Table Saw in the Basement?

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Forum topic by tool_junkie posted 03-21-2012 08:00 PM 4351 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View tool_junkie's profile


325 posts in 2551 days

03-21-2012 08:00 PM

Hello All,

I have a two car garage (un-heated) that I also use as a make-shift workshop for working on my Craftsman bench saw. I also have an unfinished basement that I use for the rest of wood working needs like routing, cutting down 4×8 ply sheets with a circular saw, gluing, staining and finishing.

I currently have the following in the garage:

1- Two cars
2- One Motorcycle
3- Three Bicycles
4- Table/Bench Saw (no extension wings)
5- An 8 foot Ladder
6- A Lawn Mower
7- A shelf Rack with car and miscellaneous gardening stuff

Right now, if I have to use the table saw, I park at least one of the cars on the driveway. Leaving the car parked in the driveway over night is not a problem during summer months, but during the winter months (November through March) both cars must be parked inside the garage. It is a pain to keep moving the table saw in the corner every night (during winter) so I can bring my car in. The table saw doesn’t have extension wings yet and is already a tight fit as is. I am planning on adding extension wings, an out-feed table/extension and a nice cabinet to the table saw pretty soon, and it will make it really really difficult if not impossible to park it in the garage with all of the above mentioned items.

So, I was thinking that since I would be taking the table saw apart to put all the above add-ons, may be I should move it in the basement so that I can use it all year around. I do not have a dust collection system yet, but I am building a Thien Dust Separator which I plan on using with the table saw.

I need your opinion on the pros and cons of having the table saw in the basement. If I do end up putting it in the basement, what else do I need to do in regards to dust control and safety?

I highly appreciate your help.


8 replies so far

View jmos's profile


838 posts in 2391 days

#1 posted 03-21-2012 09:47 PM

I’ve got my entire shop in the basement, and it works out OK (don’t have a choice, no garage and no land to build another building.)

Noise – when do you work, who else is home and who will it bother? Will it be a problem?

Dust – Make sure your basement is not tied into the house HVAC. Before setting up my shop I built walls (2×4 and 3/8” CDX plywood) to keep dust in and kids out. I also used tape and foam insulation to seal any crack I could find that led outside the walls or up into the living area. So far, dust has not been an issue. you will need dust collection, and I would recommend an air filter as well. You don’t want dust all over your house. (actually, how are you going to use a Thien separator if you don’t have dust collection? With a shop vac?)

Access – how do you get into your basement? Can you get everything down there, or will it really restrict what tools you can buy, and what projects you can get out. I can’t get full sheets into my basement; it’s a PITA.

Fumes – if you use oil based finishes, or other smelly products you’ll likely end up in the garage for those steps

Safety – a locked door to keep the kids out (if you have them of course).

-- John

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2992 days

#2 posted 03-21-2012 10:27 PM

I’m in the basement as well and I agree with everything John just said.

I have a pretty complete shop in about 570 sq.ft. and I love it being in the basement for the environmental control, but the noise and fume issues have to be considered. I still finish in the garage.

I don’t have the access problem because my garage is in the basement as well and it is level with the outside grade on that end of the house and I have a double door between the basement shop and the garage.

You said “unfinished basement” so I am wondering if you have a concrete floor in there? Hard to control moisture without a floor. Humid shop and wood do not mix well.

I control my dust with a Harbor Freight 2hp dust collector and it does a very nice job. You will still need air filters in addition to the collector.

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2904 days

#3 posted 03-21-2012 10:39 PM

Why during the winter months must both cars be parked in the garage? It is actually better for them (less rust) for them to be outside during the winter months rather than go through the freeze/thaw cycle of being put into the garage.

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

View tool_junkie's profile


325 posts in 2551 days

#4 posted 03-23-2012 03:35 AM

Thank you all for the info you shared.

John: I am planning on using my shop vac for the Thien separator. So far, I am able to bring sheets on plywood to my basement. The basement isn’t a walk-out type.

Michael: By unfinished, I meant that there are no walls; it is just a wide open area. The floor is concrete so, I dont think humidity should be a problem. I had never thought of the noise issue. Will see what can be done.

Rob: You have a very good point. I never thought if this perspective. but regardless if I leave one car ouside permanently, the garage is not heated.

Thanks for all your help gentlemen


View PRGDesigns's profile


238 posts in 2335 days

#5 posted 03-23-2012 05:44 PM

I almost always had basement shops until I moved to Texas where there are no basements. The first thing I usually did in any basement was to seal the walls with UGL Drylok and paint the floors. This prevented the damp feeling you get in a typical basement and the dusting (spalling) you get from concrete floors. I would scrub the walls down with bleach (ventilate well) and then do the floors. Allow the basement to dry using a couple of box fans. Then apply the UGL to the walls and then paint the floor. The white color of the UGL also brightened up the area. You can also add fiberglass batts between the floor joists for noise and dust control. Food for thought.

-- They call me Mr. Silly

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 2715 days

#6 posted 03-23-2012 06:04 PM

I have my shop in a small room in the basement and I love it.
It is always warm, I can work in my slippers, and at any time I feel like.
I have a shop vac through a separator but I always wear a respirator.
The table saw shoots dust onto the floor and once in a while I sweep everything under the TS just to get it out of the way, then every so often I clean it up with the shop vac.
I recently installed an air filter but still wear the respirator.
I find no dust gets to the rest of the house and I simply wipe my feet on a carpet at the shop door before leaving.
I have a straight staircase going from the front door directly into the basement so bringing in material is simple.
I don’t think I would ever want a shop anywhere else.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View tool_junkie's profile


325 posts in 2551 days

#7 posted 03-24-2012 12:06 AM

I was dosing off when I posted my last message and reading it now, i realize I missed a few details about the basement. So, here they are:

By unfinished basement I mean that it does not have interior walls and hence, is a big open room about the same of the main floor of the house. The furnace and AC blower are also in the basement.

Are you guys suggesting that the workshop be enclosed in a separate room in the basement to keep the HVAC system separated from the workshop? What about the AC/heating vents?


View PRGDesigns's profile


238 posts in 2335 days

#8 posted 03-27-2012 04:15 AM

Yes, I would personally recommend that you separate your shop from the HVAC system for the house. Depending upon the type of HVAC system you have will tell you how “tight” that separation needs to be, i.e. newer HVAC unit with high efficiency rating and tightly sealed duct work will probably not be as susceptible to pulling dust into the system. Older HVAC with standard sheet metal connections can pull in more dust. With regard to vents, I would be mostly concerned about return air ducts. Depending upon the temperature you want to maintain in the basement will guide you on the forced air ducts and openings. If you don’t care what the temperature is, or it doesn’t fluctuate much between seasons, you can close off those ducts as well. If you need the ducts to maintain temp, then watch them for a few months by inspecting them after you have been using your shop to see how much actual dust they are attracting. Keep track of system filter changes and if you notice an increased amount of material on the filter or need to change the filters more often. Your significant other may also be your best source for how tight your shop needs to be. If they start complaining about dust buildup in the house that didn’t used to be there it will not take a CSI unit to ascertain who/what the culprit is. Just a few thoughts from a former basement shop addict.

-- They call me Mr. Silly

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