I've always wanted to have a workshop at home, somewhere to chill out and be creative at my own place. I found myself in an awkward position after losing my driving license on medical grounds, as a bus driver and driving instructor that kinda sucked. So time on my hands, but no income to speak of, I needed to build cheap. My old shed had just about collapsed in the corner of the yard, so I set about clearing it out and working with the space available and made some sketchy plans for a pallet workshop.
Not able to drive was a real pain in the butt, having to rely on people for lifts, etc..., but thankfully we have a local wood recycling center, Somerset Wood Recycling, who have a stock of pallets and reclaimed timber who would deliver to my door. So I ordered 60 wood pallets, a rough guess which turned out to be just a couple more than I needed, and a various selection of timber to use as a frame to get me going.
I made a temporary work table with some of the pallets then set about building the frame. Once I had the shape I was looking for then I pulled it down again so I could clad the rear outside walls because once they were up the was going to be no access to the walls. I didn't see the point in cladding them in pallet wood, so I used OSB boards, and roofing felt to cover them, one of the few materials that I bought new because they are nearly impossible to find second hand around here. I left about a 10-inch gap between the wall and the workshop wall as a wildlife passage from the neighbors garden. Bit of a gamble, but as yet there have been no problems, and it still looks as good as the day I made them.
Once the rear walls and roof frame were up I could then crack on with the roof pallets, using them upside down so I could fill in the void with Rockwool insulation, I looked into other types of insulation, but the cost of them made it too expensive. It was then covered with a layer of OSB boards and an EPDM rubber roof liner, good for 50 years.
With all that done I could start on the front of the workshop, this where I took my time and used wood from stripped pallets wood to clad the outside of the workshop. I used a cheap router table that I bought to profile the edge of the wood, so it overlapped each piece but retained the look of the pallet wood. I wanted to be able to open up the side of the shed with the limited space inside I wanted to be able to open up into the backyard for larger projects. I used hardwood timber for the hatch frame and pallet wood cladding. The only piece of the building that isn't insulated, yet.
The door is just a 4" x 2" timber frame, again with pallet wood cladding. Trying to find a lock and handles to fit a 5" thick door was a bit of a challenge. The glass was from a local double glazing firm, less than £25. The hatch enables me to open up the workshop and work outside, in good weather on larger materials. I can get an 8" x 4" sheet of ply and work around it, just about. The interior walls were filled with Rockwool insulation and clad with 4mm ply, painted white to make it as bright as possible.
The workbench was made from old scaffold boards and the cupboards and draws from pallet wood. For lighting, I have LED lights threaded through and around the roof beams. The ceiling is low, approx 7" and I didn't want standard light fittings that could get knocked and broken. Three strips were enough, 21 Watts in total, and I have plenty of light to work with.
That was the initial build, it's still evolving based around the things that I make, but all-in-all I'm pleased with it. It's dry, cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Tools I used were:
- A cross cut miter saw
- A router table (small cheap one)
- A battery drill
- A saw
- A hammer
- Screws and nails
- Speed clamps
- and a few other essential tools.
All in, not including the tools, the build cost me approx £1000, the rubber roof, cladding, and insulation were the main areas of expense.
Oh, and BTW the old shed got rebuilt as a wood store for firewood.