Setting up new shop #2: The dust never ends.

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Blog entry by WoodenSoldier posted 10-26-2010 06:08 AM 1638 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Transforming the dungeon Part 2 of Setting up new shop series Part 3: Fixing Walls, painting, and organizing. »

Made some good progress in getting my shop cleaned up and organized. As some of you have pointed out, what’s the point in putting money into a place you’re renting? I agree with that to some extent. I’m certainly not trying to increase the value of the property, but on the other hand, if my hobby is woodworking, and its one of the things that keeps me sane and helps me relax, then I want to do it in a space I can enjoy.
With that said, I am trying to do this as cheaply as possible. I have been collecting plywood from work when we throw it out (we throw out whole sheets at a time) along with paint and other building materials. I did have to throw down a little cash for the masonry paint that I bought. It really brightened up the room and I think it will do a good job of sealing some of the dust into the walls. The stuff was so thick that one can didn’t go very far though. I may have to buy another.
I put in some fluorescent lights, and a new outlet under my work bench this last week. Also hung some shelves and did massive cleaning. The place is so dusty and dirty that I clean and clean, but it’s always dusty. I have to wear a dust mask constantly. However, I have more space than I originally thought I would.
A couple of issues I have not resolved, maybe some of you could offer some advice.
For one, the dust is really bad. The walls only go up to about 6 or 7 feet, then there are many open spaces between the studs that go into the crawl space under the rest of the house. I’m planning on closing some of them in, but with all of the wires and pipes, I can’t hope to cut wood to fit around everything. The problem is, I think a lot of dust, dirt, and possibly critters come in from the crawl space ,which means it will never be clean. I’m trying to think of a good way to seal it in to conserve heat, and keep dust and moisture low. Any suggestions?
I’ve thought about investing in one of the Jet air cleaners, but with the open crawl space I don’t know how effective it would be. It would probably clog the filters very quickly, I think.
Also debating on painting the floor to seal it as well. I’ll keep my eye open for cheap garage floor paint.
Part of the shop is underneath the other tenant’s apartment. I don’t plan to use power tools at night, but even still, I’d like to soundproof the ceiling a little bit. Does anybody have any suggestions on a cheap way of doing that? I’ve been checking out craigslist for free insulation.



I went to HD and got a new Frued blade for my table saw, some more clamps that were on sale, and some misc. hardware to mount tools. Next weekend I may start making sawdust.

-- Create something everyday.

8 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3337 days

#1 posted 10-26-2010 06:59 AM

All woodworking creates alot of dust and some forms of woodwork creates a heck of alot more than others. I do alot of wood sculpting and shaping with my grinder and the dust it creates is outrageous. My shop always seems to be full of dust that cannot be picked up by the dust collector. To me the most important concern is breathing clean air…regardless of how dusty the shop is.
A while back I bought a Trend AirShield Pro and to me it has been worth its weight in gold. No more sneezing or dust boogers. Best investment for protecting your lungs and like your tools, it goes with you if you move.

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3530 days

#2 posted 10-26-2010 11:07 AM

It’s looking good, my Friend, lots of room…
I don’t know how to help you with the dust, but for sound reduction… You can go to almost any nearby diner and ask them if they would save some Egg flats for you. They’re approximately 12”X 12”, and can be stapled or glued in place as a ceiling, after you’ve added the insulation… They’re gray, but you could spray paint them, to brighten them up…

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3910 days

#3 posted 10-26-2010 03:08 PM

Hey WS,
I think it is a 1000 % improvement. Nice. It looks my shop from many years ago in a different house.

I don’t have a lot of suggestions, and you seem to have identified the concerns. Dust removal at the first point that it exits a tool has really helped me.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View mpatrick's profile


54 posts in 2805 days

#4 posted 10-26-2010 03:10 PM

When I was starting to get my shop set up, it had bare concrete floor, badly poured at that. It seemed that I could sweep for hours and still get a pile of dust. I sealed the floor with epoxy floor coating from home depot. It made cleaning so much easier and there is far less concrete type dust. That coupled with my homemade air cleaner helped tremendously.

-- Michael...Houston, Texas

View WoodenSoldier's profile


161 posts in 2973 days

#5 posted 10-27-2010 04:37 AM

Thanks for the great feedback guys. Littlecope, great idea about the egg cartons. I think I’ll call a few of the diners around here this weekend!

For now, it’s back to the basement. Too bad I have to climb through a hatch in the floor to get to it. I can’t even get a sheet of plywood down there if I need to.

-- Create something everyday.

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 3962 days

#6 posted 10-27-2010 05:08 PM

For filling in the odd spaces that the pipes create, could you use expanding foam insulation? It’s my favorite go-to for stuff like that. You could seal up what you can with the free wood you’re getting, then close the rest with foam. That’ll also help to contain the noise you make in your shop as well.

-- Robb

View helluvawreck's profile


31417 posts in 2895 days

#7 posted 10-27-2010 05:20 PM

I think your shop is looking pretty good. Keep up the good work.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2911 days

#8 posted 10-27-2010 05:21 PM

I’d use fiberglass insulation between the ceiling joists and then staple vapour barrier over that; the insulation will easily sqeeze around the pipes and wires, and the vapour barrier will seal out the dust.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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