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Home Shop Smell

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  • Home Shop Smell

    I'm a first timer for this forum, but didn't seem to have any luck finding much information in regards to this topic using the search.

    Basically my concern is the smell of cut metal and such bothering my room mates. I'm a machinist by day but have been thinking putting some small machines in my basement. I barely notice any of the smells (I see the clouds of smoke from cutting oils before I smell them) but all my friends girlfriends mention how I 'smell like metal' so I'm concerned. I'd like some experiences from you guys on how much smell and stink comes from a home machine shop. I plan on using indexable carbide tooling, so I don't think I'll often bother with cutting oils and I'll pass on coolant all together. I'd primarily work with low and mid alloy steels, mabye the occational stainless if that makes any differance.

    Also other than the idea of sucking the air/fumes out while working is there anything that could make it better?

    Thanks for any information,

  • #2
    I can't help you much on this question. My wife thinks WD-40 is the cologne I wear. Another approach is to cook in the shop. This summer it got so hot that one day we cooked a chicken in the slow cooker in my garage shop. The shop smelled great!
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    • #3
      If I was in that situation I think I would use some kind of exhaust fan setup and maybe some of those battery powered air freshener dispensers around entrances to other parts of the house, to keep the smells in the workshop. Personally I quite like the machine shop odours but I don't like the smell that gets in my hair from MIG welding and takes several washes to get rid of.


      • #4
        Home Shop Smell

        None of the filthy noxious compounds!

        Put lard oil on your chips.

        Yum, yum



        • #5
          Now Norm that's what I CALL CHIPSAlistair
          Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


          • #6
            Find a girlfriend that thinks the smell is sexy and then the only problem you'll have is trying to decide if you should machine something or do the "wild thang". Just dont do both at the same time. I think OSHA has a rule against that.

            My wife often comments that I smell like a machine shop. But her dad was a machinist and I bet she is used to it. To be honest, with all the overzelous perfume wearers out there now days (not just for the ladies any more, men have body spray now too) I have given up.

            Most times I wear light coveralls in the shop and a seperate pair of shoes. They are shead off before entering the house for long periods of time. ie - I go in and get lunch without changing, any longer then that and I kick everythign off. I think that this helps. This way the smell has something to stick to other than me.

            You might have the right idea. Install an exaust fan. Even a little draw through the shop should be better than nothing. Just dont put the intake close to the garabage, then youll have a whole different smell issue.

            Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


            • #7
              My shop is in the basement. Right under the livingroom. I never really notice a smell, although there must be the usual oil and machine smell. No comments from others either.

              Then again, my father-in-law's shop is in his garage. On the second floor, he has a fast-draw range. So his shop smells like oil, machines, plus fired shotgun primer. I like that smell.

              Depends what you do I guess. Smoky jobs do leave more smell, but it dissipates.

              Keep eye on ball.
              Hashim Khan


              • #8
                Originally posted by patin[email protected]
                ...but all my friends girlfriends mention how I 'smell like metal'...
                They should find that erotic. If not, tell your friends to take up with a classier breed of lady. REAL MEN always smell faintly of hot metal and oil smoke; Truly sophisticated women are turned on by this.


                • #9
                  Just remind them that metal stays hard.
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                  • #10
                    Just soak some rags in Brut and hang them in the shop.It will clash with the hoochie perfume the chicks wear these days and start the place smelling like a singles bar,add a little cheap beer and some music and you may need to change your zoning
                    I just need one more tool,just one!


                    • #11
                      I actually do have a useful suggestion.

                      Start using the "agent orange" cleaner and degreaser made from D-limonene. It smells like lemon/orange and the aroma is really strong. It will also make you smell like somebody that actually does dishes, something no woman can resist.
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                      • #12
                        Avoid some of the gear lubes with strong odors, if you want to be extreme and spend a few more dollars, find food grade or synthetic gear and hydraulic oils with little or no odor. An air cleaner with charcoal filters and ionic charge generator might help but I haven't tried that one yet.

                        Use a fireproof can and get rid of rags and papers with solvents and oils immediately after use. The longer they stick around, the more time they have to dissipate into the air.

                        I run carbide but wouldn't be satisfied without several cutting assistants, namely WD40 or similar on aluminum, Mobil Omicron on steel and SS.

                        Like Rockrat, my FIL was also a machinist so the limited odors I create smell like home


                        • #13
                          Heh. My wife is a farm girl and the daughter of a heavy duty mechanic. Her grandfather was a machinist with a shop in town. Her uncles are all around farm mechanics and the first vehicle she learned to drive was a tractor. She also learned how to fix it. She doesn't mind.
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                          • #14
                            Go to the local shelter and rescue a cat or dog... it will do two things for you. The sented cat sand will hide the oders from the cat and the machining fumes. The dog well smells like a dog. Or just burn incense they smoke and smell like sandalwood.. vanilla or whatever.
                            Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.


                            • #15
                              Wow so many replies... Thanks for all the information guys. I wish I could find a girl that liked the smell, although I haven't mentioned how metal stays hard. Some people do say I have metal running in my veins. The idea of incences or battery smell things never came to me.... another reason I need a metal liking girl around.

                              Unlike all you lucky guys I come from a family of pen pilots and desk jockies so I'm always a bit of the odd one out. Some day I'll afford a place with a seperated garage, but I don't think I can wait till then. I'm going to start with some things that I know stink more (like soldering and electrical work) and see how they react.

                              That orange clean stuff is really great for odors, but it can be over powering at times too.

                              Thanks for all the replies