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Old 02-08-2016, 06:00 AM   #1
Big Daddy Chop Shop
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Talking Welcome to the Chop Shop

I have decided to resurrect this thread.

I began to chronicle the build of my dream, and then thought, WHO CARES?

But as I have been around and looked at other builds, I realized, someone might, and even if no one does, well, its pretty cool to have it documented just for me and the family.

History:

When I was just a Young kid (6), my parents set out to build a house on property they had bought a few years prior. 4 slightly less than choice acres had been stolen in the recession for a total of less than $8k. Dad is a hardworking man (and its taking its toll as he approaches 70 now) and drove almost every nail, pulled all the wire, and re-layed the basement walls when mom called for a backfill during a monsoon. It was a modest 1000 sq. ft. ranch. The property had a barn already. Dad used his 1970 C10 as a scaffold and daily driver. I learned to drive a stick over that 23 month build, 3 on the tree! He put blocks on the pedals so I could cruise the field out back.

Next door, a build was going on too, but quite different. The owner drove a Corvette. The house was 3000 Sq. Ft. He drove a lot less nails himself. Dad told me I needed to find out what that man did for a living.

Fast- forward about 12 years. I knew the neighbor pretty well now. He was an HVAC service man, now Service manager. Not just anywhere, but for one of the manufacturers (can't say which one, internet policy, lol). I am headed off to College for.......guess what?

HVAC. Upon my graduation as #2 in the class, I land an entry level Job with my neighbor as my boss. WOW! Living the dream. All because of a house.

Now, fast forward a few more years- the neighbor starts talking of selling this 3000 sq. ft. monster, but alas, I have started a family, struggling to make it with baby #1 on the way. No way I can do it. Not even close.

As the years slide by the neighbor and some-times-boss ( I changed jobs a few times, but always came back) mentioned the house would be for sale "soon". This went on for over 15 years. Every time it was a pipe dream. That house was just going to be too expensive. It was a goal, but totally unreachable it seemed.

Then the old neighbor, still my dads neighbor, announced he would retire, and again, the sale of the home that led me to HVAC and my dream home, was eminent.

I received a visit over a year later from another co-worker, I was now sitting in the office at the same HVAC company as my old neighbor.

"Hey, there is a For Sale sign in the yard of the house next to your dad".

No way! it was finally for sale. But I still knew, from past conversations, that the price was out of reach. Still I called my former neighbor and boss. Well, he wanted to move the house fast. The price was about $40k from what we had discussed most recently. But I had just bought a house about a year before.

Well, really long story shorter (a bit shorter), I know live in this dream house, with my wife (who has shared the dream for 15 years) and our 5 kids. Right next to the home I grew up in where my dad still lives.

Along with the house, and large garage, I also have a KY steel building at 30*50*12 out back. If you'd like to see what progresses, follow along. It might be fun.

And here is to fairy tale endings, sometimes they really do happen!


Please feel free to check out my other threads for more background.

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=322834
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=325275
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=320423
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=318130
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Last edited by Big Daddy Chop Shop; 10-03-2016 at 03:04 PM. Reason: history
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:29 AM   #2
George58
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Default Re: Welcome to the Chop Shop

Wow what a beautiful home congrats to you and your family.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Welcome to the Chop Shop

Wonderful how honest work & a serious attitude will take a person to their goals. Congratulations!
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:55 AM   #4
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Good ranch for a man with a gaggle of younuns ! Room for some grandkids too. Soon enough.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:41 AM   #5
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Great, story. Congratulations!
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:12 AM   #6
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Congratulations! Property is beautiful!
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Welcome to the Chop Shop

Great house and shop. Your hard work has paid off. It seems the prev owner respected your drive and skills, and worked out so you could buy the place. It's nice to have your Dad still next door. Money may seem tight now, but things will get better.
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Old 02-08-2016, 03:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Welcome to the Chop Shop

What a wonderful story. Who says the American Dream is dead! You were given a roadmap and everything has worked out.

Good luck in the future!
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:49 PM   #9
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Nice !
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:49 AM   #10
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So, a few updates in the history to get us to present day, just a heads up, there will be some "homestead" posts as well (house, property).

So the first order of business was to organize a ton of stuff! Shelves, bolt bins, etc. My primary goal was to do it once, and do it right.

Also, as a great dad of kids who love sports, the far end is reserved for a future ball goal, and a hitting net. This may help explain why the far end has NOTHING on the wall.

I also added heat (see my biomass thread) and a tool room (see tool room thread) at this time.

Bolt bins.jpg

Tool room2.jpg

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Old 10-03-2016, 10:56 AM   #11
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Once the ground dried out (which was a very small window this year) I ran electric. Now, I am not sure why anyone with means would put up a all steel building, insulated, concrete floor, and NOT put in electric. But, alas, that was what the deal was.

100 amp service was buried over a weekend. The inside had the panel already set and the branch circuits ran for a month or so. (It was a really wet year).

I also had my BIL haul me some stone for a drive (again, seriously, why do a building like this with no access, especially when you have money??)

There was a heated debate over lighting, (see my lighting thread) and I went with the T5 highbays (I am 17' to the peak) and LOVE them still! I may add a few more over the years, but with a bench light and a tool box light, this is now really great!

lights.jpg

lites tool.jpg
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:03 AM   #12
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So, up until this time, we had (well, I had) been mowing with a Famall Cub with 60" belly mower. For anyone that knows these machines, the early ones were rated at 8 hp. It cut beautifully, but painfully slow. Like 6 hours for 4 acres slow. So the investment was made in a zero turn, and the old Cub is now just a plow tractor (snow and dirt).

This however presented a problem. Where to park these now 2 machines? My old rule was always no mowers in the shop (when we lived in town, or had a small shed). Well, the attached garage houses our dailys, and it nice to have them garaged. So the barn was the answer. So I moved the tool room, rearranged benches, and Viola! Parking for a tractor and mower right inside the door!

Tool new.jpg

Park.jpg

Now, remember what I said about "do it once, not change it, do it right?" yeah, so much for that, already moving junk 6 months later!
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:15 AM   #13
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So, as you can see, the shop sprouted and off-spring, an El Camino. Sadly, after diving in on a 78k mile survivor car, it was determined the frame was trash. I could have found another donor, but I already have a truck, as well as a company truck. What I needed was a Homestead cruiser! Quads are tough with the kids, and are not ideal for work. Side by sides are nice, but $$$$$. So I traded the Elco shell for this!
Cart.jpg


Electric EZGO. Kids love it, shes a workhorse, and its not too fast for them either. Great trade for me, and the other guy.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:20 AM   #14
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Now, I am sure you can do the math here, obviously, now I need parking for 3 small vehicles (and a charging station), and while I'm at it, why not centralize yard tools? Oh, and just for kicks, I read the entire "party barn" thread, and I decide I want to sheet at least some of the inside of the Chop SHOP!

So, I have 1500 sq.ft. for a ball court, shop, garden shed, storage, oh, and I have a BUNCH of wood working tools at my dads too! WOW! Oh, and the tool room, yeah, its not working where it is either, infringes on the future ball court! This place seemed so BIG at first!!!

So a serious look is taken at the Chop Shop. How to accomplish all this, and still use it as a shop, host family get-togethers, etc??? We pull together as a family and kick its butt!

I really wish I had more progress pics, but here is my littlest buddy. Hes 5, and showed up for a "safety audit" (his actual words, we had just had one at work he had heard me discussing). He wasn't too pleased at what he found, but I avoided a fine by extending his bedtime! LOL!

safe.jpg

So every bit of the interior sheeting was salvaged from shipping crates. I am not a "green" guy, but this is real recycling. I am cheap! lol!

I will add some pics of this soon, but I hope the transformation is as mind-blowing here as it is in real life.

So, after almost a year, there is some house remodeling I need to finally address. Closing in a den for my boys (9, 6 and 5) to share, as currently they sleep in there and its open to the living room. Nothing major. Look forward to sharing even more of this adventure!
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:00 AM   #15
Big Daddy Chop Shop
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As promised, here are a couple of recent pics (from last night actually).

As you can see, I sheeted the walls to 8' on the long walls. I may eventually go the full 12, but this is all salvage lumber, so it was what I had to work with. I went the full 12' on the end wall where the ball goal and hitting net will reside for additional protection. You will notice the tool room is no more. As much as I liked it, it just didn't work at this time.

In the future I would love to add an "upper deck" to part of the Shop. For now, the next phase is likely paint for the inside.

back.jpg

back2.jpg

front.jpg

park (2).jpg

pano.jpg

Oh, and you can see my shop dog (the only one not on a shock collar, so shes the only one that can come out that far) Meeka. My only complaint with her is there is if there is any water around, she will find it, and make a mess!
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ChopShop Threads

Lites:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=322834
Electric:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=325275
Heat:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=318130

A tattooed, pierced, Motorcycle riding, hot rod building, kilt wearing, bearded father of 5, husband of one and servant of THE ONE and only Jesus Christ. I'll preach His WORD boldly whenever I'm given half a chance, and I'll do my level best to show Him wherever I go.


Last edited by Big Daddy Chop Shop; 10-04-2016 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:11 AM   #16
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Nice looking shop and interesting story.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:08 AM   #17
sean Buick 76
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Default Re: Welcome to the Chop Shop

Thanks for sharing your story, it is inspirational! I really enjoy your photos, many of us are using "photobucket" to post our pics so they show up full sized.

Keep up the great work!
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:13 AM   #18
Big Daddy Chop Shop
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Thanks for the tip. If you click on them, don't they enlarge?

It has been a long road for sure.
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ChopShop Threads

Lites:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=322834
Electric:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=325275
Heat:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=318130

A tattooed, pierced, Motorcycle riding, hot rod building, kilt wearing, bearded father of 5, husband of one and servant of THE ONE and only Jesus Christ. I'll preach His WORD boldly whenever I'm given half a chance, and I'll do my level best to show Him wherever I go.

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Old 10-05-2016, 05:26 AM   #19
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Default Re: Welcome to the Chop Shop

Great story and photos.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:20 AM   #20
Big Daddy Chop Shop
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Worked on the house mainly this weekend, should have a few pictures to follow shortly. Basically walled off the Den as a room for our 3 boys to share. We got to Menard's to get the drywall and a door (had the framing) and then saw a very cool item, a sliding barn door. I would have liked to build it myself and just bought the hardware, but the wood shop is still in the planning stages. So I spent the cash, and the boys LOVE it! Also imported by old bunk beds from my pops from my childhood for the older two to use, and they are in love with them as well.

Mom and I love the fact we can send then to bed and not have them watching us thru the opening from the den to the living room now! and the TV doesn't keep them up. Still need to finish the drywall, but very happy with the progress.

Yesterday afternoon I did take a bit of time to do something else for all the kids. My pops still lives next door, but an old farm fence divided the properties. We made 2 pass-thrus and stomped down a couple trails out back (he only mows about 1 of his 5 acres, and its now wooded- the kids just love "exploring") for the golf cart.

I continue to be impressed with this acquisition. Completely stock, and it never gets stuck, can run all day on a charge, and hauls tools/ kids/ my big butt like its no big deal. The wife is looking at side by sides, but I love this little cart. Not saying I'd turn down a Mule, but for the cost difference, the ease of jump on and go (its electric) and the fact that its not too fast for the kids, the old golf cart is hard to beat if you have a few acres. I can do my weed spraying patrols, do my property checks, visit the neighbors, and it actually is a lot of fun to drive. All the kids love it too. I need to get it painted, but I can't seem to give it up long enough to get that done! Perhaps once it is cold out!
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ChopShop Threads

Lites:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=322834
Electric:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=325275
Heat:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=318130

A tattooed, pierced, Motorcycle riding, hot rod building, kilt wearing, bearded father of 5, husband of one and servant of THE ONE and only Jesus Christ. I'll preach His WORD boldly whenever I'm given half a chance, and I'll do my level best to show Him wherever I go.

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