Our family of four lives in a modest 1800 square foot (170 m2) side split house. Every room does double duty. The rest of the family calls the train room “the rec room.” The heavy shop is tucked into an alcove of the laundry room, which is also our recycling centre and pantry and provides access to the second bathroom. The heavy shop itself doubles as 3D printing studio and paint shop.
Now the heavy shop is only 44×52 inches (16 square feet / 1.5 m2 or only 0.9% of the total area of the house). So you may wonder how all those activities share such a small space. Naturally, the lathe and 3D printer tuck into a cupboard and a drawer respectively, freeing up counter space for each other. But the plan was always to build the paint shop above all that, and so I made the paint booth an awkward five feet off the floor.
That paint booth has seen only occasional use, but now that 622 is ready, standing on a stool to paint it seems like a recipe for disaster. It was time for the raised floor. Three years ago, I built the workbench on one side of the space especially to support one side of the floor, with a 2×4 joist hung amongst the drawers. The other side of the floor sits on blocks inside the exposed 2×6 framing of the wall opposite the drawers. The floor itself slides up and out of the way into recesses in the framing of the wall.
In fact, it works better than I expected. From my perch on the raised floor, I can see all sorts of opportunities to use the volume up there. While the floor itself is only 28×30 inches (6 sq ft / 0.5 m2), I feel like I’ve added as much space as a second heavy shop!