Setting Up a Garage for a New Build – a running list

Setting Up a Garage for a New Build – a running list

A shop with… Space.  Light.  More space.  Tools galore.  A large enough opening to get the boat out.

A guy can dream, can’t he?

Then there is the horror…

Yeah… it is a major mess.  You see, my son moved in all his tools and junk, then got a job as a long haul trucker… well, anyway.  I have a lot to do.  To be fair, not all my house looks like that garage:

Here’s where I built my last boat… the driveway.  But this is too big and too drawn out a project to work there.  And yes, Seattle is pretty green.

Full disclosure complete.  Ouch.

So… I’ll set up my work-space as best I can.  I’ll add to this list as I plan and implement.

I have plenty of space, per se, but even more “stuff”, and the layout is far from perfect.  In short, I have a 1947 single car garage, built beneath my dining room and kitchen.  Even a 1947 Desoto would have been a tight fit, though. And that roll up garage door added in the sixties is a headspace nightmare.  I also have a very low ceiling rec room converted to shop.  There are doors in between that create major issues with moving big items.  There aren’t enough electrical outlets.

My goal over the next few weeks is to clear much of that junk/stuff out.

  • Create an “away” for everything
    • Tools
      • Clamps
      • Hand tools
      • Hand power tools
      • Portable tool box
    • Paint
      • Cans
      • Spray cans
      • Brushes, etc
      • Sandpaper, etc
    • Wood
    • Move big things in the way
      • Move freezer from garage to laundry?
      • Remove and giveaway large file cabinet in garage
  • Get rid of excess stuff, including a lot of detritus from past projects

I want to build a boat that is 16′ 5″ long by 7′ 8.5″ wide. See my boat of choice here.  It will be built in plywood encapsulated in epoxy/cloth.   At it’s tallest point the boat is about 5.5′ tall.  My building space is about 21 feet long with a garage door that is 8′ wide and six feet tall.   I have just enough space to build this boat.  Just.

I’ll be starting the second build of this design.  The first one, above, was built by a professional shop.  Again, I can dream, right?

I’ll need to build a strongback, of sorts, and given the lack of vertical space, I’ll need to put it directly on the floor.  I have two 2×6 boards that are each 18 feet that I will cut down to 17 feet.  I’ll space them 3 feet apart, somewhat arbitrarily.

or since the plans are metric:

I’ll lay out and add the cross bars soon.

Work Table

I’ve already built a work table that is 8 feet long by 3 feet wide, so I’ll make due with that.  I just don’t have space for an 8 by 8 workspace, which would be ideal given the size of this boat and its large frames.   For the frames that are too large, I’ll make a table from sawhorses and 2×4’s.

Work table for mixing resins

I’ve learned that this space needs to be organized and clean.  Don’t try to do that on a “make a space available when you need it” basis.

  • Resin
  • Cups
  • Gloves
  • fan, as who wants to breathe this stuff?
  • Sticks, brushes, etc
  • Spreaders

 Tools – what I have, not what I need.

  • Table saw
  • Radial arm saw
  • Chop saw
  • Drill press
  • Disc and belt sander
  • assorted power and hand tools.
  • LOTS of clamps.  I have quite a few.


  • Heater


  • improved vacuum system. I hate breathing sawdust.


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