TO SUMMARIZE, I'm building NON-TOXIC studio and bedroom furniture and I want to lay out my plans and get some direction from those with more experience. I'm pretty sick, have been for a while, I have chemical sensitivities, so the little bit of outgassing from plastics or various resins used in wood products is a problem for me. I have a small but good selection of tools, some experience, and well ventilated work space. I have supplied air and carbon filter masks so I'm not too worried about exposure during construction but only toxicity of the finished product in my home. Again, I'm sick and I have chemical sensitivities, so please don't tell me how I'm worried about nothing in my attempts to find lower toxicity building materials unless you're also living every day in pain and look like you should be framed behind a barbed wire fence at auschwitz. Outgassing/toxicity is my number one concern in these projects.
Here's the PICTURES OF WHAT I'VE DONE SO FAR: http://220.127.116.11/build /
I want to build STUDIO FURNITURE: - several desks - drawing table - easel - shelves - paint booth (sandblasting cabinet design)
THe paint booth "prototype" I built works better than I had hoped, it seems to make a perfect seal all around the glass and front plate, turbine air extraction up in the attic suspended from rope is fairly quiet, lots of full spectrum light, very happy with it except for the formaldehyde emmissions (MDF), so it's on it's way to the garage right now while I plan a version to replace it inside. Same with the drawing/light table, love it but I'm going to re-do it in pine... I was under the misconception that I could stop the formaldehyde emmissions with a lot of latex paint, which itself may outgas small levels of VOCs, lesson learned.
THe materials I want to use for all these items are CONSTRUCTION GRADE SPF LUMBER, GYPSUM WALLBOARD (DRYWALL), AND PVA GLUE. I'm looking at these materials for their non-toxicity and low cost, it'll require some different construction to rely on an SPF frame for strength, covered with drywall, everything sealed by spraying elmer's children's PVA glue to seal it. I don't care at all what it looks like, most of it will be splattered with paint, doodled on, used and abused, built to work and not to admire. I can't find some of the other non-toxic materials out there like pressed straw panels and to be honest I don't think they're worth the cost in this case. I'm wondering if I buy SPF lumber from Home Depot... is there anything in it besides wood? What will the wood release into the air? You can smell lumber so it must release something...? I've looked into cement board and reinforced gypsum boards but they're not available in my area right now because of hurricane-induced shortages. Still, if anyone could suggest a safe gypsum product more suited to shelves and desk surfaces than regular 1/2" drywall let me know, I don't know a whole lot about drywall. I am willing to live with a delicate board that needs lots of support if it's safe and cheap though. I'm also trying to find natural gypsum boards that aren't made with the flue gas desulpherization process, but all the manufacturers tout it as a good thing because it's environmentally friendly... as far as I can tell it's taking pollution out of the air and trapping it in materials to use in my home?!
I also want to build BEDROOM FURNITURE: - 2 pine armoires - pine bench, flip-open storage
The requirment for these projects is non-toxic too, but the difference is I want them to look good. I made the entertainment unit in the pictures from pine panels. What kind of glue do they use to join the wood together, should I be concerned at all? I'd like to use shellac to finish it, which I believe is as non-toxic as it gets, but I'm not sure about non-toxic stains and also non-toxic filler...?
Maybe the response from most to roll their eyes at the kooky tree-hugging health nut hippie moron, I tend to get that fairly often. I used to lay up fiberglass with no mask, wash my hands in laquer thinner and then go eat a steak and have a beer like a manly man too, but you change your thinking real quick when it all finally catches up to you. All I'm looking for is some opinions I guess, I'm in unexplored territory here and I've already screwed up and cost myself a lot of time by using MDF which is totally unnacceptable in my living space. I'm hoping for some direction... learn when someone tells me something rather than by doing it wrong and wasting more time. Thanks for reading.