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Old 20-08-2011, 14:49   #1
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Intermodal Shipping Container as a Shop ?

Iím thinking about buying a couple 20í Intermodal Shipping Containers to set up repair shops in; one for woodworking, one for metal. Iím looking at the insulated ones....

Has anyone done this? Is there anything I need to know before I buy?
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Old 20-08-2011, 14:58   #2
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Re: Intermodal Containers as a Shop?

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Iím thinking about buying a couple 20í Intermodal Shipping Containers to set up repair shops in; one for woodworking, one for metal. Iím looking at the insulated ones....

Has anyone done this? Is there anything I need to know before I buy?
Capngo, I have used three seacans for various functions, including storage of sensitive documents.

They work well, are water tight and virtually rodent proof. They really have only one issue.

In the winter, they stay really cold, and in the summer, get very hot. You would perhaps put in good ventilation or some air conditioning if you are going to work in them, especially if you close them for security.

And make sure you have really good locks, ones that a bolt cutter can not readily cut through (personal experience).

I love them; strong and inexpensive. I think you will find the 40 footers will only cost a bit more then a 20 footer. Where I am the difference is $2-300 only.
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Old 20-08-2011, 15:03   #3
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Re: Intermodal Containers as a Shop?

The hot/cold issue is why I was looking at the insulated ones.... From what I’ve been told, a little 5k BTU air conditioner can cool them with no issues.

The reason for the 20 footers, is because the lot I have access to in KW is 30x40. I want to put the containers on each side, canopy over the area between, and still have some open ground in front to park. Commercial property is silly expensive in the Keys!
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Old 20-08-2011, 15:13   #4
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Re: Intermodal Containers as a Shop?

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The hot/cold issue is why I was looking at the insulated ones.... From what Iíve been told, a little 5k BTU air conditioner can cool them with no issues.

The reason for the 20 footers, is because the lot I have access to in KW is 30x40. I want to put the containers on each side, canopy over the area between, and still have some open ground in front to park. Commercial property is silly expensive in the Keys!
The only insulated ones I was aware of are the refrigerated ones. Those refrigeration units run of diesel, same as in reefer semi's. I have only seen them in 40 and 53 ft units. I didn't know you could get a 20 footer insulated.

If you can, then I would think it would have the reefer system attached.


30x40 and you want to put the seacans facing? If they are 20 footers, how is that going to work.

BTW, they stack really well, and it is easy to build a wooden platform to access the top one. You may want to consider that also.
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Old 20-08-2011, 16:13   #5
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Re: Intermodal Containers as a Shop?

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The only insulated ones I was aware of are the refrigerated ones. Those refrigeration units run of diesel, same as in reefer semi's. I have only seen them in 40 and 53 ft units. I didn't know you could get a 20 footer insulated.

If you can, then I would think it would have the reefer system attached.
No, an insulated container is a different beast than a refrigerated container.

Something to consider is that the inside width of an insulated container is just a few inches over 7'. So you can certainly get a table saw in there, or whatever, but don't count on having extra room for storage.
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Old 20-08-2011, 16:31   #6
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Re: Intermodal Shipping Container as a Shop ?

AIR CONDITIONING.
dang things get hot in sun.
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Old 20-08-2011, 16:47   #7
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Re: Intermodal Shipping Container as a Shop ?

The plan is to align them parallel on the opposing 30’ property lines leaving ~22’ between them, then making an aluminum/canvas cover over the open area... think carport for the visual. There would be 10’ between the doors and the fence. The 7’ inside is not a big deal as I would have the 20x22’ area under the awning for large stuff. It would be nice to find two with side doors!
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Old 20-08-2011, 16:47   #8
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Re: Intermodal Shipping Container as a Shop ?

I have a 20fter as my workshop at the moment, a tropical roof helps a lot with the heat, and a bit with the cold but isn't such a big issue here. Outer walls could help by adding an air gap to help insulate against the cold. I think the fully insulated containers are soft sided, not steel so security may be an issue.
I have worked on site repairing plant equipment with 2 containers and a curved roof running from the outer edge of each container. This worked well even in heavy rain, a door cut into the inward facing walls make easy access to both workshops and the gap in between become a much easier to work with area. The side doors were secured top and bottom by long sections of pipe that slide through a steel loop on the inside wall each side of the door and on each side of the door as well. Even if the hinges were cut the door couldn't be removed. The end doors had a lock box welded to one door so it overlapped the other door and the lock was feed up through the bottom.
The end doors were only used for entry and exit first and last thing or if really big stuff needed to be moved in and out, much easier to keep an eye on who was coming in and out and stopped tools from walking away.

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Old 20-08-2011, 17:00   #9
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Re: Intermodal Shipping Container as a Shop ?

Not bad digs!


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Old 20-08-2011, 17:20   #10
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Re: Intermodal Shipping Container as a Shop ?

Amazing things are done with those now.

Twelve amazing shipping container houses | Yahoo! Green

A shop would be simple and cheap.
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Old 20-08-2011, 17:21   #11
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Re: Intermodal Shipping Container as a Shop ?

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Not bad digs!
Indeed. I believe that first one was featured in Better Seacans and Gardens.
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Old 20-08-2011, 17:27   #12
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Re: Intermodal Shipping Container as a Shop ?

Hmmm...cheap cruises. Take an old container ship and ...you get the idea.
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Old 20-08-2011, 17:33   #13
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Re: Intermodal Shipping Container as a Shop ?

2 air conditioners, and a beer fridge.
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Old 20-08-2011, 17:39   #14
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Re: Intermodal Shipping Container as a Shop ?

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2 air conditioners, and a beer fridge.
No Man Cave is complete without one!
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Old 20-08-2011, 19:12   #15
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Re: Intermodal Shipping Container as a Shop ?

Had a neighbor buy 2 20's, dug a big hole, put them in side by side, cut a doorway between them and buried them. Great tornado and root cellar. That was about 15 yrs ago and still strong as ever...
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