Finishing shop?

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
So we got all moved and starting to settle in.
I was wondering if anyone had any alternatives or ideas on finishing this section of my basement for my shop. I hate doing sheetrock and was seeing if there is a good alternative to use in a shop.
I plan to leave the concrete exposed and just cover the studded sections. I will also be building a wall right behind that walk out door.

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Sheetrock, or drywall as we call it here in the north :D, is pretty cheap and pretty easy to hang. I wouldn't finish it though.

You could do exterior raised rib steel too though. That looks pretty nice, is pretty easy to install and not too expensive either. A third option may be tongue & groove end-matched pine.

Myself....I'd opt for insulation and bare studs/wires. :)
If this is in your home.....first thing you better do is check with your insurance, and find out if anything you're doing will void your coverage. It would be a real bummer to have something happen, then have the insurance reject a claim because the area didn't meet some type of building standard. My insurance refused to insure either my hot shop, or my finish shop because in their code, drywall is required on ALL interior walls....and my shops have wood sheeting on the interiors (both of my shops are detached, and the only place I could get insurance was through ABANA.

Beyond that, the first thing that jumps out at me is that I don't see any ventilation. From what I can see in the pic, you're going to constantly be working in a "fog" or various dusts. Coming from a guy who has had two lung surgeries, and still has to visit the Doc twice a year.......VENTILATION!!!!!!
If you're married, you best SEAL those joists overhead....otherwise you might not be married after the first couple of times you use the space. The dust WILL get "upstairs", and you WILL be in trouble!
You need to check the paneling area. I used some paneling that was only 1/8 inch thick but the interior side was a bright white finish. It reflects light extremely well and clean up was only a swipe with broom or dry mop.
The price was good also.
I'm currently "finishing" some of the interior of my shop right now too. I wrestled around with the same thing and just couldn't stand to use drywall. So, I opted for 1/2" plywood. I'll fill the screw holes and seams and paint it. I'm thinking about putting about a piece of sheet metal over the wall behind the grinder for some added wear resistance. I wanted the walls to be able to take bumps and knocks without damage and I want to be able to put in a screw or hanger without necessarily being on a stud.
shop walls.jpg
+1 on the white walls and ceiling. That WILL really help with the lighting and that's critical.

Also, I was thinking about it from a cost/efficiency/ease of installation standpoint but Ed made great points that I didn't even think about. The dust and ventilation issues are key ones that you'll want to figure out.
Ed i will check with my insurance. My plan is to do all my grinding outside, this is what i did at my old house to keep the dust from taking over. Inside will be all the other work and any heat treating will be done outside or at my work.
Im kind of leaning towards the sheetrock and not finishing it just screw it to the wall and call it good. Or just put a single mud on everything just to seal it up, we will see.

Thanks for the advice, any other dos and donts let me know.

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Congrats on the new shop. Now maybe we can start seeing a few new Presson knives. Personally I just have that white insulation and like it because of the extra light like the other guys said.
Whatever you decide on, I think you oughta finish it out with a nice coat of pink paint. :s12137:
Justin, does it have any wiring down there? I can't see any outlets in the pic. For mine, I'm going to wire in conduit, nothing inside the walls. I'm thinking if I want to change it or add onto it as time goes by, it'll be easier and more likely to happen if it's where I can get to it. I'm beyond sick of using extension cords all the time, I want the wiring to be able to grow and change. I've been buying/stockpiling a 500' roll of #12 copper wire every month or two for a while now so I'm not slammed all at once.

In your home (basement) I would suggest using sheetrock over any wood product (1/2 plywood). Especially with little to no ventilation. Sheetrock has very little burning factor as opposed to plywood. Building knives in an enclosed area presents all kinds of fire hazards.

Further, it will not take much time and very little cost to finish out the sheetrock with a coat or two of mud and a cheap slapped ceiling. Cheap white paint on the walls and a gallon of cheap white paint added to the ceiling mud will get you a pleasant enough work room with good lighting conditions.

I can see the potential in this area for a nice little knife shop. You may want to add a window before you get it all sealed up. With open stud walls it would not be all that difficult. It will help a great deal with ventilation.

If I lived any closer I would let you borrow my drywall tools. My father taught me how to do this growing up. He was a public school teacher and we spent the summer doing all kinds of drywall jobs. It is not a difficult thing to learn once you get the basics down. Go get um!


I support insulation and drywall. If you are going to spend time there make it nice and enjoyable to work in too. In the long run it will be worth it. Especially as you find yourself working there more.
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Thank you all for the input, i appreciate it.
Sheetrock it is. I finished the basement in our old house so no stranger to it just not one of my favorite things to do right up there on the list with sheath
Darrin if you come up to help paint it pink i will go with that color..haha
Anthony, not much in the way of outlets, you will be getting a call from me when the time comes because like you my old garage had extension cords everywhere and i hated it.

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