The annual Tools and Shops issue of Fine Woodworking has an article on this
subject ob designing a basement shop from the ground up as part of a new
addition. It does not have a great deal of depth but does cover the basics.
My wife wants me to build a detached shop, but I'm resisting. I'm now
in the 1400 SF basement. It is heated and air conditioned 24/7/365,
has telephone, cable, ethernet, hot and cold running water, a bathroom
with a shower, a walkout entrance, and is a 10 second walk from
anywhere in the house, in my underwear if I want.
Her main objections to the status quo:
Foot- and clothes-borne Dust & Shavings: Shavings and dust gets tracked
through the house and fall off my person. My solution: Try to keep
the shop floor swept. Brush myself off. Resolve to wear shoes in the
shop. Go upstairs only when summoned.
Airborne Dust: The 2 HP Grizzley gets most of it, but catching all the
fine dust from every machine is pretty tough. My solution: Do my best
to collect the dust. Try to limit long- duration dust-generating
activities, instead spreading them out to more frequent, smaller
dust-generating incidents. This reduces my culpability by making my
dust mostly disappear in the dust background noise floor.
Noise: Two or three horsepower's worth of abuse to a piece of wood can
create some pretty obxoxious noise levels. My solution: Insulate &
acoustically decouple the shop ceiling. Keep doors closed. Save the
noisest stuff for when no one else is home, or after my wife goes to
bed. Suggest the next day that maybe she dreamt it.
Odors: My wife actually says she likes the smell of some cut woods,
but it's some of the finishes, paints, and adhesives that are the
problem. My solution: Do these smelly operations outside when
possible. Otherwise, do them after she goes to bed. The odors will
normally be gone in the morning, and I can play dumb be especially
sympathetic about any headache complaints. Give waterborne finishes
and adhesives yet another chance.
On the other hand, my wife does acknowledge that accessibility (to me)
is pretty good the way it is, and she'd hate to give up the immediate
response she now enjoys in emergency situations like, say, a bug in the
Accustom wife to a certain amount of shavings and dust on the floor.
Point out that a detached shop adds dirt from the walk from the shop
to the house, together with rainwater dripping off you when rushing in
to throw innocent spiders to the merciless weather outside.
Use oil finishes like linseed oil (odourless) or flavoured with orange
oil (in moderation, it's no a health improver).
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