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New Shop started

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Damon McLaughlin, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    Yesterday my contractor showed up and broke ground for a new shop. I'm currently in a 12x16 shed which has worked great for the past four and a half years. Earlier this year I decided that I could use a little more elbow room. The new shop will be 24' x 24' with ten foot walls. There will be 24" eaves, a 4' lean to on one side for racks to store wood on (very little sun exposure), and on the north end facing the valley I'll have a roof extension that will give me an 8' x28' covered patio. Two entry doors, two windows and one small roll up door.

    Its been a long process to get him here. He was supposed to start May 1 and be done by June 15 according to the contract. With delays I was getting worried but it was nice to see him show up. Yesterday he removed three tree stumps, did the layout and drilled holes. I noticed that there were no holes for the lean to so I asked about that. The contractor said he made a design change and had new trusses built which would allow the 4' lean to to be self supporting. No posts necessary. That's fine but I was, and still am, a bit frustrated that he made a design change without asking me. The change in the trusses means I'll have a little more space that will need to be sprayed with foam insulation (added cost), and the roof line is now not what I had planned on. Either the roof top won't be center on the building or the two slopes will be at different angles. It won't look like the diagrams we agreed to when I signed the contract. The other design change is instead of posts 8' on center they are now 12' on center so my windows and doors can't go where I had on them on the original drawing. Not a huge deal but they can't be centered on the walls to give me the look I wanted. Sigh..... what can I do. So I'm glad to see the shop started, frustrated about the changes he made without my involvement, but will be happy when I'm inside with more elbow space.

    The new shop is post frame construction. It will have commercial girts, building wrap, concrete floor, osb sheeting on the roof under the metal roof panels, load bearing trusses, a couple doors and windows. Under the concrete there will be 2" foam insulation and vapor barrier. I plan on insulating with closed cell spray foam and having all the wiring done before the walls go up. The security cameras are kind of nice, it allows me to watch what's going on without hovering over their shoulders, and allows me to maintain social distancing.

    New Shop_live_1595612354457 (1).jpg
     
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  2. Dave Fritz

    Dave Fritz

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    I think the overhang without posts will be a good thing. I agree about being upset about not be consulted about the change. Worth keeping any eye on them.
    That is going to be a fantastic space, keep us posted please.
     
    Damon McLaughlin likes this.
  3. Russ Braun

    Russ Braun

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    Right? Design change without consulting the “money man”? I’m a contractor and that’s a great way to pay for things out of your own pocket; if you’re not fired for doing so! New shop sounds exciting; don’t forget your dust control system and your air compressor installed outside the work area for noise control!
     
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  4. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Yes very frustrating when you don't get what you are paying for. I was lucky and had the Amish build my new shop and they were extremely polite and did what I asked. In fact the building inspector came twice, once for the concrete and once over all. He asked who built it and I told him and he said "I thought so" and immediately gave me the final without hardly looking.
     
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  5. GRJensen

    GRJensen

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    Hmmm ... design changes should have been discussed with you before they were made, not after. You have to wonder what other changes this guy will slip in on you. One of my turning club guys built a shop with (what sounds like) the same roof-line and overhang you will have. It wasn't a big deal to him, but I have always thought the building looked a little weird.
     
  6. Curtis Fuller

    Curtis Fuller

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    I hope your windows are plenty big just to enjoy that beautiful view.
     
  7. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    The contractor is putting in a concrete ramp for the overhead door at no cost so I may ask for a pad outside to enclose the air compressor and dust collector. However my current design plan is to build a small room inside to house it, with the walls fill with sound deadening material. We'll see, if he can make design changes on the fly I might be able to as well ;)
     
  8. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    Curtis, the north wall facing the valley will have a 4x4 window and an entry door with a glass window. One side will have a 2x3 and the side the faces my neighbor's property line will have a frosted glass 36x12. I'll add screen doors some time down the road.

    The 8' covered patio is on the side facing the valley, I wanted the view for any work I might want to do out side.
     
  9. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    Do you have a signed contract? If so, you better read the fine print. If you don't have one, get one from your lawyer and have him sign it ASAP. Might be a couple of surprises at the end if you don't.
     
  10. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    Richard, we do have a signed contract and I've read it word for word before signing, and after signing a few times. There are no surprises. The contractor passed the guaranteed start no later than date by two months. The stated to be finished no later than date is in three days. The only exception listed is if there are any local fires that puts the construction at risk. The contract has the engineer drawings and placement of doors, posts and windows that I agreed to, no fine print saying the contractor can change it at his discretion. Its a very simple to read and understand contract.

    That said, I'm fine with the self supporting lean to and I'm sure after I move in the changed aesthetics won't bother me. I'm probably more bothered that he did the changes without involving me. We'll see where it goes from here, everything I wanted is clearly listed in the contract and I'll be watching carefully.

    On another note, we were concerned about having construction guys come in the house to use the restroom so I rented a porta-potty. $157 for 28 days includes delivery, hand sanitizer and toilet paper, cleaning and pick-up. I think that is a great bargain.
     
  11. Rob Fridenberg

    Rob Fridenberg

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    Porta Potty?

    How about the woods behind the site? When our house was built (backs up to a woods as well) that's what our builders used (plus a 5 gallon bucket for the solids!).

    Having a shop with that view is heaven!
     
    Damon McLaughlin likes this.
  12. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    Yeah, its a pretty nice view which is why I really wanted to put the shop here. The 24x24 fits here perfectly. I could have built just about any size on the front of the property but the view was important. And besides, a bigger shop costs more, and then I would have so much more space that I would want to fill with more tools! I think this size will be just fine for what I do.

    Yeah, the porta potty is really there for solids, I didn't want to accidentally step in something if I was walking around back.
     
  13. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    Please allow me to make a suggestion about wiring! If you go with EMT (electrical metallic tubing) or plastic conduit run on the inside surface of the walls it is much easier to make changes or additions.
     
  14. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    I haven't yet decided if I will do the wiring behind the walls or on the surface of the walls. I see a cost benefit and the ease of doing it behind the wall like I did in my current shop. It also allows me to place cabinets without worrying about conduit on the walls. But I also see merit with running wiring in conduit on the surface of the walls, such as you mentioned, easier to make changes or add on to. Though there is the added cost of all the conduit, boxes and fittings. My spouse is reminding me of the budget we allocated, but we'll see. If I do go with wiring behind the walls then I'll do what I did in my current shop and have lots of outlets. I think I have four 110v outlets every 4' and 220v outlets every 8'.

    Another thought, if I do wiring on the surface of the walls I can go ahead and get the spray foam insulation done and the walls up right away, without waiting for the electric to be done. Hmmm.....
     
  15. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Yes, in the shop, you want conduit since it is much easier to change things out if you need to. More difficult to do when it is in the walls. Get a bigger electrical panel than you need, again, so you can change in the future.

    Contractor time is 'highly variable'.... I never was a contractor, but worked for a number of them. Worst thing ever is having a client change things in mid stride, and adding things on that weren't there originally.... Afterthoughts can be a pain. I have a project coming up on my place, and the contractor lost 2 lead carpenters..... they told me up front about it. Just hope, for their sake, that they can get it done before the winter rains start.... A good contractor would have told you that they were going to run late...

    Oh, for your floor, I would suggest that you have the crack control joints cut after the slab is poured. Hand tooled joints are big and get a lot of 'stuff' in them. With a cut joint, you can use the self leveling epoxy. I prefer rebar on 2 foot centers, and/or fiber in the mix. I did concrete for 30 years... Which is at least 30 years too long....

    robo hippy
     
  16. Glenn Lefley

    Glenn Lefley

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    I’m a contractor, and under no circumstances would I ever do a design change without consulting the customer. And if the design change has incurred added costs on your end, and obviously saved him money, The builder should give you a refund foR the money saved and also pay for the added insulation. Spray foam not cheap. And if you have a building* inspector coming, the roof line change in my district would have to be approved by the City building depArtment. If it differs from the picture submitted fo4 the building permit. That will not fly and they could go as extreme as removing what is not to plan and redoing it.
     
  17. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    The more I think about it today the more I like the idea of the electrical in conduit on the walls. The contractor I have set up to run the electric to the shop (permitted) is running larger wire with a larger panel so that I can upgrade in the future if I ever have the need. I haven't changed anything with my building contractor. The electrical is being done after the building contractor is done by a different electrical contractor, two separate entities. The electrical contractor will do the minimum required for a permit. Since I did electrical in the Navy I'll take over after the permit is issued. I'm doing the walls my self as well.

    My contractor emailed the day before he came for the deposit that he was 'working full time with a full crew', and in the same email said I was next on the build list and would start in two weeks. Not sure what happened in the two months that followed. At least he's here now.

    The concrete will be fiber reinforced cement. I'll ask about the expansion joints, thank you for the suggestion.
     
  18. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    I'm hoping I don't see any surprises on the final bill but I know that is always a possibility. I agree, any savings he incurred by using less posts and concrete should be passed on to me but I doubt I'll see it. I would probably be minimal anyway. The extra insulation cost is $808 plus tax. That I think I will ask for in terms of a credit when I get the final bill. As the weekend goes by I'm less frustrated about the design change and more excited to get the shop completed. I'll post pictures of the progress if anyone is interested.
     
  19. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    @robo hippy , aside from having the concrete ground and polished or an expensive epoxy covering, is there a sealer that will help protect the concrete and maybe fill the pore a bit to make sweeping of saw dust easier?
     
  20. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    The talk about running electrical reminded me of a video I saw a while ago.
    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge96Qvp-EzE
    It's Frank Howarth's shop build video. There's a couple places in that longish video where he describes a 12" tall plywood strip all around the shop walls for electrical. So the electric is all behind the wall, but accessible (and modifiable) by just removing some plywood panels.
     
  21. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    Brilliant idea! I can see that working well in the new shop.

    I suspect that after calling my current shop 'the shop' for the four and a half years I will continue to call it 'the shop'. So I was thinking of calling the new one the studio. My spouse is suggesting I call it the asylum. The asylum might be more appropriate at times.
     
  22. Bernie Hrytzak

    Bernie Hrytzak

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    If you will have any equipment in the middle of the room (tablesaw), it is good to have a plug in the floor or in the ceiling at that location.
     
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  23. Bernie Hrytzak

    Bernie Hrytzak

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    The concrete can be worked smooth as finished by the contractor, and then a two part epoxy can be easily applied by yourself later. I have a 30x40 shop with self applied epoxy that is easy to clean ( and wash) if necessary.
     
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  24. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    There are lots of finished that can be applied to a concrete floor. Generally a shop like yours will get a 'hard trowel' finish, some times with a troweling machine. It can be very slick, and I consider it fine enough for easy sweeping. I would bet that most of them want you to wait for 28 days for the concrete to cure, and the water to get out of the slab. Since you are going to have a vapor barrier under the slab, you shouldn't have any moisture problems. Probably check with the crew pouring the concrete for their suggestions, and your local mason supply place. The big box stores will have some products, but most of the clerks don't have much experience with the products.

    I liked my slabs to be cut in 10 by 10 squares, standard for 4 inch thick. Most of the time, this will get the concrete to crack close to where you want it to crack. The rebar does spread loads, and also keeps the slab from heaving or separating. The fiber is great for crack prevention as well. I have seen metal 'expansion' joints and didn't like them as there is always a dip around them, unless they are about 1/2 inch under final grade. A royal pain to work around...

    Every contractor I worked for told me I was too danged fussy to do concrete work.... I probably should have been a finish carpenter.....

    robo hippy
     
  25. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    Thank you for the information Reed. A lot of the contractors up here don't use rebar when using reinforced concrete, I don't know if its a local thing or not. I don't know if that is good or bad either. My detached garage is 24x24 with expansion joints cut 12'x12. The garage slab is 28 years old with no cracking. I suspect that because my new shop is 24x24 that they'll do the same but I'll ask. I appreciate your insight.
     
  26. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    The building supplies were delivered today and the contractor should be here tomorrow to start placing posts.

    Glad to see the supplies show up, means more progress!

    Edit - I deleted a question I asked about supplies because I figured it out

    IMG_20200727_111429 (1).jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
  27. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    I'm really excited! I had asked for a 4' lean-to on one side and an 8' roof extension on one end for the patio. One of the changes in the contractor's design change is the roof overhand for the porch will be tied into the lean-to creating a wrap around covered patio. So a four foot longer patio wrapping around to my wood storage is bonus.
     
  28. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    Congratulations!! Exciting days ahead...
     
  29. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Reed would know better, but in my experience with 1 (one) garage/shop floor, the fiberglass produced a surface that was less shiny/slick and a little less broom friendly.
     
  30. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Well, with a slab, I prefer rebar to the wire mesh. Most of the time the mesh is either on the gravel or sticking up out of the concrete. They do have heavy sheets of it which is better than the rolled up stuff, which is only good for tomato cages.... I didn't do much with the fiber mesh stuff. Did one slab that got rained on while we were finishing it, and we had a bunch of hair balls on top of the slab. If they use a troweling machine, that does a better job of pushing the fiber down than a hand trowel job can. I have heard of taking a torch to the top of the slab to burn off the hair that sticks up, though no clue as to that being good or bad. If you are going to put a sealer/top coat on it, I wouldn't worry about it. A hard troweled slab can be very slick if you get wet feet on it... A 12 by 12 foot grid will work, especially if you have a 5 inch thick slab. As one contractor said, the only two guarantees that you can give about any concrete slab are #1 it will crack, and #2 no one is going to steal it....

    I did do one long, maybe 120 feet by 6 foot run for fork lifts, and we put the fiber mesh and rebar in it. A month or so later, we couldn't find any cracks in it at all, including coming off of steel posts that were in the slab.

    robo hippy
     
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  31. Curtis Fuller

    Curtis Fuller

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    My 2 cents on the concrete. I spent my entire career in the concrete industry. If by now the slab isn't already poured, I'd suggest the micro fiber if it's available from the concrete supplier. It's a couple bucks more per cubic yard but a much better product and barely noticeable on the finished surface. Rebar, wire mesh, are good products but the crew that's going to place your floor probably doesn't have the skills or won't take the time and effort to do it correctly. Like Reed said, it will probably end up on the bottom, top or both. And you're not exactly building something that is going to be supporting a lot of weight. Concrete's strength is in compression, it's weakness is in tensile strength. Compaction of the subgrade is probably the single biggest factor as to whether the slab will separate at the cracks. If possible have the joints saw cut and make sure the cutting is done within 24 hours of placing the slab. Caulk the joints to keep dirt out of them. It will crack, period. The so called "expansion" joints are a misnomer. Concrete is at it's greatest volume when it's being placed and shrinks from that point forward. The joints are actually control joints and as the name implies they will hopefully control where the concrete will crack as it dries. But the cracks begin within 24 hours, especially in the summer heat and low humidity, so if they wait too long to cut the joints the cracks are already there. A good curing sealer is worth the money too but only if it's applied within the first few hours after the concrete is finished.
     
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  32. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    The guys were here getting posts up so I asked a few questions about the concrete. It is going to have micro fiber it in. The surface will be smooth though not burnished with a power trowel. The patio and lean-to will have a slight slope away from the building and the inside will have a 1/2" slope across the 24' towards the opening door, I do have the option to have the inside perfectly smooth. I forgot to ask about the expansion joints but I have a bit of time before the pad is poured.

    With the posts up its much easier to visualize the space.

    Backyard_live_1595960925078r.jpg New Shop_live_1595960903083r.jpg
     
  33. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    I asked if I needed to keep the concrete wet or flooded the first few days because of the mid to high 90s temperatures. He said he orders his cement 'wetted' so no need for me to keep it wet. I have no idea what this means or if I should wet it for a couple days anyway.
     
  34. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    One of the best decisions I made in building my shop (a retrofitted 1910 horse barn) was to lay down sleepers, a subfloor, and hardwood flooring over the concrete slab. I worked on a concrete floor for decades and I'm way happy not to be spending my old(er) age on one. It gives the shop an extremely nice ambiance, stuff doesn't break when I drop it, easy to sweep up while being non-slip, and a pleasure to stand on all day. It also gave me a handy place to run wires under the floor as needed.

    My flooring place offered me "mixed domestic hardwoods" for a buck a foot when I asked what was cheap. I've got at least 17 species I've identified, and I think it looks really cool. People who are not woodworkers often comment favorably on it. All in it probably cost a little less than $4/sf to install and finish the floor (a buck each for the flooring, subfloor, and finishing material plus various extras like sander rental). For me it was money well spent.
     
  35. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    Roger, I did the same in my 12x16 shop but with foam insulation boards between the sleepers. I've been thinking about that concrete floor but will see how it goes. If I find it too hard and numerous anti-fatigue mats aren't helping then I'll probably lay a wood floor in. But not this first year.
     
  36. GRJensen

    GRJensen

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    On the subject of fatigue mats, I tossed mine a few months back, and replaced them with horse stall mats. They are heavier (a 3' x 4' mat weighs 37 pounds) and thicker than the cheap Harbor Freight mats I had, and have been great on my feet and legs.
     
  37. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    I tried the ones from HF and didn't like them at all. Too thin with very little cushion. I have two of these, one at each lathe, and love them. Thick and very cushy. I will probably get a couple more for various spots in the lathe. Horse mats are a consideration as well.
     
  38. JeffSmith

    JeffSmith

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    Damon - congratulations on the new shop - sounds like you’re getting some good advice. Nothing better than creating your own space. It’s about the same size as the one we built when moving up north. I do second the idea of wood floors on sleepers. After many years on concrete - both at work and at the home shop the wood floors on the new shop are a joy. There’s a generous 4’ crawl space under on mine; a great way to run power, air and dust collection without the runs exposed.
     
  39. Glenn Lefley

    Glenn Lefley

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    Always better to wet concrete for as long as possible while curing in first weeks.
     
  40. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    As for 'wetting' the concrete, I take that to mean slump, which means how wet it is coming out of the truck. For streets, and/or the bike path they put in by my house, the concrete was delivered in dump trucks and they had a mechanical spreader to knock the stuff down and vibrate it. It was stiff enough that no side forms were needed. 4 to 5 inch slump is standard for slab work, depending. If rock is separating from the mix coming down the chute, then it is too wet. They have all sorts of additives they put in concrete now. One was called 'super plasticiser' which was supposed to have the concrete come out of the truck at a 6 inch slump, but it was 'actually' a 4 inch slump. The concrete needed less added water so there is less post pour shrinkage. Never liked the additives because they all seemed to turn the concrete into silly putty and made it harder to work.

    As for curing a slab, they have all sorts of sealers. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing better than keeping the slab wet with water. If you get weird about it, a dam around the edge and keep it flooded for up to a week. Normal is to wet it down a couple of times a day, even possibly covering with white plastic, not black because that raises the heat a lot.

    I don't like concrete floors to work on, just too hard, and that was even while I was younger. Some of those laminate flooring products are pretty nice. They generally put down a vapor barrier and then add the laminate which does not require any nails. Not sure how they do a hard wood floor on a slab. Some of the laminates have cork backing which does provide a bit of cushion. I would probably still have the lathe feet sitting on concrete.

    As for floor mats, like our turning tools, there are huge differences. I have a store locally that has all sorts of them. When I asked about horse stall mats, they told me they were good if you weighed about 1,000 pounds. So, I never tried them. I did end up getting a 3 foot wide roll which is about 1/2 inch thick, and it is sufficient. I have a couple of others around the shop. I think my favorite is a 3/4 inch thick neoprene with 45 degree beveled edges. No clue as to which is actually best. That could make for an interesting article for the AAW magazine, but beyond my scope of information level.

    robo hippy
     
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