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Garage or Basement?

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  • Garage or Basement?

    As my chosen name indicates, I am a weekend woodworker! 2004 is my rookie year
    only stationary tool I have is a table saw. Very soon likely to purchase a router/table. I have a 2 car garage that is being used for storing lawn equipment/summer activity items like bikes etc. plus there is demand from my wife to yield some space to her gardening pottery table (that she wants me to build). We live in upstate NY - pretty cold between Nov and April - woodworking during these months in the garage is out of the question.

    The question to all of you is - what are pros and cons of having a woodworking shop in garage vs basement (that is not a walkout).


  • #2
    Welcome Weekender;

    Personally I have my shop in the garage, but as you noted, it is not for everyone.

    Pros in the basement......

    Warmer in the cold months
    cooler in summer
    Generally readily accessible
    Easy to get to power,water etc
    you can work in your skivvys, if you've a mind to

    Cons in the basement......
    Dust in house
    noise in house
    smell from finishing in house
    possible whinin from loyl
    possible humidity problems in warmer months
    if it's not a walkout.....gettin tools in or out.
    getting finished product upstairs into house, if they are large, like a bookcase or a hutch.

    Pros for Garage......

    easy to get lumber, tools etc in and out
    generally isolated as far as noise and dust goes
    in most cases more open space, without posts or supports in the way
    In the warmer months, it is nice to work with the doors open, depending on humidity
    Easier to get finished products out
    easier to clean up after projects...

    Cons for the garage.........

    Gotta insulate,heat, run power,phone etc (expense)
    Humidity in the summer months
    Wall space becomes very valuble.....garage door(s) take up one wall
    park tools in garage, or vehicles???? some do both

    If it is not attached directly to house, you have to go outside, to go in shop
    which elimantes the skivvy dress code

    In a is generally much more expensive to set up shop in the garage. my humble opinion, worth it!!! [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Welcome to the best forum on the net

    <a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a><br /><br />I can fix anything......where\'s the duct tape ?? :-)


    • #3
      I use my basement, it is a walk in through the garage. It is warm in winter and cooler in the summer. Have had no problems with dust or fumes, except tracking from shoes. Use good filters on returns in basement. I work year around in comfort. To me it is no contest.

      [ 01-05-2004, 10:12 AM: Message edited by: SCWood ]


      • #4
        FWIT - years back I had same decision.

        The LOML said no___decision was to be married or not

        She had no clue how much is was eventually gonna cost here either. Bet today the statement would never leave here mouth
        Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


        • #5
          Thanks Ralph, SCWood, Cranky. My LOML approaves basement move
          What I am worried though is the dust and its effect on heating furnace.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Weekender:
            Thanks Ralph, SCWood, Cranky. My LOML approaves basement move
            What I am worried though is the dust and its effect on heating furnace.
            Then I shall trade you yours for mine
            The dust matter was reason I got the outside boot. It did work great for me - by spring I shall have finished main shop addition and be sporting 2200 s/f in seperate building plus the garage which was original shop so add another 288 s/f. She got a new 3 car garage outta deal that I cannot even enter w/o pleading now. I still think I came out ahead....don't share it with her please. She wants a green house next
            Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


            • #7
              I'd say you came out ahead too

              With proper dust comtrol, you can have a shop inside. I run a DC unit as well as an overhead air filtration unit. While you can not get rid off all of the dust, you can control it enough so it is not a PITA for the rest of the house.
              Support Our Troops!


              • #8
                First I have a boiler no forced air. You might want to look at a different heating system, I saw some on another site for $100 to $200 dollars. No matter where you go with the shop, I recomend dust colection system. Hook up to each machine and an overhead fine particle collector, as memtioned above. I do not use A/C, I am below grad on 2 sides do nor really need it and I live in SC.


                • #9
                  Thanks for continued encouragement

                  Here is what I learnt another experienced weekend woodworker. He asked me to take care of a few things;

                  1. Since the heating furnace is in the basement and it is forced heat, he suggested that I caulk all the air ducts thoroughly

                  2. Since I am not a monopoly in the basement (LOML has a sewing area, my kid has a playing area, the total area is 1800 sq.ft.) - he asked me to enclose the area with plastic drapery.

                  3. Add DC

                  4. Add air filteration

                  I thought making saw dust was easy


                  • #10
                    Just a correction [img]redface.gif[/img]

                    Making saw dust is easy ..... but didn't know
                    the REST OF THE STORY


                    • #11
                      If you work in the garage and leave the door wide open, do you still need DC?




                      • #12
                        I'd love to leave doors wide open and hear nothing but sounds of nature. What happens is it more often than not gets blown everywhere it shouldn't and it works well maybe 10 days a year. Still do nothing then but sweep either.
                        Impossible to control temps,humidity,etc.
                        Forget any finishing - likely look like Mars pictures by time it dries.
                        If I could I would.I can't
                        Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


                        • #13

                          I am in Southern California, so there are quite a few days in which I can leave the garage doors open. But here is my question. There apparently are very small dust particles, under 5 microns, from cutting and sanding that you can't remove unless you use a high end DC. So, if I leave the garage doors open will these small particles sort of migrate outside anyhow. If that is the case, then I might not need a DC, or at least not need a high end one. Make any sense?




                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cranky:
                            </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by RobH:

                            I am in Southern California, so there are quite a few days in which I can leave the garage doors open. But here is my question. Thanks,

                            yes - lottsa sense and you a lucky devil too!
                            Most will likely "exhaust" out Rob. It's the ones that are there and you creating while making dust. They will migrate up into your face and lungs.
                            You could get by with a mask I guess (?), a respirator much better and safer. Still not gonna resolve the issue of particles everywhere that don't get out and settle everywhere too so still leaves the clean-up matter.
                            I'd just use a lower end DC like HF with good bags, about $180 total, and end both issues pretty much. An AF system is desirable but not necessary IMO albeit many say it is. You can create it with open doors and window for cross ventilation and just as effective.
                            I'm not trying to complicate nor simplify this. I also am not an expert in this. I do WW'ing for living tho and know a DC is maybe the best "tool" I have. I also use AF if I planning on spray finishing that day, otherwise I often don't. And I do use a mask when dealing with MDF. Heck - I am still heavy smoker and killing my lungs daily but this daily dust dose really seems worse. Hacking up this junk is not a pleasant thing.
                            Still - years ago a dust mask and open door was all I did. Limited WW'ing to good weather. It worked fine-just the cleanup was a PITA.
                            If one can swing it money wise and space wise I'd sure like to see them use a DC at least. And no - it sure as heck doesn't have to be a high end. Just good bags like the 0.3 microns from Grizz, AFF and others. I absolutely hate it when some say you have to have the best. Best what? Best is nice - but not worth what the get for the "best". Heck - a sterile clean room is best. What does that do for us all?
                            You'll appreciate every minute it runs. Trust me on that
                            Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


                            • #15

                              Thanks for the input.

                              It sounds like using a good mask while working, adding some basic DC to remove the big stuff, and leaving the garage doors open to vent out the light stuff might be a pretty reasonable combination.

                              If I add up all of the pieces to do it right, including an Excalibur arm and AF, it easily goes over a $1000. Since I am just getting started, that can buy a lot tools.

                              Thanks again,