two clears days to lay the thick factory style rubber roof, not looking good weather-wise for a week or more, typical! Windows doors and UPVC cladding will be added when again weather permits. A view from inside. Once opened up into existing workshop I'll have 35feet by 8feet of space.
01/10/20: Stopped by poor weather, rain, rain and yet more rain!
Still no luck with weather which is holding things up like the roof covering, upvc windows, upvc door, upvc cladding. Today a little more insulation added and the old workshop outside (now inside) window removed ready for wall cut-out. Hopefully tomorrow is looking better weather wise, there may be more progress, fingers crossed.
A couple of days dry weather allowed the rubber roof to be laid and the cladding to be fitted. It still needs corner edgings and trimming etc to be fitted. Windows not cut out so as to keep it watertight until they arrive along with the door. Once sealed from the elements progress can continue inside as no longer constrained by weather. Sods law, glorious weather for weeks leading up to the project, no end of rain since starting. ?
Rain is still hampering progress on the outside (windows & Doors and final external trims). However, work has continued inside with boarding, knock-through, sockets and lighting wiring, awaiting additional consumer unit etc. We were due to be completed this week, its looking more likely next but its all down to the weather really.
Still, the knock through now gives me the first glimpse of how the combined 35ft workshop space will feel. I can't wait for the builders to be gone, I can then get down to a full clean, decorate, lay carpet tiles and move back in. I so need to get back to the bench, its been almost 3-months and I've got "repair-withdrawal". With winter rapidly approaching I'm really looking forward to getting some projects on to the bench.
It’s coming along nicely Chris! The construction looks almost identical to how I built my workshop, I’ve only got 50mm insulation in mine, but it’s really good stuff, nice and warm in winter with only a little 1KW greenhouse heater, and it stays fairly cool in the summer too, especially with the door and window kept shut.
indeed "Kingspan", "Celotex", "Quin Therm", all these types of dense insulation are the dogs danglies and as you say warm in the winter, cool in the summer.
As for my heating I've a 1.6Kw Creda storage heater that's in the original section of the workshop. It was perfectly adequate to keep the old room toasty but I was not confident it would cope with such a new large space (35x8). For the new section I bought a new Fischer clay core radiator with wireless control, these are super efficient. I think its likely to be overkill but its a belt and braces approach to keep the whole space warm as the winters up here can be fairy harsh for a long time.
For the summer when the heating is not on but a chilly evening, I've got the KB Theroma 3 (FH50/T). This is free standing or wall mountable, in fact I've got that on at this very moment by my computer. It also wafts scent as its got a chamber to drop perfumed oils.
Goodness me Chris, that amazing what you've achieved in what seems a short space of time. I've been on with this 10' x 12' box since the beginning of lockdown, largely single handed, no furlough from work, no previous experience (made many mistakes) this is as far as I've got, and not even started on the inside yet. I don't like the cold and as it is intended for all year round use I've also gone with lots of PIR insulation, 100mm underfloor and in the roof, 75mm intended for walls. You shouldn't need any heater in yours when you get that B & O 3200 going ?
PS my daughter has rather unkindly christened it "The Burger Van"
Wowzer! I'm super impressed, that building looks quality work and such a nice design, you should give yourself a huge pat on the back. Can't wait to see when you start fitting the interior out. I'm so pleased for you that you're finally getting yourself a workshop, long overdue and well deserved in my opinion. I equally look forward to many a tale coming from your bench.
With regards to the speed of mine, well I'm fortunate in that I've employed two quality joiners working for me. Both Davy and Connor are both as anal as me when it comes to detail. I'm not really doing anything other than providing project management and sustenance. I'll get involved once they've gone with fit out and final finish.
Like you my main concern was warmth but paramount was zero potential for leaks or rot, so I went for an EPDM roof which has a life of 25+ years . I also wanted no maintenance, so no painting or treating of timbers over the coming years. Therefore I opted for UPVC cladding which turned out to be the same price as wood as long as you stick to white. Go for colour and the price doubles and trebles in some unique colours. All I'll have to do is jet wash it from time to time. Finally the whole building is raised on concrete posts allowing airflow below and wrapped with a waterproof membrane underneath as well as sides.
Keep us updated on your progress, its always good to snoop. If you've documented the build with photos, why not start a thread covering it all in detail.