“Shop Illumination; Part Deux” or “LET THERE BE LIGHT!”


So I might have mentioned that in my father’s near infinite generosity, he is supplying me with some new toys, as a surprise.  He ended up spoiling the surprise when I told him my plans to buy some of what he was going to give me, so I guess I kind of ruined that one; but it’s the thought that counts.

At present, I am aware of him giving me a benchtop/contractors saw (people often call it a tablesaw, though those are slightly different, much larger devices), as well as 4 light fixtures, two units 4′ (~1219mm) long and two units 8′ (~2438mm) long, each with 2 bulbs. This will be a great addition to my existing collection/hodgepodge of lights, which consists of 1 double-fixture at 8′ (~2438mm), 2 quad-fixtures at 4′ (~1219mm) and two double-fixtures at 4′ (~1219mm). Two of these lights are laid-up on a shelf, not installed, and one of them requires a ballast to be replaced, and many of them are in rough shape. This is a workshop, not a museum, so hard-lookin’ hardware is not the end of the world for now. There are still holes in the walls that birds could fly into. I’m not too worried about my lights looking pretty, so long as they work.

Lighting Roof Schematic - OriginalSo here you see my EXISTING lighting setup. There are three (four and a half?) windows that I intend on boarding over and insulating. It may just be my aspergers but I hate the variable lighting conditions caused by the windows. I’d rather cover them over and rely on the more consistent light source … of flickering fluorescents that require time to heat up once they’re on. -sigh-

Lighting Roof SchematicThis second picture is what my lighting will look like when I install ALL The lights I’ve currently got combined with the lights that my father is giving me, if I understand his offerings correctly. Without any lights in the windows, it should be considerably more consistent, and reliable. Especially when I replace the ballasts in some of my 4-tube 4′ (~1219mm) long units. Each box on “my rooftop grid” is 4′ (~1219mm) square, which is more for doing the quick mental math for light intensity than anything else.

IMG_1560(the finger over the lens was deliberate… needed to blog the window from glare so the picture wouldn’t bleed/wash out… seriously) Right now, the roof trusses are exposed and all of the heat from the 30,000 BTU (31,651,675.6 joules) forced-air wood-furnace goes up into the rafters and melts the ice off the roof, but doesn’t help my frozen toes much. I’m going to run some 1×3″ (25x75mm) nailers at intervels, maybe every 4′ (~1219mm) running down the length of the shop to staple some heavy greenhouse plastic to create a faux ceiling. With any luck, after the windows are insulated and the holes in the garage door are sealed, we should be able to more easily keep the heat to this place. It’ll cost me well over $10,000.00 to properly renovate the garage to something more comfortable, more like a house than the skeleton of a inter weather shelter, but we’ll do what we can do in the meantime. It would take 20 sheets to cover the whole roof, 4 long by 5 wide, and in 1/4″ plywood it’d run me $300.00 without any insulation. The 1×3″ (25x75mm) nailer strips and plastic will run me a third of that, and be a great stop-gap until I can afford the time to do more.

Having an insulated ceiling would make a HUGE difference… especially once it’s painted white, but all good things in time. The lighting will make a huge improvement, once it’s all wired up, and for the temporary work I’ll be sure to put it all on ONE circuit, since I will later replace all the lights with new, fresh, clean fixtures with known-good lights as explained in this article, and I will then run four circuits as detailed, etc etc.

It’s coming along, I’m getting some work here and there, doing custom woodworking and computer repair work, “Each to their own strengths” as they say. Eventually my workshop will be an amazing example of Newfoundlander ingenuity and resilience, since when we first moved in it wasn’t fit for feral cats. I am excited to take you along on this journey with me. 🙂


Edit: I’ve managed to score many of the tyvek tarps that are used to cover plywood… I can collect these as necessary… and store them in my shop. By stapling THESE to my ceiling, I ought to keep my heating MUCH more manageable and with the white face down it should even brighten up the space! 😀

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