basement vs. garage for new shop

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I had my shop 1st in my garage... then got into restoring a car so the shop had to be moved into my basement... For woodworking, ease of use, not disturbing the baby (noise) , DUST (that disturbs the wife)...the garage is Much better... My shop is now in a detached building...BUT I am still into restoring cars and I have my shop on the second floor of this building...NOT GREAT... but I had to do what I had to do...
1.Detached..2..Garage..3.Basement ...4 .None.. is how I would rank them.
Bob G..
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I've never had a garage shop and don't think I'm likely to at this stage of my life, 73 YO. I originally had an entrance to my basement in the garage , unfortunately it required a 90 degree turn at the bottom of the stairs, tough for 4X8's or anything really over 4'. Closed it up, filled the hole and built a main floor laundryroom for the bride.
Opened the basement on the end of the house and installed a Bilco Door that solved getting sheet goods down and heavy machine access, if not easy, at least bearable. Course I do have to go out the back porch door and down the outside basement steps. Hot water heat with the pipes running along the ceiling handles heat and the whole house AC'd keep it a comfortable place to work year round. Available space works out to approx. 22X35. Indoor access would be nice but I can live with this. Ground level outside access would also be niice but my lot doesn't work for that. The fact that all my electric service is in the basement was a plus. Only regret is I didn't paint the floor and walls when I moved in 20 years ago. It would be a bear now.
Tom Cavanagh

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Andy,
My 34x34 shop is in my basement. I have radiant floor heat from a geo thermal water to water unit which, imo, is the best way to heat there is. It's very comfortable in the summer too. I have 9 1/2 foot ceilings which are nice as well. If I were doing it over again though, I'd use floor trusses to get rid of the support posts. It's a walk out basement with no stairs.
The basement shop has 2 drawbacks and dust isn't one of them in my case. Finishing is the major problem. I absolutely will not use oil based polyurethane down there. I hate the smell in the house and I have a wife and 2 kids that I don't want to subject to it. Luckily, I have an apartment above my garage that I keep heated and I use that for all finishing. The other problem is noise. The tablesaw isn't bad, nor most powered hand tools. The worst offenders are the SCMS and the 20 inch planer. I think I could take care of the noise if I insulated the ceiling and then drywalled it. The finish smell I could take care of in the warm months with good ventilation but that would never work in the winter. The concrete floor isn't tool freindly but you'll have that problem in the garage too.
If I didn't have the apartment, I'd do all my building in the winter and finish it outside or in the garage when it was warm enough.
Hope this helps.
Bryan
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Mine is in the basement - not really an option. We both like to park cars in the garage, plus it's nice having a car at a normal temp in the morning - no ice to scrape or 150F interiors. HOA will not allow an outbuilding over 150 sq ft.
So into the basement I went. It has a walkout (couldn't have done without this) - think it is really important to have the easy in/out.
It is about 12' wide and 25' long. Only has 7.5' ceilings over most, 9' over about a third. Needless to say, the latter is where the bench is and final assembly occurs.
I do have a dual laundry tub in there, there is also a bathroom in the basement which is nice (the whole basement is finished, well almost, with full amenities.
Regarding dust, noise & fumes. For dust, the shop is separated from rest of basement with a wall and door! The door has weather-stripping and an exterior threshold. The DC has one of those huge pleated filters (from an industrial supply - much cheaper than a Jet-type - no 'flappers' inside though) with a ridiculously micron rating and huge surface area. Except for what doesn't go in the DC, no dust. I have a set of furnace filters connected to the DC as an 'air cleaner'. If the DC runs for 15 mins or so drawing through those filters the air is clear as can be seen - I can usually start applying finish. SWMBO no longer complains about dust (she did before walls & DC rigged up).
Noise. Walls and ceiling sheathed in plywood, every cavity insulated (including ceiling). Shop is directly under family room. The big tools are a not-unpleasant "rumble" - planer munching wood (I have 15" w/induction motor) is probably the loudest. Routers scream the most. Almost no complaints. Even at night I don't get complaints - the only sound she & the kids hear is what is travels through the ductwork - a long way to all the bedrooms.
Fumes - biggest complaints - stinks up the clothes in the dryer if it's running. Two fixes have quieted this down to no complaints on recent job: 1. sealing the door, 2. big (rated at 300 cu.ft./min, but probably less than a 1/3 that ) exhaust fan. If door is shut it draws air through the ductwork. If I leave door just a crack open then it the air comes through the door. I sometimes do the latter as it allows me to crack a basement window nearby and reduce the draw on the house. Basically, I maintain a slight negative pressure in the shop. For most finishes (especially shellac) you only need 4 hours to get odors "below threshold" and can stop sucking precious heated/cooled air out of the house. If you like BLO finishes (straight, "maloof" mixes, etc) all the solvent is gone but, damn, that BLO stinks for days and the laundry problems arise (we have three small kids so it's a daily affair).
Moving finished products isn't an issue. If it's too big to get out of the basement door - it's too big to move through the front door. I don't build those kinds of things. If I didn't have a walkout I wouldn't do it (or equivalent, like a bilco door) with my stair arrangement.
The low ceilings are a pain, but you learn to work around it. It feels smallish, especially with all the tools packed in there. The upside is I can really only fit one project at a time in there so I am better at getting things done than in the past.
I do tend to do quieter activities at night if I can - hand planing, finishing, etc.
I do like being "in the house" - SWMBO can leave and I'm still accessible to the kids.
Apologize for the length.
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Andy wrote:

Can you get a walk out basement, with some access to the street? That makes getting tools and wood in, and projects out much easier, as they typically have double wide sliding glass doors in our area.
Get a good vacuum system, and possibly an air cleaner too. Invest in changing the furnace filters more regularly (or get cleanable ones) and run the vacuum once in a while upstairs (your wife can show you how). You may want to consider some extra sound insulation for the basement ceiling.
Use of hand tools rather than power tools will reduce dust and noise, and makes it easier to listen to the radio. . Rob
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