New Basement Workshop

Hi all I have been lurking here for a while and thought I would jump in by picking your brain about my upcoming workshop upgrade.
We recently purchased a new house and part of the bargain with the wife was that I get most of the basement for my woodshop!
First here is a description of the area in question 32' x 32' basement area with cement block walls and 9' ceiling height. There is a 6' high by 8' wide set of dlb windows which allow access to ground level outside ( I plan to change them to some type of door in the near future).
Here's where the questions begin, some of you must be working from your basement and came across some of these issues. 1) How much concern is the dampness from being below ground level, about 80% of exterior walls are below grade. 2) Ideas about how to limit noise heard from other areas of house. 3) What about dust or fumes from finishing getting into other areas of house ( house has forced air heating/cooling).
Keep in mind I would like to maintain access to plumbing and electrical to 1st floor.
Thanks
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snipped-for-privacy@fakeemail.com says...

The answers to all three is insulation and a dehumidifier if the moisture really starts causing problems. Possibly foam backed foam for the walls and batting in between the first floor joints.
The answer to the question you didn't ask is yes, you most definitely want to put some kind of raised floor over the cement. A couple of hours or working on a bare cement floor will have you in tears at the thought of having to go back down into the shop. No, tile laid directly on the cement doesn't help a hell of a lot.
--
MikeG
Heirloom Woods
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says...

wife
basement
by 8'

plan
your
about
electrical
Mike Thanks I kinda figuired that insulation would be my first line of defence but was not sure if some kind of sealing type paint would work for dampness. Wall and floor too. As far as sound insulation I am not sure if regular insulation would work ok or if there was a better product(s) out there that might work. Or even if a drop ceiling would help. The raised floor sounds good to my feet, I thought about that during my first post but I was getting on the long side. I would like to do it right but anything spent on this stuff comes out of the wood budget. Greg
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When we finished our basement, we put something called "Soundboard" under the drywall in the Media Room. I think it made a significant difference on the high end.
I'm not sure where my contractor bought, I found a reference to it on the Johns Manville site, IIRC. And I *thought* I saw it at the BORG the other day for a very low price.
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Check out Owns Corning web site. They have been advertising some insulation and sound proofing material. I have no idea if it is any good, just what I read in passing.

during
Raised floor is good if practical. At a minimum, you want some mats made for working.

Easy to fix. Stop feeding the kids for a few weeks. It is summer and they can find berries in the woods to survive on. After all, as a good parent you want to build on their survival instincts. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Even better than insulation is isolation. Instead of fixing some resonating surface directly to the studs, isolate by using hangers like a drop ceiling. Buy the white 3/32" fiberglass that they use to line milking parlors and public toilets, fit it into your suspended ceiling, don't use their dust-gathering material. Insulate above the panels.
Get some line filters for your universal-motor tools, or be prepared for flak from the family about interference.
Get a dehumidifier that you wheel out the door when working, wheel back when done, and keep your "ready" wood stash in the same room @ 50% RH.
Actively vent finish smells outdoors, or finish out there, weather permitting. Heat is worth the family's noses.

your
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On Tue, 6 Jul 2004 13:21:56 -0400, Addicted2Woodworking

Take a look at Building Science Consortium (DAGS) for info about basement insulation systems, good, bad, and ugly. there's TONS of data on their website.
Paint-on "concrete paint" isn't a permenant solution, and if you cover it with foam, you can't re-do it without tearing out the walls. So long as you don't get standing water a dehumidifier will do fine.
Take a realistic assessment of your basement and look up dehumidifiers on the Energy Star website. www.energystar.gov for sizing. My basement is a "Very Damp" 1200 sq ft and the size recommended is smaller than any I can find locally.
My Dad has long sworn by keeping his shop at negative pressure--the shop has ONLY return ducts, each one faced with a frame holding a standard furnace filter. Keeps Mom satisfied, which, if you know my Mom, is a GLOWING endorsement. He doesn't work with nasty solvents, so YMMV
Drop ceiling helps make things brighter and it's easier to keep it clean so dust doesn't drop to spoil your varnish. DAMHIKT
Look at the price of a sleeper-raised floor, comparing it to things like "subflor" http://www.subflor.com and their competitors. I've a low ceiling, so I'm considering it.
As an alternative, antifatigue mats in front of your most frequently used workstations is a plus.
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On Tue, 6 Jul 2004 13:21:56 -0400, "Addicted2Woodworking"

I'm about 20 miles south of ATL, your local conditions may vary, but...
1) I bought a portable dehumidifer at the local Wally World and after 3 years it still seems to be doing fine. I ran a hose from the condensation pan to a condensation pump which was already in place for the air conditioner system. Never have had a humidity problem.
2) Drop ceiling, better with sealed batting insulation. If you fastened sheetrock directly to the joists then the sound would carry through. A dropped ceiling helps isolate the sound and dust. Easy access to plumbing/electrical this way, too.
3) I put a cheap bathroom fan in one corner on an outside wall and switch it on when doing dust/fume-producing activities. It's positioned so that air is drawn from a window, across the shop, and out the fan. I've found I really only need to open the window when I'm doing something particularly nasty. When the window is closed, the fan sucks the air from the living space above, thus the fumes/dust have no way to get into the living space.
So far, so good. I'm still hoping to build a plane in there, which is why I agreed to buying this place in the first place. 32'x13' clear span with walk-out double doors at the end of the long axis.
HTH
Mike Patterson Please remove the spamtrap to email me. "I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific..."
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On Tue, 6 Jul 2004 13:21:56 -0400, "Addicted2Woodworking"

<snippo>
more thoughts triggered by other posted replies -
I use cheap foam pads on the floor. 4 hours in the shop on a Saturday afternoon will quickly convince you it's a Good Idea.
Lighting - I have a mix of flourescent and incandescent, with the two on separate circuits, and neither shares with power tools. Having a breaker trip and the lights go out while the table saw is spinning down is nerve-wracking. Don't move now...
Also, keep cheap flashlights in 2-3 key locations. Someone might not realize you're in the basement and shut off the lights. Been there, done that.
Taking a tip from JOAT (IIRC), I painted all the concrete surfaces including the floor with white masonry paint. Cheap, easy, and makes it MUCH brighter in the shop. I paid $20 for a 5-gallon bucket in the "oops" section at Home Depot.
HTH
Mike Patterson Please remove the spamtrap to email me. "I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific..."
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I have used a basment workshop for 20+ years. Befire you start loadin it with tools and stuff, paint and do your floor!
1. Partition off the woodshop so that's the only thing that goes on in there. If your going to use the basement for storage also, do it outside the workshop. Close the door for noise and dust containment. Be space efficient, I always thought I needed more room, the older I get, the more it seems to me it's better and easier to make the best room utilization. Less space to clean up! Don't get me wrong you need space, but my 15' x 25' while full is large enouht for a full size tablesaw with extension table, jointer, floor drill press, bandsaw, dust collector, 4 works surfaces/workbenches. Planer is portable, and for years had it mounted, now its stored and out of the way, just pull it when I need it, same for router table. 2. A recirculating small particle fan. I made mine out of a used furnace squirrel cage blower and cheap furnace filters many years ago. Just recirculates the inside air. http://webpages.charter.net/pminmo/wood1.htm look at the bottom for the unit I made. 3. A dropped ceiling is a huge help on noise. Unfortunately mines in the finished part of the basement, not the workshop. Yelling at my kid at the top of my lungs he still can't hear me, so it's gotta be good. :-) 4. Dehumidifier, dehumidifier, dehumidifier 5. White as much as possible to brighten things up and you can't get enough flourescent lighting. I've always used 40 watt bulbs, but if I can find some circular reflector fixtures, may switch to compact flurescent. 6. Don't paint the floors with some floor enamel, I did and it's been a mistake, looks terrible, and to much trouble to fix.
Phil
Addicted2Woodworking wrote:

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1. I keep a dehumidifier running during the summer months. 2. I don't worry about extraneous noise...my noise outshines it all :-) 3. None that I've noticed, and I keep the basement door opened when I'm home alone. However, I have an exhaust fan in one of the windows and I keep a board over the furnace filter slot. Have fun. Joe

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