Garage vs Basement Shop?

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I have a basement shop, I think its about 12x20. It's a little small, but I can rip a sheet of plywood with no problem. The best thing about it is heat in winter and cool in summer ,as I have ducts run through entire basement. AC keeps air cool and dry. I have never had any problems with rust. I live in Ohio and summers are usually very humid. I love being able to spend time in shop year round, it's always very comfortable.
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Depending on the configuration of your basement stairs, it might be really hard to get sheet goods in and projects out. My basement stairs has a landing half way down so I can't carry 4x8 anything into the shop. I have to remove the two sections from the egress window to get sheet goods in.
I am building a seperate shop building mostly because of the access issues in the basement. The garage really isn't an option here in Minnesota.
Brian Elfert
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Sounds like you have already overcome one possible hurdle - your wife seems supportive. Nevertheless the two of you should plan this one together. As some have pointed out, dust is a very big concern. You will have to pretty much isolate your workshop from any air handling equipment that might be in the basement. You will probably have to seal your workspace from adjoining areas to keep dust at bay. You can do a lot of this with sheetrock and wall frame sealing at floor and ceiling. Needless to say, dust collection will be a must.
I have tried to bridge this with my spouse for consideration in planning our next house. She keeps raising the drawbridge. She is not unreasonable because she has had to endure two pretty major additions - a room addition and a complete basement finish. No matter how much plastic we taped up, we still got dust throughout the house. On the other hand I have seen a couple of pretty successful basement shops that operate as sealed and dust-controlled units. I will note that both of these still rely on the garage for heavier duty finishing.
Gotta do your planning and include her.
RonB
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I would think that all it would take is an A/C filter over the cold air return in the basement.
brian
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I guess I'm a Normite and I didn't think about DC much or air quality at all.
The basement "seems" dry as a bone. New construction on a well drained lot in Chi-town. I know the new concrete has water, but as long as no direct contact, it should be OK.
I'd love an outbuilding that I could use for this, but it's not allowed in my sub (not that I could afford it right now). Maybe when I retire in another 28 years (if I don't die at my desk as I fear).
I've thought a lot about carrying the feed and product down and up the stairwell. At least there is no kink in the strairs (landing). I could easily get a 4 ft x 20 ft board down there, assuming I could carry it.
Getting the wife involved, or at least trying to, is a great idea. The good news is that noise should not be a problem except for late at night. Bedrooms are on the second floor, well away from the area under consideration for the shop. I'll probably have to "dust" the house a time or two whilst sanding to get permission for air quality control purchases.
Again, thank you all.

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Having had a basement shop for a while in N.E. USA, a "dry basement" is not about necessarily about seepage. It's about relatively moist warm summer air getting into a cool (ground temperature) basement causing the interior relative humidity to shoot up.
I had no seepage but plenty of rust issues.
Depending on your climate, a dehuminifier may be required.
-Steve
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On Fri, 23 Dec 2005 12:10:17 -0500, "Stephen M"

I live in NE and moved about an hour north last year. Humidity was definitely a problem in the old house but wasn't this summer in the new one. Used to have all kinds of problems with condensation on the copper pipes and water tank (Go down to find a pipe has been dripping on the TS for weeks for example). Course there aren't any copper pipes in the new house anyway.
If you do move to the basement, paint all the walls and floor white before anything else.
We have hot air/ac and built a wall to separate the shop from both the HVAC and the stairs going up. Even if you don't have forced air the dust still needs to be kept away from the furnace, it'll clog up an oil furnace to the point where it dies in the middle of a cold spell. Not that I have any experience with that...
-Leuf
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Hedley wrote:

"seems dry" observation.
Dave
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I'd go for an outside entrance if I were you. With a Bilco door preferably. It's what I had done and it works for me. Have to say though at my age (73) I try to get sheet goods ripped in two along the length less awkward and lighter for this old boy. Think on it anyway.\
Tom Cavanagh

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PRO Closer to the bathroom Closer to the refrigerator More even climate Warmer in winter if you are in a cold climate Closer to the bathroom (especially important in the winter) Glue cures year round Finishes cure year round No bugs flying into the open garage Closer to the bathroom Closer to the refrigerator In summer, you won't be upset at sight of 300 pound neighbor lady sunbathing in the nude
CON Finishes may stink up the house, but in summer, they can be moved outside When it is 65 to 75 degrees and the sun is shining, I'd rather in in the garage with the door wide open Dust control more important
Garage PRO Closer to the grill and smoker. Easier to vent stinky finishes Depending on location, you may be able to ogle the cute neighbor lady sunbathing while you pretend to be sanding a board.
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I have a basement shop. It was heck to get all the equipment down there with two guys and I know it'll be really hard to get back up. I don't have my shop in the garage because SWMBO and I hate shoveling snow off our cars in the morning or running through the rain to get to them. I would rather have my shop in the garage if all other things were equal to be honest... just much easier to get stuff in and out. I guess it depends on whether you build stuff thats easily brought up from the basement or stuff that'll take an engineer and 4 oxes to get up.
I haven't had much of a dust issue in the house yet, but I dont work down there every day - it probably averages out to 4 or 5 hours a week. I have the small Delta Dust Collector that I just connect to the tool I'm using at the time and it does OK. For finishing I almost always have to do it in the garage because the fumes move through the house and I have two small children.
Another thing that sucks for me that sounds like you would have covered is that since we didnt want to do much to the basement until we plan the finished layout, we dont have a lot of electric runs down there. I only have a few outlets that aren't necessarily close to the shop area. So I have extension cords strung to my shop area from other areas in the basement.
Long term (a year or two), we want to finish the basement. The way mine is laid out is we basically have a big stud wall running the width of the house, about 40 ft. It provides load bearing for the house above and divides the basement into two secions, one is 13 feet deep and the other is just over 17 feet. I would like to use it all, but I don't want to get spoiled. I actually laid out the shop such that it would fit in a 15'x20' space. That way, I can really just pick it up and move it into that size of out-building when the time comes that for me to build one. Then I can finish the basement with no qualms about the space I was 'losing'.
Good luck.
Mike W.
Hedley wrote:

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"Hedley"

I have built at least three "dust zones" barriers for basement shops. And have inspired a few more. This is a small room that is sealed off from the rest of the house. Inside is a small vacumm amd various brushes. Often with a hook to change out of some overalls.
You have to control the dust/sawdust. If this particulate matter does not invade your house, the wife will be much happier.
Also, strong, stinky finishes can be a problem. I ended up putting in some industrial type fans to help with this. They made noise but were less objectionable than the smell.
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Having my shop in the basement for the past 35 years, I've encountered all the usual problems; access to the outside, noise, dust etc. The dust can be controlled for the most part with a dust collector and an air filter. The noise and outside access you can work with. The main benefit is absolutely no rust on ANY TOOLS and since it's heated and air conditioned as the rest of the house it's ALWAYS very comfortable.
Les Derusha snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net
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still a major problem. I just had to pass up a $300 cabinet saw that I would have loved cause there aint no way it is getting in my basement.
Still, I would rather have a basement than a garage for all the reasons everyone else has said. Just understand the problems.
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I have both a Delta 3HP shaper and a Unisaw in my basement shop. It cost about $150 each to have a piano moving company bring them down to the basement.
Brian Elfert
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I would make sure you insulate very well for noise. The family may not be so understanding when their favorite show is on. Also look at filtering the ac to your shop so you dont send noise into the rest of the houses electrical system. Doug

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