Machining In The Living Room aka A Lathe In A Desk

Page 2 of 2  


Maybe most, like me, have found out that making or building or fixing stuff in the living room can often be fraught with disaster.
Lesson 1. A few years back, I bought a pair of Lee Valley Tools iron bench legs. (Somewhere I got the bright idea to set up a work bench in my living room that would temporarily be used with a computer and associated peripherals.) Very carefully I laid out about 40 square feet of newspaper and then proceeded to spray paint those bench legs with navy blue paint. It wasn't until I cleaned everything up, that I realized there was a dark blue tinge on *everything* in my living room, *except* where the newspaper covered the floor. And by *everything*, I mean walls, ceiling, entertainment centre, TV, me, and the window.
Curse, curse, swear, swear for the next two weeks.....
Lesson 2. Having mostly recovered from my spray paint incident, awhile later I thought I'd try something again. But this time it was just going to be plain old woodworking. No problem, I figured, a little sawdust on the floor can be vacuumed up with ease. I proceeded to build my self a wooden cart for my beloved laser printer that was taking up too much work bench space. Saw, saw, saw, hammer and screw and finally HAND-paint. Voila! I was all done. About an hour after moving the laser printer to the cart, it suddenly died on me and wouldn't restart. The printer is an 80 lb semi-commercial colour laser printer and the manufacture recommends leaving it running all the time since powering it up takes close to 30 minutes and eats up a prodigious amount of the inkstix toner. So, I did leave it running all the time except when it had to be moved. Well anyway, after calling in a service tech to fix the damned thing, he told me that the air intake in the printer was clogged with what looked like sawdust, so the printer had started to overheat and the automatic shutdown had activated. With an unwavering gaze, I handed over $225 to the tech for the service call and casually told him that I had no idea where so much dust could have come from.
15 minutes later, curse, curse, swear, swear.....
Lesson 3. Well, I haven't actually experienced Lesson 3 yet, at least not a major lesson. I know it's there waiting, ready to spring out and grab me by the short hairs. But, I have come to one inescapable conclusion. The pain one occasionally experiences doing fixit stuff anywhere such as hitting your thumb with the hammer or stapling your hand to your current project, is only one type of pain. Often more painful is the sudden realization of what you've done wrong and the accompanying realization that it's going to hurt your wallet even more.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

<<Snip>>
Here's your Lesson 3 for you, free of charge--
Last year I decided I could no longer abide the sight of my avacado-colored refrigerator, and as it still runs pretty well and I'd rather buy tools, I decided to just paint the thing with some enamel appliance paint.
Of course, rather than doing the sane thing and taking it outside on the hand truck, I decided I could probably spray that sucker right where it was. So I proceded to mask the area carefully, making a tent of plastic all around it and prepping the fridge for paint, and started in. The mess was fine- there was surprisingly little cleanup, but I didn't account for any ventilation in my superb master plan, and ended up with a head that swam for days. About halfway through the job (in a rather addled state), I wised up a little and made a cardboard vent shaft to the window and put a fan in it- and there is now a perfectly round white spot on the screen I see every time I look out the window.
Less of a disaster than it could have been, but still a PITA. It was one of those jobs where I kicked myself the whole time, and wished I could just quit- but I couldn't. That's the real danger I've run into- when you start something in a living area, and get tired or hit a snag, you have to keep at it even past the point of sanity, just so that you can use the space again.
On the bright side, the fridge looked (and continues to look) brand-new.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I am actually in the process right now partitioning off an area of my living quarters for woodworking and airbrushing. I live in an apartment and there's no other choice.
I have a 5x6 foot area walled off, floor to ceiling. I'm obviously limited to small projects and use only hand tools, except for a drill.
Sawdust, shavings, paint spray and vapors were the reason for walling off this area. I have a small doorway with a threshold that prevents dust and shavings from blowing out along the floor. I use rubber mats which not only protects the hardwood floor, but also keeps dust from moving around too much.
There is a window that opens to the outside, which I feed the exit hose from a small airbrushing spary booth through. I am planning to put a fan in this window to run at low speed out the window, creating negative pressure, drawing air in from the rest of my apartment - hopefully :-)
I'm considering putting a small air filter in this area as well.
When I need to make cuts on larger pieces of lumber, weather permitting I bring it outside to the parking lot.
Some day I'll have a real shop :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 28 May 2006 18:58:13 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

<<<Snip>>>
I got one of those shop-vac air cleaners for my birthday this year, and recommend it highly- it's perfect for a small area. I keep mine in my turnery (about 10' x 10') and it'll clear the air of heavy dust as quickly as I can make it. Works pretty well for drywall sanding and concrete dust as well. Definately worth $100, and very portable. They make better filters, to be sure, but it's a godsend if you want to move it around or are limited in your mounting options.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Prometheus wrote:

Beware - heavy dust is *not* the main problem. The super-fine stuff you can smell but not see is *deadly*, long-term, and it gets through all but the very best filters. And even those, a bit.
I use the house vac system since it's mounted in my workshop, and after using the thickness sander in there even for five minutes, the air becomes positively hazardous even though it *looks clear*.
Since I live in a temperate climate and use no heating or humidifier, I fitted an external vent for the vac's exhaust - such a relief!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 29 May 2006 16:47:54 +1000, Clifford Heath

Point noted and taken- my suggestion was more oriented towards the cleanliness aspect of working in a living space. I don't suggest the shop vac thing will help with health issues, it just keeps the place from looking like you haven't dusted anything in 20 years. The reason I pointed out the concrete and drywall dust is that I have it mainly for remodeling jobs where it's not acceptable to leave a layer of dust over everything in the client's house, and a window is not immediately availible. If you're woodworking in your own home, that'd make yourself or your family the client, and it does a nice job in that regard. YMMV.

Sounds like it works, but perhaps a respirator is in order if you're having that many problems with the fine dust. It still has to go by you to get sucked outside, after all.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Prometheus wrote:

No, the hose runs from the machine to my workshop air inlets, to the vac, then outside. Very little dust makes its way into the air inside the shop. A little dust builds up in piles on surfaces, but only what gets directly deposited there - it doesn't settle from the air.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.