Garage vs Basement Shop?

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Hi all,
You ever have one of those moments when you wonder how you ever developed the ability to walk and chew bubble-gum at the same time? You know, one of those forehead slapping moments when you think, "What a dumbass I am, why didn't I think of that before?!?!"
I had one of those tonight, and I doubt I'm going to sleep very well whilst coping with the paradigm shift that an innocent comment from (of all people) my visiting mother-in-law catapulted me into. She saw me working on a space-saving mobile bench out in the cold-as-hell third bay of the garage and said "Why don't you have the shop in the basement?" To add insult to injury, her daughter agreed, saying "I've always thought it should be in the basement." Having never even considered this in my new house, my immediate puffed-up-chest response (it's too hard to take sheet stock down there) was immediately suppressed by the total sense that it suddenly seemed to make. I could use just half the unfinished basement for the shop and have about five times the space as the third bay.
I'm just coming to grips with taking the TS3650 apart and toting it down there in less than 100 lb chunks, taking down the conduit and electrical I spent 2 days running to the garage (it's all salvageable), and figuring out what to do with all that BIG SPACE. I've seen pics in ABPW and other places of both garage and basement shops, but I have had neither. I don't really know the pros or cons of either, either.
Can some of you help me out? The basement is not walk-out, but there is a short, straight shot from an external door to the basement door and a straight flight of stairs down to the basement. I figure the stairwell is about 3+ feet wide and there is plenty of headroom. And the basement has 9' ceilings. And it's always about 65-75 degrees.
What are the cons of a basement shop? Aside from toting stuff up and down, I can't think of any.
As always, I am thankful for your cumulative wisdom.
--Hedley
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I think it would be great BUT. Air quality control will have to be addressed and you will not get as much natural lighting.
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I have a basement shop with a setup much like you're describing. I had to frame in the room (21 x 20 .... coulda shoulda made it bigger). Also had to wire it, but that I did right, more or less ... outlets every 6 ft around the perimeter, 8 outlets for shoplights & whatnot spaced evenly around the ceiling, and a 220 outlet on the support post in the middle of the room.
Dust collection is a must, and I'm working on an air cleaner (when I was working in my garage, I'd just open the doors and fire up the leaf blower once in a while). Noise is occasionally a problem--less so now that the walls are up, and the floor (house floor, shop ceiling) is well-insulated, so that helps a little.
The main problem I have is the absence of a door to the outside. I put a new door from the garage to the stairwell so I have a straight shot down the stairs (essential for plywood or drywall), but dang, I'm dreading carrying my daughter's brand-new computer desk up those stairs. And God help us when/if we move ... those boxes from Grizzly slid down the stairs quite smoothly, but the jointer and table saw are going to be difficult going back up.
I actually contemplated putting in a bulkhead door, but the expense was too great, and the way our house is laid out, it would have involved putting it in a very visible place. I'll make do with the basement stairs for now.
I also wish I had running water in the basement ... I know it wouldn't be hard to do, but drainage would be a problem. I'd like to be able to rinse out brushes and wash my hands without having to traipse through the house. I also intend to run an air line from the garage to the woodshop so that I can quick-connect to the compressor without having to run an air hose down the stairs through an open door.
All of that said, I'm glad to be working inside rather than in the garage ... cool in the summer, tolerable in the winter. Good luck getting your shop set up.
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No doubt, a basement shop makes woodworking easy and comfortable year-round.
If you have forced air heat or A/C, then you will have to carefully and thoroughly filter the air... or you will blow wood dust all over your house, and your mother-in-law's daughter will quickly change her opinion about where your shop should be. If you have hot water or steam heat (like me) and no A/C, this is much less of a problem. If you orient towards the Neander you have another distinct advantage in the basement, since you make chips instead of dust, and you drop those chips instead of throw them around. Normites clean up with vacuums; Neanders clean up with brooms. Either way, make sure you have good abrasive welcome mat at the bottom of the stairs so that you don't track wood dust or chips upstairs. For your own good.
Usually headroom is much lower in the basement, and there is very little natural light. The headroom is dealt with by bringing in workpieces already cut to approximate size, the light with lots of bright fixtures and white walls. Finishing is limited to those few finishes (which happen to prefer anyway) which don't emit huge amounts of VOCs and can easily stink up a two-story colonial... a stink that never, ever clears out before the wife comes home. Noise from power tools can also be a real problem, one that can be dealt with by insulating your basement ceiling and installing good access doors... but mostly by running the tools when the extra noise won't be a problem.
Since you already have the permission to expand and move, think of perhaps of a two-part shop. A rough garage shop that spends most of its time stored away, with sawhorses and big sheets of foam insulation for breaking down sheets of plywood and drywall on the driveway, for running rough stock over the jointer and through the planer, and for heavy sanding and finish spraying.... and a fine basement shop for the remainder of your woodworking. This arrangement has well worked for me for a long time.
Michael Latcha - at home in Redford, MI
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My previous shop was in a basement, when I moved I set up a shop in a detached garage. My garage shop is heated and has A/C.
I far prefer the detached garage shop because: I can make noise any hour of the day or night without disturbing the family I can paint without vapors reeking through the house and if they bother me, I leave the garage and come into the house Dust, welding vapor, carbon monoxide, etc does not get into the house It is slightly more difficult for the family to interrupt me It is slightly more difficult to shove household surplus into the garage I can listen to any music, any time, at any level I wish I can control moisture better in the above ground garage I can lock myself into the garage when I need to spend quality time with my tools!
Don Dando

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That is the critical difference for most of us. Mine is not and the extremes are extreme. Even with a portalbe heater, about six weeks in January and February the shop is just closed down.
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wrote in message

Dave
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wrote:

How do you cut a straight line when the ground is shaking? <G>
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There is nothing that would convince me to live in the PRC.

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wrote:

Yup, same here. My shop is always open and it's rare when I have to run either the A/C or heating in the shop.
That's why you live in places with decent climates!
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wrote in message

It's funny how before we install a furnace in the garage, the idea almost seems extreme. But... after we install one it seems so natural to just suggest others do the same to deal with the cold. I'm in upstate NY and our winters are both long and cold. I used just about every half baked method of putting a little heat in the garage before I came on a 140K BTU forced air furnace for free and installed it. What a pain it was with all those other attempts at heating. What a pleasure it is now - just turn up the thermostat. It's really not all that expensive to run either.
--

-Mike-
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I've had a basement workshop. And, especially with taller basement walls, it has quite a bit to offer. However, one problem eventually forced me out of it. SWMBO just couldn't/wouldn't tolerate the various smells and odors that waffled through the entire house, during any finishing process.
James...
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Likewise, before I built my garage, I had a corner of the basement for a shop area. We survived quite well in that confined space, but my son and I both joke now about the contortions we had to go through to really do anything. Our space was really quite small, all things considered.
--

-Mike-
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The whether is not that extreme around here (Seattle) so working in the shop year round is possible but finishing can only be done at certain times of the year. Even so, a garage shop is, to me, a better way to go.
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There are two significant problems that I can think of about having your shop in your basement. The first one is humidity. When my shop was in my basement I was always fighting with tool rust and excessive moisture in my wood. If your basement is in Arizona or someplace like that then you probably won't need to worry about this. Mine was in NY state. The second problem that you will have to deal with is that everything that you make will have to fit through a 3 ft door and be light enough to get back up the stairway. Of course, if you plan your projects so you can build them in modules and then take them to your garage for the final assembly you can work around this.
I gave up on trying to have a shop in my basement and now have it in a small barn style outbuilding which has an 8 foot door, central heat/air, and is fully insulated. I can work comfortably out there 365 days a year. Oh, another plus for having my shop in a separate building is that I never get sawdust in her (our) house, and she has to call me on the intercom when she wants my attention (hence much less often). I enjoy my shop much more since I made all of these changes to it. It isn't as big as I would like, but are they ever?
--
Charley



"Hedley" < snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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Utter nonsense. This is FAR less of a problem in a basement than in a garage.

The problems would have been even worse in the garage.

My basement's not in Arizona, and I don't need to worry about it either. If I can find dehumidifiers here in Indiana, I'm sure you could have found them in NY too.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Hey, relax! By the tone of your response below you'd have thought he insulted your mother. These are just his opinions. Thats all.
Doug Miller wrote:

--
Joseph Connors
The New Golden Rule:
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wrote:

facts, though, and the idea that humidity is a worse problem in a basement than a garage is, as I said, utter nonsense.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

How about when the relative humidity is reasonably low (say under 60%), but the water table is high and the basement walls and floor are not 100% vapor resistant. THEN, which area will have the higher humidity level; the garage, or the basement?
Dave
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Put a dehumidifier in your basement then----problem solved.
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