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Pro's/Con's of converting 13'x16' living room into hand tooling shop

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 09-06-2016 09:36 PM 2418 views 0 times favorited 61 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Holbs

1373 posts in 1492 days


09-06-2016 09:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: living room hand tools remodel

My 2 car garage is maxed out for wood working machinery, sprinkled in with un-organized hand tools. I live solo (no kids, no wife) in my 2 story house. I planned to remove the living room carpet to install vinyl wood flooring. That is when my friend suggested converting living room to a 2nd shop. Great idea! This would give me a dedicated room to expand my hand tool experience, and room for a 8’ roubo work bench, large assembly table, etc. I have a concrete foundation so that’s a plus. 2 large windows that can be use with window fans for spraying as well.
I am unsure of the “dust” that is create as compared to machinery. I know it’s less, but unsure of how much less. Lighting will be an issue, but I can address that with track lighting or such. Will have a 50” plasma tv to watch Peter Seller youtube videos at hand :)
Before I truly jump into this project remodel… figured to ask the LJ community the pro’s / con’s because this is a major project than if something in the garage.
-eric

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"


61 replies so far

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Rick M

7913 posts in 1843 days


#1 posted 09-06-2016 10:08 PM

A man after my own heart… There will be some dust because there’s always some dust but much less if you are only makin’ shavings. Really I wouldn’t want to woodwork in the house proper unless I could seal the room.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Holbs

1373 posts in 1492 days


#2 posted 09-06-2016 10:15 PM

Sealing the room. Hmm… I assume you mean open/close doorways to the rest of the house, not plastic sheeting everything. Here is picture of living room and the 2 entrances: front door and upstairs, and then hallway to kitchen (and 2 of 3 dogs i’m babysitting. don’t mind the failed experimental paint color attempts)

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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bbasiaga

756 posts in 1458 days


#3 posted 09-06-2016 10:36 PM

Why not a spare bedroom instead?

Smaller workbench, but more isolated.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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bbasiaga

756 posts in 1458 days


#4 posted 09-06-2016 10:37 PM

And don’t spray in the house. The furnace/ AC will recirculate all that through the whole house. Its not so bad with water based or shellac only. But lacquer or oil based will be a big problem.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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Holbs

1373 posts in 1492 days


#5 posted 09-06-2016 10:39 PM

I have no need for isolation other than sealing issues.. Living room is almost twice as big as my spare bedrooms. Plus bedrooms are upstairs:)

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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MrUnix

4222 posts in 1662 days


#6 posted 09-06-2016 11:11 PM

For hand tools? No problem! I took over our den (commonly known as a Florida room down here) about the same size after I ran out of room in the garage, shed, pole barn and patio :) Keep the band saw, planers (3 of them), jointers (2 of them), scroll saw, sewing machine and two of my four lathes in there. For most stuff, I just open up the sliding glass door and shoot the chips out back – but for the rest of the stuff, it hasn’t been noticeable anywhere else in the house and a shop vac provides the cleanup at the end of the day. No problems other than the looks that I get from the wife now and then – and I waited until the kids moved out before taking it over.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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JoeinGa

7481 posts in 1470 days


#7 posted 09-06-2016 11:21 PM

When I saw the title, my FIRST thought was ’’ Well, HE sure as hell aint married ”
.
Sorry, but I’ve been married 42 years tomorrow, so I certainly have no ideas for converting the living room into a shop !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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Holbs

1373 posts in 1492 days


#8 posted 09-06-2016 11:22 PM

Brad, did you have to add lighting or anything electrical?
Joe… Come on. You know you want to :)

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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woodbutcherbynight

2427 posts in 1872 days


#9 posted 09-07-2016 01:17 AM

Joe I saw this and thought the same thing!!!

Holbs
You have thrown out the pros in that you get more space and such. That said let me list a few cons I recall a few guys who did so tell me.
1. If you have no spouse that might change in the future, having the living room part of your wood-shop will be an issue unless they enjoy the hobby as much as you.
2. If you do have a spouse while they may agree to it believe this, they will hold this against you until you die!
3. My Father sprayed lacquer in the basement once in our 1st house, smelled like that for years.
4. No matter how careful you are short of a airlock, dust will get in, and you will track it with you.
5. 8 feet ceilings suck to work in.

Years ago I worked with a guy that was single, he turned the house into a multilayered shop (2 story) and the detached garage into a bedroom, bathroom, common room/ kitchen. Had this for a few years then met some girl and after a few months it looked serious so he invited her over. She had a stroke when he showed her the shop. ROFLMAO

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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Holbs

1373 posts in 1492 days


#10 posted 09-07-2016 01:23 AM

Yep butcher… I realize Cupid may hit me one day. But being a bachelor at my age…well… this is not a social dating site (attention female woodworkers!). I’ll take my chances on the #1 you mentioned. I am also trying to configure the living room/woodshop room so that if I had to move or spouse & kids come into the picture, it will take little effort to make it look like a remodeled living room. Such as wood grained vinyl plank floors, old barn wood wallpaper, etc.
Good points on the spraying of lacquer and dust. I’ll look into it. But if I had a 4’x6’ alcove area with venting out big living window by fan or such… would the lacquer smell or other sprays still proliferate elsewhere afterwards?

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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MrUnix

4222 posts in 1662 days


#11 posted 09-07-2016 01:44 AM

Brad, did you have to add lighting or anything electrical?
- Holbs

Nope… everything in there runs on 120v and don’t require a lot of juice. Lighting is just regular stuff although I do have one of those pivoting arm things for my scroll saw. I think the largest load would be the planers, but nothing a 15A outlet can’t handle. Table saw and other stuff that needs 240v is out in the garage where it’s available.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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Holbs

1373 posts in 1492 days


#12 posted 09-07-2016 02:09 AM

Brad… what about ventilation, dust, spray booth or so?

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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MrUnix

4222 posts in 1662 days


#13 posted 09-07-2016 02:15 AM

Dust hasn’t been an issue and I never spray indoors… plus the compressor is out in the garage. I will do some finish work inside if I’m using a brush or wiping on poly, but wait until the wife goes to bed so she doesn’t have to deal with the smell of mineral spirits (which I love btw!).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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Holbs

1373 posts in 1492 days


#14 posted 09-07-2016 02:16 AM

ah good point of compressor being in garage. didn’t think about that. ok…good to realize.

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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TheTurtleCarpenter

824 posts in 529 days


#15 posted 09-07-2016 03:04 AM

I would put some extra support under the floor joist if you put the bench midspan. If up against the wall it should be OK.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle",,,,,member MWTCA area K. Kentucky

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