Also DBA Northern Yacht Restoration

110 Cookson Lane | Whitefield, ME  04353 | 207-232-7600 |

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Phase 3:  Finish Work

Shop Home Page
Shop Planning
Phase 1:  Site Prep and Foundation
Phase 2:  Framing
Phase 3:  Finish Work
Phase 4:  Shop Setup
Bath and Utility

I planned a small bathroom (1/2 bath only; I rejected my own initial idea for a shower as well), with flush and slop sink, and a larger utility/storage room next door.  The design (if you can call my sketch that) called for these two spaces to be squeezed into the area between the office and the back of boat bay 2 (the eastern bay, or the one on the right as you face the front of the building).  On paper, there seemed to be sufficient room available, and based on this plan we installed plumbing stacks for the flush and sink drains beneath the concrete slab.

Later in the process, when Bob framed up the walls defining these areas, he noticed a problem:  there wasn't enough room in the bathroom.  A compounding of errors resulting from the initial drawing's lack of proper detail and the lack of accommodation for thicknesses of walls led to the need to move the shop-side office wall a couple feet outward, thereby increasing the space available in the bathroom to make it usable.  This also increased the size of the office--not a bad thing--but decreased the size of the woodshop, which was already feeling tight.  However, it was a necessary change, and highlighted the need for excess care in planning and conception.  There would still be sufficient room in the woodshop, but the wall location change dictated a change in the planned table saw orientation.

During the early stages of the foundation project, I had specified the location for a conduit through which to run the table saw wiring.  Once the concrete was poured, this became a permanent fixture, of course.  For one reason or another, I had become used to a table saw facing "right", as it were; that is, with the outfeed of the table towards the righthand side of any shop.  All my various shop iterations had featured the saw in this orientation, and I had simply planned on it the same way in the new shop.

The change in the wall location, however, seemed to favor a saw running the opposite direction, which would allow more space for the outfeed table, given the complications of the office wall and staircase on the other side.  This was fine, and the wiring location in the center of the floor allowed for this change without issue.  (Later, after some additional changes to the stairs, I realized that I could align the saw in the manner to which I was used.)

Also complicating the entire layout, and which I had not completely anticipated, was the construction of the stairs leading to a second floor area directly above the office, bath, and utility rooms.  The need to keep the stairs as small and out-of-the-way as possible was causing Bob heartburn, I think, but we came to an acceptable plan after some figuring.  This plan was to change yet again--and finally--some time later.

Before insulation, I had to install a plumbing stack through the walls.  After some consideration, I determined a viable route for the vent stack, leading straight up from the vent/drain stubout in the bathroom wall, over the closet ceiling, and straight up through the exterior wall to the roof, just next to the chimney.  After drilling a large hole through the double top plate, I dry-installed the top section of the vent pipe so that I could locate the hole on the roof above; then, I drilled through the roof from inside.  From a ladder outside, I installed the metal and rubber vent seal, and pushed the pipe up from inside to hold it temporarily while I laid out the remaining sections of the vent stack.

I cut and fit the remaining pipe sections dry, then disassembled everything and glued up the pipes using a cold-temperature PVC glue, since it was barely in the teens.  I also installed the drain stubout for the bathroom utility sink.

The utility and storage room provided a good place in which to locate the oil-fed boiler, heating system manifold, and temporary well tank and controls.  (Later, we'll move the well tank to the house basement, but that's in the future.)  In whatever space remains following these critical installations, I planned to install plenty of dedicated storage.  I also planned to install a yet-to-be-purchased air compressor in this space, to isolate it as much as possible from the remainder of the shop.


Of course, the boiler required a chimney--either that or a power vent (which directly vents the combustion gasses out through the sidewall), which I decided to avoid after some discussions with Bob and others with more experience in this area than I.  The chimney, 16" square, needed to be built in the utility space--a chore that Bob took care of invisibly one Sunday, building the basic masonry chimney all the way to roof height inside the building.  A couple weeks later, on a warm Friday, he finished up the chimney above the roofline, this time with bricks. 


The framing of these spaces also allowed room for a fairly large storage closet accessed from the office side, intended for office supplies and the like.

Next:  more detail as progress dictates.


Much later, I installed drywall in the bathroom (and office), and finished off these spaces.  In the bathroom, I installed a utility slop sink at one side of the back wall, complete with overhead light and mirror so that I could wash paint or Smurf-like sanding dust off my face if need be.

Thanks to an installation error by the plumber who installed the in-slab drain and vent pipes for the bathroom, I discovered that a typical 12" rough-in toilet would not work.  Instead, I'd need a special 10" rough, which was not immediately available.  Thanks to Bob, I was able to obtain one of these through the plumber after a couple weeks' delay.  But when I went to install it, I discovered that there were no closet bolts included (the bolts that secure the toilet to the flange in the floor).  I was surprised, as I don't recall ever buying these separately for other toilet installations.  Nevertheless, they weren't there, further delaying the installation until I could buy some.  (Fortunately, there's a plumbing and heating contractor only a couple miles away, who maintains a small store filled with some of the plumbing basics.  This small store had already saved me several other times during the installation of the heating and plumbing systems, and came to the rescue for the flange bolts as well, saving me a long trip to another store.)

Once I had the needed parts, I had the toilet installed in no time.  There's a lot to be said for full indoor plumbing!

The inside of the bathroom door still required casing and trim, but otherwise this bathroom was done.

I installed a pair of inexpensive lauan hollow core doors, one each in the bathroom and neighboring utility room.  To save precious space inside these rooms, I installed the doors so that they would swing out.  The rough openings were several inches taller than the doors I bought--whether the openings were overly generous or the doors I bought were too short I don't know, but in any case I needed to install a filler piece of trim above the doors after installation. 
To keep the door trim for the three doors at the same height (even though it's just a shop it's still nice to worry about details), I installed the top trim for the two lauan doors a bit higher than I might have otherwise.  Since I had erred earlier in purchasing the incorrect base molding trim for the office, I had on hand several lengths of the incorrect base trim--and not enough door casing.  So I decided to use the base molding for door trim around the three shop doors.  It actually looked very nice, and it saved me the irritation of returning erroneous trim and buying new trim.

Finishing/Storage Room

The office, bath, and utility room framing offered a perfect opportunity to create a second floor area directly above, since none of these spaces needed--nor wanted--a full 16' ceiling height.  Originally planned as a 10' wide by 20' long space, it ended up about 12' wide once the office/bath/utility room wall was extended outward as described above.  I planned to use this space as a dedicated paint storage room and dust-free painting/varnishing area for small parts, an important addition to any shop.  Given the size of the space as it ultimately came to be, it looked like I'd also have plenty of room for additional storage areas here as well.

The space was defined by the back of the boat bay wall on one side, exterior walls on two of the sides, and a final framed wall facing the woodshop.  Stairs, one from the woodshop below and a second leading to the attic above, were to be installed along the back wall of the space. 

After much consideration, head-scratching, and calculation, Bob and I decided that the original location planned for the stairs was not going to work.  Located at the back corner of the woodshop, adjacent to the door to the office, the space was too tight, and building stairs there would have resulted in one or more of several unappetizing situations:

1.  The stairs might interfere with the office door
2.  The stair treads might be too narrow or shallow to allow easy use
3.  To avoid #1 and #2, the stairs would have to extend way too far into the limited shop space

One morning, after a brief discussion, we decided, seemingly instantly, to move the stairs to the back wall of boat bay 2, the eastern bay.  Doing this would open up the space in the woodshop completely, would allow for a comfortable, safe stairway free from turns and twists, and would only use up under 36" of space in the bay.  I decided that I could better afford the lost space here than in the woodshop, and gave the go ahead to build the stairs.  The space beneath the stairs would be perfect for the fuel oil tank, as well as additional storage.

Later, after deciding to move the stairway, I had to move the switch box and some of the ceiling wiring in order to make it more convenient to access from the new stairs--in other words, completely across the room.


Once the insulation was complete, I installed white plastic on all the walls in the finishing room.  The insulation guys did the ceiling and the exterior wall.  The plastic defined the space and set it apart from the remainder of the shop.


Eventually, I moved shelving, benches, and supplies from the old shop and set things up in the new space.  Since my downstairs utility closet ended up so filled with heating and plumbing equipment, I couldn't store as many supplies there as hoped, so I set up additional shelving in the finishing room for not only paint and supplies, but other bulk storage as well, including sanding supplies, fiberglass, and other items to come.



A large opening framed within the roof trusses allowed for a huge storage space on the third floor.  It was some time after the roof was framed up that I was able to get up there to see the space, as there was no easy means of doing so until the floor platform for the finishing room was completed.  Afterwards, the crew secured a subfloor in the attic (Advantech), and, while access for the time being was limited to a ladder stuck through the trusses, the space above was complete--and impressive in its scope.  About 16' wide, 8' high, and 60' long, the space represented a bonanza of potential cold storage.  This photo was taken from the back wall looking forward.

During the wiring rough-in, I installed a number of outlet boxes in the space, which I wired through a switch near the anticipated stair location.  I didn't plan on any permanent lighting fixtures, but figured with the outlets, I could easily install a number of portable lights where needed, and have them switched on easily upon arrival upstairs. 

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This page was originally posted on December 22, 2005.