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What do you do if you’re Gus Freotte of the St. Louis Rams and you have $50,000 burning a hole in your pocket?  You fix up your crappy garage, of course.  We ran across an article this morning describing his “make over” which involved stripping that bad boy down to the studs and pretty much starting over.

“All the wood in the garage was in pretty bad shape,” he said. “There were wires all over the place, and those were all in tangles. Everything was in disarray, and it just didn’t work. So, we took everything out of the garage, put it in (storage units), and a crew came in and gutted the entire thing.”

And he does mean the entire thing.

The Garage Design Center in Fenton demolished the garage interior down to the studs, poured a new slab of concrete, and then installed a rubber floor. After that, vinyl walls with panels made especially for organized storage were installed.

As you can see from the photos, it turned out well.  All his clutter is gone and it looks like a nice room.  But as Toolmongers we’ve got to point out a problem: it’s a room not a shop.  Hell, it’s no longer even a garage

After carefully examining all the article’s pictures, we couldn’t find a single power tool or work bench.  We’ve got to say that for $50k we’d like to see some woodworking hardware at the bare minimum.

If we had $50k to spend on a make over, it would look more like a Space Shuttle construction facility than an episode of Trading Spaces.  Then again, we’ve been wrong before.  What would you do with a $50k “garage make over?”  Let us know in comments.

Rams player’s garage is a home away from home [STL Today Article]

 

14 Responses to A Celebrity Garage Makeover

  1. Scraper says:

    I don’t think I could fit $50k worth of tools in my garage. But I would sure like to try! I would probably end up with one side looking like Norm’s woodshop (nothing but the biggest and best, and a few backups). The other side would resemble the shop from Trucks! (or some other show like that).

  2. Rob says:

    For $50K I wouldn’t “makeover” my garage. I’d “build” a shop. A friend of mine has a 800 sq. ft cabin with a 1500 sq. ft. shop OUT BACK! Now that’s living!

  3. Cam says:

    It’s easy enough to put 50K in tools away in a small space. I used to work with a guy that was our Snap-On dealer’s bestest customer ever. His toolbox alone was $7500, and it had $40K of high-end hand and air tools in it.

    That aside, with 50K and shop space I’d have at a minimum: Drill press, lathe, grinder, slack belt grinder, belt/disc sander, huge bench, table saw, routing table, band saw, compressor, dust-removal system.

    Stock shelving, cabinets, and wall-mount tool racks.

    Hand tools. All of them 🙂

    In the wishlist would be a vertical boring mill, sheet metal shear, pan brake, turrent punch, and a corner notcher.

  4. Kurt Schwind says:

    From the article in STLToday : “An 8-foot workbench is enough room for sawing and sanding. ($569)” I’d love to see more pictures of THAT.

  5. Crashin says:

    It would be nice if you could actually see the photos of what is there.

  6. Scraper says:

    From what I can see in the pictures, it looks like they may have used Gladiator Garageworks stuff. (I am not a liberty to say how I know that.)

    The 8ft maple workbench lists at $597. It is nothing really that spectacular. Google it for more it info (model number GAWB08MTRG).

  7. KaiserM715 says:

    If I had $50k, first I would double the size of my garage, put in several 240V outlets, install a large stationary air compressor and plumb the entire garage for compressed air. In addition, I would epoxy the entire floor as well as set up I-beams for a manual hoist. Anything left over would be spent on air conditioning (a very nice thing to have in Houston) and then maybe some tools.

  8. nrChris says:

    Not how I’d spend my $50k. Powermatic setup with nice dust removal plumbed into the walls along with compressed air. The one really appealing thing is the “hatch” (nice PR spin on what is basically an attic–Lost connection anyone?) in terms of storage.

    I just installed overhead pulleys to hoist my Thule roofrack up to the rafters as a one man operation. I am thinking that a cheapo winch seals the deal, but maybe that is the epitome of lazy….

  9. Ken says:

    If I was going to spend fifty grand on a garage makeover I would have some amenities life a keg cooler(iget thirsty),a big flat screen tv,a reclineing chairand an intercom to call the wife in case i forgot something.

  10. Nate Bezanson says:

    I’ll jump on the braindump bandwagon! Here are some major points of the dream-shop-lab-lair that lives in my mind:

    Small Bridgeport mill, of the type my friend’s machinist dad has in his shed, but converted for CNC operation. (see http://www.pmdx.com/Resources/ for starting points.)

    Cleanroom with positive-pressure ventilation, tacky floormats, and “glove-box” passthrough wall panel for impromptu work without suiting up.

    Dust collection / fume extraction system with outside venting, so I don’t have to worry about 100% first-pass filter efficiency. There’d be swing-arms off the ceiling, collectors at each machine, and ports along the bench for easy attachment of job-appropriate anti-static intake hoses. (Lab Safety Supply is a great place to start with this.)

    GPS-locked reference clock feeding the frequency counter, radio timebases, and snazzy LED or Nixie-readout wall clock. Jacks on the bench for 1PPS, 10MHz, and IRIG-B, next to the DC power connections.

    Multi-output DC power supply, with fixed outputs at 5, 13.8, and 48 volts.

    Sizable variac transformer, AC line isolation transformer, and ferroresonant line filter, all fed from a large UPS.

    Cadex C8000 battery test system, LabJack and BitScope instrumentation, and LabView to present it all.

    Thermal infrared camera, Fluke Ti45FT or similar. Bonus points if someone ever makes one with FireWire output.

    Small studio mixer, to clean up and control audio from the music source, ham radios, PC audio output, intercom, and possibly device under test.

    Acoustic room treatment, to keep noise under control. Floormats will help absorb some, and storage shelves on at least 1 1/2 walls will diffuse echoes, but there’s no substitute for soft stuff like curtains, tapestries, or foam tiles. Attaching strips of mass-loaded foam (Dynamat) to the back of pegboard is a stealthy way to dampen vibration, and the undersides of shelves are ripe for covering with pyramid foam. A lot of nonspecific fatigue and stress is noise-related, and I plan to nip that in the bud.

    Speaking of ergonomics, nothing beats an Aeron chair with a drafter-style raised base and footbar. Well, maybe a Steelcase like the one I’m sitting in right now, but I’m trying *not* to fall asleep in the shop. 🙂 (That’s what the lounge is for…)

    Curtains to isolate part of the room, or an entire separate room, for sandblasting, powdercoating, and paint booth operations. This plays into the directed ventilation scheme with the cleanroom: Filtered air is forced into the clean parts of the shop, dusty air escapes from the messy parts.

    Giant whiteboard, or at least part of one wall covered with melamine-coated steel. Only between the 4′ and 8′ level, though. Above and below should be something acoustically friendlier.

    Vehicle hoist. I’ll leave the dyno off this list, since I think I’ve crossed $50k already. 🙂

    Many of these ideas have been on my wishlist since the Slashdot “equipment for a perfect general lab” thread, here: http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/16/077233

  11. Nate Bezanson says:

    Odd, where did my earlier post go? Anyway, one thing we all forgot: Fire suppression! A nice Inergen system would probably chew up the entire $50k budget, so let’s start with a few dry-chem extinguishers, and a CO2 unit for cases when you don’t want an engine sucking potassium bicarbonate powder into its intake.

  12. Nate Bezanson says:

    Once more, without the links… Here are some major points of the dream-shop-lab-lair that lives in my mind:

    Small Bridgeport mill, of the type my friend’s machinist dad has in his shed, but converted for CNC operation.

    Cleanroom with positive-pressure ventilation, tacky floormats, and “glove-box” passthrough wall panel for impromptu work without suiting up.

    Dust collection / fume extraction system with outside venting, so I don’t have to worry about 100% first-pass filter efficiency. There’d be swing-arms off the ceiling, collectors at each machine, and ports along the bench for easy attachment of job-appropriate anti-static intake hoses. (Lab Safety Supply is a great place to start with this.)

    GPS-locked reference clock feeding the frequency counter, radio timebases, and snazzy LED or Nixie-readout wall clock. Jacks on the bench for 1PPS, 10MHz, and IRIG-B, next to the DC power connections.

    Multi-output DC power supply, with fixed outputs at 5, 13.8, and 48 volts.

    Sizable variac transformer, AC line isolation transformer, and ferroresonant line filter, all fed from a large UPS.

    Cadex C8000 battery test system, LabJack and BitScope instrumentation, and LabView to present it all.

    Thermal infrared camera, Fluke Ti45FT or similar. Bonus points if someone ever makes one with FireWire output.

    Small studio mixer, to clean up and control audio from the music source, ham radios, PC audio output, intercom, and possibly device under test.

    Acoustic room treatment, to keep noise under control. Floormats will help absorb some, and storage shelves on at least 1 1/2 walls will diffuse echoes, but there’s no substitute for soft stuff like curtains, tapestries, or foam tiles. Attaching strips of mass-loaded foam (Dynamat) to the back of pegboard is a stealthy way to dampen vibration, and the undersides of shelves are ripe for covering with pyramid foam. A lot of nonspecific fatigue and stress is noise-related, and I plan to nip that in the bud.

    Speaking of ergonomics, nothing beats an Aeron chair with a drafter-style raised base and footbar. Well, maybe a Steelcase like the one I’m sitting in right now, but I’m trying *not* to fall asleep in the shop. 🙂 (That’s what the lounge is for…)

    Curtains to isolate part of the room, or an entire separate room, for sandblasting, powdercoating, and paint booth operations. This plays into the directed ventilation scheme with the cleanroom: Filtered air is forced into the clean parts of the shop, dusty air escapes from the messy parts.

    Giant whiteboard, or at least part of one wall covered with melamine-coated steel. Only between the 4′ and 8′ level, though. Above and below should be something acoustically friendlier.

    Vehicle hoist. I’ll leave the dyno off this list, since I think I’ve crossed $50k already. 🙂

    Many of these ideas have been on my wishlist since the Slashdot “equipment for a perfect general lab” thread. Google it. 🙂

  13. twostorms says:

    With 50k I’m surprised that no one mentioned anything about buying an old rust bucket sports car or truck with some of that money to see if your tools really do work

  14. twostorms says:

    oh by the way if because a guy has the money for a garage remodel, wouldent there be lots of tools in the garage? Just another guy with to much money on his hands

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