I'm still building up my shop and I will have to add lighting and
outlets for-sure. My total lightnig right now is one (1) light bulb and
there is one (1) duplex 120V socket. Once the new walls goes up,
there'll be no ventilation from the central blower. Here's my questions:
(1) Electricity - I'm assuming I'll want MANY outlets for my various
power tools. How many do you recommend, or is this like shop space and
you can just never have enough? Should I run any 220V lines into the shop?
(2) Lighting - I'm leaning towards a mix of traditional bulbs in
drop-lights and two overhead flourescents. Any input on good shop
lighting layout? I have no windows in my shop (basement shop, only
window is obscured by bushes outside).
(3) Ventilation - There are two air ducts running overhead in the floor
joists, but neither opens up to the basement, they just vent upstairs.
Should I crack them open to get some air into the shop? Are there any
problems with this (i.e., sawdust flying up into the shop vent and them
being distributed to kitchen)? If so, is there a good way to prevent it
from happening, or should I consider alternate ventilation or perhaps
none at all?
You can never be too rich or too thin, and you can never have too many
outlets or too much lighting. When I set up my present shop I went for lots
of overhead natural daylight fluorescents, several 500-watt halogens and a
halogen desk lamp for close-up work. Avoid incandescents if possible. The
variation in color temperature between incandescents and daylight can be a
real shock when you think you have the perfect finish color in the shop,
then bring the piece upstairs....
I'm still battling the ventilation problem myself. If you have a forced-air
heating/cooling system I'd be wary of opening new outlets into the shop,
since the moving air will carry dust, fumes, etc., back to the return inlet,
regardless of where it's located. Only cat hair is more ubiquitous than
Several 4 plug receptacles around the perimeter . . . one suspended
overhead - one at your workbench. 220V is a yes. A lot of wwng come in
220v or 110v. When possible, wire for 220V - stronger staring loads and
costs less to run. If you have the ability - run two seperate circuits (one
for dust collector, the other for whatever).
I don't have the dimensions of your new shop, but put as much fluorescent as
necessary to diminish all shadows - especially at work areas. They're a PIA
to deal with. A corded drop light is handy but I wouldn't incorporate it
into the plan as a "permanently wired fixture"
I would check to see if the air ducts are sized properly enough to allow
enough CFM to accommodate the area intended originally plus adding to your
basement workshop. You could add a small vent with a damper to "steal" some
of it to help hold down moisture and make the work area more tolerable. Be
sure that you are going into a supply duct and not a return duct. You want
the supply - and to avoid the possiblity of anything entering the a.c.
system while the blower is off - put some filter media over the grill. It
will help somewhat (unless you have other areas that the dust could enter
into the living area.
Best of luck
Jim Mc Namara
I have a similar question on ventilation -- for my garage workshop, I have a
tap into the HVAC ducting -- with a blast gate to ensure full closure, and
with a filter over the end. However, like most garages, I also have sill
vents around the outside wall which allow the heat of the summer in (CA
home, no basement). While the duct tap helps keep it tolerable, on really
hot days these vents let it in.
Not sure, but I believe sill vents like these are usually put in to allow
ample ventilation to the foundation and crawlspace. My garage is a concrete
slab, with the sill plate on one wall (with vents), with a structural wall
above that. Is there a reason that I cannot close up some or all of these
sill vents? The only reason I can think of would be to ensure intake venting
for water heater (gas) and HVAC, both in the garage.
Thanks for the feedback. Some clarifications below that might help
people understand my situation:
Jim Mc Namara wrote:
I've got a main section of the shop that is 17' x 15'. Attached to a
corner will be an additional 13'x8'section that is separated off with a
wall. It kind looks like this (hope you've got a fixed-width text reader
or this might look messy!): The current electricity is 1 outlet on the
middle of the bottom-most wall, with a lightbulb about where the 'n' is
in 'Main'. The top long wall has a 24' long set of shelving that runs
along it. I had planned on dropping two flour. lights in the main room,
but it sounds like more might be good.
| | | |
| \ | |
| | | |
+------------+ Main | |
| Shop | 17'
| | |
\ | |
| | |
Well, these two air ducts just run to floor vents upstairs. They're the
round variety, I'd guess 8" from memory. I'd be replacing a section to
drop some air into the shop. The two ducts are branches off the main
square duct that runs the length of the house. I have a drain in the
shop, so it'd be trivial to throw a dehumidifier in there.
There is one problem - in my little sketch above, the center wall is
under a steel beam. The wall itself is not load-bearing (there's a
steel pipe affixed to the foundation for the beam, it's just a
partition, but the ceiling is unfinished, so ABOVE the beam there's some
clearance dust could drift over it into the living space and,
unfortunately, the other side of my wood shop is the laundry area.
I haven't decided yet how best to tackle that problem.
You're correct. You will never have enough outlets. My preference is
to run several three wire plus ground circuits around the perimeter and
overhead in 3/4 or 1" EMT with at least a duplex box every 2 feet. That
way any location can be 120 or 240 volts, or both. Changes can be mad
with minimal effort later also.
two fluorescent fixtures seems light. I have a double 48" fixture every
6 ft (two feet between end-to-end) and the rows of fixtures are
duplicated every 4 feet. I also use incandescent lamps where needed.
Be cautious about taping into your existing forced air system. If air
enters your shop from it an equivalent amount (complete with dust) will
flow back into the system, albeit by a circuitous route.. Your wife may
not be a happy camper. Unless the return is well controlled and
filtered (a difficult task) dust will get out. Better to find a
dedicated system for ventilation to the outside and/or for heating.
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.