I am looking to create a little shop space for myself in my house. My
basement is finished, but there is an unfinished room (about 17 x 18)
available for me to use separated from the finished room by a door. All
of the house mechanicals are in a separate utility room. I just had a
few concerns/questions about dust that I was hoping for some help with:
1. There is a Heating/AC register off of the "main duct" in the room
(near the ceiling). I am concerned about dust getting into that and
then into the furnace (and then the rest of the house). Should I be
concerned? What can I do to mitigate the risk (besides an air cleaner
and dust collection)? What about a return vent (there isn't one right
now - the utility room and unfinished room aren't completely closed off
from each other, though they will be)?
2. I plan on putting a subpanel in the room. It seems this is common
practice, and there is not much risk here. Do I need to take any
3. Along the same line, is there any precaution I need to take with
either fluorescent or incandescent lighting?
4. Any other general advice? The house is about a year old, so I am not
as worried about things like moisture, cracked foundation, etc, and in
the finished part of the basement, there is walk-up access to the
Sorry if I seem overly concerned. This is a new process for me. I have
looked through archived postings to try and glean information, and I
just want to make sure I get it right in my head before I approach
Thanks a lot,
mccray.9 (at) gmail.com
Hi Scott- I have my shop in the basement also.
Dust has not been a problem. You identified one of the pluses. You have heat
and cool coming in but no return. Same here and I have no plan to put a cold
air return n. My thought is the dust stays a bit more self contained in the
closed room. Dust will have a tough time crawling up the vents when aire is
I would take the money and invest in a dust collector. That helps me
consderably. I don't have anything fancy - I use the Penn State 1HP model
with 1 micron bags. Works well enough for me and my farmer friend likes the
wood chips for animal bedding.
I did not install a separate subpanel. I ran the necessary lines off the
existing panel for the house. I chewed up a bunch of spares but I have
current and don't worry about voltage drop. I think this is a personal
I use flourescent lights - 6 of the 4 foot double bulb models in a room
about 17 x 19. Close to the same size you are working iwht. In my opinion
more light is a better thing.
I did install ceiling panels in the ceiling. Not the grid just the panels to
help reduce a bit of the noise. The only time it is noisy now is when the
ari compressor is running - a simple dog house would quiet that puppy down.
Reduced noise makes momma less cranky upstairs.
email@example.com spake thusly and wrote:
Are you an electrician? (self trained or not?)
If not then you need to do mega reading and/or get with an
electrician. I have done a little wiring here and there but
when I finished I called a "real" electrician to inspect
my work and then wire to the "hot" panel. Not a lot
of expense and well worth it in warm fuzzies.
We wouldn't want to kill someone even 15-20 years down
the road, would we?
Sorry for the confusion here. I am not an electrician and will be
definitely hiring one to do the work. I just wanted to make sure that
placing the subpanel in the shop wouldn't be a concern (e.g., dust
getting in there and shorting something out, etc). I don't think it's a
big risk (as long as I keep it clean, etc).
The only reasons I'd think of putting a sub-panel in for a workspace like
1) The room with the current electrical panel is a long ways away, to the
point of being inconvenient/unsafe. For a garage or out-building, this is
more important. If you're in the basement, and the existing panel is one
room over, there's no real advantage.
2) I'm out of space with the current panel. If you don't have room to put
enough new breakers in your existing box, you don't have many options, so
you might as well put in a new sub-panel instead of putting in a bigger main
3) I'm putting in a bunch of circuits. It would be easier (probably) to
run one large wire over to the new space, and then run the new circuits from
there, instead of running a bunch of wires to the existing panel. But in a
17x18 room, there may not be that much of an advantage. How many circuits
do you plan on adding? I'm thinking 1 for lights, one or two for 120v, and
one or two for 240v. I would definately put your lights on a different
circuit than the tools; nothing like blowing a breaker, being put in the
dark, but still hearing the saw blade whirring down... Never happened to
me, but I can imagine it not being fun.
All this is IMHO, YMMV, etc. For what it's worth, putting in a sub-panel is
not much more difficult than putting in a new circuit. Take your time, get
educated, and get it inspected after.
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