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Finishing garage for woodworking shop

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  • Sep 5th, 2019 1:02 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 19, 2019
16 posts
7 upvotes

Finishing garage for woodworking shop

Hi. In Toronto, ON and I'm finishing my attached double garage in hopes of setting up a woodworking shop. It's not currently heated or cooled but I plan on using it year round so heat is definitely coming and I may get a portable AC too in the future. The house is 33 years old.

It's coming along well but I want to do it right and have a few questions:
  • The attached (shared) wall is concrete block. I have already installed 2x4 framing in front of it and plan to use batt insulation, vapor barrier, and drywall. I'll also be filling any gaps with gap filler foam. Do I need a vapor barrier here since the finished inside house wall should have a vapor barrier? I've read not to install a vapor barrier on both sides of a wall as it will trap moisture. But I've also read you want to block all gas/fumes from the garage.
  • I have already finished 1 side wall with batt insulation and vapor barrier (no drywall yet). I learned afterwards that I should have used vapor boxes around my electrical boxes (metal). Is it worth it to cut the vapor barrier, redo the electrical boxes with the vapor box, and tape everything back up?
  • What is the proper application of acoustic sealant around the vapor barrier? I've seen it done only on the bottom, on all 4 sides of the wall, and even on every stud.

Thank you!
22 replies
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
If you want the garage temperature controlled, you don't want to waste money insisting my insulating the shared wall as it will help you heat and cool it.

Insulate the exterior walls and garage door. Most heat will be lost to air leakage around the door and through the roof. Don't forget a vacuum system for dust and fume control.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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Edmonton
engineered wrote: If you want the garage temperature controlled, you don't want to waste money insisting my insulating the shared wall as it will help you heat and cool it.

Insulate the exterior walls and garage door. Most heat will be lost to air leakage around the door and through the roof. Don't forget a vacuum system for dust and fume control.
^^^ This. Insulating the wall between your garage and house is a waste of effort and money. It should already be sealed and insulated as required on the house side, and you don't want two layers of vapor barrier. The vapor barrier on the other side should be preventing any fumes as well. You COULD insulate for noise protection if you really wanted, but I'm not sure how much benefit you'd get over concrete blocks and existing insulation.

And yes, you should install the electrical boxes properly, with vapor boxes around them.

When we did our house, I think we did top, bottom, and sides. Not every stud. But that was years ago, and I think I've blocked that particular memory from my mind. I do have nightmares of black acoustic caulking every once in awhile...

And if you think you're going to heat and condition, I'd consider getting a mini-split unit for the garage. And make sure you run lots of electrical lines (maybe a sub-panel for the garage), and lots of lights.

C
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Dec 26, 2005
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Thornhill
I know a guy who did this. He's a big wood working nerd. Let me see if I can get him to post what he did here.

bjl
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Newbie
Nov 26, 2003
96 posts
60 upvotes
Markham
I, like t3359, also know a guy who did this. He left the common inside wall as is (it was already spray foamed). The exterior walls were spray foam finished so basically you have the same properties as batten/vapor barrier. He had his garage doors replaced with insulated ones and put down DeltaMS topped with Advantech OSB to give a layer of relief from the cold concrete floor. He didn't sound-proof his garage but feels it would be very difficult to contain the noise emanating through the garage door and ceiling boxes.
Newbie
Nov 26, 2003
96 posts
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Markham
Oh...he added one more point...he says your drywall probably has to be type-X (fire-rated) drywall...and electrical should be inspected by ESA yadda yadda...
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2007
1175 posts
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GTA
If you want to go all out, consider running compressor lines and a dust collection system.
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1311 posts
1036 upvotes
+1 for not insulating the common wall.

As previously stated most of your energy loss will be either through the door or the ceiling.

It seems like you don't have any living space above this garage? So I'm assuming this is a peaked roof? If this is the case, you will need to make some revisions so when it becomes an attic it will vent properly. If it is an unfinished peaked roof right now, it probably does not have adequate ventilation at the top to perform as an attic.

Also, it hasn't been brought up, and I assume you have it covered, but have you checked all your electrical requirements and circuits for the garage? If your planer and vac are on the same circuit you'll probably trip it instantly. Just another consideration for now while everything is open, hopefully its already covered though.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10391 posts
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Paris
hhrahman1 wrote: Hi. In Toronto, ON and I'm finishing my attached double garage in hopes of setting up a woodworking shop. It's not currently heated or cooled but I plan on using it year round so heat is definitely coming and I may get a portable AC too in the future. The house is 33 years old.
I did a lot of the work myself and bought a Mr Heater big maxx for about half of what they wanted at TSC and princess auto and it cost me around $1200 just for heat. Today if I was doing it again I’d put in a mini split for year round garage comfort.
Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2007
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Alliston, ON
Definitely going to need a portable a/c unit or a dehumidifier for the summer. You need to keep the humidity consistent so it doesn't affect the wood by getting to much moisture in the summer
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 19, 2019
16 posts
7 upvotes
Thank you everyone for your replies! Some very helpful information here.

Did not know that I could get away with not insulation the common wall. I do already have the insulation purchased for it but I guess that can go in the attic now. Side walls are insulated and sealed (acoustic sealant on top/bottom/sides - although I will be replacing the red tuck tape with blue tuck tape - found that out later) and I've replaced the garage doors with insulated doors.

I redid the electrical boxes and installed a vapour box around them. I installed a 60A sub-panel in the garage and circuits are all planned based on the equipment and machinery.

I thought about running dust collection (compressor lines is a great idea too!) but at the pace I'm going, this project will never be done so I'll revisit in the future. I'll have access to the attic so shouldn't be too bad.

I'll be installing 2 50 NFA roof vents and I've already got soffit vents on 3 sides of the garage.

Definitely will be going for a mini-split as the convenience of year round comfort is hard to pass on.

Still lots to do but getting closer with all the help I've received from forums like this one!
Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2007
2492 posts
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Alliston, ON
Sounds like you're off to a great start. I'd also consider hanging an air cleaner from the ceiling, with or without proper dust collection you'll still have some fine dust in the air that isn't good to be breathing in
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Sep 8, 2007
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Way Out of GTA
Jerico wrote: I did a lot of the work myself and bought a Mr Heater big maxx for about half of what they wanted at TSC and princess auto and it cost me around $1200 just for heat. Today if I was doing it again I’d put in a mini split for year round garage comfort.
Mini splits are great for the most part. The issue with mini splits will be that they dont work in extreme cold. Below -20 for a cold climate unit and 0/5 degrees for a standard. So you would need a backup source of heat. The cold climate units will run you big bucks in a name brand unit is used. Typically for heat we see the mini split backed up by baseboard. The plus of baseboard is it wouldn’t be used much and are cheap to install. The Mr Heater plus a mini split would definitely cover you year round.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
cartfan123 wrote: Mini splits are great for the most part. The issue with mini splits will be that they dont work in extreme cold. Below -20 for a cold climate unit and 0/5 degrees for a standard. So you would need a backup source of heat. The cold climate units will run you big bucks in a name brand unit is used. Typically for heat we see the mini split backed up by baseboard. The plus of baseboard is it wouldn’t be used much and are cheap to install. The Mr Heater plus a mini split would definitely cover you year round.
Mr Heater is great if you want to turn the heat off completely as it heats up FAST. I ended up keeping mine on at 10 Celsius as it ran very infrequently and then I was able to store my hose reel and other no freeze things in the garage. I doubt a mini split puts out the quantity of heat in a short period so you would need to run it a little all the time. But if what I read is right, it’s stupid efficient at heating.

Client got a 12k BTU 120v Savaire for under $1k which I thought was super reasonable. Just waiting on HVAC guy to come Vac and leak test. Once that’s done I’m going back to check it out.
Deal Addict
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Dec 23, 2015
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Newmarket, ON
Don't spend big bucks on a dust collection system, you can build it with a bucket and shop vac.

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Feb 11, 2007
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BeapChastard wrote: Don't spend big bucks on a dust collection system, you can build it with a bucket and shop vac.

Image
I'm just about to 3D print a cyclonic dust separator like this. Not sure if it's any more efficient, but should be cheaper than buying the ABS parts.
Anyone know where to get cheap buckets and vacuum hose? So far it seems HD's bucket and this Rigid hose might be the best bet https://www.homedepot.ca/product/ridgid ... 1000850418
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2104717
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If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2007
2492 posts
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Alliston, ON
I have a dust deptuy mounted to a HD pail and it works great to keep 99% of the sawdust from getting to my vacuum. It's fine for my needs now with just a mitre saw, table saw and some sanders.
If would be a real pain if I had more machines though, like a jointer, router table, planner.... That's when a bigger dust collection system would be far superior to just a vac and much more convenient.
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Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
schade wrote: I have a dust deptuy mounted to a HD pail and it works great to keep 99% of the sawdust from getting to my vacuum. It's fine for my needs now with just a mitre saw, table saw and some sanders.
If would be a real pain if I had more machines though, like a jointer, router table, planner.... That's when a bigger dust collection system would be far superior to just a vac and much more convenient.
I have a Delta 120v 12amp 650 CFM 4” hose dust collector I got a wicked deal on ages ago for $150. I had everything piped into it with 4” ABS in our first house and it worked pretty well.

I also have a 4800 CFM Delta 5HP 30amp 220v that will suck the known universe into it I also got for the stunning price of $150. Its 9.5 feet tall.
Sr. Member
Sep 5, 2011
801 posts
1231 upvotes
Toronto
BeapChastard wrote: Don't spend big bucks on a dust collection system, you can build it with a bucket and shop vac.
I doubt the OP want this cheesy little set up if he ran a 60amp sub panel to his garage. He probably planned on using some big boy toys like a full sized dust collector, cabinet table saw, 8"+ jointer, 15"+ planer, band saw, etc...
Sr. Member
Sep 5, 2011
801 posts
1231 upvotes
Toronto
Jerico wrote: I have a Delta 120v 12amp 650 CFM 4” hose dust collector I got a wicked deal on ages ago for $150. I had everything piped into it with 4” ABS in our first house and it worked pretty well.

I also have a 4800 CFM Delta 5HP 30amp 220v that will suck the known universe into it I also got for the stunning price of $150. Its 9.5 feet tall.
5hp dust collector? that is one massive unit. What kind of pipe are you using for that collector? I would think anything less than 6" would starve the system. Personally, if I have that system, I would use 8" pipe but that would be extremely expensive. Do you have any picture of your set up? Just curious what it looks like.

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