Today’s post comes from Ben.
I’ve been doing some long-range planning on building a shop. Or maybe it’s just a ‘garage’. Basically, I want a warm place to work on machinery. And things like grease guns and cans of liquid wrench or chain lube work better if they’re not 20 degrees. Even cordless tools are more fun to use when they’re not cold.
What do I think I want to work on? Does it need to be big enough to get my current biggest tractor in there? (Yes!) Or does it need to be big enough to get a combine in there? If I don’t actually build it for another 10 years, how much will I actually be farming? I don’t own a combine and I don’t expect to own one. My biggest implement (at the moment) opens up to about 26’ wide. Do I need / want enough room to pull that in attached to the tractor, AND unfold it to work on it? I have machine sheds now. But machinery is stored in there. There isn’t room to actually unfold an implement. Heck, sometimes there’s isn’t room to get the tractor and implement all in the shed.
Course during winter I put more stuff in the shed. This fall I spent a couple days moving stuff around so that I could get out either door with the tractor and snow blower. And still get to the rear blade if I needed that.
What started all this, aside from the deep seated, but dormant desire for a nice warm shop, is my grain drill. It’s 15’ wide. I bought it used a couple years ago and It needed a lot of work. Over the summer and early Spring I got it ready to plant. The next summer I fixed a few more things. But it needs one more thing and fixing that won’t be hard, it will just require taking a fair amount of stuff off to get that ‘cup’ out and a new one installed. Every summer I think I’m going to work on that. But every summer other stuff happens, and I don’t get too it. Sort of like any of my home remodeling projects; ‘We can do it this summer!’ Famous last words. (And I’m still working on hardwood flooring and baseboard trim and closet doors).
Ok, so if I just want a shop big enough to work on the drill, I could get away with a two car garage. But then it doesn’t take too many things along the wall and pretty soon you have a one car garage.
watch some YouTube channels of other farmers; these big guys have the wonderful huge shops and sheds. All heated and well lit. I don’t need that.
Just the other day I got an email a farm magazine called ‘Successful Farming’ and their ‘top shops’ issue. Maybe I need a wash bay? What about a separate welding area? A lube rack?? Painting booth! And what about heating options?? Tool storage?? Water? OFFICE! Sleeping quarters!! ??
I’m still thinking.
And of course, WHERE will it go? Kelly asked me the other day what I was thinking about that. I have some ideas… still thinking.
And also nagging at the back of my mind is the question of ‘When do you really think you’ll have time to use this??’ I mean I can’t get my home remodeling projects done now. So, when do I think I’m going to have time to putter about in my nice warm shop…?
When I retire! But then… do I need to fit the big tractor in there then??
So many questions.
Anything nagging at your thoughts? What are your long range plans?