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  • Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

    I am in the midst of building a shop in my basement and am thinking ahead to dust management as I finish things up. Part of my current plan is to seal the shop air tight from the rest of the house and with the option to use negative air pressure exhausting/intaking from Windows in the shop to be able to flush the space.

    I have two overarching questions concerning the process.

    1) Is there any reason I'm not thinking of or coming across in research as to why I shouldn't air seal a space off from the rest of the house? (I do not have any major hurdles involving central air systems etc.)

    2) If anyone knows somewhere I can find more detailed math on creating an ideal negative pressure space. I.E how much/how fast air should be moving out, coming in to most efficiently clear the space.




    Thanks in advance for any insight or help!
    Last edited by Big_Eazy; 10-20-2020, 06:09 PM.
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  • #2

    Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

    Make sure the negative space doesn't include your furnace or you may have draft/CO problems. And constant air flow in and out will suck a lot of heat from your workspace in a Montreal winter.
    scooby074 likes this.

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    • #3

      Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

      Originally posted by Kayak Jim View Post
      Make sure the negative space doesn't include your furnace or you may have draft/CO problems. And constant air flow in and out will suck a lot of heat from your workspace in a Montreal winter.

      It does not, it is walled off from the furnace.

      I realize heat loss for the space will be an issue, but it is fairly small and I only intend to flush it out when I've created dust, or want to bring in some fresh air (I am prepared to have to reheat it after I do so) . I do not intend to have constant air flowing in from outside.
      Last edited by Big_Eazy; 10-20-2020, 06:12 PM.

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      • #4

        Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

        Probably be a good idea to get a particle counter so you know when the dust has been purged from the room and you can close it off to rewarm the room. They can be had for under $100 from China.

        Pete

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        • #5

          Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

          Originally posted by QC Inspector View Post
          Probably be a good idea to get a particle counter so you know when the dust has been purged from the room and you can close it off to rewarm the room. They can be had for under $100 from China.

          Pete
          I do intend to get one, thanks.

          Also planning to monitor humidity for the sake of the cast iron surfaces etc. I'm not in there for extreme amounts of time, but like I said it's a fairly small space, and the intention is to have it as air tight as possible.
          Last edited by Big_Eazy; 10-20-2020, 06:47 PM.

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          • #6

            Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

            Will there be a dust collection System for the equipment.
            Egon
            from
            The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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            • #7

              Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

              Originally posted by Egon View Post
              Will there be a dust collection System for the equipment.
              Yes, but not one adequate enough for effective fine dust collection. I will be working towards getting one set up that is.

              ​​​​​​That's what led me to setting up the space to be able to be "flushed" in the mean time. Then my thought process was that down the road, even with appropriate collection/filtering it would still be a nice feature to have for things like sanding etc.



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              • #8

                Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

                I have had a regular basement shop for some time. My wife says dust from the shop is not any problem in the house; the main problem is me tracking it upstairs on my shoes and clothes.
                I have a 2HP DC and some shop-built filter/fans but nothing exhausts outside. The only time I exhaust outside is if I'm working with some finishes or other smelly stuff. My wife could get a job as a bomb or drug sniffer at an airport with her sensitive nose.
                billh

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                • #9

                  Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

                  Originally posted by billh View Post
                  I have had a regular basement shop for some time. My wife says dust from the shop is not any problem in the house; the main problem is me tracking it upstairs on my shoes and clothes.
                  I have a 2HP DC and some shop-built filter/fans but nothing exhausts outside. The only time I exhaust outside is if I'm working with some finishes or other smelly stuff. My wife could get a job as a bomb or drug sniffer at an airport with her sensitive nose.
                  billh
                  Nice to know, thanks! I've read a fair amount of people who've had troubles, so it's good to know it can be done.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

                    Originally posted by Big_Eazy View Post

                    Yes, but not one adequate enough for effective fine dust collection. I will be working towards getting one set up that is.

                    ​​​​​​That's what led me to setting up the space to be able to be "flushed" in the mean time. Then my thought process was that down the road, even with appropriate collection/filtering it would still be a nice feature to have for things like sanding etc.


                    In that case go to a positive air pressure with evacuation to the outside. Set it up so the circulation rate gives proper air quality in the shop. Have the in shop collection system also evacuate outside. Positive air pressure aids in the efficiency of the collection system.
                    Egon
                    from
                    The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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                    • #11

                      Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

                      I've sealed off my basement shop pretty good. My basement shop has my main electrical panel and a door to my furnace & hot water tank room.

                      My electrical panel I just draped it with vapour barrier. My furnace & hot water room I just used a regular door with a door sweep at the bottom. I made sure that the room has sufficient air on the other side of it to the open basement. The main door to the shop it is just a regular door with a door sweep. The heating duct I took an old T-shirt and put it in a plastic bag and jammed it into the duct. I didn't want the shop having any positive pressure. Dust collection is number one with good filters recirculating the air. If you can recirculate the cubic foot 60 times per hour with your dust collection system you're pretty good. If you can't adding an overhead filtration system he is a good idea.
                      For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
                      Sir Isaac Newton.

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                      • #12

                        Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

                        Originally posted by Egon View Post
                        In that case go to a positive air pressure with evacuation to the outside. Set it up so the circulation rate gives proper air quality in the shop. Have the in shop collection system also evacuate outside. Positive air pressure aids in the efficiency of the collection system.
                        Do NOT have positive pressure in the shop. That statement makes no sense at all. If you do evacuate to the outside, then use a fan to draw the air out of the shop & have another opening to allow clean air in. You need to have the shop at a lower pressure than the rest of the house (you already know this).

                        For a while I had my shop in the basement & just used a big 24" box fan with a couple of good quality furnace filters in a hole in the wall adjoining the rest of the basement. This kept the shop at a negative pressure relative to the rest of the house. Simple and it worked perfectly.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

                          Originally posted by Matt Matt View Post
                          I've sealed off my basement shop pretty good. My basement shop has my main electrical panel and a door to my furnace & hot water tank room.

                          My electrical panel I just draped it with vapour barrier. ...
                          This is something that is worth checking every now and then - dust in any electric panel. I believe a few years ago a person at WoodCentral forum had a shop fire that was traced to dust in the electric panel. When an electrician was doing some work at my place he said if my shop was commercial rather than hobby I would be looking at some dust-proof electrical installation methods. Never got into the specifics with him.
                          billh

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                          • #14

                            Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

                            Dust can be explosive in the right combinations.

                            Installing Explosion Proof electrical systems can get pretty costly.
                            Egon
                            from
                            The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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                            • #15

                              Re: Questions About Sealing Off Basement Shop

                              Originally posted by billh View Post
                              This is something that is worth checking every now and then - dust in any electric panel. I believe a few years ago a person at WoodCentral forum had a shop fire that was traced to dust in the electric panel. When an electrician was doing some work at my place he said if my shop was commercial rather than hobby I would be looking at some dust-proof electrical installation methods. Never got into the specifics with him.
                              billh
                              By "any panel" do you mean any box? Or specifically the breaker panel?

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